You probably think about faucet holes less often than you think about rabbit holes. This will change when it comes time to replace your sink and faucet or install a new set. Faucet styles are all over the map, but most are designed and constructed to adhere to general size requirements.
Your intake hoses aren’t all that wide, and your faucet holes need not be any wider. The water is under pressure, so wide openings into faucets aren’t necessary. Your main consideration will be the diameter of these holes and the spacing between them.
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Standard Faucet Hole Sizes
Faucet sets with one delivery piping and two control knobs have a standard hole size. The required holes are 1 3/8″ in diameter. These are larger than the intake pipe, but this is necessary for the installation of the fittings.
The standard spacing between holes is four inches. Some faucet sets require a spacing of six inches. The center hole for the water intake piping is of the same diameter as the knob control holes.
The location of the faucet doesn’t matter. These hole sizes and spacings are the same for a countertop faucet or a wall-mounted unit. If you’re installing an overmount sink made of ceramic or steel, you can select a model with pre-drilled holes.
Your main concern will be the drilling of holes through the countertop. If you’re installing a new countertop, it may be predrilled or it may be one solid piece. In the latter case, you will have to drill the holes yourself or have a contractor perform this job.
A single-valve faucet has a handle that moves up and down as well as right and left. The up and down movement controls the water pressure, and the right and left movements control the temperature. This faucet type requires the drilling of a single 1 3/8″ hole.
However, these models come in a wide variety of styles. Remember that the hot and cold water lines must both connect to the underside of the faucet. Some models may require the drilling of a hole that’s larger than the standard size.
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Starting From Scratch
If you haven’t yet picked out a kitchen or bathroom faucet model yet, forget everything else and finalize this purchase. The unit you buy will determine where you drill holes. This is true for both sink-mounted faucets and wall faucets. If you’re installing the faucet on the wall itself, you must consider lengthening the hot and cold water lines to reach the tap holes.
If you purchase a faucet set with wide horizontal handles, you will be dealing with widespread faucet holes spaced about six inches. Wall-mounted sets generally have the smaller, 4-inch separation.
Drill the holes in the countertop using a wide lathe-style bit. The faucet mount is secured to the countertop both by the connectors to the input water lines and the sealant.
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If you are installing a single-control faucet, the cover plate will not have additional holes. Some of these models do have small, visible rings that show where to remove the steel cover if additional holes are desired in the future.
Always drill a pilot hole first. This hole is centered in the ring of material to be removed and is made using a 1/8″ bit. Use a hole saw to cut out the rest of the circle.
Once the countertop is in place, you’re ready to connect the hoses and mount the cover plate. That’s all there is to it.
The one exception is the drilling of an additional hole if a spray hose is being installed. This hole should be made separately from the others and can be located on another area of the countertop.
Most faucet models have piping that extends downward from the spout and knob controls. These are wider than the intake hose and are the reason for the holes being as wide as they are. Once the faucet is mounted, you attach the intake hoses from below following the instructions that come with your faucet kit.
Abnormal Faucet Designs
All kinds of interesting faucet designs exist. Some are made of exotic material, and some have very large mounting plates. Brass-finish faucets with bright bases look quite nice when attached to or behind a ceramic sink.
These units come with specific instructions concerning hole size and spacing. The standard tap hole sizes described above may not apply to all widespread faucet models. Make sure to check the locations from below to see if other pipes, hoses, or sink trap equipment get in the way of fitting the attachments.
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Most faucet sets don’t include hoses or attachment equipment. You must buy these products independently. If you use the existing intake lines, make sure they extend wide enough to fit into the taps of a widespread faucet unit.
Informing Your Contractor
If you’re mechanically inclined or have experience with plumbing, you can do this work yourself. If you prefer to have a professional install your new kitchen or bathroom faucet, make sure he or she knows the tap hole spacing. Personally set the faucet exactly where you want it and let the contractor inspect the location.
This allows the contractor to drill any necessary holes in the precise locations. Never assume that the contractor knows the faucet placement if a new countertop is being installed. Go over the plan word for word.
Wall-Mounted Shower Taps
These are also of standard size, but the spray hose can be mounted anywhere above or beside the flow taps. The installation of an independent spray hose requires the removal of the shower stall fixture or wall tiles. A new hose must be installed and attached at the spray hose tap hole location for wall-mounted shower taps.
When purchasing a spray hose that is independently mounted, you must check the model to see if it comes with an installation kit and plate cover. Very few of these models have an attachment of non-standard size, but you need to be sure before you buy.
The Faucet Of Your Dreams
The style, color, and placement of a kitchen or bathroom faucet
If you don’t like the way your faucet looks, or if it’s worn out and needs replacing, don’t think of this as a chore. Instead, think of it as an exciting affordable home improvement project!