House & Home

Plumber: Swap the faucet but save the sink

Q: Hi Ed: We moved into a new home to us and the plumbing is in good shape. The bathroom has a two-handle sink faucet and I want to change it to a one-handle bathroom faucet. Can a new single-handle faucet be installed without changing the sink?

– Hal, Michigan

A: Hopefully you have a standard 4-inch centerset deck-mount faucet.

Basically that means the measurement from the center of the hot water handle to the center of the cold water handle is 4 inches wide, and the handles and spout are connected on a single faucet base.

A 4-inch centerset bathroom faucet connects to a three-hole bathroom sink. So if you have a three-hole sink with the outside holes 4 inches apart, you should be able to install a single-handle bathroom faucet.

However, a deck plate to cover all the holes is usually needed. Many single-handle bathroom faucets include an "escutcheon" or deck plate for this very reason.

Keep in mind plumbing can be tricky and you may find yourself in a hole if you end up with mismatched sink holes.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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