Most lavatory faucets mount on the sink or behind it on the counter. Make sure the faucet you select is the proper size and design to fit your sink. Many lavatory sinks come with holes drilled into their rims to accommodate standard faucets. The three basic faucet styles -- single-handle, center-set, and spread-fit -- are designed to fit predrilled holes. Other increasingly popular styles, such as wall-mount and bridge faucets, require the installation of special plumbing.
Combining old-fashioned style with modern technology, bridge faucets hark back to a time when plumbing was simpler -- minus the problems of leaking washers. Undermount sinks offer freedom to experiment with bridge faucets, which usually mount to the countertop and make cleaning the sink and countertop around the faucet easier.
With a spout and handle(s) in one unit, these faucets typically have double-handle controls. Most are designed to mount to a sink deck or countertop with three predrilled holes, with the outside holes spaced 4 inches from center to center. However, some have a single-post design that requires only one hole.
These faucets have one spout and one handle that controls the flow of both hot and cold water. They mount to a sink deck or countertop with one predrilled hole and are easier on the joints than two-handle faucets. New sensor-controlled models allow you to start and stop water flow and adjust temperature without touching the faucet.
With the connection concealed below the sink deck, these faucets have a separate spout and handles. They fit holes spaced 4-10 inches apart and can be mounted in nonstandard configurations, such as positioning the spout on a rear corner and the handles off to one side, making it handy for tight installations.
This type of faucet attaches to the wall instead of the sink or the counter. When choosing a wall-mount faucet, be sure it works with your sink, and follow the manufacturer's specifications for the correct height and placement to minimize splashing. It's typically suggested that the water stream be positioned just behind the sink drain.
how to replace a faucet
Want to give your sink a quick and easy facelift? Install a new faucet. Follow these simple steps, and you'll be finished in no time. Before you buy a new faucet, see how many holes are currently in your sink or countertop to determine what style you need. We're showing a common setup of three holes with a 4-inch spread, which is designed for a center-set faucet. You may also see three holes with an 8-inch spread for a widespread faucet, or an individual hole for a single-stem faucet. Once you've brought your new faucet home, gather your tools. You'll need two adjustable wrenches, and a basin wrench, which is made to fit in tight spaces. Before you remove the old faucet, get to know the parts of your new faucet. Most models have mounting nets that secure the faucet to the sink, a lift rod, and possibly, a rubber gasket. Next, shut off the water supply to the faucet. Turn on the faucet to drain the line. To remove the existing faucet, unscrew the mounting nets and disconnect the supply lines from the shut-off valves. Once the old faucet is out, wipe away any residue. Some faucets have rubber or plastic gaskets for the seal. Others require a putty or silicone caulk around the base plate. For this step, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Insert the lift rod and ensure the knobs are in the 'off' position. Now, you're ready to connect everything under the counter. Under the sink, screw the mounting nets to the faucet and tighten them with a basin wrench. Connect the supply lines first to the faucet, and then to the shut-off valves, moving the lines to the back so they're not in the way. Before you turn the water back on, use one adjustable wrench to hold the shut-off valve in place, using the other to tighten the water line. Then, turn the water back on and allow it to run a few seconds to remove air from the supply lines and ensure there are no leaks. When the water is running smoothly, your new faucet is now ready to use.