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Choosing a Bathroom Faucet: What You Should Know

Choosing a Bathroom Faucet: What You Should Know

2019 Jun 16th

Deciding on the best faucet for your bathroom can be a challenging task. Find the perfect faucet for you with our guide to choosing a bathroom faucet.

According to Statista, the global bathroom market value is estimated at $8.26 billion. Reports also say that bathroom and kitchen renovations and upgrades increase the value of the home most. Thinking or planning to start a bathroom renovation project soon? Here are some useful information you can use when deciding on what kind of faucet to get for your new bathroom.

A bathroom faucet might appear as simple plumbing piece, but it’s actually one of the most used fixtures in the bathroom. Every element and feature of the bathroom faucet has huge significance both on design and functionality aspect.

Read on to learn more!

A Guide to Choosing a Bathroom Faucet

Before buying a faucet, there are vital things you should know. From the design to material to the cost, there's a lot to consider before making a choice.

1. Type

Bathroom faucets can be classified according to the type or mode of installation. This will affect the look and way of operation.

I). Vessel Faucets

Vessel faucets have tall profile and is used with countertop vessel sinks. Mostly, they are available as single holes with single-lever handles. You will have to measure the height of your chosen vessel sink to make sure you're getting the right height of vessel faucet. Faucets that are too high will be prone to more splashes and abviously, faucets that are too short will either not reach over the edge of the sink or will be too close and not leave enough space for even washing your hands.

II). Wall Mounted Faucets

These faucets are mounted on the wall above the sink making it the most versatile kind. You can adjust the height of the faucet based on the kind of sink you pick whether it's a vessel, self rimming, or even undermount. They will also give that clean modern look and will not take up any countertop space so you can showcase that new granite or quartz countertop better.

III). Single Hole Faucets

As the name implies, these faucets are installed on single holes either behind the sink or on a sink's faucet deck. Mostly, single-hole faucets have single hand levers or knobs that control water flow. They are quicker to install and give more precise water volumes (lift/tilt handle up or down) and temperatures (turn handles left or right). They will take up minimal counter space so they're perfect for smaller vanities and sinks.

IV). 3-Hole Faucets

In these models, the faucet handles and spouts are separate pieces and require individual holes for each component, one for spout and two more for hot and cold handles. This kind of faucet is available is either a 4" Centreset version or a Widespread version which will be perfect for wider and larger vanities.

2. Handle & Operation

The type of handle determines the operation and character of the faucet. There are different types of handles used in bathroom faucets that you can choose;

I). One Handle

These types of handles operate at optimal levels. Lifting or lowering the handle changes the water pressure/volume while turning the handle sideways adjusts the water temperature.

II). Two Handles

These faucets have separate handles located on each side of the spout. The handles control water temperature, one for hot and one for cold and you will have to turn and adjust the handles until desired temperature is achieved.

III). Touchless/ Sensor-Activated Faucets

These faucets have no handles at all and operate on electronic sensors. The water temperature is set at a steady point (separate mixing valve may be required and sold separately), while water runs for a set period of time after the sensors detect hand movement. This is popular in commercial establishments and is also used for Handicap accessible facilities.

IV). Touch-activated Faucets

Just like in touchless faucets, they have no handles. The temperature can be preset or adjusted using a knob. To activate the faucet, you need to tap against the sensor and have the water running.

3. Size or the Faucet

The size of the bathroom faucets is a unique consideration to keep in mind. The height is crucial to make sure sure it can be used properly for intended purpose.

To get the most accurate size, measure the distance between any mounting surface and mirrors or cabinets above. The right size should be the one that doesn’t block view or create any distraction. Also the spout should reach over the edge of the sink to make sure the water will flow directly to the center of the sink and minimize splashes.

4. Material Used in Construction

Different materials are used in the manufacture of bathroom faucets. The quality of material determines many things, but the most important is durability especially if it's gonna be used on a regular and daily basis.

A bathroom faucet can be made using any of the following materials;

  • brass
  • stainless steel
  • metal alloy
  • plastic

Metal alloy faucets are not as good as they sound because most are made using a mixture of low-quality pop metal making it a light duty fixture. You might be forced to replace the faucet prematurely. This kind is a popular choice among house flippers and entry-level builders and renovators. Plastic faucets are unreliable and should be avoided at all costs unless it's intended for temporary use.

Brass is the standard material for bathroom faucets. It has established a great reputation for durability and quality. Stainless steel material is an excellent option for bathroom faucets as it’s resistant to corrosions and is lead-free. If you're looking for a faucet for main bath and ensuite where it's gonna be used a lot, it is recommended to invest in a good quality faucet made of durable and long lasting materials.

5. Type Of Cartridge

The industry has now moved on from the ball and rubber seat type of technology to control water flow. Even the compression type of cartridges are not as popular anymore. Ceramic disc cartridges are now dominating the faucet industry not only because they are easier to operate but because they're more durable and easier to maintain as well.

Standard cartridges are made of either brass or plastic, or a mixture of both. They can be accessed by removing the handle of the faucet usually held by a set screw. The ceramic discs open and close as you move the handle and this controls the temperature and water flow.

6. The Faucet Finishes

The finish of the faucet has a great influence on the overall look of the bathroom. Most people like to match the finish of the faucet with the shower system, accessories, and even bathroom hardware like the ones on the bathroom vanity drawers and doors. It creates a complete overall look to the bathroom.

Some of the most popular faucet finishes in the market today are:

- Chrome

- Brushed Nickel

- Oil Rubbed Bronze

- Matte Black

- Brushed Gold

Chrome is the most common and is the cheapest finish but they go well with almost anything so it will complement any modern design. Oil Rubbed Bronze is a comon choice among bathrooms with a rustic or traditional design. Matte Black and Brushed Gold are becoming a very popular trend among designer bathrooms as they create a highly stylish and modern look.

7. Cost of the Faucet

Just like everything else when it comes to bathroom renovation, budget plays a big part of choosing a faucet. Some people are fine spending $500 for a single faucet but not everyone can afford this. This doesn't mean that cheaper faucets are bad, it's just a matter of choosing a good company that offers quality products for a more reasonable price.

It is important to do your research on these companies and it is important to be open to brands that are not as popular as others because some of them offer really good quality products without the hefty price tag attached to their name. Your showroom consultant should be able to recommend products and brands that will give you best value for your money.

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