Thinking about redecorating or modernizing your kitchen or bath? A brand new faucet adds instant pizzazz to the two most popular rooms in your home. If it's been a while since you replaced your faucets, you're in for a pleasant surprise — today's versions are more durable and trouble-free than their predecessors, and their washerless design means fewer leaks and repairs.
Here's another pleasant surprise — installing a new faucet and a kitchen sink sprayer are simple enough for even beginning do-it-yourselfers to handle.
Faucet Variations: Tube Tips
If your new faucet doesn't come with pre-attached supply tubing, buy two supply tubes of either braided steel or vinyl mesh so you can attach them to the faucet yourself. Or if you prefer, buy a faucet that already comes with copper supply tubes that are pre-attached, so you can connect them directly to the water supply.
Step 1: Remove Coupling Nuts
Before you begin, turn off the water. Now spray the tailpiece mounting nuts and coupling nuts with WD-40® spray lubricant to loosen them up. When they're ready, detach the coupling nuts first with a basin wrench or channel-type pliers.
Step 2: Unscrew Tailpiece
Keep those tools handy, because now you'll need them to unscrew the tailpiece mounting nuts and remove the faucet.
Step 3: Clean the Surface
Once you've removed the faucet, use a putty knife to scrape away the old putty from the surface of the sink.
Now that you've removed your old faucet, it's time to install the new one. Two sets of directions follow - one for faucets that that have separate supply tubing and the other for those that come with tubing that's pre-attached (the first two steps are the same for both). Find your style, and let's get started.
Installing Faucets with Separate Supply Tubing
Step 1: Insert the Faucet
Insert the new faucet into the sink's holes. Caulk the base of the faucet with either silicone caulk or plumber's putty, applying a bead about 1/4-inch thick. Attach the faucet to the sink, but make sure that the base is parallel to the back of the sink. Now press the faucet down firmly so that it's tightly sealed to the sink. Scrape away any excess caulk from the surface of the faucet.
Step 2: Connect the Nuts
Use your basin wrench or channel-type pliers to connect the metal friction washers to the tailpiece. Now attach the mounting nuts.
Step 3: Attach the Tubing
Attach the supply tubes to the tailpiece, then use your basin wrench or channel-type pliers to tighten the coupling nuts.
Step 4: Connect the Water Source
Now that the supply tubing is attached to the sink, connect it to the water source at the shutoff valves using compression fittings. Tighten the mounting nuts, first by hand and then with an adjustable wrench, tightening them 1/4 of a turn to make sure they're not too tight.
When you're tightening the supply tubing to the valve, hold the valve with another wrench to keep it from turning.
Installing Faucets with Pre-Attached Tubing
Step 1: Install the Faucet
Follow steps 1 and 2 above for installing a faucet with separate tubing and tightening the mounting nuts. Since the tubing is already pre-attached, it's not necessary to connect tubing to the faucet, so omit step 3.
Step 2: Connect Supply Tubing
Now connect the pre-attached supply tubes to the shutoff valves with your basin wrench or channel-type pliers. The tubing labeled red connects to the hot water source and the tubing labeled blue connects to the cold water source.
Attach a Kitchen Sink Sprayer
Step 1: Insert Sprayer
Apply a 1/4-inch thick bead of either plumber's putty or silicone caulk to the base of the sprayer. Insert the end of the sprayer hose into the sink opening and press the sprayer firmly into place.
Step 2: Attach Mounting Nut
Place a washer over the tailpiece, then screw in and tighten the mounting with a basin wrench or channel-type pliers. Scrape away any extra putty from the base of the sprayer.
Step 3: Attach the Hose to the Faucet
Connect the hose to the hose nipple found on the bottom of the faucet. Use your basin wrench or channel-type pliers to tighten the screw 1/4 of a turn (remember, not too tight).
That's it! Your new faucet now makes your kitchen look brand new too.
Project Shopping List
Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.