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.