How to Install A Kitchen Faucet

One of the easiest ways to give your bathroom or kitchen a new look without breaking the bank is to replace your old faucet with a fresh, new model. The choices in types and designs of faucets are almost limitless. You can change the style from traditional to modern, contemporary to transitional and the design from two-handle to a single-handle or even a sensor-activated one. If it's time to change a worn out, leaky kitchen faucet or update your style, you can switch it out yourself and save money regardless of what type you choose.

Remove the Old Faucet

Once you have decided on a new faucet, the first step is to remove the old one. To start, turn off the hot and cold water valves under the sink and turn on the faucet to relieve the water pressure in the lines. If you are replacing a kitchen faucet in a sink with a garbage disposal, also turn off the power to the disposal. Before you disconnect the faucet, it's a good idea to take a quick photo of the plumbing configuration to use as a handy reference later.

Disconnect and remove the old faucet.

Disconnect and remove the old faucet.

Place a small bucket or container under the plumbing connections to catch any drips and residual water that may spill out as you disconnect the supply lines. If possible, have someone hold the faucet in place above the sink while you loosen and remove the nuts holding the faucet to the deck with a basin wrench. If working alone, try to use one hand to hold the faucet stationary while you reach under the sink with the other hand to work the wrench.

Once the nuts are removed, lift up the faucet and clean any old built-up grime or sealant from the sink's surface. Wipe up any dampness from the area around the faucet holes to give you a clean, dry surface for the fresh sealant to adhere to when you install the new faucet.

Install the New Faucet

Before installing the new faucet, read through the manufacturer's installation instructions since every faucet is different. This will help familiarize you to the parts of the new faucet and how they assemble.

Place the trim ring (a plastic or rubber gasket) over the faucet holes in the sink and set the deck plate over it. Refer to the manufacturer's installation manual regarding the use of caulk or plumber's putty when installing the gasket). If using caulk or putty, wipe off any excess from under the sink after mounting the trim ring.

Connect supply lines.

Connect supply lines.

Next, feed the faucet supply lines into the holes and fasten them under the sink using the appropriate nuts and washers. If installing a pull-down or pull-out style faucet with a retractable sprayer, also attach the quick-connect hose to the supply pipe. Pull down the hose and attach the weight to it. This weight not only limits how far you can pull out the hose, but also helps to retract it back. One you have positioned the weight, pull out the sprayer to test that it extends to the distance you need and retracts back correctly. Note: the weight needs clearance to hang freely underneath the sink so position it with this in mind.

Connect the water supply lines. When connecting the hoses, apply plumber's tape to the threaded connections before installing them to ensure a leak-free connection. Make sure you do not over tighten the supply lines.

Once the supply lines are connected, turn on the water to a slow stream and check for leaks. Tighten the connections if needed.

Replace the aerator after running water through the faucet to clear the lines.

Replace the aerator after running water through the faucet to clear the lines.

Next, remove the aerator from the faucet spout. Turn the water on again to a slow stream and let it run for a few minutes to clear out the lines. Recheck for any leaks in the line connections or faucet base and make any needed adjustments. Then, turn the faucet off again and replace the aerator. Your new faucet is now ready for use.

Need help selecting a faucet? Check out How to Choose a Kitchen Faucet and How to Choose Your Bathroom Sink Faucet