Bathroom Faucets 101

Faucets and fixtures are the final touches that add distinct style and character to your bathroom design. Whether you’re knee deep in a bathroom renovation or just looking to spruce up your master bath design, this faucet guide will provide all the information to get you started in selecting the best faucet to work for you and your family.

Mounting Configurations

Unfortunately, faucets are not one size fits all when it comes to sinks, so it’s important to purchase one that suits your style and space. You must also consider the type and size of your sink and how it will fit with the size of your faucet, as some configurations require a larger (or smaller) faucet style.  Below are the various mounting configurations:

Centerset faucets are designed for sinks or basins with three holes and handles that are four-inches apart. In many cases, a centerset faucet combines the spout and handles on a base unit. If you’re looking for a different take, you can get a centerset faucet with a spout and single-handle mounted to a deck plate that still works with the three-hole configuration.

A single-hole faucet only requires one plumbing access hole and combines the spout and handle, which is attached to either side of the spout.

Wall-mounted faucets can be designed for above-the-counter and freestanding basins, but don’t work with basins that have pre-drilled holes. A separate wall-mounted valve and drain for installation are necessary for these faucets.

A widespread faucet has hot and cold water handles that are separate from spout and at least six-inches apart. This configuration works best when you have more sink and countertop space to work with.


Each faucet type contains an inner valve that controls the water flow through the spout. The valve quality will determine the dependability and resilience of the faucet.

Compression-Valve Faucets
Compression valve faucets are the simplest form of faucet valves that controls water flow through a screw-like feature in the handle that constricts the seal. They often require more frequent maintenance than other types.  

Ball Valve Faucets
These valves, which are used with single lever faucets, have a rotating ball that controls the amount of water released from the spout. The simplicity of the design significantly reduces likelihood of a malfunction; however, the plastic ball will eventually wear out, whereas a metal one is much more durable.

Cartridge Valve Faucets
Cartridge valves employ a hollow sleeve attached to the water supply that moves inside another sleeve, controlling the water supply. Maintenance for these valves is minimal, but they do have seals that can wear out and require replacing.

Ceramic Disc Faucets
This faucet utilizes two ceramic discs that slide against each other to control the flow of water. These faucets are usually more expensive, but are nearly maintenance free and have a watertight seal.

Finish and Style

When it comes to style, you’ll want to consider the shape and size of the spout, from both a function and aesthetic standpoint. Do you often wash your hair in the sink? If so, you may want a higher, gooseneck spout. Or perhaps you have little ones who have trouble reaching the handles. Then, you may be interested in a faucet with a motion-sensor. 

The shape and lines of the faucet also influence the style of your bathroom design, with more ornate styles suiting traditional designs and sleeker lines complementing contemporary styles. The finish refers to the treatments that are applied to the exterior surface of a faucet, essentially giving the faucet its color. You can find finishes in all sorts of colors including: black, brass, bronze, brushed copper, gold, chrome, and more.

No matter your style, favorite color, or design aesthetic, there are plenty of faucet options to complete the look of your new bathroom.

Other Considerations

When it comes to bathroom renovations, the options are nearly endless. Here are some unique bathroom trends that will surely make your life easier:

Water-Efficient Faucet Designs
These faucets are designed to utilize less water, without losing efficiency. According to the EPA, a water-efficient faucet could save the average household more than 500 gallons of water each year!

Motion-Activated Faucets
Imagine washing your hands without touching the faucet! Just like the ones you might see in public spaces, motion-activated faucets with flow control and temperature pre-sets are becoming increasingly popular in the home.

To get more faucet and fixture ideas, visit our design gallery or contact us today to get started on your bathroom remodel!