Learn about the 18 different types of bathroom faucets. Very different. Extensive faucet buying guide.
As you get a great bathroom sink or vanity set up for your bathroom renovation or new home, you’ll need a quality bathroom sink faucet to go along with the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. Whether you’re going to make this a DIY project or getting a professional to design it, take the time to do some personal research into what you’re looking for! Here we’ve prepared a list of the grand plethora of faucet options.
Table of Contents
- Styles of Bathroom Faucets
- The Materials Often Used
- Added Features to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Bathroom Faucets Standard Size? What are the Standard Sizes?
- Why are Bathroom Faucets so Short?
- Can Bathroom Faucets Be Painted?
- Can Bathroom Faucets Be Refinished?
- How do Bathroom Faucets Work?
- How Long do Bathroom Faucets Last?
- Can Bathroom Faucets Be Repaired?
- Can Bathroom Faucets Be Recycled? If so, How or Where?
- What Materials are Used to Make Bathroom Faucets?
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A marvelous way to enhance an already impeccable bathroom design. is with a shiny new bathroom sink faucet. A well-made faucet should be something that is properly designed and is also ready to stand out. After all, it is the centerpiece of your bathroom! (The toilet likes to think it is, but it’s incorrect.)
You can tell a bathroom is designed nicely when no thought is required to flush a toilet or turn on a tap. This ease comes from deliberate choices of faucets and knobs. Today we’re going to look closely at single hole faucets, single-handle faucets, spray-head faucets, center set faucets, and wall-mounted faucets.
Styles of Bathroom Faucets
1. Center Set
A center set faucet is one of the more common types of bathroom faucets available in-home and hardware stores. This features a small faucet body that offers either one or two handles or knobs to control water pressure and temperature. Usually, with a shorter spout, this is an incredible option if you live in New York City and truly have no space to spare.
2. Single Handle
A single handle faucet is exactly what its name suggests. It is a faucet that uses just one handle to control temperature and water pressure simultaneously. The handle will be positioned to the right, left, or directly above the spout itself. This can come with a much smaller mounting space as it doesn’t require too much drilling to secure. It can fit in a spot that is about two or three inches wide. This is the easiest type of faucet to install yourself!
3. Spread Fit
A spread fit faucet uses three separate pieces that stick out from the surface of your sink, similar to the center set faucet but with more liberal spacing. Look at how relaxed those knobs are. They aren’t cramped, and they are ready to deliver whatever temperature of water you could possibly desire. Does anyone else feel like they’re at a four-star hotel?
The bridge faucet is very self-explanatory, (they just make it so easy for us don’t they) with its impeccably sleek bridge-like design. These will often be found in professional sinks and cleanliness is a priority. The temperature is controlled by two separate knobs, and this style of faucet will often come equipped with a pull-away spray faucet.
Designed with floating sinks in mind, the wall-mounted sink is well suited for more modern style bathroom settings. Make sure to take some measurements, as it would be embarrassing to have a faucet that doesn’t reach the edge of your sink (I’ve seen this before, it was non-sensical). Having a faucet attached to the wall makes for an opportunity to switch up sink basins with ease
A sprinkle sink faucet uses a unique type of spout. Instead of the traditional cylindrical spout, it uses a setup where the water comes out in a rectangular pattern (how moderne!). The spout itself will be in a rectangular shape, that has a grate at the mouth of the spout the enables the water to flow out in a rectangular shape as well. This establishes a unique appearance, very Fifth Element if you ask me.
7. Tub Wall Mount Bathroom Faucets
Tub wall mount faucets are similar to wall mount faucets. The difference is that they – you guessed it – mount to the tub wall instead of the bathroom wall. Both the spout and the faucet handle come straight through the tub itself. This means that they won’t work if you’re looking for a shower faucet spout, but if you just need a faucet for a standalone tub, this option can make a great choice.
You usually won’t see tub wall faucets inside standard, built-in bathtubs. Instead, people generally use them for freestanding or clawfoot tubs. This means a little extra work when it comes to installation since you’ll need to make sure that the faucet can be attached to the waterline. You may need a diverter valve for this purpose.
It’s also a good idea to measure your tub’s faucet holes before you buy your tub wall mount faucet. Still, for a lot of people, this kind of faucet mount is worth the effort. Consider a tub wall mount if you want a more old-fashioned look.
8. Deck Mount Bathroom Faucets
Next, there are deck mount faucets, which you’ll often see on larger bathtubs. Again, this choice is for the standalone bathtub as opposed to the shower. These faucets sit on the rim of the bathtub instead of protruding from a wall.
They make a good choice if your bathtub has a large rim that prevents wall access. Just know that installation can get complex since you’ll need to attach the faucet to a supply line before you can attach it to the waterline. From an aesthetic point of view, though, deck mount faucets contribute to a clean, contemporary look.
9. Roman Tub Faucets
A Roman tub faucet looks a lot like a deck mount faucet, but they have a few subtle differences. Knowing these differences will absolutely not help you on trivia night, but if you’re choosing a faucet for your large bathtub, you’ll want to know what those differences are. With both types, the faucet sits on the rim of the tub.
Both types also require a supply line connection. The difference comes from the shape of the spout. A Roman bathtub spout will have an arched shape, while typical deck mount faucets have a more standard look. Roman faucets sometimes come with a hand shower. A hand shower basically lets you combine your bath and shower experience into one.
A hand shower is basically a shower head that you can hold in your hand and move as you please. If you want that option with your Roman faucet, you’ll need an extra hole drilled into your tub. It’s a bit more work up front, but keep in mind that the handheld shower option can be a huge help to people with limited mobility.
10. Freestanding Tub Faucets
Next, there’s the freestanding tub faucet. A lot of people pair this kind of faucet spout with a clawfoot bathtub or other kind of freestanding tub. You might also find this type of faucet in an eclectic-looking shower. This kind of faucet attaches directly to the floor. It can contribute to a lot of different looks, including old-fashioned and industrial.
That’s because the look includes exposed pipe, so keep that in mind as you make your choice. A freestanding faucet can have a spout that hangs over the tub and fills it from above, or it can attach directly to the bathtub via pre-drilled holes. Before choosing this kind of faucet, make sure that you have under-floor access to the waterline. You may also need a water supply pipe.
The Materials Often Used
Brass is a very popular material for how it combines copper and zinc into an alloy. It offers a shiny yellow tone remnant of Beauty and the Beast appliances. Fun fact: Copper is an antimicrobial agent and a wonderful option for healthy water.
Aluminum may be added into the brass to make it stronger and capable of resisting corrosion. Tin materials can also be added to prevent dezincification, a process where brass loses its zinc properties as it is exposed to water.
2. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel materials can add a classy look to your faucet when used right. It is a tougher material than brass and features nickel and chromium to create a shiny silver-like tone. This can be rather hard in texture and will not dent or wear out easily. The main issue with stainless-steel is that it does show watermarks, so if you’re a stickler for shine, you’ll want your favorite cleaning product on hand.
Zinc has long been used as a replacement for brass due to its affordability. It typically has a dull grey color, but it can be plated over with a chrome design to make it more attractive! Zinc is well resistant to corrosion and lightweight.
Plastic is often used in many faucets for how it is cheap and easy to install. Polyethylene is a great option for how it uses cross-linked fibers to create a sturdy body that does not wear out. It is not as likely to chip away and get into your water supply either.
You can even order a faucet that features a fancy design that includes a series of fake crystal accents on the control knobs among other prominent features. Although you’ve surely seen it before, where mold builds up in between the plastic handle and the knob underneath. Maybe to avoid clear plastic. If your goal is affordability overlook, this is your winner.
When it comes to bathtub faucet and shower faucet choices, the chrome finish spout is a classic. It’s one of the most popular bathroom faucet choices, so it’s relatively inexpensive, and you’ll find a lot of options to choose from. It also fits in with a wide variety of looks.
Chrome spout finishes pair well with a lot of bathroom colors, so if you go with chrome, your faucet is unlikely to clash with the rest of the bathroom. Another benefit is that it’s easy to clean. Just keep in mind that chrome is a bit less durable than some of your other options, so while you’ll spend less money upfront, you may need to replace chrome shower fixtures sooner than you’d have to replace other spout types.
6. Brushed Nickel Finish
Nickel spout finishes have a lot in common with chrome spout finishes, right down to the color. Nickel has the same silvery hue as chrome, although brushed nickel is a bit darker and more dynamic than chrome. There are a few other differences, too. The first is that nickel has more of a shine than chrome.
If you want the classic look that you can get from a chrome faucet with a little extra sparkle, then nickel is the choice for you. Nickel is also more durable, so it will last a lot longer than chrome. The downside? Nickel is more expensive. In fact, you could pay several hundred dollars more for a nickel finish than you would for a spout with a chrome finish.
7. Oil-Rubbed Bronze Finish
Next up is the oil-rubbed bronze finish, which is one of the less common types of bathtub faucets. This spout finish leans toward the expensive side, but buyers get a lot for their money. For one thing, people enjoy the smooth texture, which adds a nice touch to the overall bath experience.
It also has a warm color, as opposed to the cooler tone of a chrome-finished tub faucet. A lot of people choose oil-rubbed bronze if they’re going for a vintage look. This kind of faucet can look great in clawfoot bathtubs, though they also look good as a standalone shower spout.
8. Copper Finish
Finally, there’s the copper finish tub faucet. This warm-toned finish provides a rich, indulgent feel to a bathtub or shower. Since copper isn’t a common choice, bathrooms that do have copper finishes stand out from bathrooms that use other finishes for their faucets.
On the other hand, copper is more expensive, less durable, and harder to clean than some other bathroom faucet choices, which is why many people opt for a polished brass tub faucet instead. However, for some, copper is the only finish that can provide just the right look for their new shower. If that’s the case for you, then go ahead and consider copper finishes for your bathroom faucets.
The cost of your faucet set will be based on three factors:
- Where you are installing it
- Its general size and arrangement
- The materials used to make it
In most cases, you can spend around $100 to $200 for a more common type of faucet. But that total is the minimum when you consider the other features that can be added to your faucet.
A bridge faucet is a more pricey option. It can go for about $200 to $300 due to the elaborate design that comes with such an attractive faucet. It may also cost the same for a spread fit faucet due to the added cutting needed to get such a faucet established as well as the added effort needed to get the system wired properly and quickly.
The cost of a wall-mounted option might be even higher. In addition to paying about $200 or more for a wall-mounted faucet, you would also have to spend extra on wiring the plumbing features around your bathroom so the new faucet can actually be supported. Depending on the effort, you might have to spend a few hundred extra dollars to make this part of the faucet compatible with your space.
The materials used in the construction of your faucet can also add to its value. Brass faucets often cost $300 or more dollars. With such a great variety of materials and styles available, the price will vary as well. But rest assured, there is an option for everyone’s aesthetic desires and ideal price point.
Don’t forget about the labor costs involved. It can cost up to $200 for a professional to spend a couple of hours installing your new faucet. Added costs may also be incurred if you have a faucet that requires you to either cut around your bathroom counter or vanity or if you need to wire some of your plumbing features just to make it all work.
Added Features to Consider
Your bathroom faucet can include the following features to make it useful:
- A stopper should be used with a lever or a pull that can be triggered to close up the sink. This is to keep water from draining as needed.
- You can always add a soap dispenser to go next to your sink. Try and find something that uses a similar finish and physical design. Make sure it is placed far apart from the other features in your setup too.
- You can also order a bathroom faucet that features a flexible head. This means that it could be pulled out from the base like what you get out of a kitchen sink faucet. This is made particularly for cases where you need to wash off a shaving razor or toothbrush among other items.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to common questions about bathroom faucets.
Are Bathroom Faucets Standard Size? What are the Standard Sizes?
Bathroom faucets are sold in both standard and custom sizes. There are two main types that are commonly used, center set, and widespread. You can also choose single-hole or wall-mounted faucets. Most bathroom sinks will have either two or three holes drilled to install the faucet.
Center set faucets will have holes that measure 4 inches apart and are designed for most 3-hole sinks. The faucet is usually operated with a handle above the spout or with two handles on either side of the faucet.
A widespread faucet design will have holes that are wider than 4 inches apart and consist of three different components. The handles and the spout are located separately on the top of the sink. The standard size for a widespread bathroom faucet in a typical 3-hole sink will measure 8 inches from handle to handle, with the spout in the center.
Single-hole faucets are a simple, one-piece unit that only requires one hole. They’re typically used on smaller sinks. You can also use them on 3-hole sinks with a bottom plate covering the other two holes.
Wall-mounted faucets are typically where you will see custom sizes. Both the handle and the spout are usually installed on the wall above a basin or some type of free-standing sink. The handles and spouts are made in various sizes to fit different spaces.
Why are Bathroom Faucets so Short?
While the spouts on bathroom sinks can be long, that’s not usually what you see. It’s really a matter of economics. Bathrooms take a lot of abuse, and longer faucets are more likely to be damaged over time. Larger, more decorative faucets tend to be used in private bathrooms.
Can Bathroom Faucets Be Painted?
Anything can be painted. But with bathroom faucets, it might not be the best idea. For one thing, it’s a lot of work. And it’s on a very small surface. You’d need to thoroughly sand every part and polish it all with steel wool. Then there’s the taping, using the right spray paint without it dripping, and sealing everything.
Sometimes, the finished product looks okay. But the finish won’t last nearly as long as the original one did.
Can Bathroom Faucets Be Refinished?
They can be refinished in much the same way that they can be painted. But you won’t be able to recreate the original finish and it will fade quickly in the same way that paint would.
How do Bathroom Faucets Work?
It’s actually a fairly simple process. Your sink will have the main valve for both the hot and cold water, usually located underneath the sink. Once those valves are opened, you have water pressure ready and waiting for you to turn the handle. There are really three main things that control how a faucet works.
The pipe supplying the water is the first part of the process. It will lead from your incoming water line, where it’s directed through a series of pipes to your sinks, bathtubs, toilets, dishwasher, and other appliances that use water.
The flow of water is controlled by the faucet with a stopper fitted with a rubber washer. That’s one of a few different washers that can fail over time, causing drips.
The last component is the pipe that leads to the spout, where the water will flow at whatever temperature you have set the handle to.
How Long do Bathroom Faucets Last?
With bathroom faucets, much like anything else, their longevity is all about their quality and whether they were installed by a professional. A well-built bathroom faucet should last 15 to 20 years.
Some other things that can affect their lifespan are how often they’re used, the hardness of the water, and not having maintenance done when needed.
Can Bathroom Faucets Be Repaired?
Most of the time, faucets can be repaired. It just depends on what the problem is. O-rings and washers are the most common things that can fail over time. But there are also other components that can be repaired.
It’s always a good idea to carefully consider the number of repairs that are being done on bathroom faucets. They won’t last forever. And at some point, it might make more sense to replace them rather than continually repairing them.
Can Bathroom Faucets Be Recycled? If so, How or Where?
Most faucets are made out of some type of metal along with smaller parts made of plastic, rubber, and other materials. But it’s all recyclable so you don’t have to worry about clogging up the landfills.
If you already recycle at home, check with your recycling company and find out if they handle faucets. If they don’t, you can check for other recycling centers near you where you could drop them off. And, depending on what type of metal they are, there might be scrap yards who will buy them to recycle.
What Materials are Used to Make Bathroom Faucets?
The most common materials used for bathroom faucets are brass, zinc, stainless steel, and plastic, with plastic being the least durable option. You can also choose different finishes for the faucets ranging from pewter to bronze, nickel, or chrome.