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Instant Bathroom Upgrade: Add a New Faucet

Six things to think about before buying a new bathroom faucet.

The easiest way to remodel your bathroom is to replace its hardest-working hardware. Not only will grooming become a pleasure, but the whole space will look fresher. Use these six tips to find your perfect faucet.

1. Scrutinize the Sink

Take a careful look at your sink’s predrilled holes, which accommodate the handles and faucet. “The style of the faucet, whether a single-hole or widespread, will dictate the amount of space required for the hole configurations,” says Linda Kirby, owner of Kirby Design and Consulting in Indianapolis. Make sure you’ve got the right space before you start.

2. Consider the Counters

Before committing to a faucet, you’ll also want to take your vanity’s countertop material and thickness into consideration, Kirby says. Every faucet won’t fit every sink.

3. Address Your Target Audience

If this is a child’s bathroom, choose a single-handle model, which is easier to use than a two-handle faucet with separate hot and cold handles, says Melissa Rasico, showroom manager of Aurora Winnelson, a kitchen and bathroom center in Aurora, Colo. If you’re creating a spalike setting in the master, find a faucet that has that same serene style.

4. Think About Shape

Forget your bathroom’s design style for a minute and focus on the shapes within it. Do you have a square sink or a curvaceous lighting fixture? Search for faucets that complement these silhouettes. Or go for a look that’s more eclectic. “You could have a classic country décor with a modern faucet in a traditional finish,” Rasico says.

Whatever you decide, “choose function over looks,” she says. “Of course, you want both, but function trumps everything.”

5. Figure Out Your Finish

Chrome, bronze, stainless steel, nickel—you’re certain to be drawn to a particular finish. But first, ask yourself this: Do you want to match the new faucet’s finish to pre-existing fixtures (the more traditional method) or choose a contrasting tone that works in harmony with what’s already there (a trendier route). The latter “may be the ‘pop’ that changes up the space,” Kirby says.

6. Set Your Price Range

The faucet market is awash in variety, from state-of-the-art Touch2O® models to basic chrome designs. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping will help focus your search.