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Flat vs Beveled Faucet Washers | In-Depth Comparison

Flat vs Beveled Faucet Washers
Written by Jenny Molin

Flat vs Beveled Faucet Washers: Which Is for What?

Beveled washers are originally from Europe while flat washers are from North America.

Historically, European seats were shaped like a funnel and the slope on the beveled washers would contact a wider surface that way.

Most of today’s faucets support flat washers as they are widely available and easy to install.

Beveled faucet washers, however, can tackle the aged and corroded faucets and treat their leaks well. The only downside is that they’re difficult to install.

If your faucets are quite old but you still love to have them or they are simply corroded and broken from the inside, you should go with the beveled washers for sure.

If the faucets are in a good condition and have passed a few years only, pick up a pack of flat washers straight away.

We recommend that you try to get both in case you have no clue about the type of washer your faucets might incorporate with.

Note: Both the washers are intended to sort out the same job. You can use both of them in any fixture that involves washers.

Here’s a table to show you exactly where they differ and where they’re the same.

Key areas Flat washer Beveled washer
Cost per 50-piece pack (rubber-made) $3-5 (average) $5-8 (average)
Availability  Common & Easy-to-get Rare & Hard to find
Shape Equally flush on both sides Slightly funnel top & flat bottom
Type of faucet it can best accommodate with Latest faucets up to 12 years old Faucets that passed 10-12 years

Flat vs Beveled Faucet Washers: Their Major Differences

1. Shape

  • Flat

Flat vs beveled faucet washers: Shape -Flat

Like the name, they’re flat on both sides and designed to level perfectly without any added alterations. These old-school spacers are available in quite a few sizes.

Most modern faucets still use flat washers because they’re simple, effective, and easy to install.

  • Beveled

Flat vs beveled faucet washers_ Shape -Beveled

Beveled washers are flat on one side and beveled all through the edges on the other side, a bit like a funnel upside down. Unlike flat washers, you need to be watchful with which side you’re putting on the surface due to their appearance.

They became unusual and rarely found with the new faucets these days. You may go with beveled washers when you don’t want to replace the broken brass seat or when the seat’s inside edge needs to block the water flow.

Don’t forget to clean the seat before setting in your beveled washer since they can get chewed up quite easily.

Pro Tip: Use a flat washer when you want the water to rush out fast and full the moment you turn on the tap. But a beveled washer is your best bet when you want the water to follow slowly and gently at first, then up the speed to the max as you hit the tap open.

2. Availability

  • Flat

It’ll not be difficult for you to get the flat faucet washers as they are accommodated by virtually all the faucets on the market.

  • Beveled

As far as beveled faucet washers are concerned, they’re rare and hard to come by. It may take you a little longer to get them at hand.

3. Applications

  • Flat

Flat washers are an important fitting element that can be used for various purposes and are an obligatory part of a new faucet.

Also, they are easily available once you need a replacement.

  • Beveled

Beveled washers on the other hand are mainly used for leveling and shimming. They work as an option where flat washers cannot be set in.

This is particularly the situation with awfully aged and worn-out faucets. A flat washer may not get along well with a shabby tattered faucet and might fail to prevent leaks.

Beveled washers come in handy to make up for material damage in the contact area between the pipe and the faucet and stop water from dripping.

Note: Flip the washer if your faucet still leaks to cover the other damaged areas with the funneled side. The thread will compensate for the parts left.

Price

  • Flat

None of them is out of reach. Normally, you can get a 50-piece flat washer pack for $3 or so.

  • Beveled

A 50-piece beveled washer pack will cost you $5 or so.

When To Replace the Washer on a Faucet?

You only need to replace the washer on your faucet when it springs a leak and water starts dripping. Sometimes a refitting of the washer will be just fine to stop the leak immediately.

But the good rule of thumb for any rubber washer/gasket is to replace the flat washers once in two years and beveled washers at least once a year.

Washers made from nylon and Teflon usually have a longer lifespan as you don’t need to replace them for 4-6 years.

Tools you need to replace the washers like a pro

  • Replacement washers
  • Versatile screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Penetrating oil (sprayable)
  • Seals/cartridges
  • White vinegar (soak rusty metal parts in vinegar and they self clean themselves)
  • Scouring pad

How To Replace the Washer on a Faucet?

It may seem problematic to open up your faucets and replace the washers inside regularly, but that’s not truly the case.

It should be a 5-minute work for anyone using basic handy tools such as a wrench.

  • Carefully loosen the joints of the faucet until you get to the washer
  • Remember how it was assembled
  • Remove the threads and the damaged piece
  • Clean if there is any mess
  • Put the replacement washer perfectly in place
  • Apply some thread tapes for better tightening
  • Put the joints back together using your wrench

If it still leaks, re-do it using a beveled faucet washer

Basics of a Faucet

Basics of a faucet

A faucet includes several parts, pieces, and joints to give you complete control over the temperature, frequency, squelch and direction of the water flow.

The mounting nuts and bolts hold each part in place, like the hot and cold water lines, joints, compression couplings, and washers in between.

Why do faucet washers matter?

All faucet washers are spacers sandwiched between the fastener components. They make sure the faucets fit evenly and securely. The washers keep the water sealed as you repair or mount faucets.

On the inside, washers cease the water from flowing to the spout when the lever is turned off and resist pollutants flowing through pipelines.

Washers act like Insulators

Flexible and resilient washers work as great insulators. The inside metal parts would wear out a lot faster without washers due to the friction and openness to corrosion.

A good washer will increase the lifespan and improve the general condition of your faucet housing, and minimize the risk of repairs and replacements.

Common  Faucet Washers Sizes

  • 1-inch
  • 9mm
  • 15mm
  • 16mm
  • 17mm
  • 20mm
  • 32mm
  • 40mm

Faucet Washer Materials

  • Rubber
  • Silicone
  • Teflon
  • Nylon
  • Fiber
  • Ceramic

FAQs

1. Which direction does a beveled washer go?

Ans: The bevel side of the washer should be fronting to the bolt head while you install it.

2. How long does a faucet washer last?

Ans: The regular rubber washers typically last 1-2 years. Faucet washers made of silicone, Teflon, or nylon can last up to 6 years.

3. What are bib washers used for?

Ans: It’s used on a faucet bibb, also known as a hose hydrant, shutoff valve, spigot, or Silcock usually located outside of your home.

4. Why are washers chamfered?

Ans: The washers are chamfered to underrate the pressure on the bolt head and prevent any excessive load pushing in onto the bolt or tip of the nut into the material.

5. What is the best tap washer to use?

Ans: A nylon tap washer should be great for household use. Consider the fiber-made tap washers for industrial purposes.

About the author

Jenny Molin

Interior Design Artist

Hello, I’m Jenny. I’ve been an interior design artist by profession since my B.S. in Interior Design. I’m a minimalist and prefer to save space when choosing fixtures, sinks and fittings. My style tends to make the most out of the least amount of space. The idea behind every interior design project is unique and it reflects personal style, taste and tradition. I’ve learned more when working than I ever did while I was studying in college. I worked in more than 12 hundred households all across the US and got positive feedback. I’ve been working with FaucetsReviewed as one of the founding members and regularly contributing to the site via testing and reviewing various interior fittings and fixtures.

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