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Bathroom Faucet Buying Guide

bathroom sink

Whether your bathroom is a private spa-like oasis or a functional room used by everyone in the family, it's important to choose the proper sink faucet to complement your style. Modern-day faucets can feature new eco-friendly technology that limits water use or can be made to look centuries old. No matter what your style or needs, there's a bathroom faucet out there for you. We break down the most popular ways to mount your bathroom sink faucet, handle options, and a few special features to consider. 

Installation Types

The five common bathroom sink faucet mounting options are single-hole, centerset, widespread, vessel, and wall-mounted. Choosing the correct mounting option (the number and placement of holes) is especially important if you're installing a new faucet into an existing sink or countertop, which already has a set number of holes and spacing. A bathroom sink or countertop generally has three holes, but that number can vary. Sink hole covers can be used to hide unused holes.
single hole faucet

Single Hole

Providing more precise volume and temperature control, single-hole faucets typically come with one handle. This type of faucet is also much easier to install. If you have chosen a single-hole faucet but have multiple holes in your existing cabinet, look for a faucet with an option escutcheon plate. If you have one hole on your existing sink or countertop, this is an ideal fit.

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​Centerset (4-inch Faucet Center)

A centerset faucet features a deckplate that contains the handles and spout in one plate. This type of faucet can be used on sinks and countertops with one to three holes. Centerset faucets require holes with 4-inch centers. This is the measurement from the center of the left hole to the center of the right. This is a popular faucet style.

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Widespread (8-16inch Faucet Centers)

Faucets and handles are mounted individually to the sink or countertop without a deckplate in a widespread faucet. Multiple holes on your countertop or sink are required for installation. Widespread faucets require holes with a range of 8-inch to 16-inch centers. Also known as non-deckplate faucets, widespread faucets are the most popular option.

vessel sink faucet

Vessel Sink Faucets

Vessel sinks sit above the countertop, and therefore require taller faucets. Faucets that are taller than 4 inches will clear most vessel sink basins and are therefore called vessel sink faucets. It's important to measure the height of your vessel sink before purchasing a faucet.

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Wall Mounted (8-inch Faucet Center)

Wall-mounted faucets are hung on the wall above the sink, making countertop cleaning easier. A rough in valve is required for the installation of a new wall-mounted faucet. Also, a new rough in valve may be required when replacing an existing wall-mounted faucet.

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Handle Options

Single Handle

A single-handled faucet can come attached to a deckplate to cover up unused handle holes, but it doesn't always. Hot and cold water are both operated through one handle.

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Double Handle

Double-handled faucets may have individually mounted handles or the handles may be integrated into a deckplate. They feature separate handles for hot and cold water.

automatic faucet

Automatic Faucets 

Automatic faucets feature motion sensing technology to turn water on and off when you need it. This means no messy hands touching the handles or faucet, keeping it clean. It's also an eco-friendly sink since it can't be left running.

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Handle Styles

Lever Handle

​One of the more common handle styles, lever handles swivel forward to turn on and off the faucet. Lever faucets come in styles that turn horizontally or vertically, and in styles with two handles or one main handle. 

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Cross Handle

​Cross handles
twist left and right to turn the water on and off. With a more distinctive design, cross handles often have a vintage look. 

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Knob Handle

​Similar to cross handles, knob handles also twist to turn the faucet on and off. These handles can offer a more minimal design or a vintage look with glass knobs. 

Special Features

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Eco-friendly Faucets

WaterSense Certified Faucets: In order to be WaterSense certified by the EPA, a bathroom sink faucet must use a maximum of 1.5 gallons of water per minute to reduce water flow by nearly 30 percent from the standard flow of 2.2 gallons per minute.

Low-Flow Faucets: Low-flow faucets use less than 2.2 gallons of water per minute. These faucets use aerators (a flow-restriction device) to limit water use.

Metering Faucets: These faucets dispense water for a pre-determined amount of time, limiting water use. Automatic faucets are a subset of metering faucets.

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Waterfall Faucets

Waterfall faucets are defined by a design or aesthetic feature rather than a functional element. The water pours out of the spout like a waterfall.

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