How To Guide

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Learn how to install a faucet into your kitchen with this detailed how-to guide!

by Andy

How To Guide

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Learn how to install a faucet into your kitchen with this detailed how-to guide!

by Andy

by Andy

Sometimes the kitchen faucet in your home breaks and there is nothing left to do but replace it. Or maybe you just get sick of looking at the outdated faucet fixture and want to enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen with a brand new faucet. Whatever your reasons for new faucet installation, calling a plumber to do the job can be outrageously expensive.  

Not only are you paying for the installation of the product, but also the cost of labor. So why spend all of that money when installing a kitchen faucet is not actually that complicated? As long as you have the patience, time, and proper tools on hand, installing a kitchen faucet can be completed as a DIY project.

Why We Should Do It Ourselves

We’ve already discussed one of the main reasons to opt for DIY installation vs hiring a plumber: cost. Why spend hundreds on a plumber when installing a kitchen faucet on your own is entirely doable?

Mr. Kitchen Faucets says that “the most difficult part about replacing a kitchen faucet yourself is almost always removing the old faucet.” Once that’s done, though, installing the new one is simple.

Although you might not be that interested in the inner workings of your kitchen sink, installing your own faucet is a great way to gain a better understanding of your home's plumbing system.

Having this knowledge will help you to complete plumbing-related tasks later down the road - saving you even more money since you won't need professional plumbing assistance.


Kitchen Faucet Installation Costs

DIY Installation won't cost you a cent unless of course, you need to purchase the necessary tools to get the job done. You'll also have to pay for the faucet itself, and prices range between $200 and $500 depending on the manufacturer and type of faucet you choose.

You'll also have to account for the time you spend completing the installation, but this can be completed in an hour or two.

If you still insist on hiring a professional to do the job, a great source is Angie's List. The cost will be lower if the plumber does not need to remove the old faucet fixture. In this case, you’re looking at about $150 for faucet installation.

However, Angie’s List says that “removing an old faucet before installing the new one costs $225 to $275.”


Things To Consider Prior To Installation

Mounting Holes

New and old faucets come with a few different mounting hole configurations. If you look at your current faucet, is the faucet base mounted in one place on the countertop? Is there a hole in the countertop required for a soap dispenser?

Generally, kitchen faucets come in a 1, 2, or 3 hole system, 1 being the most common. It can be difficult to tell how many holes your current faucet has, so you may have to peek under the kitchen sink to get a better view. Your new faucet should have the same number of holes as the one you’re replacing.

Mounting Type

There are two main mounting types for kitchen faucets: deck-mounted and wall-mounted. Deck mounting your faucet means that it will sit directly on the countertop or sink itself. This type of installation is simple and can easily be done on your own.

Wall-mounted faucets aren’t as common, mostly because they are extremely difficult to install. With these, you need to access the plumbing from behind the wall. If you choose a wall-mounted faucet, you may want to consider hiring a plumber.

Faucet Type

There are a few factors to consider relating to the faucet type. First, is your new faucet a single-handle or dual-handle fixture?

Kitchen faucets with just one handle are more common - there is only one lever to control water output and temperature. They are easy to use, look nice, and best of all, they are easier to install than a double-handled faucet that has two levers.

Tools

Before any home improvement project, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools and that they are within easy reach. If there’s a tool you don’t have that’s necessary to complete the task, it’s time to make a trip to a home improvement store in your area.

You’ll have plenty of uses for these tools in the future, so think of it as an investment into your life as a do-it-yourselfer.


Make Sure You Have Your Tools:

  • Pipe wrench
    The first piece of equipment you’ll need is a pipe wrench, which is necessary for disconnecting and reconnecting the water supply lines. The RIDGID 31305 Model E-110 is the best piping wrench for the job, providing a multi-sided, secure grip on even the largest pipes.
  • Basin Wrench
    You’ll need a basin wrench with a pivoting head to access the hard-to-reach places under the sink. The best one for the job is the TEKTON WRN92001. It fits around nuts ranging from ⅜" to 1" in diameter, which is typical on faucets, water supply lines, valves, and drains. 
  • Tongue and Groove Pliers
    A pair of tongue and groove pliers might not be 100% necessary for faucet installation, but they’ll certainly help. The Channellock 440 pliers are won’t slip and the tongue and groove design provides the ultimate hold.
  • Adjustable Wrench
    Even if you don’t plan on installing your new kitchen faucet yourself, having an adjustable wrench at home is a must. The wrenches mentioned above do have adjustable capabilities, but the TEKTON 23002 precision-machined slide jaw allows for exact fastener fit and smooth adjustment.
  • Screwdriver
    In order for your new faucet to remain in place, you'll secure it from below with a series of nuts, and this can be done with the Screwdriver and Nut Driver 11-in-1 Multi-Tool. Just as the name suggests, this Klein Tools driver is 11 tools in 1, and it comes with 3/8-Inch, 5/16-Inch and 1/4-Inch nut drivers for faucet installation.
  • Bucket
    Many DIY faucet installers don't realize the importance of a bucket, that is until water gets all over the place. If installed improperly the first time around, leakage is the most common problem to occur. You can prevent water damage from the under-sink area with the Encore Plastics 50640 Industrial Plastic Bucket.
  • Supply Lines
    Installing a new faucet is the perfect opportunity to replace the water supply lines as well. Over time, these lines tend to experience wear and tear and can become corroded, so consider replacing your old ones with the BWE 24-Inch Long Faucet Connector. The BWE faucet connecting lines are made from durable stainless steel and fit the standard US ⅜” valve.
  • Plumbing Tape
    Plumbing tape, also called Teflon tape, is the best possible tool to prevent leakage and create a watertight seal for your new faucet. It also prevents pipes from sticking when it comes time to disassemble. For the best possible plumbing tape, purchase LA-CO 44094 Slic-Tite PTFE.
  • Flashlight
    Some people say that the most challenging aspect of faucet installation is reaching those hard-to-access supply lines and nuts beneath the kitchen sink. Part of the challenge is actually being able to see what you’re working with, and a J5 Tactical V1-PRO flashlight can help. This light is ultra-bright, long-lasting, and features 3 lighting modes.
  • WD-40
    No plumbing job should be attempted without the help of WD-40. This well-known multi-use product is used for rust prevention by displacing water. WD-40 490026 will help to keep your faucet parts rust free, even after years of use.

Steps on How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

1. Turn Off the Water

Before you begin, you need to turn off the water to the kitchen sink. This step is important since there should be no chance of water running while you attempt a plumbing job. You can access the water supply valves from underneath the sink.

Once they are shut off, turn on your faucet just to make sure. This will drain any remaining water and also depressurize the system before you start disassembling.

2. Disconnect the Supply Line

We suggest that you take a picture of the set up of your current plumping configuration before you disconnect. At any point, you can refer to this picture to reassemble the supply line. In order to remove the old faucet, you must first disconnect the supply lines underneath the sink.

Use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the nuts connecting the supply lines to the sink. Then, place the supply lines to the side. Consider replacing them with new lines if they are damaged or worn out.

3. Remove the Old Faucet

To remove the faucet from the top of the sink or countertop, you must remove the nuts that hold the sink in place. They are usually found underneath the sink (this is where a flashlight can come in handy.

Once the nuts are unfastened, simply lift the old faucet from where it rests. If the faucet rests on a deck plate that is secured from above, unscrew them using a screwdriver and then take away the deck plate.

4. Clean Your Work Area

Now that the old faucet is gone, this is a great chance to do some cleaning. It would not be wise to install a new faucet without cleaning the area. It may take some elbow grease since grime and gunk tend to build up over time.

Clean away any old putty that held your old faucet in place. The area should be devoid of any rust or mold, as this can also cause problems and be damaging to the structure of your sink.

5. Mount the New Faucet

To mount the new faucet, it will first need to be anchored with putty. Lay down a thin string of plumbing putty on the underside of the faucet deck plate and then put the faucet in place.

This will create a watertight seal and prevent damage to the underside of the faucet fixture. This is extremely important or else you may damage the structural integrity of your entire kitchen sink.

Now that the deck plate of the faucet is in place, fasten it with the appropriate nuts and bolts - these will be included with the faucet itself. Tighten the nuts with your fingers before using a wrench; this will allow you to find the correct placement first.

If everything is aligned properly, tighten the nuts with the wrench the rest of the way. Try not to go overboard when tightening the nuts since this can cause stripping to the metal, making it more difficult to remove in the future.

6. Clean Your Work Area (Again) and Reinstall the Supply Lines

Now that the sink is mounted, scrape away any excess putty and wipe down the area. Once that’s done and the area is completely clean, reconnect the supply lines or install your new ones. This will require the use of a pipe wrench. Tighten firmly to make sure there is no water leakage.

7. Turn the Water Supply Back On

Now that the new faucet is installed and everything is in place, it is time to turn the supply lines back on. Run the faucet while checking for any leaks.

If leaking happens, locate the source of the leak to determine what the problem is. If no leaking occurs, the faucet has been installed correctly and you’re good to start using it for all of your kitchen tasks.


Others Things to Consider for Faucet Installation

  • If the faucet or water supply lines leak even after you have done everything correctly, contact the distributor and ask for a refund or replacement.
  • Make sure you have the correct supply lines for either a one-handle faucet or a multi-handle model before starting the job.
  • Consider turning off the power to your kitchen before installation for optimal safety.

Conclusion

Installing a new kitchen faucet is simple. As long as you are prepared with the manufacturer instructions and proper tools closeby, it only takes an hour or two to have your brand new kitchen faucet in working order.

But the undeniable best thing about installing a kitchen faucet on your own is the money you will save. If you follow the steps provided above, you’ll be saving yourself a few hundred bucks.

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