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Centerset vs Single Hole Faucet: Which is Right for You?

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When it comes to faucet installation, many questions arise. One question we often are asked is what is the difference between center set faucets and single hole faucets?

If you’ve been looking for the answers to the question above, we are going to cover all you need to know in this guide – and much more.

In this centerset vs single hole faucet showdown, I’ll walk through the pros and cons of each and help you make a final decision.

From understanding what each type of faucet comprises and how this affects your plumbing to which type you should choose for your own home, we have it all covered here.


What Is A Centerset Faucet?

Centerset faucets are generally 4-inches in size and are designed specifically for your bathroom sink. They have three holes and handles with a 4-inch space between them – hence their name.

Using a single base unit, they combine both spouts and handles, although some centerset faucets also have two handles mounted together onto a plate measuring 6-inches.

Primarily used in bathrooms, you may find centerset faucets to be used elsewhere, though this is not common. This type of faucet has remained the most common type of faucet used for bathroom sinks over the years.

You can find a wide variety of centerset faucet models that provide hot and cold water when connected to the bathroom sink by visiting a home improvement store. Typically, all of the installation extras are included in the price.

Pros

  • They use two separate handles for more convenient use
  • You can use them on sinks that have three holes
  • You can use them on sinks with either 4- or 6-inch centers
  • They feature spouts and handles that are fixed for easier installation

What Is A Single Hole Faucet?

Rather than using three separate holes to mount the faucet onto a sink, the single hole faucet uses a single hole. Despite only using a single hole for mounting, the single-holed faucet carries the same capabilities as the centerset faucet in that it connects to your water supply in the exact same way.

Most single-hole faucets will only have one tap or handle to provide both hot and cold water. Single hole faucets are used in both kitchens and bathrooms.

With this said, it is also possible to find a single-holed faucet with two separate taps to provide water temperatures as you desire.

Pros

  • One handle – Provides a more minimal and sleek look
  • Good for small bathrooms – The smaller size and configuration, makes single hole faucets better for small bathrooms or small vanities.
  • Easier install – You only need one single hold in your slab or vanity, while a centerset faucet will require three.

Centerset vs Single Hole Faucet: What Are The Main Differences?

Knowing the main differences between these types of bathroom faucets can help you decide which is going to be best for your requirements. This next section will outline how the two designs compare and which one may be most suitable depending on where it is being installed.

Of course, many people simply choose a bathroom sink faucet or kitchen faucet based on personal preference. However, it is very useful to know the differences between each, particularly if you are mounting the faucet yourself.

Mounting

A centerset faucet will require you to have a sink with a three-hole configuration. Without it, you are going to have difficulty installing your new faucet!

A single-hole kitchen or bathroom faucet uses just one hole for mounting and has two separate inlet tubes, one of which is used for hot water and the other cold.

Handles/taps

One of the other key differences between the two types of bathroom faucet design is found in the handles or taps.

While both types of faucets can use a single tap to control hot and cold water, the centerset faucet will still require three different mounting holes, meaning you can’t use it if you have a single hole faucet set up already.

Spacing

When it comes to the design differences between a centerset faucet and other types, one key thing to note is that centerset types are designed to be compact.

The space between the holes is four inches, whereas widespread faucets and other types can span much more than this! We have a guide on 4 inch vs 8 inch faucet spacing that could be helpful.


Should You Choose a Single Hole or Centerset Faucet?

When deciding on the type of faucet for your bathroom, there are multiple factors to take into consideration.

First and foremost, you will need to check the configuration you already have set up and its compatibility with both types of faucets. Make a note of how many installation holes are available as you may need to change the configuration, which will cost more, if you want a particular faucet.

Installing a bathroom faucet can become a remodeling job very easily if you find a faucet you like, but there are not enough holes to support it or vice versa. Of course, you can leave this job to a plumbing professional who will be able to fix the issue.

Knowing the layout of your new sink area and the faucet holes available will save you both time and avoid any delays in terms of getting your water running using your new faucet.

If you are unsure of which type of faucet to choose, an easy solution is to look at the configuration set up in your bathroom. This can help determine which type of bathroom faucet you need (single hole or centerset) and significantly narrow down your options.

Another way to make a decision is to think of the pros that come with each type of design. If you are limited on space in the bathroom area, a single-holed faucet is going to help you keep things compact and practical.

Single-hole faucets also are good in terms of controlling water volume and temperature, and for this reason, many people choose them over centerset options.

If you prefer a traditional-looking bathroom over a contemporary one, a widespread faucet or centerset faucet is going to meet your preference better.

For the bathroom

Since bathrooms are primarily used for washing, you should carefully think about the best type of faucet design. Widespread faucets are beginning to be phased out since they are more difficult to install and also do not benefit the user in many ways since it is difficult to create the desired water temperature.

Many contemporary homes even feature touchless faucets that are triggered by motion. Of course, with all the different bathroom faucets available, it does come to preference though we recommend a single-holed faucet for ease and practicality.

For the kitchen

In most contemporary kitchens today, you will find a single-tap faucet. Single-hole faucets are often favored for their appearance as well as their practicality when it comes to perfect water temperature.

Since centerset faucets have two taps, people often find that when carrying out household chores such as washing up in the kitchen, it can be difficult with the option of only hot or cold water.

Moreover, single-hole faucets are great if you are looking to create a more modern design. There will only be one hole as opposed to multiple holes in the sink, and you will have greater manual control in general.

Water pressure can be better controlled, and many sinks are designed for single-hole faucets. As a result, you can find a beautiful-looking faucet for your kitchen that has a versatile design when you opt for a single-hole style.

Read more: 10 Different Types of Kitchen Faucets


Are Single Hole And Centerset Faucets Interchangeable?

Are you assessing whether you want a single-holed bathroom faucet or a centerset model? It is always good to know that no matter the decision you make, you can change things up should you wish to replace your bathroom or kitchen sink.

While a center set faucet style will use three separate holes for installation, you may be surprised to learn that you can replace it with a single tap faucet style without needing to replace the entire sink.

When deciding on what suits you best, always consult with your plumber to gain a better understanding of the labor and costs involved.


FAQs

Are single-hole faucets better than centerset?

Single-hole faucets are not ‘better’; however, they do offer more practicality. This is because you can mix the water temperature far more easily and adjust the volume and pressure accordingly, too. They are often preferred in family homes and homes occupied by the elderly since the taps are simple to turn on and off.

Can you put a one-hole faucet in a three-hole sink?

Yes, you can. However, you will need to purchase a deck plate to accommodate your single-holed faucet in the bathroom or kitchen.

Are all single-hole faucets standard size?

The standard faucet hole size for a single-hole faucet is 35mm wide.

What’s a widespread faucet?

A widespread faucet is a term given to a faucet that has separate hot and cold taps that are installed on their own. Widespread faucets are often found in older bathrooms but can also be installed into newer bathrooms with three holes.

What does a 4-inch centerset faucet mean?

A 4-inch centerset faucet has a distance of four inches between the center of the two furthest apart mounting holes. This is a fairly standard measurement – the other common type has a span eight inches between the furthest apart mounting holes.

So, the ‘4-inch’ part of the name has nothing to do with the faucet spout or handles – it’s simply a way to help you ensure the faucet will fit your sink.


Final Thoughts

Now that we have covered all you need to know about the differences between centerset vs single hole faucets, it’s time for you to make a decision.

Depending on your bathroom size, current configuration, and the style of bathroom interior you are opting for, you may find one type of faucet more desirable when compared to the other.

Of course, you should consider all factors along with the pros and cons that come with each before making a decision. If in doubt, be sure to refer to this guide to help you along the way! If you need more help, check out our ultimate guide to pull down vs pull out kitchen faucets.

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