Best Bathroom Faucet

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Best Bathroom Faucet

Finding the best bathroom faucet is not difficult.  Using the internet to find the best bathroom faucet is not the best idea.  Simply typing in “Best Bathroom Faucet” returns over 50 million results.  Typing “Bathroom Faucet” yields almost 70 million results!  How on earth are you going to choose from 70 million results?  Walk down an isle of a store and you are met with hundreds to choose from.

When looking for the best bathroom faucet for you and your family, here are the important considerations:

  • How do you use your bathroom?
  • What features do you need?
  • How important is durability?

The sink area is the heart of any modern bathroom.  The sink faucet is arguably the most impactful part in terms of function and style. It’s very important that you choose a suitable bathroom faucet that will make your daily tasks easier.

Best Bathroom FaucetBest Bathroom FaucetBest Bathroom Faucet

The Best Bathroom Faucet and Features for How You Use Your Bathroom

There are basically 3 types of bathroom faucets.  These are Widespread, Centerset, and Single Handle.  Single handle faucets are available as touchless.

Best Bathroom Faucet
Widespread – $323

Best Bathroom Faucet
Centerset – $186

Best Bathroom Faucet
Single Handle – $259

All of the above are Kohler Devonshire faucets for an equal comparison.  Each have ceramic disc valves that exceed industry longevity standards.  They all have Kohler’s premium metal construction for durability and reliability.  All have Kohler’s legendary lifetime warranty.  The illustrated prices are retail.  Why I picked Kohler for this example is discussed further below.

The Best Bathroom Faucets are Durable.

For the average family of 4, a bathroom faucet will:

  • Get used more than 13,800 times a year (between 208,000 to 277,000 times over its life).
  • Use more than 13,100 gallons of water each year (between 197,000 to 262,000 gallons over its average lifespan).
  • Modern faucets can easily last 15 to 20 years.

How a bathroom faucet is made determines its durability.  The cartridge or stem is the single most important mechanical component of a faucet. Look for a faucet that uses ceramic discs inside a forged, machine brass cartridge. These discs are lubricated and processed with incredible precision to eliminate friction and reinforce sealing. Plus, ceramic does not wear out easily.  Therefore, the disc cartridges last a long time and are rarely subject to maintenance. However, they are vulnerable to debris in the water. Tiny residues can lodge and potentially damage the brittle discs if you accidentally apply too much force when it feels stuck.

Do not purchase a bathroom faucet unless the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty on the cartridge and faucet.  Don’t look for a standard lifetime warranty on finishes.  Hand applied finishes like oil rubbed bronze will not have a lifetime warranty.  However, finishes like brushed stainless steel and polished chrome should have lifetime warranties.  The finishes should also resist corrosion and tarnishing.

Best Bathroom Faucet Cartridge
UltraGlide

The above solid brass Kohler cartridge is being phased out and replaced by Kohler’s proprietary UltraGlide® stem cartridges (black cartridge – also constructed of solid brass).  Kohler claims that the advanced engineering, precise manufacturing, and space age materials of the UltraGlide help ensure a leak-free performance for decades. The claim is backed by endurance tests that show the cartridge can withstand 4 million on/off cycles without a failure – about 580 years of use in a typical bathroom or kitchen.

The Best Bathroom Faucets are Solid Forged Brass.

Never purchase a bathroom faucet that is plastic or plated plastic.  What is this?  This is a plastic faucet body that has a plated metal finish or a polished plastic finish, such as polished chrome.  It looks almost identical to a forged brass bathroom faucet.  In the table below are two faucets.  Can you tell which one is the plastic faucet?  Your first clue is price.

Best Bathroom Faucet
$96 Retail

Best Bathroom Faucet
$286 Retail

This is very common in superstore, big box, and internet sellers.  These sellers achieve their lower prices by picking lower-quality internals for the faucets they sell. The products may share the same name, model number, and appearance as their counterparts from official supply stores.  However, the lower-tier parts are specifically manufactured to supply superstore, home improvement (big box), and internet chains.

Need more proof?  The forged solid brass Kohler Forte $286 faucet on the right is only $159 at Home Depot as a “Special Buy”.  Wow – what a deal!  A savings of $127 or 44%!  On Amazon, it’s only $50 – a $236 or 83% savings!  Think you can spot the plastic faucet now?  How about the fake Kohler plastic faucet?  The faucet on the right is the same Forte model.  However, at my plumbing supplier it’s a genuine solid brass Kohler faucet.  At Home Depot, it’s also made by Kohler.  However, as a “Special Buy”, it’s chrome plated plastic.  On Amazon, it’s a fake plastic Kohler faucet.

How Can I Make My Bathroom Faucet Last, Look Great, and Perform?

ScaleBlaster Home Water Filter SystemHere in Orange County, we have very hard water.  Lime, scale, and calcium are normal.  These mineral deposits collect on faucets, inside pipes, washer hoses, and inside water heaters.  This is why I highly recommend ScaleBlaster.

ScaleBlaster is an electronic water conditioner.  It is affordable, eco-friendly, salt-free, chemical-free and a maintenance free solution to your limescale deposits and soap scum.  It’s completely safe for both the environment and your family.  The ScaleBlaster water conditioner may be the best solution for your home.  It is low maintenance, has low running costs, and provides overall improvement of drinking water.

DAD’s Construction has installed ScaleBlaster throughout South Orange County.  I have never had a disappointed client.  Clients rave about the difference it makes.  My home has a ScaleBlaster and it works like a charm!

Who Makes the Best Bathroom Faucet?

There are 4 major players in the residential bathroom faucet market.  These are Kohler, Delta, Moen, and Price Pfister.  Ask ten people which is the best faucet, and you will get ten different answers.  During my 45 years in remodeling, I have learned that customers really appreciate the enduring simplicity, durability, functionality, and appearance of Kohler.  Kohler has been in business for almost 150 years.  They certainly understand what the customer wants.

Best Local Bathroom ContractorMost clients working independently purchase their faucet from the internet or a big box home improvement store.  However, ask a Plumber or Contractor (like DAD’s Construction) where to purchase, and the answer is the same.  Purchase from a local plumbing supplier.  If you want the lowest price, best quality, and great customer service, purchase through your independent Plumber or Contractor.

Why do Plumbers and Contractors often recommend against buying fixtures from big-box stores? These stores achieve their lower prices by picking lower-quality internals for the faucets they sell. The products may share the same name, model number, and appearance as their counterparts from official supply stores.  However, the lower-tier parts are specifically manufactured to supply superstore, home improvement (big box), and internet chains.

Extensive industry research has proven that local plumbing suppliers are usually the better option even though they may cost more.  Plumbing fixtures, particularly heavily used ones like bathroom faucets, can be prone to problems and tough to repair.  That’s why many people agree that paying for premium hardware is a reasonable tradeoff.

What is The Best Bathroom Faucet for Me?

Best Bathroom FaucetNo one but you can decide which bathroom faucet is best for you.  I have installed so many different brands over the last 45 years that I have developed a sense for the best.  There are two brands that consistently rank high for quality, durability, and style.  These are Kohler and Newport Brass.  I have both brands in my home.  I can personally testify to their high value and excellent quality.

What is the difference?  Using a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being junk and 10 bring top quality), Kohler is a 5-6.  Newport Brass is an 8+.  Kohler’s reputation is for warranty, quality, consistency, and customer service.  Newport Brass has a reputation for warranty, quality, innovation, style, and customer service.

Both Kohler and Newport Brass faucets have been tested by an independent laboratory.  Both comply with all of the reliability and safety standards governing the sale and installation of drinking water faucets in North America.  This includes the very strict North American lead-free standard.

After deciding on your brand and type of bathroom faucet (widespread, centerset, or single handle), it’s all about your own personal taste and style.  The internal components for each type are essentially the same for every brands model.  The only thing that changes is the look.  So, pick your brand!  I suggest Kohler and Newport Brass.  Then, find the type that best suits your needs, pick a model and finish, and enjoy!

What about Bathroom Faucet Warranties?

Best Bathroom Faucet WarrantyWith superstore, big box, and internet sellers, there’s a bit of a trick in the customer care policy. Support requires proof of purchase (original sales receipt) to be provided.  Without such, the company has rights to disregard buyers’ warranty claims.  This could be a pain after years of use and you no longer have the receipt.

Manufacturers and retailers are aware of how people purchase today.  Using their phones, paying for something is a push button away.  There is no paper transaction or hard copy receipt.  A few years (or months) down the road, you have no idea where the proof of your bathroom faucet transaction is.

This is rarely the case with your Plumber or Contractor.  With them, if you experience a warranty problem, they will get the replacement part quickly and at no cost.  This can save you a lot of money and hassle.

A Lifetime warranty granted to homeowners is worthless if you need to jump through endless hoops. Customer service is well-regarded at Kohler and Newport Brass.  From my experience, Kohler’s customer service has been second to none and incredibly consistent.  They are responsive, fast, and provide original factory replacement warranty parts at no charge.  They are shipped directly to me (at no charge) and received within a matter of days.

Anything Else I should Know?

When replacing an existing faucet, make sure you understand how many holes are required for the new faucet.  This is especially true if you have an undercounter sink.  With a surface mount sink, it’s easy to see how many holes you have.  However, with undermount sinks, you will need to get under the sink with a flashlight and count the holes.  You will also need to determine their exact location.  Notice the placement of the 3 holes in the two square bathroom sinks below.  They are not the same.  The oval undermount sink has no holes.

Kohler 2895-4-0 Centerset Undermount SinkKohler 2895-8-0 Widespread Bathroom SinkKohler Caxton K-2210-0 Undermount Bathroom Sink

How Can I Receive More Information?

If you would like more information on enjoying the best bathroom, kitchen, and interior remodeling experience in Orange County, call Dan at (949) 380-0177 or at dan@dadsconstruction.com for a free in home consultation.  DAD’s serves all of South Orange County California.  This includes Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Portola Hills, Ladera Ranch, Irvine, San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, Dove Canyon, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Newport Beach, and Aliso Viejo.

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“Taking Care of Your Home . . . The Way We Would Our Own”

Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction.  DAD’s is a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation Contractor.  See https://www.dadsconstruction.com.  © DAD’s Home Services & Construction, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.