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Bathroom Faucet Selection-Useful Tips

May 13, 2008
When replacing a bathroom faucet to an existing sink, some of your decision is already made. You will be bound by the existing faucet drillings in terms of whether it is a single hole, centerset or widespread. You will still have options in terms of finish and style.

When you are working with an existing sink, the faucet drillings will predetermine some of your choices, but the style, finish and mechanics are open to change.

With so many choices available today, and the changes in the mechanics of faucets, it is a good idea to shop around and compare before making a snap decision. There are so many finishes and styles to choose from, and faucet mechanisms have improved to much you can find a faucet that suits your tastes as well as one that can be almost maintenance free.

Mechanics of a Bathroom Faucet

In recent years the mechanics of faucets have improved greatly. New faucets are available that work for many years without the need of constant maintenance.

1. Compression Faucets-have been the most common for many years, and are still in use in many homes today and also available for purchase. With better choices available, these are among the less expensive choices. This type of faucet assembly has two handles and works by controlling water flow and water temperature by tightening the handle.

But what is happening inside the faucet to make this work? Inside is a mechanical assembly with a washer on the end of a screw. By tightening the handle of the faucet, you put pressure on the washer over an opening which stops water flow. This type of faucet is prone to leaking and may need frequent maintenance. Replacing the washer is a common fix.

2. Ball Faucets-are a frequent choice for kitchens, but are also common in the bath. This type of faucet has one handle to control both water flow and the temperature. Although this is a popular faucet, and the first to be called washerless, they can be difficult to deal with and often leak.

3. Cartridge Faucets-have individual handles to control the flow of hot and cold water. For those who prefer more control over hot and cold water, this may be the best option for a bathroom faucet. They are also available in a single handle model if you prefer. Cartridge faucets require less pressure than the standard compression models in order to shut off the flow of water. A moveable stem cartridge controls water flow. These are more maintenance free

4. Disc Faucets-are the newest type, seldom require repair and are a higher quality and usually more expensive faucet. They are available in single lever models that control both temperature and the flow of water.

Bathroom Faucet Installation Types

1. A Single Hole Faucet-is one assembly with the spout and lever for water control as one unit.

2. Widespread Faucets-spout and each of the handles are individual pieces which mount to the sink or countertop separately.

3. Centerset Faucets-are a very common choice in a bathroom faucet. This installation type has all of it's components attached to a single base. Handles and spout are assembled on a single base as one unit.

4. Wall-Mounted Bathroom Faucets-are only an option if you are doing a full remodel where the wall will be open. This is a much more complicated installation. Often used with vessel sinks, the faucet assemble is mounted into the wall.

Style choice in a bathroom faucet will depend on the other decor in your bath and your personal preferences. You alone know what feels right for you, and with all the choices this will not be difficult.

Selecting a Faucet Finish

Sometimes the finish you choose is dependent on style, but many finishes will be appropriate for a number of styles.

Very shiny finishes such as polished chrome or French gold are beautiful, but will be most labor intensive to maintain their shiny appearance.

Brushed and satin finishes will be less likely to show finger smudges and water spots and may be a good choice for a very busy household.

Venetian bronze, black iron, weathered copper and oil rubbed bronze are becoming very popular, and lend themselves especially well to vintage styles. Some of the finishes that are increasing more popular are considered living finishes, and will change with use and time. Recognize that these will look different in time so that you are not disappointed with the way they look in the future.

Final Points:

1. Do you need a single lever, widespread, or centerset faucet?

2. Consider maintenance, and the differences in compression, ball, cartridge, or disc faucets before you decide.

3. Choose a finish to suit both your lifestyle and your preference.

4. What style do you prefer? Traditional, Vintage, Contemporary?

5. What will your budget allow?

A good bathroom faucet assembly will last for many years. Shop around, consider the points above and you should find a bathroom faucet that will be pleasing and dependable for many years.
About the Author
Follow this link to find more info and tips about the selection of a bathroom faucet and also info about, and a wide selection of, vessel sinks.
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