Swapping a faucet might seem intimidating, but its usually actually pretty simple. Here's my best tips for how I swapped out my centerset bathroom faucets to gorgeous gold ones.
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watch the full transformation in 30 seconds ↓
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types of faucets
The first step in swapping your faucet is to figure out both what type of faucet you have and what type you'll be installing.
Looking at your existing faucet will usually tell you which type of faucet you need if you're just swapping them out — if you're keeping the existing vanity or sink, you'll need to get a faucet that's designed to fit into the existing holes.
CENTERSET: Centerset faucets have handles and a spout that are all together — the handles and spout are on a single mount to fit three-hole sinks. These are fairly common and work for holes that are close together.
WIDESPREAD: this faucet fits sinks / vanities with three drill holes. It has 3 separate pieces — two handles and a spout. Usually your 3 holes need a spacing of at least 6 inches apart to work with these faucets.
WALL-MOUNTED: Wall mounted faucets are mounted to the wall instead of to a sink or vanity.
SINGLE-HANDLE: Single faucets have one spout and one handle to operates both cold and warm water by moving it side to side. They’re designed for bathroom sinks with a single drill hole, but they can be installed some 3-hole sinks with the addition of a deckplate which covers the two handle holes on the sides.
VESSEL: A vessel faucet is a single handle faucet that is a bit taller to fit a vessel sink – the sink usually rests on top of the counter instead of inside it, so the faucet is taller to reach up and over the edge of the sink bowl.
Here's the steps I followed to swap my centerset bathroom faucet: First you'll start by shutting off the water — this is done with either the oval valves on each water line (both hot and cold) or if those aren't accessible you can shut off the water to the whole house.
Next, you'll head under the sink to unscrew the water lines where the connect to the water source — usually at the shut off valve. These may have water in them, especially if they're curved, so use a cup or towel to catch the excess water.
After that, you'll unscrew the water lines from the faucet on each side. For some faucets, the water lines are actually attached — in this case they won't unscrew and you may need to buy new water supply lines if your new faucet doesn't come with them attached or in the box.
After the faucet is fully disconnected from the water supply, you can unscrew the mounting screws under the sink at the base of the faucet that hold the faucet in place. These sometimes come off easily, but can sometimes be tricky, so a pair of channel locks is helpful for this step.
Next, you can remove the old faucet from the top of the sink or vanity. Be sure to clean the area if you see any dirt or residue after removing.
After that, you can put the new faucet in place into the holes on the sink or vanity. Now we'll just do all the previous steps in reverse. Start by securing the faucet in place by screwing on the new mounting screws. Make sure your faucet is straight and flush before you tighten.
Next, attach the new water supply lines to each side of your faucet if it doesn't already have them — add some teflon tape around the threaded end of the faucet and screw the water supply lines on tightly. Hand tighten then tighten with some channel locks to prevent leaks.
The next step is to attach the other end of the water lines to the water supply, usually near the oval shut off valves. Again add teflon tape, then hand tighten, and tighten fully with channel locks.
Next you can turn the water back on, then turn on the faucet and check for leaks under the sink.
Here are videos for the detailed tutorials I followed to install my sink and the drain, which is a push and seal drain.