The 10 Types of Bathroom Faucets And Finishes

Are you renovating your bathroom? Don't forget about deciding on a faucet! There are so many to choose from...

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The Hausera Editorial Team

When it comes to completing your bathroom, the hardware might seem like a small detail, but it will often have a huge impact on whether or not your space really comes together. Though you might think that selecting a faucet is a simple matter of browsing a few options online, there are actually quite a few specifications that you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure you choose an option that will both fit your design as well as the modifications of your vanity or wall. 

Related: Bathroom Remodeling: What It Costs Turnaround Time Ideas and Full Guide

What Are The Various Types Of Faucets?

Faucets are far from a one-size-fits-all deal. In fact, there are multiple different fits, depending on how your vanity is cut. You’ll want to either observe how the holes on top of your counter are cut out to fit a faucet, or if you’re building one yourself, choose your faucet first and then cut accordingly. These are a few of the options you can choose from. 

There are a few differences between faucets cut for bathrooms and kitchens, mostly due to the fact that bathrooms tend to have less space, and kitchens often require a broader faucet set with different features for both range and versatility. These are some of the most popular faucet types in a bathroom. 

Centerset

A centerset faucet is one of the more common types you’ll see. In this version, the lines for both temperature valves are placed into one base. This means that the water spout, cold water handle, and warm water handle are all in one piece. Often, a vanity that is cut for a centerset faucet will have three holes drilled very close together. If you’re still not sure whether your particular vanity is suited for one, you might just need to take measurements. While many of these are made so that the basin has three holes and the handles are four inches apart, it is possible that it can also have two handles mounted onto a six-inch plate. 

Single Hole

A single hole faucet is precisely as it sounds: a vanity or countertop will have one hole in it, meaning that the temperature valve will need to be connected to the water spout. Though there are many basic faucets that are for sale in this setup, there are also quite a few higher-end models that add a layer of luxury to your bathroom. For example, you can have a single hole faucet that has a wide mouth, giving a “waterfall” effect when the water runs.


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Bridge 

More commonly seen in kitchens or traditional bathrooms, bridge faucets are larger, and typically take up quite a bit more space than you might prefer if you have an average-sized bathroom. Be that as it is, bridge faucets are where the faucet and two temperature valves are actually all connected through a single pipe. Altogether, it creates a single piece. To install properly, this requires holes in the vanity that are far enough apart to fit the width of the faucet.

Wall Mount

Wall Mount faucets are where the water spout and temperature valves are all built into the wall above the sink, rather than on the vanity. Other than aesthetics, this is a great option for people who have limited space to work with and want to conserve room on their countertop. Though wall mounted faucets might require a bit more plumbing work (particularly if your water lines are set up to go into a vanity, not through the wall) a wall mount faucet is both practical and striking.


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Widespread 

A widespread faucet is probably the second most popular type you see in a bathroom, though you may not have known what it was called. A widespread is when the faucet and two temperature valves are all separate pieces. This requires your vanity or countertop to have three separate holes cut out, but unlike a centerset faucet, these holes will need a considerable amount of space between them so that they can fit the base of each piece without looking too crowded.


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Vessel 

If your bathroom has a vessel sink, which is a basin that sits on top of the vanity as opposed to being built into it, you are going to need a special faucet to accommodate it. This is because the distance between the tip of the water spout will need to be raised if it’s going to fit properly over a freestanding basin. Therefore, vessel faucets are often longer than a standard faucet and are often a single hole as well. This is so that you can adjust the temperature by using the on and off valve, as opposed to having to deal with the logistical mess of trying to fit two more temperature valves on either side of the sink. Though it’s possible, a standard vessel faucet is much more ideal for that type of sink.


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Tub Wall Mount

Of course, your sink faucet isn’t the only one that’s used in the bathroom — tubs require them as well. In this case, a tub wall mount faucet is the most typical one used in homes today. This is where the faucet and temperature valves (both single and double) are installed in the wall above the tub. 

Roman Tub

Alternatively, a roman tub faucet would be where the water spout and temperature valves are installed onto the tub itself. This is more typical in a larger space or with a freestanding tub, where there’s enough room on the perimeter to fit the faucet. 

Though bathroom faucets are of course similar to kitchen faucets both in design and appearance, there are actually a number of differences between them, both in size and functionality. These are the most common kitchen faucets on the market today.


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Single Handle

A single handle kitchen faucet is the most streamlined you can choose. This means that the temperature valve is connected to the water spout. You can likely still have a detachable head with this model, so that you can have a range of motion in the sink. 

Two Handle 

A two-handle faucet is precisely as it sounds: a water spout that’s separate (or attached) to two different temperature valves. In a two handle faucet, it can either be a widespread or a bridge setup. Either way, the countertop will have to be cut to accommodate separate temperature valves as well as the water spout.


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Pot Fillers

Pot filler faucets can either come attached to a traditional faucet or freestanding. In fact, it’s not uncommon to actually see the pot filler faucet installed above the oven itself. These faucets have an extra-long neck, allowing users to move the faucet above the — you guessed it — pot itself, so it can fill where it’s cooking, as opposed to having to fill it in the sink then carry it over, or find another receptacle to pour more water in as you cook. 


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What Features Do These Faucets Have?

Pull-Down

Modern and highly efficient, the pull-down faucet has been gaining popularity in recent years. In this version, the faucet itself is actually mobile, allowing you to pull the end of it down and around, giving you a range of motion in the sink. This is different than a pull-out faucet, where the tip of the faucet actually pulls from the rest of the stationary faucet. In this case, the pull-down faucet may have a coil around its base for flexibility and typically comes with a single temperature valve installed on the side.

Pull-Out

Like a pull-down faucet, the pull out version allows you to actually move the water spout around the sink. However, when the spout is placed back into the faucet, it appears and functions just like any other stationary faucet would. You can get either a single or double handle option. 

Related: Pull-Down vs Pull-Out vs Side Spray Kitchen Faucets


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Touch and Touchless

Incredibly high-end and excellent for sanitation purposes, a touchless faucet is often the type that you’ll come across in public restrooms. In it, a sensor is installed to identify when a hand is nearby, activating the water flow on command. The main benefit of a touchless faucet is that you do not have to adjust the temperature valves when your hands are potentially dirty or contaminated (this is why they are ideal for public spaces). Touchless faucets can be used in both bathrooms and kitchens, but are more popular in commercial spaces.


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What Types Of Finishes Do Faucets Usually Have?

In addition to the shape and build, the finish of the faucet is essential as well. When you’re choosing which you’d like for your bathroom, remember that you generally want all of your hardware to match. This means that if you opt for a matte black faucet, you will probably want a matte black towel ring as well. Here are some of the most popular finishes on the market right now. 

Chrome

A chrome finish is essentially silver in appearance, though it is lighter and brighter than stainless steel. This is because chrome is actually a chrome plating, which means that a thin layer of chromium is electroplated over the material the object is made of. Chrome is clean, sleek, and generally pretty easy to coordinate, though it is not the same thing as a standard silver or steel. 

Polished Nickel

Polished nickel is similar to chrome, but has a bit of a warmer undertone. This is because the finish is created by a thick, double layer of nickel over the object, giving it a bright but slightly more yellowish finish than chrome would offer. 


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Bronze

Though a bronze finish may sound as though it would appear to be copper, it is actually browner. This is because it involves a darker coating over a bronzed object. With a bronze finish, you can expect the base to be darker, with the edges and perimeters highlighting a bit of its natural, copper color. 

Brushed Gold 

One of the more popular options in recent years, brushed gold finishes differ from a standard gold finish in that they are more modern looking, less shiny, and a bit brighter. 


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Stainless Steel

One of the most popular home finishes for a reason, stainless steel is that mid-tone silver finish that you find on many kitchen appliances (less so in the bathroom, though). Stainless steel is just that, tarnish and stain resistant, making it durable for long-term use. 

Spotshield Stainless 

If you want the benefits of stainless steel but not the exact color, you can opt for a spot shield stainless finish. It’s a clear coating that goes over a fixture or appliance that gives it durability while maintaining its original tone. 

Black or Matte Finish

Finally, a black or matte finish is precisely as it sounds, a black coating that’s typically not shiny. It’s popular in bathrooms and kitchens and serves as a fantastic base to complement any design.


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Think about your bathroom and what you want. Is the sink large enough that a pull-down faucet would pair well with it? Do you prefer a touchless faucet instead? What kind of style are you thinking about, the classic single hole or a modern wall mount? Do some research on the durability and pricing of the features and finishes you're investing in. Put a little TLC into your bathroom renovating process.