how to pick a bathroom faucet

In any bathroom overhaul, the faucets are the crown jewels. Available in a spectacular array of shapes and finishes, even modestly priced faucets present worlds of possibility.

Before you pick a bathroom faucet, you’ll need to consider a few factors, such as whether you’re using an existing sink or buying a new one and where are the faucet opening. You’ll also need to consider which features you want, as well as what kind your budget will allow. Other considerations include the size of your bathroom and what sort of faucets are typically found in similar homes in your area.

Faucet Types

If you’re retrofitting a new faucet to an existing sink or buying a complete sink ensemble, be sure to match the type of faucet to the hole openings in your sink.
Single hole faucets combine the spout and mixing handles—often a single lever—into one unit that requires only one drilled sink hole. For retrofits, some models include a bottom plate that will cover existing three-hole openings. Single-hole faucets are ideal for smaller sinks, such as powder room baths. Their simplicity reflects modern sensibilities.

Delta Single Hole Faucet

Delta Single Hole Faucet

Center set faucets fit standard three-hole sinks (with outer holes drilled 4 inches apart). They’ll have either a single lever or two handles mounted on a 6-inch plate. They’re ideal for most bathroom sinks.

Moen Center Set Faucet

Moen Center Set Faucet

Widespread mounts have three separate pieces: Two handles and the spout. The standard distance between the handles is at least 8 inches, and the three pieces tend to be larger than other types of bath faucets. Smaller versions, called mini spreads, are designed for standard holes drilled 4 inches apart.

Delta Widespread Faucet

Delta Widespread Faucet

Faucet Finishes

The good news: In their zeal to bring new products to market, fixture manufacturers have created more finish options than Lady Gaga has costumes. Thanks to modern protective clear coat sealers, even not-so-expensive faucets can boast of lifetime warranties for their finishes.

The bad news: You’ll have to choose from a mind-scrambling cornucopia of possibilities that include:

Polished chrome (the long-standing industry stalwart)

Brushed chrome

Polished nickel

Brushed nickel

Stainless Steel


Brushed bronze

Oil-rubbed bronze

Polished brass

Let’s not overlook gold, which today might be considered an investment as well as a decorative preference.

If the choices give you sensory overload, try these decision-making tips:
  • Forget the metal and concentrate on the look.
  • Coordinate all your finishes in each bathroom so that your hard surfaces—including towel bars, lighting fixtures and door hardware—have the same finish.
  • Polished finishes are elegant but require constant upkeep to keep them looking sparkly
  • Brushed finishes are better at hiding water spots and fingerprints, which is great if you have kids

Faucet Styles

Most major manufacturers consider faucet style the way Louis Vuitton does shoes—haute never rests. In fact, many manufacturers hire well-known designers to craft their most eye-catching models.

Not surprisingly, much of the design focus is on the spout, and recent introductions include spouts that deliver water through narrow tubes, down open chutes and through roller-coaster curves. Articulating-arm faucets have migrated from the kitchen into the bathroom, presumably so you don’t have to move your toothbrush to the stream.

Technology Trends

Sanitizing. Do your kids like to play in puddles and dig for worms? Maybe you do? If so, you might be interested in an ozone-activated antibacterial bath faucet. The Cashido Ozone Sanitizer injects a stream of ozone into the faucet water stream, killing germs. The company claims the ozone kills up to 99 percent of all bacteria while remaining perfectly safe for washing and drinking. They come with the technology built into the faucet or as retrofit kits that attach to the aerator.
Motion-activated. A not-too-long-ago novelty, the hands-free faucet is gaining wider acceptance.  Although some motion-activated faucets operate in a less intuitive manner than conventional faucets—for example, turning up the temperature may require steadily holding your finger in front of a sensor—the novelty is enough to encourage some folks to add them to their bathroom repertoire. These faucets require battery or AC power.
Laminar flow. If you like your water soft and silky—and really, who doesn’t?—check into laminar flows faucet technology. Standard aerators add air to the water stream to make the flow feel lighter—the bubbles make the water stream appear frothy white. But laminar flows are created from dozens of tiny, parallel sheets of water. The water flows in a clear, solid-looking stream that won’t splash when you’re washing your hands.

Pick a Bathroom Faucet

In conclusion, how you pick a bathroom faucet is totally dependent on your taste and budget.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Make sure you pick out the right type if you’re overhauling your current bathroom.  And take your time looking at the various styles and color to make sure that it aligns with your taste and with the rest of the accessories within the bathroom.  Don’t forget to check out the product showcase of bathroom faucets.  Have fun and good luck!

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