Around here we often call fixtures the “jewelry” of a room. Much like an outfit without complementary jewelry, a room without the proper fixtures can feel less pulled together. Picture this: you are designing your dream bathroom. You’ve chosen your perfect paint color, your vanity has been carefully picked out with storage and counter space in mind, and your shower and floor tile are both on trend and timeless (goals). Now imagine with all that thoughtful consideration, your sink faucet wasn’t the right finish? Or worse, what if the faucet style was screaming farmhouse chic when the aesthetic you are going for is modern traditional?? That simply cannot do. On the other hand, if you are a renter like me and you have a bathroom that sparks little-to-no joy, a simple faucet swap can make a HUGE difference. In any case, if you are facing either obstacle, it may be time to consider your faucet options.
The main considerations for choosing a faucet are A. the faucet type (centerset, single-hole, widespread, or wall mount) B. the finish and C. the overall style. The faucet type depends on the spread that’s already in your vanity unless you are renovating in which case you can choose any spread that best fits your needs. As for finishes, you should keep the faucet finish consistent with the other metals present in your bathroom design. We suggest sticking with the same finish or if you want to mix and match, make sure to spread the different finishes evenly throughout the space. When it comes to style, consider the look you are going for in your bathroom. If you want a modern feel, go for a faucet shape that aligns with clean lines. For a traditional style bathroom, a high arched faucet with traditional handles may be your best option.
Okay now, let’s get to the best affordable faucets out there right now by spread type:
A centerset faucet includes a deckplate that contains the handles and spout in one plate and can work with both single-hole and 3-hole basins. These are often the most affordable faucet options and are compatible with vanities and sinks that have a flat surface behind the basin.
HOT TIP: If you are renovating and trying to figure out what size the spread should be, it’s best to go with the standard size (either 4″ or 8″) so if you need or want to switch the faucet down the line, you can easily find a replacement.
1. Kingston Brass KB602B 4-Inch Centerset Lavatory Faucet | 2. American Classic 4 in. Centerset Bathroom Faucet | 3. Melina 4 in. Centerset 2-Handle High-Arc Bathroom Faucet | 4. Lindo Centerset Bathroom Faucet | 5. Kingston Brass KB1606PL Heritage 4-inch Centerset Lavatory Faucet | 6. Provincetown 1.2 GPM Centerset Bathroom Faucet | 7. Bowery 1.2 GPM Centerset Bathroom Faucet | 8. Teapot Centerset Bathroom Faucet with Metal Lever Handles | 9. 4″ 2 Handle Low Arc Lavatory Faucet
#1 is a beautiful affordable vintage style option and #2 is a similar style and finish as the basement bathroom above from Emily’s LA home. I really love the elegant brushed nickel look of #8 (it also comes in chrome) and if you are looking for a classic matte black option #9 is a great choice.
Wall-mounted faucets are perfect for smaller areas where you need to save counter space. They are also a great modern option and can have circular knobs instead of lever handles if you prefer that look. Now if you are looking to replace an existing wall-mounted faucet, they are definitely the hardest to install without rudimentary plumbing knowledge. I almost attempted this recently when my wall-mounted kitchen faucet broke and began leaking (oh the joys of being a renter) until I realized A. I would have to dig into the wall to find valves and B. I have no business messing with any plumbing fixtures. It was then I decided to leave this trick to the professionals. But if you are gutsier or more experienced than I am, there are a ton of in-depth tutorials all over YouTube.
If you have any hint of a rule breaker in you, an exciting (albeit pricier) option is to mount the faucet through your vanity mirror. Design duo Annie and Marieke of ASOM home executed this in the above bathroom and it’s a subtle yet really impactful design moment. They installed it by cutting holes in the mirrors (this is what adds labor costs) which is precarious and requires extremely accurate measuring but the result is really special.
HOT TIP: Be sure to consider the height of your faucet before installation. A faucet placed too high up may cause unnecessary (and messy) splashing and a faucet too low can make it hard to wash your hands or your face.
Here are some of our favorite affordable options:
1. Modern 2-Handle Wall Mount Bathroom Faucet in Matte Black | 2. Tenet 1.2 GPM Wall Mounted Widespread Bathroom Faucet | 3. Wall Mounted Bathroom Sink Faucet – 8.7 inches x 3.5 inches | 4. Gold Bathroom Faucet, Double Handle Wall Mount Bathroom Sink Faucet | 5. Modern 2-Handle Wall Mount Bathroom Faucet | 6. Brushed Brass Single Lever Wall Mounted Bathroom Faucet Swivel Sink Faucet Brass | 7. Wall Mounted Bathroom Faucet | 8. Single Lever Wall Mounted Faucet | 9. Millennium Wall Mounted Bathroom Faucet
For smaller bathrooms, a single handle option like #6 and #8 would take up less precious wall space. For a minimalist style bathroom, I love #7, and something like #3 or #4 could work with almost any style.
Single hole faucets are used (you guessed it) when you have a single hole on the back of the sink or vanity. They most often have a single handle, lever, or knob that controls the water flow and temperature as well. These are great for small bathrooms as they take up the least amount of counter space.
HOT TIP: If you want a more affordable yet longer-lasting finish, opt for matte black. Polished brass will wear out faster so you might end up replacing your faucet sooner than you’d hoped.
1. Delta Trinsic 1.2 GPM Single Hole Bathroom Faucet – Includes Metal | 2. Bath Faucet | 3. Avallon 1.2 GPM Single Handle Sleek Single Hole Bathroom Faucet | 4. Ruth Industrial Gold Single Hole Bathroom Sink Faucet Single Handle Solid Brass | 5. JAT-C-302BLA Single Hole Bathroom Faucet | 6. Parma 1.2 GPM Single Hole Bathroom Faucet with High-Rise Spout | 7. Taut 0.5 GPM Single Hole Bathroom Faucet | 8. Nicoli 1.2 GPM Single Hole Bathroom Faucet with Pop-Up Drain Assembly | 9. Nicoli 1.2 GPM Single Hole Bathroom Faucet with Pop-Up Drain Assembly
If you like the look of a single, matte black faucet like the one Emily Bowser installed in her bathroom above, #9 is a similar affordable option. For a more modern traditional look, I love #3 and it comes in a variety of finishes. If you are looking for a cool modern faucet, I also love #4 which has an industrial-style circular knob handle.
Widespread faucets have separate hot and cold handles that are independent of the spout and can be mounted on the countertop or on the sink itself. They are often mounted on sinks with three holes that fit 8 inches to 16 inches from one side to the other. If you are renovating and have the choice, widespread faucets are more popular than centerset because they have a more built-in look, you can space the handles however you want, and they are easier to clean. Emily chose widespread faucets in the above primary bathroom and I love how they accent the modern traditional double sink vanity. But as is the case with much of the design process, it’s all about YOUR personal preference.
If you are looking for some widespread options, here are some we love:
1. Nicoli 1.2 GPM Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Pop-Up Drain Assembly | 2. Metropolitan Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Drain Assembly | 3. 2 Handle Waterfall Widespread Bathroom Sink Faucet with Pop Up | 4. Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Drain Assembly | 5. 8 in. Widespread Three Hole 2-Handle Bathroom Faucet in Black | 6. Nicoli 1.2 GPM Widespread Bathroom Faucet with Pop-Up Drain Assembly | 7. Heritage 8 in. Widespread Bathroom Faucet | 8. Setra 8 in. Widespread Double Handle Bathroom Faucet in Vibrant Moderne Brushed Brass | 9. Three Hole 8 Inch Bathroom Sink Faucet
Because I love a vintage-style faucet, #4 and #7 are my favorites (and both come in a range of finishes). If you prefer a waterfall type of water pressure, #3 and #5 are your guys (and they both have a sleek shape and finish). If you want a tall arched faucet shape, look no further than #9.
Alright my friends, this is where I leave you. If you were looking for an affordable faucet I hope this post helped and if you have any recommendations, please sound off in the comments below. Happy Thursday! xx
Opener Image Credit: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Budget Basement Bathroom Reveal
I will never understand why anyone wants a bathroom or kitchen faucet that you have to turn on hot and cold separately to adjust. No thank you.
Often in my bathroom I only turn on the hot. Takes a while to travel from the hot water heater. Sometimes I only want cold for a drink. It’s what came with the house so I’m used to it.
I personally think it is easier to get a mix of hot and cold with separate handles for a single I feel like I am fine tuning constantly. I also just like the look better.
My bathroom has single hole faucets with a flat faucet (similar to the example picture). They’re super annoying because any water that splashes up on them just stays and pools on the top. It seems like something with a curve on top would be a lot more practical.
when i renovated a bathroom i bought 2 faucets just in case one didn’t work out. i only had the contractor for a short period of time and didn’t want to faff around choosing another faucet if the first didn’t work. long story short they used the flat one. a month later i had my husband change it out for the alternate choice because the spalsh was ridiculous. the flat one looked cool, and so does my 2nd choice, but the 2nd works, so bah-bye flat faucet (which, if anyone needs one is up for grabs!)
This is so helpful. Thank you so much! I would love to see one about Kitchen faucets!
The word “spread” threw me. It was used twice in quick succession.
Does it refer to the holes in the sink or something???
It would’ve been helpful to explain it, if it is, in fact, a faucet installation term … 🤔 never heard of it and I’ve renovated several bathrooms.
Absolutely, the taps, faucets, whatever we call tgems, can make all the difference!
I’m consistently surprised by tge affordability of thesecthings in the USA. Clearly, more people, more volume, cheaper prices. It’s all about critical mass (or overpopulation?) and price impacts.
Some of those examples are crazy-cheap and gorgeous!🤩 Bit envious TBH.
The ‘art’ in the asom bathroom seriously looks like a blow-up doll! 😯 Eeoowwrrgghh!
Spread is the distance between the handle elements of the faucet. Typically they are either 4″ or 8″ spread, and can have a base plate or no base plate. An 8″ spread is also called ‘widespread’ and for whatever reason, is usually used in higher end designs. Builder grade is usually 4″ spread with a base plate.
I’ve had the Ikea $75 single hole faucet for about 10 years. It works well but the chrome is showing wear at the spout while my Grohe faucets that are older and used more are holding up better. They were also more expensive. It all depends what you want.
An important consideration in choosing a faucet that wasn’t taken into consideration here is build quality. Most of faucets on the cheap end have cheap plastic inner workings that wear out relatively quickly.
Yes! I remember a renovation post, I think it was Velinda’s, they mentioned choosing a cheap but pretty faucet to keep costs down. The faucet broke down relatively quickly making them regret their cost saving choice. Since then I’ve wondered what to look for in a new faucet and I was hoping this post works have that info. Unfortunately not. Pretty choices but a discussion of quality would have been great!
Not sure if outside recommendations are against the comment rules, but starcraft custom builders discusses quality in complete detail and ranks faucets (and other building things like flooring) in this weird free side hustle and they’re heroes IMHO.
Plumber’s daughter, here! My dad prefers Kohler. I’ve had a great experience (while renting, no less) with Moen customer service. Wall mounted looks cool but is more money (both toilets & sinks). I personally would not buy a cheap fixture and then opt to spend more money on wall mounted installation.
100%. I always tell my clients to not choose the cheap off-brand ones. They will end up having problems. Every plumber I’ve encountered likes Delta the best. Delta and her fancier older sister Brizo are great. Kohler, Moen + Pfister also have great options, many affordable. I personally like Vintage Tub & Bath too!
I have been looking for a way to update my bathroom sink for a while and this guide made the process so easy. I was able to choose from a variety of beautiful, affordable faucets and now my bathroom looks updated and stylish. I would definitely recommend this guide to anyone looking to update their bathroom sink!
EHD please delete “Jonathan Harden’s” comment. It is linked to a site selling fake Amazon reviews/helpful votes.
If you are replacing several faucets in your home and plan on being there awhile,I highly recommend buying a brand that has lifetime warranties. ( Delta,Moen,Koehler…just to name a few) You probably won’t pay much more and won’t have to replace any while you are in that house and if you do the manufacturer will cover the cost due to the warranty.
Grohe has the BEST customer service! i second Deb’s call for buying quality
Our house was built with the cheapest faucets available. They look nice, but they are crap. Have had to replace one already because it completely fell apart and couldn’t be fixed, and our kitchen sink drips from the handle onto the counter- yuck! Several other bathroom faucets are oozing blue stuff at the base- a precursor to dying, perhaps. Beware the cheap faucet! Even the one we replaced- it’s brand new and I used the same brand- it barely lets out a trickle and my contractor said he couldn’t do anything about that. In design school they always told us to splurge on faucets and doorknobs, because you touch them several times every day.
Just something to think about with those open channel waterfall faucets. If every last drop of water doesn’t flow out of that channel, it will evaporate and leave mineral deposits that really show on dark finished models. Also, if your partner is not paying attention, they might just hock a loogie of toothpaste spit into that open sluice where you were about to get a glass of water to rinse your mouth out. Hypothetically.
There are some things that you should splurge on and some things you should scrimp on when remodeling. A faucet is not something to scrimp on. If you buy a cheap faucet, as others have contested to, it will not last. You want a faucet with ceramic disc valves for long-term performance.
Cheaper faucets tend to have cheap plastic valves that will wear down quicker. For a bath vanity or kitchen faucet that are easy to swap out, might be worth it. For wall mounted faucets, you really want brass valves so you don’t have to cut into walls or tile to replace. For budget + longevity, I usually get Grohe. Also please be aware, the plumbing fixtures sold at big box stores are not necessarily the same quality as same brands at plumbing supply stores.
Many of the comments are taking issue with the idea of buying lower cost faucets because they won’t last as long, but on the flip side I think there’s a time and place for them, and you can still get solid quality within the price range used here. In a low traffic bathroom like a guest bath or basement bath, the lower cost faucets will most likely last years and then can be swapped out without the guilt when tastes change in 10 years or when a leak appears. Our house built in 2001 had identical very cheap builder grade faucets in all bathrooms, all of which began to leak somewhere between 2015 and 2021 – meaning super cheap faucets in the bathrooms still lasted 14-20 years. No surprise, the first ones to fail were the ones in the primary bathroom, which got the most use. I replaced them all one at a time myself with faucets that cost between $50-130 each, with the cheaper ones being the Glacier Bay brand from Home Depot (put in the guest bath and basement bathroom) and the more expensive ones being Moen that we put in the primary bath. I’ve seen the exact… Read more »