Find the right faucet for your bathroom

A stylish bathroom faucet can complete the look of a bathroom, whether it is in the course of a remodel or an entirely new bathroom. With so many choices in bathroom faucets, it can be confusing to select the right one, both in functionality and in appearance.

Bathroom Faucet Basics

Since bathroom faucets (sometimes called "taps") range considerably in price, the best first step is to set a budget for the purchase price. High-end designer faucets with special features can cost as much as $2,000 to $3,000!

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There are four basic types of bathroom faucets. If you are buying a faucet for an existing sink, you should realize that not all faucet types will work with your sink basin:

  • Single-hole faucets consist of a spout and a single hot and cold water mixing handle. These require just one pre-drilled hole to install.
  • Center set faucets are made for sink basins with three pre-drilled holes across a 4-inch area. This style may have a single handle or two handles mounted onto a rectangular plate.
  • Widespread faucets consist of a spout, a separate cold water handle and a separate hot water handle. These require three pre-drilled holes for installation.
  • Wall-mounted faucets are not common in residential bathrooms; these require separate wall-mounted valves for proper installation.

After determining the best faucet, the next detail is to figure out the finishing touches. Bathroom faucets come in a variety of colors and finishes to coordinate with the other fixtures and accessories, as well as the bathroom decor. Options include chrome, brass, pewter, nickel, ceramic and enamel-coated finishes.

Today's faucets are available with a number of special features, which add to the cost but provide additional functionality. Electronic faucets with motion sensors have been popular for some time in commercial restrooms and are working their way into residential bathrooms.

Check to see that the manufacturer has a good track record and offers a substantial warranty. Certain manufacturers of faucets are well known for their quality; fixtures such as Delta faucets and Moen faucets are reliable and can save you money down the road in faucet repair bills.

Where to Purchase Bathroom Faucets

Home improvement stores such as The Home Depot and Lowes are a good starting point to compare faucets and learn the basics; specialty plumbing fixture stores will generally offer a wider selection of faucets, particularly in the higher price range. If you are set on a particular faucet, it might be best to shop for it online to see if you can find a lower price.