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NB Faucets Blog – Four Types of Faucets & the 3 Form Factors

Faucets come in four basic mechanical designs and differing styles and form factors. Knowing what kind of faucets you have will help when it comes time to replace a worn out part. The most common faucet types from a mechanical aspect are:

1)Compression Washer Faucet

One of the oldest faucet designs, compression washer faucets are commonly found in older homes, although many newer homes will have then installed along with utility sinks. While inexpensive, they are prone to leaks as the washers wear out and require replacement. You can identify a compression faucet by its two handles and a tight rotating motion that is needed to stop the flow of water.

2) Ball Faucet

The first type of washerless faucet, ball faucets are commonly used in kitchens. They have a single handle attached to a rounded cap directly above the spout. The handle moves a plastic or metal ball inside the faucet body controls the flow of water.

3) Disc Faucet

One of the newest faucet designs, ceramic disk faucets have a single lever on top of a wide cylindrical body. The disc faucet mixes hot and cold water inside a mixing chamber called a pressure balance cartridge. Ceramic disks at the bottom of the chamber will raise and lower to control the flow of water while the temperature is adjusted by a side-to-side rotation of the handle.

4) Cartridge Faucet (Two Handle)

Cartridge faucets utilize a movable stem cartridge which moves up and down to control the flow of water. You can identify a cartridge faucet by turning the knob and feeling it move with an up and down motion.

In Addition to mechanical design, there are various form factors that you will find faucets in. First, it is important to note that there are wall mounted and deck mounted faucets. In both cases there are typically 3 form factors. It is important to understand these form factors prior to ordering a faucet to ensure that the faucet matches the vanity or kitchen countertops you have in your home. The most common form factors are:


1) Single Hole

Providing more precise volume and temperature control, single-hole faucets make the most of a small sink space. This type of faucet is also much easier to install. If you have chosen a single-hole faucet but have multiple holes in your existing cabinet, look for a faucet with an option escutcheon plate. If you have one hole on your existing sink or countertop, this is an ideal fit.


2) Centerset aka 4" Faucet 

A centerset faucet ​works with both single-hole and 3-hole basins; this is an easy-to-install option. This style features a deckplate that contains the handles and spout in one plate. This type of faucet can be used on sinks and countertops with one to three holes. Centerset faucets require holes with 4-inch centers. This is the measurement from the center of the left hole to the center of the right. This is a popular faucet style.


3) Wall Mounted

Wall-mounted faucets are hung on the wall above the sink, making countertop cleanup easier. It requires a separate wall-mounted valve and drain for installation. Also, a new rough-in valve may be required when replacing an existing wall-mounted faucet.


4) Widespread aka 8" - 16" Widespread Faucet

Faucets and handles are mounted individually to the sink or countertop without a deckplate in a widespread faucet. Multiple holes on your countertop or sink are required for installation. Widespread faucets require holes with a range of 8-inch to 16-inch centers. Also known as non-deckplate faucets, widespread faucets are the most popular option.


 5) Vessel Sink Faucet

Vessel sinks sit above the countertop, and therefore require taller faucets. Faucets that are taller than 4 inches will clear most vessel sink basins and are therefore called vessel sink faucets. It is important to measure the height of your vessel sink before purchasing a faucet.


Have question about your faucets? Give NB Faucets a call, one of our experts can help answer all your faucet questions- (404) 655-5079.