How to Know What Bathroom Faucet to Buy: The Perfect Fit

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by John Coleman

How to Know What Bathroom Sink To Buy
How to Know What Bathroom Sink To Buy

 Choosing the perfect bathroom faucet goes beyond just being practical – it’s all about elevating your bathroom’s style and ensuring long-lasting quality. With so many options out there, it can feel like a lot to take in. But don’t worry! This comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate through it all, highlighting key points to consider. Get ready to make a smart choice that fits your needs and style perfectly!

Why is it Important to Know What Bathroom Faucet to Buy?

Additionally, a bathroom faucet can be a statement piece in your bathroom, adding to the overall design and feel of the space. Choosing the wrong faucet can throw off the entire aesthetic and make your bathroom look mismatched or outdated. Therefore, knowing what bathroom faucet to buy is crucial in creating a functional and visually appealing bathroom.

A more in-depth knowledge of bathroom sink designs and types will help you avoid purchasing a faucet that doesn’t fit your sink or decor which will cost you more time in item returns or exchanges. It’s best to know the information in this article on the front end so you can get your new faucet installed so you can move on to more important things in your life.

Bathroom Faucet Types

Understanding the differences in faucet types is crucial. Here’s a breakdown:

Centerset faucets also called “three-hole” faucets, can be mounted on a sink or countertop with three holes. In this setup, you will find the faucet and handles are positioned on a single base which makes it easy to install. It is important to know that a three-hole or “centerset” faucet is not the same thing as a widespread faucet. These faucets are made for sinks with three holes and have handles that are 4 inches apart. They’re compact and ideal for smaller bathrooms.

Centerset Faucet
Centerset Faucet

Widespread faucets feature two handles and require three holes. The layout of a widespread faucet is more spread out (the handles are usually a minimum of 8 inches apart) and the faucet and handles are three separate units. This faucet will be more challenging to install due to its versatile configuration and setup. These faucets provide a more sophisticated look suitable for larger sinks.

Widespread Faucets
Widespread Faucets

Single-Hole faucets, also known as a single-lever faucets, have only one lever that allows the user to use one hand to adjust the flow (moving lever up and down) and temperature of the water (moving lever left and right). A single-handle faucet has only one access for hot and cold water, making it easier to install. Homeowners will choose this type of faucet because it takes up less space on smaller sinks and countertops. These faucets are sleek and modern while offering a minimalist approach.

Single-Hole Faucet
Single-Hole Faucet

Wall-Mounted faucets as the name suggests are mounted directly on the wall. The installation will be a little different from other faucets because the plumbing hook-ups are situated within the wall. If your bathroom is not already set up for this type of faucet, you will likely need a plumber or contractor to convert your setup to accommodate this fixture. This is a common option for individuals looking to utilize a vessel sink that sits on top of the counter rather than recessed in the countertop. When selecting a wall-mounted faucet, it is important to consider the height and reach of the spout to ensure that it sits adequately above your sink to prevent undesired water splash. This type of faucet is great for freeing up counter space and offering a unique look.

Wall-Mounted Faucet
Wall-Mounted Faucet

Waterfall Faucets can be found in a single-hole design. This type of faucet has an open spout with an aerator that allows water to flow gently and smoothly; mimicking the look of a waterfall. They are typically minimalistic in appearance and come in a single-hole style which makes installation a breeze.

Water Fall Faucet
Water Fall Faucet

Now that you know the types of faucets available, take a look at your existing faucet and identify what type you have.

Next, use the steps below to measure your existing faucet and the surrounding area to make sure the replacement will fit and match your decor.

How to Measure for a Faucet Replacement

Before you jump in to purchasing a new faucet, remember to measure your existing one to ensure the replacement will fit. Here’s how:

  • Remove any items from under the sink and turn off the water supply.
  • Unscrew the nuts that hold your old faucet in place, located directly beneath it.
  • Lift out the old faucet and clean up any old caulk or sealant.
  • Measure the distance between the hot and cold water supply lines on your existing faucet to determine what type of faucet you need.
  • Measure the number of holes in your sink to match with the appropriate faucet type.
  • Measure the clearance from the back of your sink to any obstacles, such as a backsplash or wall, to ensure the faucet’s height will fit.
  • Measure the total length of your existing faucet to make sure the replacement is not too long or too short for your sink.
  • Take note of the finish of your current faucet to ensure the replacement matches your existing bathroom decor.
  • Use these measurements when shopping for a new faucet to find the perfect fit for your sink and bathroom design.


The valve is the heart of your faucet, controlling water flow and temperature. The four main types are:

  • Compression Valves are traditional and use rubber washers to compress against a valve seat, stopping water flow. They’re inexpensive but can wear out quickly.
  • Cartridge Valves feature a hollow metal or plastic cartridge that moves up and down to regulate water flow and temperature. They’re reliable, low-maintenance, and ideal for hard water.
  • Ball Valves have a rotating ball with slots controlling the hot and cold water flow. They’re durable but may require the replacement of the entire valve unit when worn out.
  • Ceramic Disc Valves use two ceramic discs to regulate water flow and temperature, making them leak-free and low-maintenance. However, they can be expensive to repair or replace.

Water Efficiency

 Other features that promote efficiency include:

  • Aerators mix air with water to reduce flow while maintaining pressure.
  • Low Flow Restrictors limit the amount of water that flows through the faucet, reducing usage.
  • Motion or Touch Activation eliminates the need for manual operation, ensuring the faucet isn’t left running accidentally.
  • Thermostatic Valves maintain a consistent water temperature, preventing the need for constant adjustment and reducing hot water waste.

Handles and Operation

  • Single-Handle faucets offer simplicity and ease of use, requiring less space.
  • Double-Handle faucets provide more precise temperature adjustment but require more space.
  • Touchless faucets use motion sensors to operate, reducing the spread of germs and making them ideal for public or shared spaces. They are also ideal for the elderly who may have joint issues in their hands.
  • Foot Pedal-Operated faucets are another hygienic option, requiring only a light touch with your foot to turn on and off. However, they can be less convenient for everyday use.

Spout Height and Reach

Ensure the spout height and reach complement your sink size to avoid splashback and ensure easy use. Consider the following:

  • Low Spout Height is ideal for small sinks, preventing splashing and providing easy access to water.
  • Medium Spout Height offers a balance between functionality and aesthetics.
  • High-spout height is best for larger sinks or filling pots and buckets.

Sink Drain Assemblies

It is important to note that not all bathroom faucets come with a sink drain assembly. It is best to buy a faucet that comes with a sink drain assembly to ensure that the drain assembly and faucet match.

Sink drain assemblies prevent water from flowing out of the sink and play a significant role in sink functionality. Here is a list of the different types of sink drain assemblies:

Pop-up Drain Assembly allows for easy opening and closing with a lever or push button on the faucet.

Pop-Up Drain Assembly
Pop-Up Drain Assembly
Grid Drain Assembly
Grid Drain Assembly
  • Lift-and-Turn Drain Assembly requires you to use your fingers to grab the stopper and then lift and twist at the same time to open and close the drain.
  • Chain and Plug Drain Assembly is a traditional option that consists of a plug attached to a chain to control water flow. Simply push the plug in the drain to stop the water from draining or use the chain to pull the plug out of the drain to let the water out of the sink.

Design and Aesthetics

Faucets come in a wide range of styles and finishes to match any bathroom decor. Some popular options include:

  • Chrome is durable, easy to clean, and offers a shiny, modern look.
  • Brushed Nickel has a warm, brushed appearance that complements traditional or rustic designs.
  • Bronze finishes add a touch of elegance and warmth to any bathroom.
  • Black finishes have gained popularity in recent years, providing a sleek and modern look.
  • Gold finishes offer a luxurious touch, but are more prone to water spots and require regular cleaning.

Material and Finish

Durability is key when selecting a faucet:

  • Choose solid brass constructions for longevity.
  • Finishes like chrome, brushed nickel, and matte black can enhance the aesthetic appeal while impacting maintenance and durability.
  • Chrome is durable but prone to water spots.
  • Brushed nickel is a bit costlier but more resistant to fingerprints and watermarks.
  • Matte black adds a touch of luxury but requires regular cleaning

Additional Features

Some faucets come with additional features that add convenience or luxury to your bathroom experience:

  • Pull-Down or Pull-Out Sprayer options combine the faucet with a sprayer, making it easier to clean the sink.
  • Water Filtration System built into the faucet provides filtered water directly from the tap, eliminating the need for a separate filter pitcher or system.
  • LED Lights that change color based on water temperature can add a fun and practical touch to your faucet.
  • Touchless Technology allows you to turn on the faucet with a simple wave of your hand, reducing the spread of germs even further. Some faucets also include temperature control and other customizable settings with this feature.
  • Soap Dispensers can be built into the faucet or installed separately for added convenience and a clutter-free sink area.

Installation Requirements

  • Verify the faucet matches the mounting holes in your sink or countertop.
  • Some faucets may require professional installation, especially wall-mounted types.
  • Be sure to turn off the water supply before installing a new faucet.
  • Consider purchasing a plumber’s putty or silicone caulk to create a watertight seal between the faucet and countertop/sink.

Budget and Quality

Investing in a high-quality faucet saves money in the long run due to fewer replacements and repairs. However, that does not mean you need to purchase the most expensive option. Look for faucets with solid brass or stainless steel construction and a ceramic disc valve. These materials and features provide durability and longevity.

Budget and Quality
Budget and Quality

Cost to Replace a Bathroom Faucet

Best Brands of Bathroom Faucets

  • Moen
  • Delta
  • Kohler
  • Grohe
  • Hansgrohe

The best brand for you depends on your personal preference, budget, and style. Each brand offers a range of options from budget-friendly to luxury faucets. Some also specialize in certain faucet styles, such as Kohler’s modern and sleek designs or Delta’s traditional and classic options.

Where to Buy Bathroom Faucets

  • Online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair
  • Home improvement stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s
  • Specialty bathroom boutiques

Personal Style and Preferences

Match the faucet to your bathroom’s overall design theme, considering both aesthetics and functionality. For example, a modern bathroom may benefit from a sleek, single-handle faucet, while a traditional bathroom may require a more classic and ornate design. Don’t be afraid to mix and match styles to create a unique look.

User Reviews and Recommendations

Reading reviews, noting star ratings, and seeking professional advice can guide you toward the best choices. Consider the opinions of others who have purchased and used the same faucet to get a better idea of its quality and performance. Additionally, consult with a plumber or contractor for their recommendations based on your specific needs and budget.


Selecting the perfect bathroom faucet is a crucial decision that involves various factors to consider. From choosing the right type of faucet to match your needs to understanding the specific installation requirements based on your bathroom layout, each detail plays a significant role. Striking a balance between functionality and style is key to ensuring your chosen faucet not only serves its purpose but also enhances the overall quality and aesthetic appeal of your bathroom space. By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can achieve a harmonious blend of practicality and elegance that promotes the atmosphere you desire in your bathroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the standard size for bathroom faucets?  

Most centerset faucets have a standard size of 4 inches between handles, while widespread faucets vary.

Do all bathroom faucets come with a drain?  

Not all; it’s essential to check if the selected model includes a drain assembly.

Can I replace a bathroom faucet myself?  

Yes, with basic plumbing knowledge and tools, it’s feasible to DIY. However, complicated installations might require a professional.

Are higher spouts better for vessel sinks?  

Yes, vessel sinks typically require faucets with a longer spout reach and higher height for optimal functionality.

Can you replace a 3-hole faucet with a single-hole?

Yes, it is possible to replace a 3-hole faucet with a single-hole one. However, you may need to cover the other two holes with extended base plates or fillers for a seamless finish.

Are bathroom faucets universal size?

No, bathroom faucets come in various sizes and configurations. It’s crucial to measure the existing installation before selecting a replacement.

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