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So you want to change a faucet in your home or maybe you’re new to the plumbing biz and you want some clarification on all of the different terms used to describe kitchen and lavatory faucets. Well enough with the plumber speak….we take that back we’re going to continue with the plumber speak we’ll just explain what the heck we’re talking about.

Lavatory Faucets

4” Center Set Lavatory Faucet – This is by far the most popular type of lav faucet and

lavatory and  kitchen faucets

Two Center Set Lavatory Faucet

its manufactured in two ways; a single handle faucet or a two handle faucet. Both of these faucets have a hot and cold supply and the lav bowl and or basin should have two holes drilled 4” apart center to center of the holes or three holes each 2″ apart center to center.

Center Set Lavatory Faucet – This type of faucet is self explanatory it needs only one hole in the lavatory bowl or basin for installation and it has one handle to operate the flow and temperature. Most center set lav faucets also come with a deck plate that could cover any holes present in the lav or basin material. The deck plate would most likely be used in a rehab situation or if someone messed up on the drilling of a counter top.


lavatory and kitchen faucets

8” Widespread – The 8” Widespread faucet usually has separate handles with escutcheons for hot and cold water and a separate spout. The handles are 8” apart from another center to center. So from the center of the cold water hole drilling to the center of the hot water hole drilling is 8”. Think of it this way, if you are looking at the middle hole on a three hole lavatory it will be 4” center to center from the spout to the cold water and 4” center to center from the spout to the hot water for a total spread if 8”.


4” Mini Widespread – If you are stuck with having a sink with 4” centers and a 3-hole drilling and you still want the look of a widespread faucet the mini widespread or mini spread is the faucet for you.It still a separate hot and cold handle and a separate spout.

Adjustable Widespread – This faucet allows adjustment when installing, usually from 6” to 16” center to center spreads. Although you won’t be able to find standard lavatories with these drillings your counter top craftsman will be able to drill the holes anywhere within those dimensions.

Kitchen Sink Faucets


lavatory and kitchen faucets

Delta Classic Kitchen Sink Faucet

Up until fairly recently shopping for a kitchen sink faucet was a rather mundane. You bought them with a 9” low arc spout with a side spray or without. That was pretty much it especially if you were trying to keep the costs to a minimum. However the last 20 years have been very kind to kitchen faucets. So here is what you need to know when ordering a kitchen sink faucet.


Low Arc Spout – This is the Toyota Corolla of kitchen sink style. It’s what most of us grew up with and it’s still quite popular today. It’s a simple spout that is 9” in length from where it comes out of the base to the end of the spout. The spout swivels at the base so you can adjust the flow of water from one side of the sink to the other side.

High Arc Spout – This is an old style spout more common to lab sinks but in the last

lavatory and kitchen faucets

Hansgrohe Axor Uno

decade it’s made quite a cross over to the residential kitchen. This spout is U-Shaped is usually 7” or 8” in length and around 13” or 14” high and it swivels at the base.


Low Arc Pull-Out Spout – This type of spout has been around quite some time but 25 to 30 years ago it was only available in high

lavatory and kitchen faucets

Moen Extensa Pull Out Spout

end faucets. In the early to mid 90s the more traditional manufacturers began offering this faucet at competitive prices. This faucet has a spout that pulls straight out of the faucet. The head is attached by a flexible hose and it usually has two function adjustment; the traditional aerated  function and the spray pattern function.


High Arc Pull-Out Spout – Identical to the above accept that the spout has a high arc.

Pull Down Spout – Pull down spout are an evolution of the pull out spout. This type of

lavatory and kitchen faucets

Hansgrohe Allegro w/Pull Down Spout

faucet has a high arc but the spout pulls straight down instead of out.



lavatory and kitchen faucets

Swivel Spout – This is an other type of spout that has been around for a long time but has very recently made it’s way into the residential kitchen. It is a low arc that is bisected in the middle for better adjustment. This type of spout is most often used as a pot filler.


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