Bathroom Faucets Buying Guide
The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in every home and a space where small changes can have a big impact. While a coat of paint can refresh a bathroom or powder room, a new set of faucets can go a long way to giving your bathroom an updated feel without spending a lot of time or effort. But how do you know what faucet to choose?
When selecting a bathroom faucet, the most important element to consider is faucet style. Other important factors include the faucet's finish, the type of handles and the water flow rate.
Bathroom Faucet Styles
Before you buy a bathroom faucet, you need to determine what kind of faucet will be compatible with your sink. Typical bathrooms will have either one or three holes in the sink, counter or, in some cases, the wall above the sink. If you have three holes, you'll need to know the faucet spacing: measure from the centre of the far left hole and the centre of the far right hole on your sink or counter.
One hole – If there is one hole in the sink or counter, you will require a single-hole bathroom faucet.
Three holes 4" apart – If there are three holes 4" apart on the sink or counter, you will require a 4" centreset or a 4" mini widespread faucet. A centreset faucet has one spout and one or two handles and is mounted with a base that covers the three sink holes. A mini widespread has no base and has individual hot and cold handles.
Three holes 8" apart – If there are three holes 8" apart on the sink or counter, you will require an 8" widespread lavatory faucet. A widespread lavatory faucet has independent hot and cold handles that are set farther apart than a mini widespread.
Vessel sink – A vessel sink will require a vessel faucet, which is taller than a standard faucet to allow it to reach the sink. As with other faucets, take note of the number and spacing of holes in the counter before you shop for a faucet. Taking note of the height from your counter to the rim of your vessel is also a good idea.
The finish on your bathroom faucet should coordinate with the style of your bathroom. Today's manufacturers offer plenty to choose from. Typical contemporary or modern finishes include chrome, stainless steel and nickel. A more traditional space may use white or bronze. The finish you choose comes down to personal taste, but always ensure it is backed by a warranty. Never use harsh abrasives on your faucets, as it can damage the finish.
The handle itself makes a big impact on the look and feel of your faucet. Handles are typically available in three options: round, cross and lever. While cross and lever style handles can provide improved grip, they can be more difficult to clean than rounded handles.
Water Flow RateAll lavatory faucets must have a flow rate of no more than 2.2 gpm (gallons per minute). However, saving water and money is easy when you buy a water efficient model or install a low flow aerator. This can reduce the water flow to as low as 1.5 gpm – a change you probably won't notice when using it, but that helps save water and the environment.