How to Choose a Bathroom Faucet

Article Posted By: Craig Allen

of Senior Editor, The Home Depot Blog

A display of the common types of faucets to help understand how to choose a bathroom faucet

“I need to replace the sink faucet in the bathroom. When I measure it, it looks like 6 inches, but stock all says 4 inches. How do I measure so I know I have the right replacement faucet?”

That was the question that took MizViki to The Home Depot’s Community Forums for an answer. It turns out that knowing how to choose a bathroom faucet is a tricky issue for a lot of people looking to upgrade their bathrooms.

Home Depot associate Christine Sharry was there with a clear explanation of the different types of faucets, their measurements and how to know which kind you need for your bathroom remodel.

“It’s very simple to figure out what kind of bathroom faucet you need,” Christine explains. “The easy rule of thumb is if you have a one-piece deck plate then you have a 4-inch faucet, or you might have what’s called a mini-widespread faucet. If they are three separate pieces, then it is an 8-inch faucet. There is also one that comes in a single hole configuration, but this is not very common for bathroom sinks.”

You’ll often see the term “on center” in reference to faucets. That just means that the measurement is made from the center of one of the faucet pipes to the other. Christine created the diagram below to show how four inches “on center” is measured. You can also see how MizViki might have come up with the 6-inch measurement for her bathroom faucet.

How to choose a bathroom faucet: a diagram illustrating the term "on center"

If the faucet you’re measuring is already installed, and it would be easier to measure it from the top, you can measure from the middle of one handle to the middle of the other, Christine says. If they are lever handles, then you will measure the distance between the two screws in the handles.

It gets just a little trickier when you’re wondering how to choose a kitchen faucet because in some cases there’s a hand sprayer added to the configuration. Check out our short article about how to choose a kitchen faucet to get an easy-to-understand explanation.

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