- Ideas & How-Tos
Choose Your Savings
Updating your kitchen and bath fixtures is a quick and fairly painless process. It's also one of the most gratifying DIY projects. Let's start with your bathroom.
Faucets are available in a wide range of prices and styles. When choosing a new faucet, remember that not all faucet types work with every sink basin.
Widespread faucets have a spout with separate hot and cold water handles. All pieces appear to be separate. Widespread faucets are available from 6" to 16" drillings for three-hole pre-drilled installation basins.
Center set faucets (mini-widespread) are made for 4" pre-drilled with three-hole installation basins. They combine a spout and valves on a single base unit. A center set faucet set may have a single handle mixing lever or two handles mounted onto a 6" plate.
Single hole faucets have a spout and a single-handed control. Single lever faucets require one-hole drill installation basins. Some single lever faucets have an optional 6" cover plate for pre-drilled 4" drill installations.
Wall-mounted faucets are available for above-the-counter and freestanding basins that require a long spout for extended reach. Wall-mount faucets require a separate wall-mount valve and drain for installation. Make sure the spout is long enough.
After you select the right type of faucet, you can find the right finish for your style. Popular finishes include:
You will find a vast selection of colors and shapes to choose from. Even special designs or patterns can be found. But sometimes all you need is a new lid to make the whole toilet look like new.
The look of your updated bathroom might compel you to give the same treatment to your kitchen. Follow the guidelines below for a kitchen facelift.
When choosing a sink for the kitchen, consider its shape, how the sink will be mounted and the sink's material and color.
Double-bowl sinks are common these days, but many renovated kitchens now feature sinks with three bowls: often two large ones for everyday use and a smaller one for the garbage disposal.
Another popular option is an extra-deep bowl on one or both sides – perfect for washing large pots or giving a baby a bath. A high-arc faucet that swings out of the way gives you even more space.
Look for specially shaped sinks if you're planning on corner placement. For wet bars or kitchen side-counters, smaller models fit perfectly.
Top-Mounted Sinks, also called over-mounted, self-rimming or drop-in, have a lip that rests on the surface of the countertop, and are usually held in place by clips and screws. They are easier and faster to install than under-mounted sinks, but the raised lip makes cleaning more difficult. Top-mounted sinks are used with laminate countertops, since the lip can mask laminate seams.
Under-Mounted Sinks sit below the surface of the countertop. Under-mounted sinks (also called sub-mounted) are usually more difficult and time-consuming to install, but they offer a more integrated look. There is no barrier between countertop and sink, so cleaning up is easier. Under-mounting is used most often with stone or solid-surface countertops.
Flush-Mounted Sinks sit even with the countertop. The same look can be achieved with an integrated sink – a countertop and sink unit all in one piece.
The material and color of the sink often are coordinated with or determined by the countertops. The most common sink materials available are stainless steel, porcelain, acrylic, and solid-surface materials. Each material has its own particular benefits, so think about which qualities are most important to you.
When choosing a faucet, you should consider a few things first:
How Many Holes Are in Your Sink? If you're replacing an existing faucet, be sure to choose one that requires the same number of holes as the one that's being removed.
What Type of Handles Do You Prefer? Most kitchen faucets have either one handle that rotates to choose a water temperature or two handles for mixing hot and cold water.
Do You Use a Sprayer? Some newer models have sprayers integrated right into the faucet.
Do You Want a Filter? Some filters involve an attachment to the faucet, while other faucets come with the filtering mechanism built-in. When making your choice, consider the volume of water you will use and maintenance requirements.
If you find yourself overwhelmed during these remodeling projects, you may want to hire a professional to install your new sinks and faucets. Whether you go pro or DIY, these projects ultimately add more you to your home.
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