Category Archives: Faucets

How To Install a Kitchen Faucet – Video

Plumbing is intimidating for most people, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Think about it – you may have your main kitchen sink with a faucet, a prep sink with its own faucet, a pot filler faucet near the stove, a dishwasher, a refrigerator ice maker, drinking water filters, and more going on in there – and many of these things could be connected to one another. However, plenty of the typical things homeowners want to do with the plumbing in their kitchens are easy enough for a proficient DIY’er to handle.

One of the easiest kitchen upgrades you can do yourself is installing a new faucet. While certain situations may be trickier than others, faucet installation isn’t rocket science. Join our go-to guy, Mike, as he walks you through everything you need to know to make your kitchen faucet installation go smoothly.


5 Easy Plumbing New Year’s Resolutions

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Finding a “Good” Faucet

At its most basic, a “good” faucet is one that does its job well. That is, lets water out when you turn it on, and doesn’t let water out when it’s turned off. Okay, so that’s not all we’re looking for when we look for a “good” faucet. If it was, we could install a hose bibb in the kitchen and call it good, right?

So, let’s try again: What makes a good quality faucet? You know, something we’d be proud for others to see in the kitchen or bath and will enjoy for years? Ah, that’s a little more tricky, but we’ll figure it out together.

Example of a single hole Danze kitchen faucetA good, quality faucet, has almost nothing to do with the style of the faucet, the finish of the faucet, or its location. Kitchen faucets are not inherently “better” than laundry faucets, and single hole faucets are not automatically “better” than centerset faucets. A high quality faucet functions well over the years, has repair parts readily available when maintenance is required as well as other support from the manufacturer. Let’s take a minute and go into these a little more.

Consider what the faucet is made of. In most cases, quality faucets are made from brass or stainless steel, but the material composition does not guarantee the quality. If possible, look at the faucet construction in person. Are the threads cut neatly, or do they seem a little off? Does the swivel spout move easily? These things can give you a feel for the quality and workmanship.

Examine the finish. Does it have flaws? Is it consistent? Is it a PVD finish or a living finish? These are things that can help tell you what to expect from the finish in the years to come.

Try looking for replacement parts for any faucet you consider. If you cannot find them, you may have problems down the road when you try to repair your faucet. Will you need to ship the faucet to the manufacturer for a cartridge change, or can you do it at home? If your faucet is an investment you plan to keep for the next decade or three, you will eventually need to repair it. If you plan to change out your faucet in the next few years, it may not be as much of an issue.

Check out the manufacturer of the faucet. A well-known manufacturer may or may not make a “better” faucet, but they might have better support, which typically means less frustration if a problem does occur with the faucet. Talk to your local plumbing house, installers, and anyone you know with that brand and/or style of faucet to get their impressions and learn from their experiences. If a faucet has a great looking lifetime warranty, but the manufacturer or retailer is unresponsive, the warranty may not be worth as much to you. On the other hand, a warranty that only lasts a few years, but with a manufacturer that has a great history of taking care of their customers may be more useful, even after the warranty has expired.

Example of a pre-rinse style kitchen faucetNaturally, no matter how “good” the faucet is, if you don’t like the way it looks, you still won’t be happy. Keep in mind that many manufacturers make visually similar styles, so you have choices there, as well.

Whatever faucet you choose, we always recommend keeping the manual, parts breakdown, and any other paperwork safe for future reference, just in case.

Your turn: what’s the best or worst faucet you’ve encountered and why?

So It’s Time For A New Bathroom Sink Faucet…

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.

Danze bathroom faucet D305258, shown in chrome

A modern centerset faucet

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.

Danze D316457 wall mounted faucet, shown in oil rubbed bronze

Victorian style wall mounted faucet

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?