Bathroom faucets are one of the most heavily used fixtures in our homes. From washing your face in the morning to brushing your teeth at night, it can be easy to overlook this simple device that controls the flow of water, adjusts the temperature, and keeps us clean.
Upgrading your old bathroom faucets is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to boost your home’s look and value. A good-quality faucet can improve not only bathroom ambiance, but functionality as well. Even better, those willing to invest in this type of bathroom upgrade can often recoup at least half of the cost when it comes time to sell the house.
We’ve found the best faucets that can handle it all—whatever style or finish you choose. These top picks combine features that should also save water and last for years of daily use:
- BEST OVERALL: Luxice Automatic Touchless Bathroom Sink Faucet
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: WOWOW 2 Handle Centerset Bathroom Sink Faucet
- UPGRADE PICK: DELTA FAUCET Cassidy Single Hole Bathroom Faucet
- WIDESPREAD PICK: phiestina Widespread Bathroom Sink Faucet
- SINGLE HANDLE PICK: Pfister Jaida Waterfall Bathroom Faucet
- WALL MOUNTED PICK: HANEBATH Brass Wall Mounted Bathroom Faucet
Types of Bathroom Faucets
Your faucet upgrade will depend on several factors, including the size and style of your sink, vanity, or countertop. Whether you have an under-mount or vessel sink will determine your faucet options. Also significant are the number of holes drilled into the sink area (one or three), and how far apart those holes are positioned, also known as the spread.
For sinks with three holes and a 4-inch spread, you’ll most likely need a new center-set faucet. These units combine a spout and two handles on a single metal base. However, if you prefer a single-handle option, it’s possible to cover the extra two holes with a deck plate (see below).
Center-set faucets are often more affordable than other styles. They work well for smaller basins and vanities. One drawback may be cleaning: some people complain that grime can build up in the joins of a center-set faucet—where it attaches to the counter and where the handles and spout attach to the base. Over time, this scummy build-up can degrade the look and feel of the fixture.
A single-handle faucet works best with a basin or vanity that has only one hole. However, if you prefer the look and ease of a single-handle faucet, you can use a separate deck plate to convert your three-hole sink into a one-hole setup. In cost, single-handle designs are comparable to center-set faucets.
Look for touchless varieties, with a built-in sensor that turns the flow on and off with the wave of a hand. With touchless models, you typically set your desired water temperature, which remains constant unless you change the setting. Be sure to check the product specification for how to set the heat ahead of installation.
Similar to center-set faucets, widespread faucets are compatible with sinks that have three holes. The spacing, or spread, between these holes is more extensive and ranges from six to 16 inches. Widespread faucets come in three separate pieces: a spout and two handles.
These faucets provide a more effortless cleaning experience than center-set models, thanks to the flat counter space between the handles and faucet, which you can wipe clean daily. This style also tends to look more luxurious and contemporary than center-set designs, if you have the room and budget at your disposal. Widespread models tend to be slightly more expensive than comparable center-set or single-handle faucets.
If your sink is a freestanding pedestal or an above-the-counter vessel, a wall-mounted faucet is an elegant option. You’ll need a separate wall-mounted valve and drain for installation. You’ll also want to check that the spout is long enough so that water is channeled correctly and contained—without splashing onto the counter and floors.
These faucets come with either one or two side handles for adjusting water temperature. Please note; you should not select wall-mounted faucets for basins with predrilled holes. Be prepared to spend more money too. Wall-mounted faucets are at least double the price of comparable in-sink fixtures.
A vessel faucet has an extra-long neck to accommodate a vessel-style sink. These sinks sit on top of the counter, in contrast to under-mount options, which you install below the sink. You can find vessel faucets ranging from affordable to high-end. They typically have a single handle to control water flow and temperature.
What to Look for When Buying a Bathroom Faucet
Many homeowners desire bathrooms that feel understated and a bit luxurious. Faucets are one of the easiest ways to make that happen. With so many options to choose from, you should select a faucet that boasts both function and aesthetic appeal. Some things to consider are color, finish, and design.
One or Two Handles
Whether you prefer one or two handles may come down to the number of holes already drilled into your counter or vanity. If you have three predrilled holes, you’ll likely need a center-set or widespread faucet, depending on the spread. If you have a single hole, you can go with a simple, elegant single-handle faucet.
Another consideration is cleaning and maintenance. Widespread and single-handle faucets are easier to keep clean than center-set versions, which can become grimy over time. Since there’s not much room on the metal base, soap scum can build up in small crevasses.
The space between the faucet mounting holes indicates a faucet’s spread. These holes are drilled into the countertop, vanity, or wall (in the case of wall-mounted faucets). Single-handle and vessel faucets have only one hole (so no spread).
For center-set faucets, the spread is four inches. Widespread faucets have a more extensive range, from six to 12 inches. Wall-mounted faucet spread varies, depending on whether the fixture has one or two separate handles.
In most cases, your faucet’s finish should match your other bathroom fixtures, including door handles, showerheads, and even lighting. Complementary finishes provide a sense of cohesiveness and good design.
Many faucets come in a range of colors, from the darkest oil-rubbed bronze to lighter metallic hues, including gold, nickel, chrome, and stainless steel. Some faucets combine different metals, allowing you to mix and match with other bathroom fixtures.
You also have to choose between shiny and brushed metal. Polished finishes, especially chrome and stainless steel, have been used for years and are a traditional and affordable choice. However, more contemporary and luxury homes have brushed metal fixtures. So if you’re considering an upgrade, a brushed finish may be best.
You have two main options when considering faucet style: traditional or contemporary. Traditional faucets may include decorative knobs, and curved handles and a spout. Modern designs are sleek and more angular, with a preference for minimalism rather than ornate details. Also note that while traditional faucets can look good in contemporary settings, the reverse is not always true.
The key is subtlety—you don’t want your plumbing fixtures to stick out like a sore thumb, but rather have them blend into and enhance their surroundings.
One of the best ways to keep your water bills low is to upgrade your plumbing fixtures, including bathroom faucets. While fixing leaks is a great place to start, newer faucets, especially those certified by WaterSense, can cut your tap’s water use by 30 percent—without sacrificing performance.
Look for low-flow faucets that bear the blue WaterSense label on the product specifications. Another water-saving device is a faucet aerator, which screws onto the faucet’s head, mixing air into the water. An aerator reduces water use without overly reducing flow pressure or cleansing power.
Some faucets come with additional features that can simplify installation and streamline your daily bathroom routine.
- Deck plate: If you have a three-hole sink, but prefer a single-handle faucet, don’t despair! All you need is a deck plate, an elongated metal plate that covers additional handle holes. Some faucets come complete with optional deck plates, but it is not always included in the installation kit. Double-check product the specifications if a deck plate is something you need.
- Touchless activation: While public restrooms have been using touchless technology for some time, your home can also benefit. These small, black sensors are built into the base of some faucets, allowing you to control flow without turning handles or lift levers. Touchless activation is a bit more expensive, but you cut down on germs, cleaning, and water waste.
- Drain hardware: All sinks need drains, which require a device to cover and control the water flow. However, not all faucet kits come complete with drain hardware, so double-check specifications to determine if you’ll need to purchase drain stoppers separately.
Our Top Picks
We’ve weighed the following models against the above considerations and filtered through many faucets on the market These picks feature quality materials, water savings, design, functionality, and excellent user experience. Whatever your bathroom setup, there’s a faucet here that will serve you well.
Lose the handles once and for all. With Luxice’s automatic touchless faucet, you’ll only need to wave your hand beneath the tap, and a steady stream of water will flow. No need to worry about turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth: The flow stops as soon as your hands move away, saving money, energy, and water.
Temperature can be adjusted via the temperature mixer, which is included at purchase, along with hot and cold hoses. The sensor is powered by four AA batteries (not included), and installation is possible without a professional. One potential drawback is that this elegant spout only comes in polished chrome. Still, with its gorgeous design and high-tech ease, it is a standout.
WOWOW’s gently curving center-set faucet is perfect for almost any aesthetic, from traditional to contemporary. Designed for countertops and sink areas with three holes and a 4-inch spread, this classic faucet comes with a lift rod and pop up stopper. Supply lines are sold separately.
The brushed nickel finish is corrosion resistant and resists fingerprints too. Great for smaller bathrooms, including motor homes, cabins, and apartments. WOWOW also wants to save you water, with an aerator made of durable ABS material, it reduces water consumption by 50 percent—saving you even more money in the long run.
This model from DELTA FAUCET combines timeless beauty with very modern benefits. Certified by the EPA’s WaterSense label, this faucet uses at least 20 percent less water than the industry standard. It is also ADA compliant, meaning it meets the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Intended to fit single-hole as well as three-hole configurations, the faucet includes an optional deck plate to cover extra holes if necessary. A pop-up metal drain is also included.
This faucet has an 8-inch spread, intended for a broad, three-hole mount. All materials are certified lead-free, including the pure copper drain, which resists leaks (water hose not included). Instead of a traditional lift drain, it comes with a pop-up drain that is easy to install and works smoothly. The overall look is a blend of gentle curves and thanks to the manufacturer’s quick-connect technology, installation is easy and doesn’t require a plumber.
A trough-style tap displays flowing water at its best. Pfister’s single-handle tap is both beautiful and efficient as it is compliant with the California Energy Commission (CEC) standards, which means you will reduce bathroom water use by at least 20 percent. The faucet is ADA compliant, too, meeting the needs of persons with disabilities.
All parts are included, and the drain installs in three minutes, with only three pieces. No tools required! The Pfister works with a single hole or three-hole spread and comes with an optional deck plate.
Keep your countertop uncluttered with a wall-mounted basin faucet. HANEBATH’s single handle tap is made of solid brass and finished with brushed nickel. Thanks to such durable materials, this faucet will resist tarnishing and deterioration over the long haul.
We especially like the single-handle lever, which provides maximum control for perfect water temperature and flow. There is even a subtle “H” and “C” etched on the control lever, just in case you forget which direction to turn. The spout rotates 360 degrees, which is especially helpful when cleaning your sink.
FAQs About Your New Bathroom Faucet
If you have lingering questions, like how to clean bathroom faucets, or how long they last, take a look at these common questions and answers below.
Q. Which is better, chrome or brushed nickel?
These two finishes have their benefits and downsides. Chrome plating has a slightly blue, cooler shine, while nickel gives off a warmer shade, either yellow or whitish. Both are durable, but nickel maintains its finish longer than chrome.
Nickel is also resistant to fingerprints, water spots, and scratching, unlike chrome. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal color taste and how often you plan on wiping down the faucets; in terms of appearance, nickel is easier to maintain.
Q. What’s the best way to clean bathroom faucets?
Go for gentle, daily wipedowns with a clean, dry cloth. Weekly, use a non-abrasive sponge and a little soapy water to get off the gunk. For hard water spots, spray your faucet with a 50/50 percent solution of white vinegar and water.
Test your finish first and don’t leave vinegar sitting on the surface. Wash with clean water and dry with a cloth.
Q. Is it hard to install a bathroom faucet?
After you’ve replaced an old faucet, it’s not difficult for most people to install a new one. Users should refer to manufacturer instructions for any model-specific considerations. This is generally how the process works:
- Place a gasket or trim ring over the faucet holes in the sink to set the deck plate. You may have to use plumbers putty or caul, depending on what the manufacturer recommends.
- Feed the faucet lines into the hole(s) in your sink.
- Install the hardware under the sink by affixing washers and nuts.
- If you’re setting up a pull-down faucet: attach the hose to the supply pipe, then pull down on the hose to attach the weight.
- Connect the water supply lines and be careful not to overtighten the connections.
- Turn the water on slowly. Check for leaks and tighten the connections if necessary.
- Lastly, turn the faucet off and replace the aerator.
Q. How long should bathroom faucets last?
Typically a faucet should last 15 to 20 years, depending on upkeep and daily wear and tear. If you’re experiencing constant leaks and other frequent problems, it’s high time to switch it out.