Faucetsreviewed is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more


Single Handle Bathroom Faucet Installation: Step-by-Step

single handle bathroom faucet installation
Written by Jenny Molin

Congratulations if you’re planning to switch to single-handle faucets in your bathrooms since the cartridges in most double-handled faucets go bad over time. This can happen for many reasons such as when you have hard water coming through the faucet or when they’re overused.

On the other hand, you get only one cartridge and one handle to deal with in a single-handle faucet. They’re easier to clean and less expensive to maintain in the long run.

Here’s a guide on how to install a single-handle faucet that you can easily follow.

Single Handle Bathroom Faucet Installation – Step-by-Step

Step 1: Gather the tools

  • A bucket or a bowl
  • A sponge or a towel
  • A basin wrench
  • A Phillips head screwdriver
  • A pair of channel lock pliers
  • An adjustable wrench
  • A hacksaw

Step 2: Shut off the water supply valves

Shut off the water supply valves

Before you do anything, you need to clean under the basin area. Get a bowl, bucket, or towel ready under the basin to catch water spills. Disconnect all the water supply lines from the faucet, including hot and cold water lines under the sink.

You can turn off the main water supply in case you can’t find the shutoff valves. Open the faucet to let it drip for a while so there’s no more pressure in water lines.

Step 3: Remove the pop-up drain

Remove the pop-up drain

Next up, remove the pop-up drain if you have one. The pop-up pivot shaft is usually located behind the drain line.

Unscrew the shaft with channel lock pliers from the drain tube and then unscrew the clevis screw on top of the lift shaft bracket to pull out the pivot shaft. Now pluck out the pop-up drain.

Step 4: Disassemble the old faucet

Disassemble the old faucet

Get the adjustable wrench or channel-lock pliers to unscrew all the supply lines from your shutoff valves. Loosen the lift bar and detach the pop-up assembly way up under the basin.

Use a basin wrench that will reach way up and help you unscrew and loosen hard-to-reach areas. Remove the mounting nuts holding the faucet to the basin.

How your faucet was mounted may be different depending on the type of sink and the model of the faucet. Lift the old faucet directly up and out of the sink once you’ve released it from all the nuts and screws.

Step 5: Clean up the work area

Clean up the work area

Clean up the place once you’ve removed the old faucet. Scrape off the caulk or old plumber’s putty if you need to. Make sure the sink is prepared for your new faucet.

Step 6: Test fit the new faucet

Test fit the new faucet

It’s important to test if your new faucet fits in the sink. You may try putting your faucet supply lines into the mounting holes and plan how the installation needs to be.

Step 7: Assemble the new faucet

ssemble the new faucet

Push the brass mounting nuts through the underside of your faucet and tighten them up using Phillip’s screwdriver about midway. Make sure the gasket, plumber’s putty, or deck plate cover is in place while positioning the new faucet down into the holes.

Step 8: Mount the new faucet

Mount the new faucet

Install the washers and nuts on the underside of your basin and mount the faucet to the sink and hand tighten the nuts. Reach way up under behind the sink and place a v-cut brass washer around and in the copper pipe and mounting screw.

Now, hand-tighten the nuts with a wrench from under and align the faucet from above the basin to keep it in the center.

Step 9: Connect the hot and cold water supply lines

Connect the hot and cold water supply lines

Hand connects both the lines to the copper inlet tubing underneath the faucet. Then tighten the connections using both the channel lock pliers and the adjustable wrench.

Step 10: Reconnect the pop-up drain

Reconnect the pop-up drain

Push the lift rod into the back of the faucet to fasten it with the pop-up assembly line, attach the lift strap on top of the lift rod, insert it into the top of the faucet, and lightly tighten up the thumbscrew.

Then push the pivot rod through the hole at the opposite end of the lift strap and tie it up with the spring clip. Make sure to adjust the mechanism for the best pop-up action.

Step 11: Test for leaks

Turn on the hot and cold valves right under the sink and unscrew the aerator. Open the faucet and let the line flush for a while. This will clear out the debris left behind. Check if there’s any sign of leaks. Screw the aerator back on to finish the installation process.


  1. Can you install a faucet without the plate?

Ans: Yes, you can. It’s perfectly okay to install your faucets with or without the base plates or deck plates. These plates work as concealments for any extra holes and make way for the installation of one-hole units onto three-hole basin tops.

  1. How do single-handle faucets work?

Ans: Single-handle faucets have a single valve that lets both hot and cold water come out. The position of the valve determines the amount of water that reaches the faucet spout from each waterline.

  1. What is an escutcheon plate?

Ans: It is a kind of plumbing washer commonly made of stiff material to hide the additional holes on the sink top while installing a faucet or the wall with pipes coming through. People also refer to escutcheon plates as cover plates or flanges.

  1. Are single-handle faucets better?

Ans: In short, yes. They are way more convenient and user-friendly than the double-handled units. They’re a popular choice because they’re simple to install and easy to maintain. The effortless operation of single-handle faucets makes them the first choice of older and infirm people who struggle with arthritis.

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.

Leave a Comment