The faucet in your bathroom is a rather important fixture. While its specifics may not seem like an important aspect (water comes out when you turn the handle, yay! Good enough!), the spread of the faucet is undoubtedly something to consider.
If you’re completely lost on what we’re talking about here, you’re in the right place. Continue reading to learn more!
In This Article
What Does Faucet Spread Mean?
Before we get into the particulars of faucets, let’s define faucet spread. Really, the term ‘faucet spread’ is straightforward. It refers to the width between the two handles of the faucet. Or, in other words, the hole spacing, which is the distance between the two outer holes in the sink deck.
So, as we meander through this article, keep that in mind. It’s simple, not too complicated. Alright, moving on.
Common Sink Faucet Types
Faucets come in different sizes, brands, finishes, designs, etc. To create a clear picture of the basic types of faucets, let’s take a quick look at each.
Single Hole Faucet
Single-hole faucets fit in a countertop sink featuring a single drilled hole. These faucets have built-in handle control on the body, meaning you don’t have to have the extra drilled holes. For instance, you could use a single-hole faucet on a 3-hole sink. But, if you have a 3-hole faucet, you’d need extra holes in the sink.
If you decide to use a single-hole faucet in a 3-hole sink, you can buy additional deck plates or an escutcheon. The deck plate covers unused adjacent holes.
Wall-mounted faucets err on the traditional end of the spectrum. As the name implies, they are installed on the wall above the sink. Depending on the faucet you choose, you might have to adjust the sink’s placement to accommodate the faucet efficiently. You need sink clearance to contain the spout.
Specialty faucets include vessels, waterfall, and illuminated faucets, as well as hands-free faucets. Despite the drastic differences from standard spouts, these faucets are gaining traction, surging in popularity.
Specialty faucets often entail a more complicated installation process. If you don’t have plumbing experience, it’s usually best to pass the installation process to a professional.
4” Centerset Faucets
This type of faucet works well with 3-hole pre-drilled sinks. The “4-inch” in the name indicates the distance between the center holes to each of the outer holes of the sink. Centerset faucets are attached: the spouts and handle connect to a deck plate.
Generally, this type of faucet is perfect for bathrooms with limited installation space since it doesn’t require a large footprint. These faucets are standard for most bathroom fixtures.
8” Widespread Faucets
Widespread faucets look different than their centerset counterparts. This faucet style consists of three individual pieces, so they work in sinks with three holes, set eight inches apart. The hot and cold handles aren’t dependent on the spout.
Widespread faucets are a popular choice for spacious, open bathrooms.
What’s The Difference Between 4-inch and 8-inch Faucet Spread?
Several differences separate 4-inch and 8-inch faucet spreads. The table below outlines the primary differences between the two.
|4-inch Faucet||8-inch Faucet|
|Distance||4 inches between outer holes||8 inches between outer holes|
|Best for||Small bathrooms with restricted space||Large bathrooms with ample space|
|Number of handles||Single-handle or double handles||Two handles|
|Spout/handle attachment||Attached||Not attached|
|Type of faucets||Centerset, mini widespread||Widespread|
How Do I Know Which One To Buy?
Okay, so there are a few differences. Does it really matter which option you choose? Well, yes, technically, it does. There are a few things to consider when choosing between the two.
Before you commit to buying a particular faucet, consider its compatibility with your sink. Of course, if you’re buying a new sink too, you have free rein since you can select an option that is compatible with the particular sink or vice versa.
If you’d prefer to save yourself the headache of ensuring a faucet matches the sink holes, consider buying a sink and faucet combo. Some brands sell the two together, which eliminates the compatibility process.
Now, if you’re simply purchasing a new faucet, it might not make sense to toss a perfectly good sink just to avoid a bit of extra searching. In that case, you’ll need to know how many holes are in the sink deck. With this information, you can decide if a 4-inch or 8-inch faucet is best for you.
The design and finish of the tap are other aspects to consider. The best design for you ultimately falls to your personal preferences, aesthetic tastes, and lifestyle. If you want an effortless option, look for a design with an ADA certification. This tells you that the faucets are approved for people with disabilities as well.
In addition, consider the finish options. Depending on the brand you’re interested in, you may not have as many choices for finishes. The finish adds the perfect finishing touch to the design. Some finishes are more durable than others, while others may be less expensive.
Chrome and stainless steel are popular finish picks for their ability to coordinate with the surroundings seamlessly.
Sizing and Configuration Of The Faucet
The faucet’s sizing and configuration are essential considerations, especially if the bathroom is small. The smaller 4” faucets work well in tight, somewhat cramped spaces. They don’t take up unnecessary space. Instead, they are neatly packaged into a single, interconnected design.
However, if you opt for a 4” centerset faucet, keep in mind that cleaning may be trickier. Although it requires a smaller footprint that works well in tight spaces, it also means you’ll have a more challenging time deep cleaning the faucet due to the small spaces. You won’t have this problem with an 8” widespread faucet.
Plumbing fixtures must meet specific standards, whether it’s at the international, national, or state level. These standards regulate the faucet’s properties. This is a good thing because it means the product must meet certain specifications.
Look for faucets that are BPA-free or lead-free. In addition, pay attention to badges like the cUPC, which certifies its safety for use.
Answer Key Questions
As you evaluate your situation, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help clarify any uncertainty. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What kind of design do you want for the spout and handles? If you prefer the attached design and appearance, a 4-inch faucet is probably your best bet. However, if you prefer the expansive, separate layout of the spouts and handles, consider the 8-inch faucet design.
- How big is your bathroom? If you have a larger bathroom, you probably have plenty of space to facilitate either option. On the other hand, if you have a smaller bathroom, a 4-inch faucet may be the better option.
- How many pre-drilled holes are in your sink? How far apart are they? If the holes sit 4 inches apart, go with a 4-inch faucet. Or, if they’re 8 inches apart, go with an 8-inch faucet.
If the holes are 8 inches apart, but you don’t care for the design of 8-inch faucets, consider covering the pre-drilled holes with a plate. Then, you can choose whatever size faucet you like and drill new holes to match.
Popular Bathroom Faucets
Luckily for us, bathroom faucets are available in a diverse array that meets just about any particular aesthetic. You can find options in the 4-inch or 8-inch variety. A few of the popular 4-inch options include:
- INSTALLATION: Designed to fit 3-hole, 4-in. centerset configurations
- DRAIN ASSEMBLY INCLUDED: A coordinating metal pop-up drain assembly is conveniently included in the...
- WATERSENSE LABELED: Delta WaterSense labeled bathroom faucets use at least 20% less water than the...
- ADA COMPLIANT: This bathroom sink faucet meets standards set by ADA (Americans with Disabilities...
- Delta Faucet Windemere Centerset Bathroom Faucet: This is a popular, economical bathroom faucet. It meets the ADA standards and boasts an easy-to-use design. The faucet is available in a few different finishes to meet your tastes. Bonus: it’s even easy to install.
- PARLOS Swivel Spout 2-handle Lavatory Faucet: The sleek, arched design will add a stylish touch to any bathroom. It offers a swivel arc design that makes it easier to access your sink. Although it’s less expensive than other options, it’s made of premium quality for a durable and reliable tap.
- Moen 6610 Brantford Two-handle Low-Arc Centerset Bathroom Faucet: This faucet offers a traditional, classy design that boasts technical engineering to deliver a steady aerated stream of water. It also has water conservation measures (WaterSense Standards) to cut back on water use, all without sacrificing water pressure.
If you’ve decided on an 8-inch faucet, consider the following options:
- Grohe Starlight finish for scratch and tarnish resistant surfaces for a lifetime of beauty
- Grohe Silk Move for a lifetime of smooth operation
- Grohe EcoJoy technology for less water and perfect flow
- Grohe Quick Fix installation system requires fewer, less complicated parts to reduce installation...
- Delta Faucet Cassidy Widespread Bathroom Faucet: The design of this faucet mimics the antique style of old-school fixtures. It comes in a few finishes, including a beautiful champagne bronze finish. Bonus: It’s backed by Delta’s lifetime limited warranty.
- Grohe 20572001 Concetto Widespread Bathroom Faucet: The design of this faucet leans toward modern styles, offering a sleek, elegant appearance. It comes with Grohe’s Starlight technology that helps ward off fading and corrosion and even has a Teflon coating on the handle for friction-free movement. It also has Grohe EcoJoy technology, which helps reduce your overall water usage.
- PARLOS Two-Handle High Arc Bathroom Faucet: If the elegant curve of the PARLOS high-arc faucet is more your style, consider this faucet. It has a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze finish that is nearly black, which helps hide the appearance of fingerprints, dirt, and water spots.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use an 8-inch faucet on a 4-inch spread?
No, not necessarily. You can use a 4-inch faucet on an 8-inch spread by installing a cover plate and drilling new holes as needed. However, an 8-inch faucet on a 4-inch spread might be pushing it.
Of course, it may be possible to drill new holes for the new installation, but it depends entirely on the sink and faucet configuration in question.
Is one better?
Technically, yes, one might be better than the other in certain situations. But, no, there isn’t one that is always the better option. For example, an 8-inch faucet may be perfect in a large bathroom but not ideal in a tiny one.