Replacing an old or leaky bathroom faucet can seem daunting, but with the right tools and a bit of plumbing know-how, it’s a manageable DIY project. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you swap out a bathroom faucet smoothly.

Things You’ll Need

  • New faucet
  • Basin wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Rag
  • Bucket

Turning Off Water Supply

The first step is to turn off the water supply lines under the sink. There are usually two handles–one for hot water and one for cold. Turn them both clockwise all the way to shut off the water. It’s also a good idea to turn off the main water supply to the entire house if you know how to access it.

Draining Existing Faucet

With the water turned off, turn on the faucet to allow any water in the lines to drain out. You’ll want to have a bucket or pan ready to catch the water. Allow it to drain completely.

Removing the Old Faucet

Under the sink you’ll see the hot and cold supply lines, along with the mounting hardware holding the faucet in place. Use a basin wrench to loosen and unscrew the mounting nuts. You may also need to remove any screws holding the faucet in place from above the sink.

Carefully lift the old faucet up and off the sink. Remove any remaining screws, washers or putty. Clean the area well with a rag.

Installing the New Faucet

Read the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you have all the necessary pieces. Apply plumber’s putty around the base of the new faucet and press it into place on the sink.

From underneath, replace any washers or screws that hold the faucet tightly against the sink. Hand tighten the mounting nuts.

Connecting the Water Supply Lines

Attach the hot and cold supply lines to the matching connections on the new faucet. Make sure to apply Teflon tape to prevent leaks. Tighten with an adjustable wrench.

Finishing Touches

Once everything looks tight and secure, turn the main water supply back on. Remove the faucet head and turn on the handles to flush out any sediment.

Check for leaks and tighten any connections if needed. Once the water runs clear, replace the faucet head.

Your new bathroom faucet is ready for years of trouble-free use! Taking the time to install it properly will give you peace of mind and prevent future leaks.

FAQs about Swapping Out a Bathroom Faucet

What type of tools do I need?
You’ll need basic plumbing tools like a basin wrench, adjustable wrench, Teflon tape, rags, a bucket, and possibly a screwdriver.

How do I remove the old faucet?
Turn off the hot and cold water supply valves. Drain any remaining water, then use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the mounting nuts holding the old faucet in place.

What if I can’t get the old faucet loose?
Apply penetrating oil around the faucet bases and let it soak in for a while. You can also try lightly tapping the wrench or faucet handles with a hammer to help break things loose.

How do I ensure the new faucet doesn’t leak?
Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply plumber’s putty evenly around the base. Hand tighten the mounting nuts firmly to create a secure seal. Use Teflon tape on the supply line connections.

What do I do if the new faucet leaks?
First, make sure everything is tightened securely. If it still leaks, you may need to reapply putty or tape and re-install that connection.

How difficult is this project for a beginner?
Installing a new bathroom faucet is definitely doable for a handy beginner. The most important things are turning off the water properly, taking your time, and following directions closely.

What should I do if I can’t complete the project?
If you get stuck and can’t finish the job, turn off the water supply and call a professional plumber to complete the faucet installation. Leaving an unfinished plumbing job could lead to water leaks and other issues.


Swapping out an old or leaky bathroom faucet with a new one is a worthwhile DIY project for homeowners. The key steps are preparing your workspace, removing the old faucet, installing the new one properly, connecting the supply lines securely, and testing for leaks. Pay close attention to instructions and safety. With the right tools and patience, you can save the cost of a plumber and get enjoyment from updating your bathroom yourself.