When it comes to selecting faucets for your bathroom, you have a wide range of styles, finishes, and configurations to choose from. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which type of faucet is right for your space and needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the most popular types of bathroom faucets, key factors to consider when making your selection, and provide tips for choosing the best faucet to complement your bathroom’s design.
Single-Handle vs. Two-Handle Faucets
One of the first decisions to make is whether you prefer a single-handle or two-handle faucet design.
Single-handle faucets are operated by one lever or handle that controls both hot and cold water flow. Moving the handle to the left decreases hot water while moving it to the right increases hot water. Single-handle faucets are common in many bathrooms today thanks to their ease of use and sleek, minimalist look.
Benefits of single-handle bathroom faucets:
- Streamlined, contemporary appearance
- Takes up less space on your sink or vanity
- Easy to adjust water temperature with one hand
- Variety of handle styles and finishes available
Two-handle faucets have separate handles for hot and cold water. Turning one handle adjusts hot water while turning the other adjusts cold. Two-handle faucets allow for more precise temperature control, though they take up more space than a single-handle model.
Benefits of two-handle bathroom faucets:
- Allows for exact hot and cold water mixing
- Wide range of design styles to choose from
- Handles clearly indicate hot and cold water
- Available across many price points
When deciding between single-handle and two-handle faucets, consider your design preferences, usage needs, and budget. Those wanting sleeker styling may prefer single-handle, while two-handle offers more precise temperature adjustments.
Widespread Faucets vs. Centerset Faucets
In addition to handle configuration, you’ll need to choose between a widespread or centerset faucet mounting.
Widespread faucets have three separate components – the hot and cold handles and the spout. These components are connected below the counter but can be configured in different arrangements to allow flexible positioning on your bathroom vanity or sink.
Key features of widespread bathroom faucets:
- Components can be placed anywhere on the counter or sink
- Allows for exact positioning of handles and spout
- Offers more design flexibility and customization
- Wide range of styles and finishes available
- Typically higher cost than centerset models
Centerset faucets have the hot/cold handles and spout combined into a single base unit. This integrated design means less flexibility in arranging components but still offers variety in style.
Benefits of centerset bathroom faucets:
- More affordable option
- Sleek, minimalist look with integrated handles/spout
- Fixed 4” base fits standard bathroom sinks
- Less installation work required
- Ideal for smaller vanities and sinks
The choice between widespread and centerset comes down to your budget, available sink/counter space, and design flexibility required. Widespread offers more customization while centerset is more streamlined and budget-friendly.
Bathroom Faucet Styles
Beyond the number of handles and mounting style, you can select bathroom faucets in styles ranging from traditional to modern. Popular faucet style choices include:
- Contemporary: Straight, angular minimalist designs in finishes like matte black or polished chrome.
- Transitional: A blend of traditional and modern with softer lines and details.
- Modern: Sleek and geometric styles with straight, clean lines and little ornamentation.
- Traditional: Decorative detailing and accents for a classic, ornate style.
- Rustic: Textured detailing like cross handles and rough finishes for a natural, farmhouse feel.
Consider the overall aesthetic you want for your bathroom as well as fixtures like sinks and lighting when selecting a faucet style. Your faucet serves as a focal point, so choose a style aligned with your desired look.
Finishes and Materials
The finish and material for your bathroom faucet also affect its style, durability, and pricing. Common finishes include:
- Polished chrome: Shiny and reflective chrome finish offering a contemporary look.
- Brushed nickel: Matte, soft nickel with a warm grey tone. Provides a modern feel.
- Oil-rubbed bronze: A dark brown finish with depth and texture. Works with traditional or rustic bathrooms.
- Matte black: A versatile dark black finish popular in modern and contemporary spaces.
- Gold: Polished, shiny gold tones ranging from champagne to dark antique brass.
- Copper: Warm, reddish-brown color that pairs well with farmhouse or midcentury decor.
In terms of materials, most faucets feature brass construction with various plating finishes. Higher-end faucets may use solid stainless steel for maximum durability.
When choosing finishes, consider the other fixtures in your bathroom. Your faucet finish should coordinate with elements like door hardware, shower trim, and light fixtures for a cohesive look.
Today’s bathroom faucets include options like touchless technology and specialized sprayer heads that add convenience and customization.
Touchless faucets contain motion sensors that activate water flow without handling the faucet handles. They are more hygienic and convenient when your hands are messy. Touchless models are also ADA compliant.
Pull-Down/Pull-Out Spray Heads
Some bathroom faucets come with hose sprayers that pull down or pull out to make it easier to rinse the sink or tub. Helpful for bathing kids or pets.
Temperature Limit Stops
These safety stops allow you to preset a maximum water temperature, which prevents dangerously hot water. Useful for preventing scalds and burns.
Select faucets can include built-in water filters that remove contaminants and impurities for cleaner water right from the tap.
Proper faucet installation is just as important as choosing the right style. Here are key factors to keep in mind related to installing your bathroom faucet:
- Number of holes in your existing sink – single-hole vs. widespread faucets
- Available clearance based on backsplash and sink depth
- Easy access to supply lines and shutoff valves
- Sufficient room for any pull-down/pull-out sprayer hoses
- ADA compliance if needed – install height and handles
Consulting the installation guide before purchasing can help ensure your faucet model fits your existing bathroom configuration. Some minor adjustments may be needed. Hiring a professional for installation is recommended to have your new faucet properly positioned and fitted to prevent leaks.
Bathroom Faucet Maintenance
Like any frequently used fixture, bathroom faucets require regular care to stay in top condition:
- Wipe down exterior surfaces using a soft cloth, mild soap and water to keep handles and spouts shiny.
- Prevent mineral buildup by regularly cleaning with white vinegar and rinsing with water.
- Use drain stoppers to catch hair and debris that can clog drains or cause leaks.
- Lubricate compression faucet handles if they become difficult to turn.
- Inspect washers and O-rings for wear and have them replaced as needed.
- Investigate any drips or leaks right away and make necessary repairs.
Proper use and regular maintenance will keep your bathroom faucet working like new for years of beauty and trouble-free performance.
Choosing the Best Bathroom Faucet
With all of the styles and options available today, selecting the ideal faucet transforms an ordinary bathroom sink into an eye-catching focal point. Keep these key tips in mind as you shop for bathroom faucets:
- Decide on a handle configuration – single vs. two-handle
- Pick a mounting style – widespread or centerset
- Choose a style aligned with your bathroom’s overall aesthetic
- Select an on-trend finish that coordinates with other fixtures
- Consider any special features useful for your household
- Confirm dimensions and holes of your existing sink before purchasing
- Review installation considerations and procedures
- Plan for proper maintenance and cleaning
Taking the time to carefully choose the right faucet for your bathroom’s decor and functional needs results in years of enhanced style and performance. With quality installation and care, your faucet can become a beautiful bathroom focal point you’ll enjoy for decades to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Faucet Options
What are the most popular styles of bathroom faucets?
The most popular styles today are modern/contemporary with clean, straight lines. Transitional styles blending traditional and modern are also widely used. Widespread faucets are trending for their customizability.
What finish should I choose for my bathroom faucet?
Polished chrome and brushed nickel finishes work with nearly any style bathroom. Oil-rubbed bronze or matte black provide bolder, on-trend choices. Choose a finish that coordinates with your other bathroom hardware.
Do I need a plumber to install my new bathroom faucet?
While hiring a plumber is recommended, you may be able to DIY faucet replacement depending on your sink setup and skill level. Always carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
How do I get rid of mineral deposits on my bathroom faucet?
Mineral buildup and hard water stains can be removed using white vinegar. Soak a towel in vinegar and wrap around the faucet handles and spout to dissolve deposits. Rinse thoroughly.
Why does my bathroom faucet drip after turning off the water?
A common cause of drips is worn rubber washers and O-rings inside the faucet. These need to be replaced over time. Drips can also indicate issues with water pressure and improper installation.
How can I make my bathroom faucet more accessible?
ADA compliant bathroom faucets have handles positioned to the side rather than behind the spout for easier use by those with disabilities. Touchless faucets are also highly accessible.