Guide for Buying: How to Choose the Best Bathroom Faucet for You

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As the focal point over your bathroom sink, selecting the perfect faucet is hugely important – it sets the entire style of your space. But the dizzying range of designs, finishes, features, and quality levels makes it easy to become overwhelmed. Should you choose widespread or centerset? Polished chrome or matte black? Will plastic valves last over time?

  • Evaluate your existing sink and countertop limitations
  • Decide on a widespread or centerset faucet configuration
  • Consider personal style preferences for handles and finishes
  • Don’t overlook the importance of durability and warranty

This comprehensive guide breaks down exactly what to consider when choosing a new bathroom faucet. We’ll provide tips on configuration, handles, finishes, durability concerns, and warranty specifics – everything needed to evaluate options and confidently select the ideal faucet that will fulfill your needs and match your vision. Read on to learn how to shop smart.

Getting Started – Types to Evaluate

When embarking on a new bathroom faucet purchase, the first step is assessing your existing sink basin and countertop. This determines whether you need a widespread or centerset faucet design. It also dictates what size and hole configurations will be compatible.

For vessel sinks or freestanding tub fillers, you’ll likely need wall-mounted faucets. But we’ll focus this guide on the most common options – widespread and centerset models.

1. Widespread Faucets

Featuring separate hot and cold handles mounted 8 inches or more apart, widespread faucets make a dramatic style statement. The wide stance allows fitting 3-hole installations for sink decks over 20 inches wide. This provides great handle clearance.

Widespread faucets work with vessel sinks but also undermount, self-rimming, and integrated countertop basins. The separate handles and long spout mean you can position each component just right for your existing sink.

Faucet hole distance is key – you’ll need to match new handles 8 to 16 inches apart to fit your existing 3-hole sinks. This does limit rearrangement flexibility compared to 4-hole centerset faucets.

2. Centerset Faucets

Centerset faucets feature handles 4 inches apart, combined into a single base unit with an attached spout. The consolidated design provides a clean, integrated look that is perfect for smaller vanity spaces.

Limiting handle spread to just 4 inches means centerset faucets only fit existing 4-inch 3-hole configurations. But this consolidated arrangement allows flexibility to swap hot and cold sides if needed.

Centerset designs allow simple DIY installation, with all connections contained under a single assembled base unit. This makes them a great option for bathroom upgrades. Just ensure your sinkholes match the 4-inch centerset handle distance.

The attached spout limits reach adjustability compared to some widespread designs. Ensure the fixed spout arc and height fit your vessel or countertop basin. Wall-mount faucets are better for filling extremely large sinks.

Bathroom Faucet Buying Guide – Things to Consider

Other than types, there are a few additional things that one must consider while buying a bathroom faucet, such as:

1. Choosing Handles

With sink compatibility determined, now consider handle styles. Choices like cross, lever, knob, and wrist-blade – each have ergonomic and aesthetic considerations.

Lever handles provide easy one-finger operation for temperature control, perfect for hands-full tasks like bathing kids. Cross handles offer similar ease of use but with stylish right-angle bends.

For more traditional styling, ceramic knobs accurately control temperature settings with easy twisting access. Or opt for modern curved wrist-blade handles, sweeping elegantly from the base.

2. Finish and Color

Bathroom faucet finishes tie the look together, blending with other metals and fixtures in the space. Classic chrome and brushed nickel are safe choices complementing most color schemes. Alternatively, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, or matte black finishes make bolder style statements, especially with traditional decor. Specialty finishes like gold, nickel, or copper bring modern luxury.

Some faucet series allow custom ordering any finish to match other accessories like drains, towel bars, and mirror frames throughout the bathroom. This ensures a cohesive polished look.

Consider maintenance for glossier finishes – polished brass or chrome show water spots, while matte styles like brushed nickel hide signs of use. Faucet finish must hold up to routine cleaning and moisture.

3. Durability Details

Under the style and shine, inspect key durability factors that ensure lasting performance. All metal construction, including zinc or brass base materials, stands up to years of regular handling. Alternatively, plastic components used in budget faucet designs can deteriorate over time with sink water exposure. Verify certificates showing extensive wear testing completed.

Also, inspect the valve cartridge, the inner workings regulating water flow, and temperature control. Ceramic disk cartridges last 5x longer than compression cartridges used in cheap models. Disk cartridges contain precisely machined ceramic disks that slide to control flow and prevent drips. Compression cartridges use rubber washers that wear out faster.

Top-rated faucet brands like Wangel use state-of-the-art cartridges backed by lifetime warranties. This ensures years of leak-free performance. Lesser brands may cover cartridges for just a few years.

Another key durability factor is the valve bodies themselves. Solid brass resists corrosion far longer than plastic valves. Look for a faucet made from all-metal components, not simply a metal exterior shell.

4. Don’t Overlook Warranties

Closely review warranties before deciding on any new bathroom faucet. Better brands offer limited lifetime warranties superior to the basic 1-year household coverage.

Lifetime warranties on the mechanical cartridge show tremendous confidence in lasting drip-free performance. Finish warranties of 10 or more years give peace of mind the look you love won’t tarnish or degrade.

Pay the premium for these longer warranties whenever possible – they easily pay for themselves in reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

Conclusion

Choosing a bathroom faucet brings tons of options, but getting the perfect mix of style, compatibility, durability, and warranty coverage ensures you get the absolute most value from your investment.

For expert guidance matching the perfect faucet to your exact bathroom sink setup, the knowledgeable professionals at Wangel are always available to assess your space and recommend options tailored specifically to your needs. Reach out today!

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The Wangelgroup uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Our commitment to accuracy and reliability ensures that readers receive well-researched information they can trust.

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