Adding a new faucet to your bathroom provides a stylish accent that enhances the look and feel of the entire room. Select from a variety of options ranging from the economical to the elegant ones. High-Quality faucets give you precise control. They have a few maintenance problems that don't cost any more to install than the less expensive units.
Plan your bathroom decor around the faucet when building a new house or remodeling the bathroom. If you're replacing an old faucet that has broken down, you'll have no trouble finding a new one to complement your existing decor.
With four basic styles and an array of finishes to choose from, you'll be able to find the faucet that best expresses your personality while providing a high level of performance. Keep the following questions in mind as you shop:
• What faucet styles are available?
• What type of finishes can faucets feature?
• Would you prefer one or two handles?
• What type of valve should you install?
• Which spout type do you prefer?
• What features would you like to have?
Styles, Design, Finish and Installation Considerations
Faucets are generally available in four styles, including single-hole, center-set, widespread and wall mount. If you're simply replacing an old faucet, your new faucet may need to be the same type as the old one, depending on the installation setup; however, If you are remodeling or building a new house you'll be able to choose from a wider range of styles and designs.
A good valve is vital for long life, so consider installing the best one your budget will allow. Choose a finish that will look as good in ten years as it does now and one that will fit your current decor while providing versatility to fit in with future reconstruction projects.
Styles: The design of your sink plays a major role in determining the style of faucet you decide to install. If a sink has only one hole, you'll need to install a single-hole faucet. These units often have one handle connected to the spout, though some may have separate handles for hot and cold water. Center-set faucets combine the handles and spout on a 4-inch base unit. These are the most commonly used faucets and are usually the least expensive and easiest to install.
Prevalent models feature hot and cold-water valves that are separate from the spout. They often are more expensive than the other styles yet allow for a wide range of placement flexibility. If you want something different, then choose a wall-mounted faucet. Pair it with an above-counter basin for an especially striking look. Though they may be more difficult to install, the wall-mounted faucets reduce clutter on the sink and make cleaning easier.
• Single-hole faucets are simple to install and maintain.
• They are compact and easy to use.
• These types of faucets are often used on smaller sinks and may have an optional cover plate.
• Center-Set faucets are ideal for smaller, pre-drilled or pre- existing basins.
• Widespread faucets have a standard spread of at least 8 inch.
• Mini-Widespread or minispread faucets have a spread of 4inch.
Design:Keeping in mind the style, you'll also need to choose the right spout, handle and valve for your new faucet. Spouts may be aerated or nonaerated. Aerated spouts mix air with the water and utilize a screen and restrictor to limit the flow while simultaneously improving water pressure.
Nonaerated spouts do not have a screen and allow water to flow freely, causing a waterfall-like effect. Handles come in a wide range of styles including ring-type cylinder, round, cross and lever and may be a single unit or separate for customized hot and cold-water control.
Touch-less electronic handles help to conserve water by shutting off automatically as soon as you're done washing your hands. The internal valve mechanism is crucial to high-quality operation as it governs the flow of water through the spout.
Compression valves which feature a rubber washer to stop the flow of water are the most common type, but they tend to drip when the washer becomes worn out. You could consider choosing a ball, cartridge or ceramic-disc valve for better performance. The chart below details some of the features and a few points to consider for each type of valve.
Points to Consider
|Compression||Feature rubber washers that stop the flow of water||• Washers eventually wear out
• May begin to drip over time
• Washers are cheap and easy to replace
|Washerless||Ball||• Durable and reliable
• Use a slotted metal ball to control flow
• Must be used with a single-handle faucet
|Washerless||Cartridge||• Durable and reliable
• May be used with single or two-handle faucets
• Easy to repair
||• Feature two ceramic disks that move against
each other to stop the flow of water
• More expensive
• Virtually maintenance- free
• Usually comes with extended warranties
• May be used with single or two-handle faucets
Finish: New technology and an increasing appreciation for purposeful design have made faucets an important aspect in the bathroom decor. Once you've selected a style and design, you'll need to select a finish. Many manufacturers offer lifetime finishes that won't tarnish over time to ensure that your faucet stays looking new for years.
Commonly used finishes include chrome, brass, colored, gold plate, nickel, stainless steel and PVD. The following points identify some of the primary benefits and considerations of these finishes:
• Chrome may have a polished, brushed or matte finish and is durable and economical.
• Brass is ideal for traditional styles and faucets with lifetime finishes as they resist fading, scratches and
• Colored finishes may be epoxy or baked-on enamel coating and are easy to clean.
• High-quality gold plate won't tarnish, though it is more expensive.
• Nickel may be brushed and is stylish, durable and easy to clean.
• Stainless steel is stylish and won't show water spots though it is often more expensive.
• PVD or physical vapor deposition is highly durable and resists abrasion and discoloration.
Installation and Care: When installing a new faucet there are a few points you'll have to consider. Wall-mounted faucets will require a longer spout for extended reach. If you wish to install a new faucet that doesn't utilize all of the holes in your existing sink, use metal plates called escutcheons to cover the holes. Taller faucets are easier to get your hands under for washing, but shorter faucets will minimize splashing.
• Avoid using harsh, abrasive cleaning chemicals that may damage the finish.
• Gentle soap and warm water will generally be sufficient for cleaning faucets.
• Extra sink holes can be utilized for sprayers, soap dispensers and more.
Anti-Scald Protection: If you have young children or elderly parents in your house, you may want to consider installing a faucet with built-in anti-scald protection to protect them from accidentally burning themselves.
Filtering: Sinks with filtration systems provide high-quality drinking water thereby helping you save money on bottled water.
Common-Valve Setup: A few new sinks feature common-valve architecture that fits different faucet styles, allowing you to remodel or upgrade your existing faucet by simply unscrewing the handle and spout from the top. Not having to reinstall the valve system under the sink will save you time and effort.
Adjustable Flow-Rate Restrictor: If you're worried about conserving water or live in an area where your water supply is limited, an adjustable flow-rate restrictor will give you complete control over how much water you use.