Replace a Bathroom Faucet
Updated: Aug 27
New faucets can add style to interior décor; newer ones even conserve water for lower utility bills. Choose from such finishes as chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel and more, in modern designs or traditional styling. Faucet installation is fairly straightforward, but cramped space and poor visibility beneath a sink can be confusing for first-timers. Here’s an example, using the parts of a faucet designed for 4-inch center sets.
STEP 1 Shut off the water supply, then use a wrench to unscrew the supply lines and wing nuts beneath the faucet levers.
STEP 2 Unscrew the cap of the drain’s lift rod so the faucet will slip over it.
STEP 3 Remove the faucet; it should pull right out, but you may need to break the seal of old caulk.
STEP 4 Scrub away any remaining old sealant or putty with a degreasing product.
STEP 5 Place a bead of plumber’s putty along the edge of the plastic gasket that fits between the sink and faucet. Apply the gasket to the sink.
STEP 6 Insert the shanks of the faucet through the sink and secure them with new wing nuts.
STEP 7 Unhook the old pop-up drain cover from the lift lever in the drain pipe and pull it out.
STEP 8 Remove drain by unscrewing the retaining nut from the drain assembly with a wrench or pliers.
STEP 9 Apply plumber’s putty beneath the lip of the new drain cap, and seat the cap into the sink.
STEP 10 The drain assembly mating component installs from beneath the sink with a rubber gasket. Apply plumbing sealant to it before installing.
STEP 11 Connect the drain and gasket to the drain cap from below with a new retaining nut.
STEP 12 Position the drain pipe with the lift-lever hole facing the rear of the sink. Fasten the pipe in place with thread seal tape or self-fusing silicone tape tape.
STEP 13 Thread the lift rod in through the top of the new faucet.
STEP 14 Drop in the new drain cover.
STEP 15 Install the adjustable extension arm to the lift rod of the drain cap. The lift rod connects with a simple thumb screw.
STEP 16 Install the lift lever in the drain. The short end of the lever (near the ball) inserts through the hook at the bottom of the new drain cap. The ball is secured in the drain pipe with a nut.
STEP 17 Thread the lever’s long end through whichever hole in the extension arm will allow easiest operation of the drain assembly. Reconnect the sink drain onto the P-trap with a coupling nut, and then reconnect the water supply lines. The new faucet should now be ready for use.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in The Quick and Easy Home DIY Manual by HIR's editor Matt Weber, now available at Amazon and other fine book retailers.