Bathroom faucets today have moved beyond the low-profile, utilitarian models of the past. Homeowners now have as many faucet choices in the bathroom as they do in the kitchen to create the perfect combination of style and function.
Most important, of course, is whether or not the new faucet can stand up to everyday uses and if the design fits the function. Price can also be a factor, of course. While some bathroom faucets can range from hundreds to even thousands of dollars, there are a number of quality bathroom faucets for $200 or less.
Paired with a sink
A good rule to follow: the higher the arc of the neck of your bathroom faucet, the deeper your sink basin should be. No matter if you choose a vessel sink and faucet or an under mount sink with a wall-mount faucet, this is a pretty good guide.
When it comes to splash, less is definitely better. A more shallow sink can be paired with an angled faucet that extends a little further over the sink. You'll produce less splash the shorter the distance the water has to travel.
How many handles?
Single handle vs double handle: Making this choice comes down to whether or not it is easier to swing one handle toward the right temperature or having more control over the temperature is more important. Using a single handle can be more convenient if at least one hand is clean while double handles still allow access to water and the sink if one handle springs a leak and requires repair.
How many holes?
Bathroom faucets are available as either single, double, centerset, widespread or wall-mounted. Single-hole mounts usually come with just one handle and are most commonly found in smaller bathrooms and with vessel sinks. The single handle allows users to more accurately control water temperature and flow.
Centerset, widespread and wall-mounted faucets typically come with two handles, and this is where measurement matters. To be sure the new faucet is properly centered, measure from the center of the left hole to the center of the right hole. It’s also important to measure the distance between the faucet holes and the wall for smooth and obstacle-free operation.
Touch or touchless faucets
Some of life's most important - and messy - tasks take place in the bathroom, so having the option to turn your faucet on and off with minimal contact is like a dream come true. Delta Faucet first introduced their Touch 2.0 technology to the residential market in 2008, and totally touchless bathroom faucets followed shortly thereafter.
Both touch and touchless bathroom faucets can be powered with batteries or via an A/C power outlet installed under the sink. Batteries can last for two to five years depending on if you're using AA or C size, respectively.
Find your perfect finish
Long gone - and thank goodness! - are the days of having only two or three finishes from which to choose. Depending on the manufacturer you choose, the variety of finished could number 20 or more. Add in the complication of what style best suits your personality, your home and the room, and finding the right finish can be downright intimidating.
There is a lot of information to sift through, so we've put together a number of articles to help you make sense of all the options available to you:
- Choosing the right faucet finish
- Introduction to spot-resistant finishes
- Is a PVD finish worth the extra cost?
In general, the deeper your sink, the higher and longer you'll need the neck of your bathroom faucet to be; likewise, if you have a more shallow sink, your faucet can be a little shorter. Your bathroom faucet can be mounted in three different ways:
- On your sink
- On your deck
- On your wall above the sink
Sink-mounted bathroom faucets are most often installed with a drop-in sink if you utilize a vanity and with pedestal sinks. If your design calls for a vanity with a drop-in sink, there isn't usually enough room between the back edge of your sink and the countertop for a faucet so the best use of space is to install a sink-mounted unit.
Deck-mounted faucets are positioned on the countertop and can be used with under-mount sinks, drop-in and vessel sinks. Similarly, a wall-mounted faucet looks great above just about any sink; remember the rule, though, about the depth of your sink and the height and length of your faucet neck.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts
The heavier your bathroom faucet, the more confident you can be that it was manufactured with metal components instead of plastic. When you shop for your new bathroom faucet, make sure the make and model you choose notes, "all-brass body" or something similar. Brass and chrome-plated fittings might sound good, but more often than not, the chrome is covering a lesser material that the water flowing through the faucet will wear away.
You'll also want to be sure your new faucet incorporates a ceramic disc, or washer. You might be tempted to lean more toward a less expensive faucets, but be aware that the rubber washer inside, like plastic or weaker metals, will wear out quickly - and wear out the valve - compared to faucets that install ceramic discs.
And finally, be sure you've measured your available space to be sure you buy a faucet properly sized to your application.
In a nutshell, measuring from the center of one bolt the center of the opposite bolt will tell you if you need an 8-inch widespread or a 4-inch center set faucet. Take careful note because the difference is significant.
Faucet replacement into the same configuration is a straight-forward task; simply swap out your old model for a new one with the same number of holes. Of course, if you'd like to transition from a 4-inch center set to a single hole, for example, you'll need to be sure your new faucet includes an escutcheon plate to cover the holes you aren't using.
But, if you're installing a new vanity, for instance, you'll need to take a new counter top into account as well.
Many vanity tops come pre-drilled for either a single hole, 4- or 8-inch faucet, but if you are having a customized your vanity top, installed, you have the freedom to choose the configuration that will bring your bathroom design to life.