Add a touch of style to your bathroom
Adding a new faucet to your bathroom can provide a stylish accent that
enhances the entire room. Select from a variety of options ranging from the
economical to the elegant. High-quality faucets give you precise control, have
few maintenance problems and don't cost any more to install than less
expensive units. Plan your bathroom décor 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 décor. 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:
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. If you are remodeling or building a new house, however, you'll be able to choose from a wider range of styles and finishes. A good valve is crucial to 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, one that will be at home with your current décor while providing versatility to fit in with future redecorating projects.
Styles: The design of your sink plays a large role in determining which 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" base unit. These are the most commonly used faucets and are usually the least expensive and easiest to install. Widespread models feature hot- and cold-water valves that are separate from the spout. They are often more expensive than other styles but allow for a wide range of placement flexibility. For something different, choose a wall-mounted faucet. Pair one with an above-counter basin for an especially striking look. While they may be more difficult to install, wall-mounted faucets reduce clutter on the sink and make cleanup easier.
Design: Along with the style, you'll also need to choose a 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 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. Touchless electronic handles help 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 stem the flow of water, are the most common type, but they
tend to drip when the washers become worn. 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.
|Valve Construction||Description/Type||Points to Consider|
|Compression||Feature rubber washers that stop the flow of water||
Finish: 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 great 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.
Installation and Care: When installing a new faucet, there are a few
points you'll want to consider. Wall-mount 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.
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, helping you save money on bottled water.
Common-Valve Setup: Some newer sinks feature common-valve architecture that fits a number of different faucet styles, allowing you to remodel or upgrade your existing faucet simply by 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 concerned 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.
Purchase a new sink and countertop to complete your remodeling job.
Handles can be purchased separately if you need to replace one that’s worn out.