How to Replace a Faucet
Whether it’s a leaky faucet that’s driving you crazy or a cringe-worthy outdated design, replacing your kitchen or bath faucet can be completed in an hour and at a minimal cost.
Tools & Materials Needed:
Flexible water line extension (two per faucet)
Step 1 – Determine What Kind of Faucet You Already Have
You’ll first need to take a look at your current faucet and see what type it is. Faucets come in three main styles: single hole, 4” triple hole, or 8” triple hole.
The faucet may be installed to the countertop or to the sink. If you’re changing the sink or countertop, you’ll have the option to go with a different type of faucet. If the countertop and/or sink are staying the same, you’ll need to use a similar faucet type.
The one exception might be that a single-hold faucet could be used in a 4” triple-hole sink/countertop if it comes with a blank base plate to cover the holes.
Step 2 – Assemble the Parts
After picking out your new faucet, assemble all the parts you need before taking apart the existing faucet. This will help you make sure you have all the parts and tools needed to avoid multiple trips to the hardware store or being left without a working sink while you get needed tools/parts.
Be sure to specifically check the fittings on the end of the faucet to your existing water line extensions. This may be the opportune time to replace the flexible lines; we recommend choosing a set with an auto leak shut off (this will help detect excess water flow and automatically shut off to prevent further damage or flooding).
If you’re replacing the sink drain, check out the P-trap setup to see if the o-rings or extensions need to be replaced.
Step 3 – Remove the Old Faucet
First, turn off the wall valves to shut off the water flow to the faucet. Next, turn on the faucet to drain any residual pressure. Place a bucket under the sink and use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the flexible extension from the faucet.
Let the remaining water drain into the bucket then remove the flexible line from the shutoff valve.
Step 4 – Remove Sink Hardware
Typically there are nuts and washers under the sink securing the faucet. Remove any hardware in this area including the clamp bolt from the drain rod extension.
Lift the faucet off the countertop or sink surface. Don’t be afraid to give it a little muscle, especially if years of corrosion or a sticky base gasket have made it stick.
Step 5 – Install the New Faucet
Be sure to read the faucet’s installation manual from the manufacturer. You might want to do a mock assembly of the faucet before installing it just to be sure you clearly understand the steps before getting started.
Generally, from the top down, there will be the spout, a gasket or plumber’s putty, the sink or countertop, a large washer or addle, and then the mounting nut.
If you need to use plumber’s putty, take a small bit in the palm of your hand and roll it back and forth until you create a ¼” diameter rope. Apply the putty rope around the new spout base to prevent water splash from running into the cabinet.
Install the center spout and tighten the mounting nut from below with an adjustable wrench.
Step 6 – Assemble the Mixing Valves
If you’re using a single-hole faucet, you can skip this step. Assemble the hot and cold mixing valves. Apply the plumber’s putty to the sculpted bottom side of the top washer. Install the C-clip that comes with the faucet then tighten the nut from below.
Be sure you install the hot valve on the left and the cold on the right!
Step 7 – Thread the Trim
Before threading the trim, make sure the handle is parallel to the wall in the OFF position. Next, hook up the water lines from below. If your faucet uses threaded NPT fittings, be sure to use plumber’s tape on any connections not utilizing a rubber or gasket seal.
Install the new water line extensions to the shut off and mixing valves.
Step 8 – Reinstall the Drain Rod
Finally, reinstall the drain rod to the extension and tighten the clamp bolt. Take a close look at all the fittings then slowly turn ON the shut off valves one at a time. Look for leaks; if everything looks good, test and flush the new faucet for a couple minutes.
Replacing your faucet can be a quick and rewarding project. If you’re not sure how to get started, our Project Experts are here to help you choose a new faucet and set you up with all the tools and supplies you’ll need to get the job done.
Resource: Eastman, D. “How to Replace a Bathroom Faucet.” DIY Network. Accessed June 2021 from: