faucets

An X shaped bathroom faucet handle

Getting a Handle on Types of Faucets and Controls

When you’re selecting a faucet, make sure that it’s compatible with the sink you choose. Lavatory sinks are drilled for faucets with a distance of 4 inches (center-set) or 8 inches (widespread) between the hot and cold faucet handles. A single hole accommodates most single-control faucets. Many sinks are also available with centered single holes, and some have no drillings for faucets mounted directly on the countertop or on the wall.

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A decorated bathroom sink basin

Looking at Types and Styles of Basins

Before you walk into a bathroom design center to look at basins and faucets, do some noodling about who uses the bathroom, what the priorities are, how often it will is used, the style you like, and how maintenance friendly you want the room to be. Yes, a snappy red pedestal sink would be a knockout, but in a family bathroom, a better choice is a countertop sink with a vanity for storage in a light color that doesn't show soap scum and is easy to clean.

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Faucet with crystal handles

Showdown at the shut-off valves

A shut-off or stop valve controls the water flow to your faucets, so it's a good idea to have them installed for every faucet (one for the hot water and one for the cold). Many homes have them, but surprisingly not all of them do. The valve is important because it stops water supply lines so that when you need to fix a leak, you don't have to shut down the water supply to the entire house. It’s a safety precaution too, so if there's an overflow, you can stop the flow of water to the faucet.

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Hands free faucet

Look ma, no hands!

You know how handy it is to wash your hands at the airport washroom? Well, we think it is, too. It won't be long before the price of those electronic "hands-free" faucets will come down in price and become a popular choice in today's busy family bathrooms. Maybe the cost of water will have something to do with it too, because these faucets are very thrifty. The least expensive one we found costs about $300 (by Delta Faucets), but it's not that easy to install. One of the advantages to the no-hands electric faucets made for residential use is that you can change the water temperature. You can't do that with commercial models, which are set at a fixed temperature. Remember that you heard it here first: Electronic faucets will be playing in your neighborhood soon.

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Riser tubes under a bathroom sink

 

Choosing riser tubes

The thin flexible tubes under a sink are called supply tubes or riser tubes because they direct water from the main water valve to the sink. The ones we prefer are made of stainless steel mesh and have a polymer lining. They are sold in a variety of lengths and don't rely on compression nuts. They attach directly to the tailpiece of the faucet and stop valve to form a strong and flexible connection.

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Handles and faucet

Getting a Handle on Types of Faucets and Controls

When you’re selecting a faucet, make sure that it’s compatible with the sink you choose. Lavatory sinks are drilled for faucets with a distance of 4 inches (center-set) or 8 inches (widespread) between the hot and cold faucet handles. A single hole accommodates most single-control faucets. Many sinks are also available with centered single holes, and some have no drillings for faucets mounted directly on the countertop or on the wall.

Read more
Bathroom with faucet and sink

Looking at Types and Styles of Basins

Before you walk into a bathroom design center to look at basins and faucets, do some noodling about who uses the bathroom, what the priorities are, how often it will is used, the style you like, and how maintenance friendly you want the room to be. Yes, a snappy red pedestal sink would be a knockout, but in a family bathroom, a better choice is a countertop sink with a vanity for storage in a light color that doesn't show soap scum and is easy to clean.

Read more