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How to Install a Two-Handle Faucet

Today’s designs of two-handle faucets make installing one easier than ever. A hardworking bathroom faucet doesn’t have to be ordinary, but it does have to be installed properly. Some faucet designs use a rubber gasket to seal the joint between the base of the faucet and the sink. Others require that you place a bead of plumber’s putty around the perimeter of the faucet’s base.

The separate valve and spout allow this faucet to fit a wide variety of sinks.
The separate valve and spout allow this faucet to fit a wide variety of sinks.

To keep the process simple, install the faucet before you put the sink in place so that it’s easier to work on — especially if the sink or countertop will sit on a vanity cabinet. Working in a dark, tight spot makes installation difficult, not to mention uncomfortable.

You can find a wide selection of two-handle faucets on the market. You install them in basically the same way, but be sure to follow the instructions included with the unit. Generally, here’s what’s involved:

  1. Unpack the faucet and check that it’s the model you want, fits the sink holes, and comes with all the parts needed for installation.

  2. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and install the gasket or apply the plumber’s putty.

    Many faucet designs have a rubber gasket that goes between the base of the valves and spout assembly and the countertop. Others require that you apply a bead of plumber’s putty to the underside of the unit.

  3. Place the faucet spout on the sink or countertop.

    If the spout has riser tubes already installed, align them with the hole in the sink and lower the spout body into place.

  4. Place the faucet valve assemblies (hot and cold) into the holes in the countertop.

    If these valves have riser tubes already installed, thread them through the holes in the countertop.

  5. From the underside of the sink, tighten the hold-down bolts.

    Some models have large washers and nuts that screw on the valve tailpieces, although others are held in place with brackets that bolt to the underside of the valve body.

  6. From under the sink, connect the flexible hoses from the hot and cold valves with the spout.

    The valves are connected to the spout with flexible tubes.
    The valves are connected to the spout with flexible tubes.
  7. Connect the riser tubes from the hot and cold valves to the stop valves on the wall.

  8. Turn on the water and check for leaks.

  9. Remove the aerator screen from the spout and run water through the faucet to flush out any debris that may be in the pipes.

  10. When the water runs clear, replace the aerator.

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