So your old bathroom faucet has finally given up the ghost. Whether it’s because you can’t find replacement parts anymore, or it’s simply too ugly to stare at any longer, you’re in the market for a new faucet. But when you start looking around for a new lavatory faucet, the choices seem endless. How to narrow them down?
Let’s start with the mounting style of your faucet. Unless you’re replacing the sink or counter your old faucet was mounted in, this will automatically filter your choices.
Widespread faucets have three distinct pieces visible: the spout and two handles. They are connected below the sink with flexible connectors, giving them a certain amount of flexibility in mounting. They can go as close together as the flanges will allow, or as wide as the flexible connectors will let them. This exact measurement will vary slightly from faucet to faucet, but typically has a maximum width apart of 8″. Sometimes you can add longer flexible connectors, but again, this depends on the particular faucet. Widespread faucets are great for when you have three faucet holes in your sink or counter top due to an old widespread faucet, or Victorian style basin taps. These are typically available with or without a pop up and install with flexible connectors.Centerset faucets mount using two faucet holes and are considered to be one of the easiest styles to install since they drop in as one piece. These lavatory faucets usually come only in 4″ centers, which means that the center of the mounting holes must be four inches apart – no more and no less. Available in single handle (like the familiar Delta style with the “crystal” handle) and two handle styles, there is only one base to clean around, which appeals to many people. Centerset lav faucets can come with or without a pop up. Wall mounted bathroom faucets are less common these days, and are most often found either in older homes or custom bathroom designs as they require the plumbing to run up through the wall above the level of the sink. Wall mounted faucets paired with vessel sinks is a popular combination. These faucets never include integral pop ups. Wall mounted lavatory faucets typically install using two or three holes.
Single hole lavatory faucets have made a stunning impression in bathrooms over the last few years. Available with one or two handles, and perfect for the familiar drop in and undermount bathroom sinks, as well as designer-style vessel sinks, these faucets are incredibly versatile. They are also great for corner sinks since they work well with space-saving designs. Simple styles and contemporary lines are common features of the single hole bathroom faucet, and these are seen more often without pop ups.
Electronic or sensor operated faucets are available to fit almost all of these installation methods. Electronic faucets typically don’t have pop ups, as they are still most often seen in the commercial setting at this point.
You might think that you’re stuck with a centerset faucet if you’re removing an old centerset style, but that’s not necessarily true. Try installing a soap dispenser with a single hole faucet instead. Choose a mini bridge style faucet for a Victorian look. Or, simply cap the hole with a faucet hole cover. One clever person repurposed a small rimmed bud vase to set into the sink. We’re not sure if it’s something the plumbing code addresses, but it’s a lovely idea!
Next time, we’ll discuss how to choose a “good” faucet…
In the meantime, what prompted your most recent faucet purchase?