Function is just as important as style when choosing your bathroom sink fixtures. Even if you do not remodel your bathroom, changing the sink faucet and handles can sometimes make your bathroom more functional.
Believe it or not, there is something of a science behind choosing the right sink faucet. The first thing to do is measure your faucet centers. Sinks come with premade holes for the faucet and handles, and with different spacing between holes.
A single-hole faucet is needed for a sink with 1 hole. Usually these are lever type faucets. The advantage of these faucets is that they take up very little room, so you can use them with a smaller sink in a smaller bathroom. It is also easier to use by children and makes it harder for them to scald themselves by because there is no hot water tap by itself. A single lever faucet is also easier for older people or people with arthritis to use. They can be a little more fragile and often the entire faucet needs to be replaced if it breaks. The disadvantage is they have a modern look that is not in keeping with traditionally styled bathrooms. A variation on this faucet is the vessel faucet, which is a tall faucet designed to accommodate the height of vessel sinks.
Centerset faucets have the faucet and 2 handles mounted onto a single base. They can be used on sinks with 1 hole and sometimes 3 holes. These are the most difficult for people with arthritis to use, and they are difficult to clean because the handles are so close to the faucet. But this is a very common style.
The widespread faucet has 2 handles set off from the main faucet, It is easier to get hot water only out of. And it has a more traditional look but you can also find very sleep, contemporary widespread faucets. Crossbar handles are the most traditional of all and are found in period baths.
There are also wall mount faucets, which are rarely used except in high-end bathrooms. They require a special plumbing set up. Electronic touch faucets are used mainly in commercial settings. You might want a gooseneck style faucet. Do you dye your hair? Consider getting a faucet with a spray nozzle.
Think about how you use a sink. If you like to fill a glass with water, your facet has to be high enough to do that. Many bath sinks are shorter to prevent splash out. You will also want a higher faucet if you wash your face at the sink.
Materials and Construction
Faucets can be built based on one of several principles. Compression faucets rely on washers to manage the water flow. This is the conventional way to make a faucet. You do have to clean the screen every so often. Newer faucets use balls, cartridges, and disks. They are easier to operate and maintain, bur the plastic parts used in most of these faucets mean they are very durable. Cartridge faucets have a cartridge flow mechanic that can be replaced if there is a leak. Faucets with a pair of ceramic disks are the most durable and trouble-free, but they can also be the most expensive.
Pricing can be anywhere from $20 up to $1,000 or more for a solid-brass faucet set with designer styling. Remember that leaks waster water, and water is expensive is many parts of the country. So sometimes it is worth spending a little more to get the quality needed in such a heavily used fixture.