Confused between widespread vs centerset faucets? Read this guide and learn the pros and cons of each faucet type and choose the best kitchen faucet in 2023.
When beginning a kitchen remodel, we not only need to think about design but practicality as well!
Our kitchens get a ton of use and in particular, our sinks, which seem never to be empty.
Therefore, we want to make choices that will not only look good but be functional to our needs as well.
Two of the most common options for your kitchen faucet mount are widespread and centerset. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences to help you determine which type is the best for you!
- What is a widespread faucet?
- What is a centerset faucet?
- When to use widespread faucets
- When to choose centerset faucets?
- Pros and cons of widespread faucets
- Pros and cons of centerset faucets
- Widespread faucet vs centerset faucet: which one to choose?
- Replacing a widespread Faucet with a centerset one (or, vice versa)
What is a widespread faucet?
A widespread kitchen faucet is a type of faucet designed to be installed with the handles and spout spaced apart, rather than being centered on the sink.
Widespread faucets have individual handles for hot and cold water, which are separated from the spigot.
Each of the three components will be attached to the sink or countertop separately. Therefore, three different holes will need to be cut into the surface during installation.
This type of faucet is called “widespread” because the handles and spout are not attached to each other, but are instead installed on the sink separately.
Handles are often spaced about six to eight inches from the center. However, in large spaces, it can be as much as 16 inches.
There are plenty of options when it comes to widespread faucet styles and finishes. The designs tend to be able to fit any kitchen aesthetic, and are generally more modern and stylish than with centerset models.
Watch the following video to learn how to install a widespread faucet:
What is a centerset faucet?
A centerset faucet is a type of bathroom sink faucet that is designed to be installed with the handles and spout centered on the sink. This type of faucet generally has three holes evenly (4 inches) placed from each other: two holes for handles and one for the spout, all connected with each other.
Most people choose centerset faucets because of the easy installation process and compact look of kitchen and bathroom faucets.
It differs as the spout and handles come as one unit, all sitting on a central piece. The handles and the spout are connected.
Some models still require a three-hole installation, while others can be done with one hole.
Sometimes, the handles are not directly attached to the spout, but they will share a base plate that attaches to the sink.
Another name for a centerset faucet is a mini-spread. While the design is practical, there tends not to be a huge amount of variety in the design options- especially when looking for a more elegant or modern look.
When to use widespread faucets
Those with higher budgets and looking for a more stylish modern look may want to consider a widespread faucet.
They will have more luck finding a model that fits their personality and the look they are going for in their kitchen.
If you have a large, expensive sink, a centerset faucet will likely get lost in it or cheapen the look. A widespread faucet will be a much better fit.
It’s also a better option for those with larger spaces. The widespread faucet will look better on a larger countertop or sink than the compact centerset.
You’ll also want to go with a widespread faucet if you already have mounted holes measuring over six inches apart.
Lastly, they will work better for those with corner-mounted faucets for under-mount sinks.
When to choose centerset faucets?
Centerset faucets are a good option for those renovating on a budget.
They also offer neatness and simplicity and are a great choice for those wanting an easy-to-use, single-handle faucet.
These are the option for those with small spaces, particularly if holes are already in place and less than six inches apart. They will also work well with center-mounted sinks and are perfect for drop-in sinks.
Lastly, those looking for a simpler installation or looking to keep plumber’s costs low may wish to consider a centerset faucet installation.
Related read: How to install a two-handle kitchen faucet
Pros and cons of widespread faucets
1. Easy to adjust
- The space between the components can be altered to fill the space you have
- Due to the separate parts, they can be adjusted and fixed independently
2. Many options
- There is plenty of variety in the design of widespread faucets
- They are available in many finishes
3. Easy to fix
- If one of the cartridges is not working, it can be fixed or replaced without removing the whole faucet
- If one of the handles is leaking, it’s easy to fix due to them being separate
4. Easy to clean
- The space between the components that are visible allows for an easier cleanup of the countertop and sink
5. More customizable
- You can decide how you want the spacing to look based on the space you have and the look you want
6. Hidden connections
- The parts which connect the components are hidden under the sink. This gives you a more seamless neat look
Related read: Best budget kitchen faucets to buy from
1. Takes up more space
- The spacing between the spout and handles should be at least six inches, so this may take up more space than is available for smaller sinks
2. More complex installation
- Three holes will need to be made
- Each part will need to be installed separately
- Each part needs to be connected individually
- Plumbers may charge more for installation due to more work
- Units may be more expensive due to design and separate parts
- Installation may be more expensive
- Repairs may be more costly
Pros and cons of centerset faucets
1. Takes less space
- Good for smaller sink spaces
- Units tend to be more compact
- Spacing can be minimal
2. Easy installation
- As a single unit, the installation process is more straightforward than with widespread faucets
- They are usually premeasured
- Easy to change out for another of the same size
- Sometimes only requires a single hole to be made
3. More affordable
- The units themselves tend to be more affordable
- The installation will be cheaper
- Due to how common they are, replacement parts will be easy to find
4. A single-handle option is possible
- Easier use
- Only one hand is needed
- Easy to adjust the temperature precisely
2. Less stylish
3. Fewer options in styles
4. Difficult to clean
- As the parts are connected, there will be more tight spots to get into to clean
- These tight areas can be a breeding ground for mold
- Rust can form in the spaces between the components
- It can be difficult to clean between the components as they are so close together
5. Difficult to maintain
- When something goes wrong, the whole unit will need to be taken apart to be worked on
It may be hard to replace single components as everything is connected
6. Not suitable for more spread out arrangements
- Corner mount sinks
- Undermount sinks
Widespread faucet vs centerset faucet: which one to choose in 2023?
Widespread and centerset faucets differ in design, mechanism, and installation.
As the widespread faucet has separate components, they require more precise installation, with appropriate spacing and a hole for each of the three separate units.
There is more flexibility in the spacing between the components. Most of the components will be under the sink, and it can create a cleaner, more modern look.
A centerset faucet comes as a single unit. It often will have a baseplate to attach the components to the sink or countertop.
They tend to be simpler to install, more compact, and are often used with smaller sinks.
So, which one to choose for your bathroom or kitchen faucet?
Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your personal preference and the specific needs of your sink. If you have little space to fit your faucet, centerset type will be a better option. On the other hand, Widespread faucets give you a modern design and require more space as well.
In addition, consider the pricing factor before choosing the final faucet type as widespread faucets (generally starting from $99) are more expensive as compared to centerset faucets (generally starting from $29).
Related read: Learn how to fix a stiff faucet handle
Can you replace a widespread faucet with a centerset one (or, vice versa)?
It is unlikely that you can swap a widespread faucet for a centerset faucet. The spacing will unlikely be right if you switch from one model to the other.
Centerset faucets are designed to be compact and generally have a four-inch spacing. Widespread faucets are designed to have eight to sixteen-inch spacing.
Once the holes are created, it’s hard to go back. Therefore, it is best to replace a centerset with another centerset of the same measurements, and a widespread with a widespread. Otherwise, you will need to replace your sink or countertop!
Widespread and centerset faucets both have a place in kitchens.
Which of the two options should have a place in your kitchen will come down to your budget, space, and style.
Widespread faucets are more likely to give you a modern, sophisticated look, and you’ll enjoy easier clean-up for years to come.
On the other hand, centerset faucets will do the job on a budget, and give you less hassle to install!
Not sure which faucets to buy for your kitchen or bathroom? Check out these resources:
Are centerset and widespread faucets interchangeable?
Yes, you can replace a centerset faucet kit with a widespread faucet, or vice versa, if you have enough space and holes to fit in.
You will need to make sure that your sink has the appropriate number and placement of holes.
Generally, this will require drilling new holes in the sink or installing a new sink altogether.
Why are widespread faucets more expensive?
The key reason behind expensive widespread faucets is that widespread faucets have separate hot and cold handles, as well as a separate spout, which means they have more parts and are therefore more complex to manufacture and install.
Are widespread faucets harder to install?
In general, yes, installing a widespread faucet is hard as compared to installing a centerset faucet. A Centerset faucet may be easier to install because it only requires a single hole in the sink, whereas a widespread faucet typically requires three independent holes.