4 Steps to Install a Kitchen Sink Faucet

Are you renovating your kitchen or looking for a way to make your sink more usable? Maybe your current faucet is just old and you’re ready for a change.

Replacing your kitchen faucet will keep your sink beautiful and functional and make sure your water tastes fresh.

In today’s world of online DIY tutorials, you may feel ready to tackle installing a kitchen faucet on your own.

Let’s look at what it takes and when to call an expert.

A Quick Word of Warning

While installing a faucet is quite straightforward, the plumbing can be complicated.

If your faucet isn’t installed correctly, it won’t last as long and doing-it-yourself could end up being more of a headache than it’s worth.

In general, it’s best to call a professional rather than installing faucets yourself. That being said, most faucets come with detailed installation guides including cutouts.

Some distributors and manufacturers also offer phone or chat support to help you install faucet properly.

If you’re ready to take on the task, here are 4 basic steps to install your kitchen faucet.

Step 1: Choose a Faucet That Fits Your Sink and Kitchen

Since most deck mounted faucets sit on the sink, you need to check if the faucet you like is compatible with your sink.

Most faucet and sink connections are standard, so you just need to make sure your sink has the right number of holes. Too few holes and you can’t install the faucet. Too many holes and you’ll need to cover up the extra ones - which can ruin the look.

Next, make sure you have enough clearance. Is there enough room around the overhead cabinets, window sills or other appliances?

Unsure if you have the right faucet? Fell in love with one and unsure if it will fit your sink? Send us your sink brand and model number, or brand name and photo and we’ll confirm for you or suggest alternatives.

Step 2: Collect Your Tools

Before you get to work, be sure you have everything you need to get the job done.

In most cases and for most faucets you’ll need:

  • Phillips and flat-head screwdrivers.
  • An adjustable wrench.
  • A bucket.
  • A flashlight.
  • Pliers.
  • Plumber’s tape/thread seal tape/Teflon tape.
  • Rags and towels just in case.

Some faucets may also need special tools like Allen wrenches. So check the included installation instructions before you start.

Screws, clips and other small pieces are usually included, so you shouldn’t need to buy any separately. Most faucets today are standardized and use the same connections, so you needn’t worry about finding the right match.

In rare cases, you may need extra pieces that are not included with the faucet, especially if your sink isn’t fully compatible with your chosen faucet. Luckily, we can help! If you’re unsure, send us a picture under your sink and what faucet you’re buying and we can fill you in on any additional items you may need.

As with any home improvement project, wear those safety goggles! Basic safety gear like eye protection and gloves are important, especially if you’ve never done this before.

While we hope your install goes smoothly, have a backup plan in case things go wrong. You might be left without a functional kitchen sink until help arrives, so be prepared with a contingency plan!

Step 3: Remove the Old Faucet

Before you can install your new faucet, you might have to get an old faucet out of the way. You may want to set a bucket under your sink before you start, or have one close at hand just in case.

Let’s break down the steps to removing your old faucet.

  • Close Valves. Under the sink, you’ll find knobs that control the water supply. Your sink may have one or two valves. The valve is usually off when it’s perpendicular to the pipes.
  • - Be Ready to Call a Plumber if the valves start leaking when you turn them off. They may need to be replaced.
  • Unplug Garbage Disposal. If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it’s unplugged or disconnected from its power source!
  • Relieve Water Pressure. Once you’re sure the water supply is off, turn your old faucet on and let any remaining water flow out.
  • Loosen Nuts that connect your faucet to water lines and the basin.
  • Remove Your Faucet and Clean Up! There may be some build-up, mildew, or other debris left behind when you remove your old faucet. Be sure your deck is completely clean and dry before you set your new faucet in place.
  • Step 4: Install Your New Kitchen Faucet

    The age-old wisdom to measure twice and cut once works here, too! Position your new faucet over the sink so you can plan out your next steps and make sure everything fits correctly.

    Your faucet may take some assembly before you can install it.

    Most newer faucets come with the supply lines already attached, but you may need to connect them if they’re not already in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble pieces like pull-down or pull-out sprayers.

    If your basin has more holes than your faucet needs, cover them with your deck plate or trim rings for a clean and sophisticated look.

    When you’re ready to put your new faucet on, here is a general guide to how it should go:

    1. Feed supply hoses into the hole and position your new faucet.
    2. Tighten nuts to secure your faucet in place.
    3. Apply plumber’s tape or other leak proofing to appropriate threads.
    4. Connect the water lines.
    5. Turn water supply back on and test that the faucet works and doesn’t leak.

    Even if you don’t see any leaking right away, it’s a good idea to keep your bucket in place and keep a close eye on things for the next 2-3 days.

    If your sink does leak, turn the water off and call a professional.

    When to Call a Professional

    As appealing as DIY can be, sometimes it’s best to defer to the experts.

    Some faucets are complex or take special tools or knowledge to install correctly. High-tech features like touch activation may be better left to a professional.

    Also keep in mind that your faucet will last longer and work better if it’s properly installed, so calling in an expert from the beginning may save you headaches down the road.

    Not sure which faucet you need? Check out our ultimate guide to choosing a kitchen faucet. If you need troubleshooting support for your DIY kitchen faucet installation, we’re here for you!

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    • Sam M