Selecting a bathroom sink can influence the style and personality of your entire bathroom. Your style will set the tone and create an ideal environment for one of the most used rooms in your home. This may seem like sensory overload if you are new to home renovating, but rest assured we have everything you need to know right here.  Since the sink is probably the most used fixture in your bathroom, becoming familiar with the faucet style options that adorn it will help you determine which style is best suited for your needs, your home, and your budget.

Becoming familiar with bathroom faucet styles will help you determine which style is best suited for your needs, your home, and your budget.

Whether your bathroom faucet style is traditional, contemporary or completely radical, you will find diversity in the many styles available. Before you choose a bathroom faucet style, you will first need to determine where to start.


Some Questions To Answer Before You Begin: 

-Will you be using an existing sink or will you be purchasing a brand new one?

-Where is the faucet opening?

-Have you taken measurements of the size of your bathroom?

-What kind of finish or color will be in your bathroom?

-Determine the number of holes in your sink.  This vanity and faucet website has a guide if you are unsure.

-Have you determined how much your budget will allow you to spend?

-Are you going to be using a pedestal, undercounter, drop in or vessel sink?


Read our comprehensive guide for navigating through sink options.






Three Basic Features Of Bathroom Faucets: 

1. Configuration: 

The configuration of a faucet refers to how it will be mounted. Bathroom sink faucets are generally either wall mounted or actually mounted on the sink. Configuration also references the number of faucet handles, and how many holes will be necessary in the sink.

  • Centerset faucets are constructed so that the distance between the handles is 4”. Sometimes the base unit of a centerset faucet may even have the handles and the spout combined together. This is a great option if space is limited in your home or you have a small bathroom. 
  • Single Hole faucets combine the handle and the spout and require just one plumbing hole in the back of the sink. Some styles have been designed to restrict how much hot water is mixed with the cold, which significantly reduces the risk of scalding small children or elderly users (not to mention is a major energy saver).
  • Widespread faucets have three separate pieces – hot and cold water handles that are at least 6″ apart and independent of the spout. This type of faucet works best with three-hole sinks and is preferable when you have more bathroom and countertop space to work with.
  • Wall-mounted faucets attach to the wall behind the sink and work best for freestanding and vessel sinks that sit on top of a bath vanity surface. These sinks require faucets with long spouts so that the extended reach ensures adequate clearance. These will not work well for sinks with predrilled holes  because they require a separate valve and drain to be installed.

Collage of centerset bath faucet styles

2. Valve Technology

The valve technology of a faucet is what actually controls the flow of water. The valve setup is the component that does all the work so how it is designed will have a direct impact on how well it performs for you. There are 4 possible forms of valve technology that a bathroom sink faucet may use. It is important to consider the kind of valve technology used because it plays a key role in reliability. The bottom line is that reliability equates to how long the faucet works before it starts dripping and requiring repair.

  • Compression valves are the most minimalistic when it comes to valve options. These bath faucets control the flow of water through the use of a screw feature (found in the handle) that compresses a seal against a rubber washer. While they are the simplest form of faucet valve, they are also the quickest to either wear out or require maintenance.
  • Ball valves are used with single lever faucets and feature a slot that controls the mixture and amount of hot and cold water allowed through the spout. They have a rotating metal or plastic ball that will regulate the amount of incoming water. With just one part that moves around, the chances of it breaking down or malfunctioning are significantly reduced.
  • Cartridge valves are used with rubber rings that utilize a hollow sleeve in order to control the flow of water. These faucets are extremely reliable but they will occasionally the seals may require replacements.
  • Ceramic Disc valves make use of two firm and polished ceramic disks that slide relative one another. The motion between them controls the opening or restricting the flow of water basically making them maintenance free. These are generally more expensive but they are considered the most durable of any other faucet valve.

Collage of widespread bath faucet styles  

Shop Products Button

Shop our exclusive collection of bath cabinets, vanity tops, sinks, faucets & other accessories.

3. Color & Finish

The finish on a bath faucet is the outer surface that makes up the exterior. Aside from being a protective barrier, the finish also gives the faucet it’s color. This is where your individual style begins to play an important role in your decision making. Most designers and home owners prefer to coordinate the faucet color and finish with the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom. However, color choices aside, the type of finish on the faucet and how it’s applied are more important points to consider. Most finishes are very durable and scratch resistant while others are known to be spot resistant which simplifies cleaning. The outcome depends on the manufacturer of the faucet and how much you are willing to spend. Some of the more common colors and finishes are:

  • Black
  • Brass (antique or polished)
  • Bronze
  • Chrome (matte, brushed or polished)
  • Copper
  • Gold
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nickel
  • Iron 

Choosing a color and finish is ultimately going to come down to your own personal appeal but intuitively you know what you like better than anyone else.  Since you will likely be using and touching it several times a day, you should be able to let your senses lead you in the right direction.

Additional And Random Things to Consider:

  • Choose your faucet and sink together, if possible. Faucets and sinks are obviously interdependent on one another and it’s important that they are compatible.
  • Your bath faucet should be a match by fitting your everyday needs. If you are unsure what your needs may be, take some time to evaluate exactly who and how your bathroom will be used. 
  • We have a team of in-house interior designers available to consult with you should you need assistance planning your remodel or would like to brainstorm about a different project.  
  • If you need assistance with installing or replacing your bathroom elements or you need help with a different project, our team of installers would love to work with you and be of service for you. Please also feel free to stop by one of our designer showroom locations in Louisville, KY or Newport , KY just outside of Cincinnati, Oh. 
  • Be sure to look for hardware and accessories that will coordinate with your bath faucet and other fixtures. There is a diverse collection of robe hooks, towel rings, bars, toilet paper holders, cabinet knobs and much more that coordinate beautifully with many faucet styles. Once you have finished transforming your remodeling project into your own relaxing bathroom style, please email us a photo. We simply love seeing the finished results of our customers’ projects. 

Click here to read more about choosing the right accessories for your project.

  • Aside from the plethora of styles and finish options available in this day and age, there is a wide variety of technological options for faucets besides just navigating and delivering water. Things like a hands-free operating faucets, touch-sensitive controls, lead-free construction and pull-out spouts (excellent faucet for impromptu family water fights).  Make sure you take some time to check out these innovative bath faucet styles.


Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!

Written By: LeighAnne Turner