Centerset Vs. Widespread Faucets: Is One Better?

A bathroom faucet serves an integral purpose in your bathroom. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or completing some minor cleaning, you’ll need water and a functional bathroom faucet. Luckily, you have plenty of options – there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different bathroom faucets out there, including centerset and widespread faucets. 

These two types are some of the most commonly used options, although there are a few additional styles and configurations aside from this particular duo. So, are they the same thing? Is one better? Which one should you choose? If you’re wondering about these same questions, stick around to learn more!

What Types Of Bathroom Faucets Are Available?

Bathroom faucets are available in a wide variety of configurations, styles, brands, price points, and finishes. Before we get into the debate between centerset and widespread faucets, let’s take a quick look at a few of the types of faucets available on the market today, specifically for bathrooms. 

  • Bridge: These faucets combine old-fashioned style with modern tech, featuring a bridge between the two handles, supporting the faucet arm. For these faucets, you only need two holes in the countertop instead of three. 
  • Centerset: These faucets sit on the same central piece and require a three-hole configuration in the sink deck or countertop for installation.  
  • Single-handle: These faucets are an excellent choice for tiny, cramped bathrooms. With a single-hole design, these faucets are compact and take up very little space. 
  • Widespread: These faucets consume anywhere from four to sixteen inches of space across your sink deck or countertop, so they’re usually best for larger bathrooms. Each piece is typically separate from the other, which can make installation tricky. 
  • Wall mount: As the name implies, these faucets are attached to the wall. Instead of resting on the counter or sink deck, the entire setup is fixed to the wall, with the spout extending over the sink. 

What Is A Centerset Faucet?

Moen 6901BG Voss Two-Handle High Arc Centerset Bathroom Faucet, Brushed Gold

Centerset faucets are a type of faucet with all of the necessary parts attached to one central piece. The spigot and handles rest together on the same part, making installation easy, as there aren’t separate components to worry about. 

The central piece houses the three parts close together, often measuring four inches at the spigot handles. However, some fauces are a tad wider at six inches at the handles. 

You may also hear centerset faucets referred to as mini-spread faucets, but they both refer to the same thing. Centerset faucets install into a three-hole configuration in the sink or countertop’s surface, and given the attached pieces, installation is pretty straightforward. 

Generally, centerset faucets are ideal for smaller bathrooms. The layout is considerably more compact than other faucets, like widespread faucets. They’re a popular pick for small bathrooms, as well as drop-in and pedestal sinks

These faucets are one of the most popular types, so there is an abundance of options available on the market, including various finishes, styles, and brands. 

Pros And Cons

Delta Faucet Trinsic Matte Black Bathroom Faucet, Bathroom Sink Faucet, Centerset, Diamond Seal Technology, Metal Drain Assembly, Matte Black 2559-BLMPU-DST

If you’re shopping for a new faucet and are stuck between a few different options, comparing the pros and cons is often helpful. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of centerset faucets. 

A few of the high points of centerset faucets include:

  • Compact design: The small footprint of centerset faucets make them ideal for any space, whether it’s a tiny bathroom or a sprawling washroom. 
  • Easy installation: Since they come in one piece, these faucets are easy to install. Most folks can figure out the installation all by themselves without the help of a professional. 
  • Various designs: Faucet manufacturers produce a variety of centerset faucet designs, from those that offer a more traditional look to others that provide a modern, contemporary feel. 

On the flip side, a few downsides to centerset faucets include:

  • Basic designs: If you’re looking for an opulent, extravagant design, you probably won’t find it in a centerset tap. Usually, these faucets are classy and functional but don’t offer the elegant feel of a luxurious faucet. 
  • Tricky to clean: Due to the compact nature of the faucet, cleaning can be somewhat tricky. Rust, dust, and dirt between the faucet arm and handles can be hard to get to, as the layout places them quite close together. While cleaning is doable, it isn’t as quick and easy as other faucet configurations. 

What Is A Widespread Faucet?

Delta Faucet Trinsic Widespread Bathroom Faucet 3 Hole, Gold Bathroom Faucet, Diamond Seal Technology, Metal Drain Assembly, Champagne Bronze 3559-CZMPU-DST

Widespread faucets are another option for your home, although these faucets are usually best suited to bathrooms with more space. These faucets typically come in three separate pieces, with each handle separated from the spigot and each other. 

Widespread faucets can be set further apart than other types of faucets, like centerset faucets, since the components themselves are separate from the next. They’re often used with undermount and larger sinks, as they don’t seem so tiny behind a massive sink.

Since the handles and faucet arm are individual pieces, widespread faucets are easily customizable. If you’re drilling the faucet holes in the sink deck or countertop yourself, you have more freedom to choose how you want the layout to work. You could put the handles four inches apart or space things out and set them eight inches apart – the choice is yours. 

In some scenarios, you might receive a base plate with your faucet, which allows you to create a centerset appearance with a wider spread between the handles. The connections beneath the sink are easily hidden, creating a more seamless, high-class look in the space. 

If you’re hoping for a more elegant, fancier appearance, you’ll probably have better luck with a widespread faucet. 

Pros And Cons

2 Handles 3 Holes Deck Mount Brushed Nickel Widespread Bathroom Faucet by phiestina,with Stainless Steel Pop Up Drain, WF008-5-BN

As with centerset faucets, widespread faucets also come with a unique set of pros and cons. A few perks of widespread faucets include:

  • Adjustable: With entirely separate components, you have more freedom to position the faucet how you want. You could even offset the handles from the spout arm if you wanted. Or, make the faucet seem larger behind a massive bathroom sink by placing the handles up to sixteen inches apart. 
  • Easy cleaning: Given the flexibility of handle placement in relation to the faucet arm, cleaning each component is easy. The pieces are usually further apart, giving plenty of room for quick cleaning without trying to wiggle into the compact cracks of a centerset faucet. 
  • Wide variety: Although centerset faucets come in several designs, widespread faucets feature even more design possibilities. The possibilities are virtually endless, whether you’re hoping for a classic, traditional look or a modern, trendy look. 
  • Easy to repair or replace: Since centerset faucets are interconnected, you’ll probably have to buy a new assembly entirely when something breaks. However, with a widespread faucet, the components are separate. So, if a handle or faucet spout breaks, you can probably buy a singular part to fix it instead of replacing the whole thing. 

Despite the extensive list of upsides to widespread faucets, they do have a few shortcomings. A few of these drawbacks include:

  • Complex installation: Widespread faucets are usually trickier to install than centerset faucets – the extra parts translate to a more involved installation process, which generally equals complicated. You’ll have to carefully space and connect each piece, which takes more time and leaves plenty of room for error. If you’re installing the handles further apart, you’ll probably have to drill your own holes, which means it’ll take even longer. 
  • Space-consuming: If you’re working with a compact space, a widespread faucet might not be your best bet. They consume quite a bit of space above and below the counter. Before you install the sink, make sure there’s enough room under the sink for the tubing and connections.
  • Costly: These faucets’ customizable perks and styles come with a higher price tag. Generally, these faucets run about twice the price of a centerset faucet. So, if you’re looking for something classy, that might not be a problem, but if you’re trying to work on a budget, the cost may be a roadblock. 

Is A Centerset Or Widespread Faucet Better?

Ultimately, the decision as to which option is better for your home comes down to your personal preferences and budget. Both options offer a range of pros and cons, which can be helpful in choosing the best choice for your home.  

For example, if you’re installing the unit in a smaller bathroom or have a limited budget to work with, a centerset faucet might be your best bet. Or, maybe you’re not an experienced DIYer and want to keep the installation process simple. Either way, a centerset faucet is probably your best bet. 

On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking for a fancy faucet to match your large, expensive sink. A centerset tap would get lost in the sheer size of the sink, but a widespread faucet would offer the perfect balance. Or, maybe you just want something that will be quick and easy to clean. Whatever your reasoning might be, a widespread faucet might be the better choice for your home. 

Both faucets are available in options that feature solid performance and varying sizes, designs, colors, brands, and price points. So, it really comes down to what you’re looking for.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Bathroom Faucet

Can You Put A Widespread Faucet In A Centerset Vanity?

A widespread faucet won’t fit in the pre-drilled holes of a centerset vanity. That said, this doesn’t mean you couldn’t drill extra holes for a widespread faucet. However, the layout of the centerset setup generally doesn’t accommodate widespread faucets, even with additional holes. 

You might be able to find a widespread faucet that will fit in the same space as a centerset faucet, though. These faucets usually come in three different options: 4-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch.

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