Replacing a Bathroom Sink Faucet

Beth Asaff
New faucet

Replacing a bathroom faucet will not only update the look of your sink, it can also save thousands of gallons of water each year. Leaking or old fashioned faucets waste water and date your bathroom's design, so changing them solves both problems at once.

Why Replace the Bathroom Faucet

You may think the only reason to change out your bathroom faucet is when it's leaking, but in reality there are a few other reasons you may wish to replace the faucet in your bathroom.

Water Savings

As green building design grows in popularity, so does the idea of green bathroom design. New faucets have built-in water saving features that prevent water waste. Changing to a new faucet can save thousands of gallons of water a year, which can turn into a savings in your wallet as well.

Design Updates

New designs in bathroom faucetry can really make a big impact on your overall bathroom design. Contemporary faucets with sleek designs, rustic metal finishes and new faucet colors can update the whole bathroom with one easy change.

Leaks

Faucets can leak from a number of areas, all of which may waste a lot of money. Leaks can ruin a vanity, seep into dry wall and keep you up at night with the sound of constant dripping. If a faucet is more than 10 years old, it's more likely to develop multiple leaks over time, making repairs a less attractive option.

How to Replace a Bathroom Faucet

Replacing the faucet in your bathroom is not a difficult job, but it is one that requires some attention. From purchasing the replacement to removing the old faucet, make sure to take the time to double check each step.

Measure

Before you purchase a replacement faucet for your bathroom, measure the holes in your current sink or vanity to get the right size. Faucets come in three standard sizes; single hole, four inch spread and eight inch spread, as well as old fashioned taps.

Measure from the center of a faucet stem to the center of the opposite faucet stem. If you get an odd measurement such as 10 inches, purchase an eight inch spread faucet that has an adjustable spread, meaning that it can be moved in or out during installation to fit your sink.

Shut off the Water

Believe it or not, many people either don't shut off the water at the supply line in the wall, or fail to run the old faucet once the water has been shut off to drain the line. Locate the valves at the water supplies and turn them as tightly as possible to shut off the water. Turn on the hot and cold lines of the faucet at the spout to drain the faucet and hoses of standing water before you remove it.

Loosen the Nuts

Faucets are made to come apart into several pieces; if you find that your faucet is crusted with hard water debris and won't come apart in one area, take it apart in another.

Begin by loosening and removing the water supply lines connecting the valves and the spout. Loosen and remove the nuts holding each component of the faucet below the vanity next. If these pieces do not come off, locate the screw on top of the faucet handle and take the top off of the handles or spout instead. Push the remaining pieces down through the vanity to remove them.

Clean the Sink

Clean up any hard water deposits or minerals from where the old faucet was located. You want a tight seal with your new faucet to the sink or vanity, so ensure a clean surface to work with.

Install the New Faucet

Unscrew the valves and push the stems of the handles and spout down through the vanity or sink holes. Tighten them from below, taking the time to check the orientation of the spout and the handles. Make sure the handles turn correctly in the right direction.

Use a wrench to tighten everything from below. When you get each piece as tight as you can make it, ease it off one quarter turn to get the right fit.

Reconnect the supply lines to the faucet valves and spout and turn the water on at the wall. Let the water run for a few minutes and check for leaks. Plumber's tape can be wrapped around the threading in the valves if required to get a tighter fit between the supply lines.

When to Call a Plumber

Replacing a bathroom faucet is generally a simple job that can be carried out by the homeowner, but there are some exceptions. Call a plumber if the faucet is located in the wall, rather than on the sink or vanity. If the valves in the wall appear corroded or leaking, this is another job for a professional.

Take your time and read the directions on your new faucet for aligning the handles and installing any porcelain or decorative caps. Within the hour, your new faucet will be in place, updating your bathroom's look and saving money on your next water bill at the same time.

Replacing a Bathroom Sink Faucet