Tips for Choosing Bathroom Faucets for Vanities, Showers, Tubs

When you are remodeling your bathroom, one of the most important things you need to consider will be your plumbing fixtures. Even though they might seem small, they can make or break the aesthetics and the functionality of your new bathroom. Of course, because there are so many options today, you need to take a moment to think about what it is that you need.

What fixtures are you shopping for now? Most bathroom remodels will include vanity faucets, showers, and bathtubs. You should start by making a list of what you need to buy and replace. Typically, you will want them to match across your bathroom, at least in terms of the materials used. However, it’s always up to you.

You then need to start thinking about your budget. The cost of the plumbing fixtures varies, so having a budget in place will help you understand what you can afford. Price should not be the only factor when you are making your decision, but for most people, it will be an important one. When it comes to fixtures, you get what you pay for.

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newly remodeled bathroom with plumbing fixtures

What Types of Bathroom Faucets Are Available?

You should learn more about the different types of faucets when you are determining which ones you might want to choose. Options include:

  • Single Hole – These faucets have just a single hole - as the name says - on the back of the vanity or sink. They will generally have just one knob or lever to control the water, although some might have two. These tend to be easy and quick to install.
  • Center Set – These faucets are another popular option. They have a faucet spout and handles that are mounted on the same unit. They allow for easy control of the hot and cold water. These can be used on sinks with three holes.
  • Widespread – These faucets look great and have a faucet with two handles that are separate rather than being on the same unit as the center set faucets are. This is the most popular installation type.
  • Wall Mount – These mount to the wall and can create a unique-looking bathroom. They can include one or two handles. One of the other benefits of this type of faucet is that it provides some added space to the top of the sink or vanity.

There are plenty of other options you can choose including 2-handle gooseneck faucets and contemporary vessel faucets. What’s right for your bathroom style?

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Three Hole Bathroom Vanity Faucet

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Fixture Finish?

Once you know the type of faucet you would like to have, it’s time to think about the finish. Let’s get a better look at some of the most popular finish options.


Chrome is the least expensive and is the most easily matched across manufacturers. This simply means that you are generally safe buying a chrome finish faucet from Moen and one from Kohler to use in the same bathroom and you should not notice the difference in finish color.

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Three Hole Waterfall Bathroom Vanity Faucet

Polished Brass Bathroom Fixtures

Polished brass is a beautiful option. Although these are more costly than chrome, they tend to be popular because they can elevate the look of a bathroom with ease.

Polished Brass bathroom faucet finish

Antique Brass Bathroom Fixtures

If you are looking for more of a rustic or antiqued finish, these brass faucets could be just what you need. They look great, and you can find a range of options available.

Antique Brass bathroom faucet finish

Brushed or Satin Nickel Bathroom Fixtures

Another nice option that could work well for a modern bathroom is nickel. Brushed and satin nickel have a sleek appearance and a nice feel. Like pewter, it hides fingerprints well.

Brushed Nickel bathroom faucet finish

Oil Rubbed Bronze Bathroom Fixtures

This is the most expensive finish; if you choose this finish, consider a high-quality brand name, as the oil-rubbed finish tends to rub off depending on the amount of use.

Oil Rubbed Bronze bathroom faucet finish

What Are the Types of Faucet Handles?

You will also find a range of types of handles for the faucets. There are cross handles, which are a popular option. There are also joystick handles and lever handles. These tend to be easy to grasp and control. Push-buttons are less common, but they are an easy option that can provide more accessibility.

Brushed Nickel Single Hole Bathroom Faucet

Brushed Nickel Single Hole Bathroom Faucet

Is Quality Important When Choosing Bathroom Plumbing Fixtures?

Choose the best quality you can afford. When it comes to quality, there are a few areas where you will need to pay attention. The fixture needs to be manufactured from metal, with no plastic parts. It should be heavy and made from solid metal. It should have washer-less valves and/or ceramic valves. You should also opt for faucets that have a warranty.

If choosing a tub faucet, make sure there is an ample flow rate to fill a tub in a reasonable amount of time. When it comes to faucet construction, some of the best options will be solid brass with ceramic disc cartridges. They look good, and they tend to last.

The best way to check the quality is to test display models at your local hardware store. You can immediately feel the difference between a fixture that is $50 and one that is $200. This will help you determine what will fit your needs based on price and use.

Some shower faucets take special plumbing requirements such as larger water lines and specific plumbing techniques for proper operations. If choosing a large shower head, you need to consider if the fixture will require a higher flow rate on the valve and larger diameter plumbing for proper operation. Also, be sure to have ample support for long stem showerheads.

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Get the Right Size

You need to be sure you are getting the right size faucet for your sink, shower, or bathroom. you should measure the thickness of the deck - the sink or countertop. You also need to know the number of holes in the deck and how far apart the holes are. This will let you know the type of faucets and the size you will need.

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Three Hole Waterfall Bathroom Vanity Faucet

Find What’s Right for You

You are in charge of how your bathroom looks. Do bathroom fixtures need to match? They tend to look better when they do, but it’s up to you and what you like and can afford. Take the time to think about all of the different styles and materials to create the bathroom of your dreams.