Five things to consider when choosing a bathroom faucet

Bathroom sink faucets are used more than any other fixture in your home, so they need to be reliable and look great. Here are some things to consider when you’re buying bathroom faucets.

Five things to consider when choosing a bathroom faucet

1. Faucet handles

Faucet handles are either single-lever or side-mounted.

  • Single-levers are easier to use by simply pushing the lever one way or the other to change water temperature.
  • Many people prefer traditional side-mounted faucets, often called double-lever faucets, where each lever controls the hot and cold water separately.

It's important to note that some older faucet fixtures are difficult to convert into single-lever faucets.

2. Faucet finishes

Since your faucets see regular use, you’ll need a finish that’s easy to clean, resists stains and scratches and matches your decor.

  • Look for chrome or nickel for contemporary style and brass or bronze for an antique look.
  • You can get glossy as well as brushed finishes.

3. Bathroom faucet mounting types

Since most sinks come with pre-drilled holes for faucets, your faucet mounting type will depend on your sink.

  • Measure the holes in your sink before looking at faucets.

Here are the most common mounting styles:

Centreset: Centerset mounts have separate control handles for hot and cold water connected above the sink deck and they look like a single unit.

Widespread/mini widespread: With separate holes for hot and cold water, widespread mounts put the valves under the deck.

  • Mini widespread units fit common three-hole sinks, putting the handles 4 inches apart, while full widespread units fit pre-drilled holes between 6 and 16 inches apart.

Single-hole: Single-hole mounts have one central control device instead of two separate ones. The faucet is controlled with a single lever or knob.

Wall mounts: Wall mounts are installed into the wall and are usually used with a free-standing sink.

  • Make sure your wall-mounted faucet spout is long enough to reach over the sink. Wall mounts often require extra plumbing work for proper installation.

4. Bathroom faucet spout types

Spouts are either aerated or non-aerated. Choosing between them is a matter of personal taste.

  • Aerated faucets use a screen and restrictor for better water pressure while non-aerated spouts allow water to flow freely, giving a nice waterfall effect.

5. Bathroom faucet valve types

All faucets have inner valves that control the flow of water. Brass or corrosion-resistant materials make the best valves because they last longer.

  • Compression: Compression valves use a washer to control water flow, and they’re easy to fix but more likely to drip over time.
  • Ball: Often found in single-lever faucets, ball valves are washerless and reliable.
  • Cartridge: Washerless cartridges are durable and reliable and they are found in both single-lever and side-mounted faucets.
  • Ceramic Disc: While more expensive, these valves are virtually maintenance-free since they use two flat disks instead of washers.

Know what you're looking for

Once you know what you're looking for, it's easy to find the right bathroom faucet that not only looks great but goes perfectly with your bathroom decor.

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