How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

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Installing or replacing a kitchen faucet is a job any homeowner can do. As with any home improvement project, a little planning to ensure that you have the proper faucet type and the right tools on hand will make for a smooth job.

Necessary Tools

Before you begin, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for the job, including:

  • Crescent wrench
  • Basin wrench
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flathead)
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Teflon tape
  • A bucket to catch water
  • (2) Supply lines (some faucets may include these) to connect the faucet to the existing supply valves. If you're purchasing supply lines, make sure that they are long enough to reach from the faucet’s feeder lines and the existing supply valves.

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Installation varies depending on the type of faucet and site conditions. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions prior to starting. Our installation is a three-hole (lever, spout, and sprayer) faucet in a granite countertop with an undermount sink.

  1. If you are replacing an existing sink, shut off the water supply and remove the existing faucet. In our case, we are installing a new faucet in a newly remodeled kitchen, so the water supply has already been shut off. Also note the number of holes that are in your sink or countertop: If the new faucet you are installing requires more (or fewer) holes than the previous model, modifications to your sink or countertop are required.
  2. We are also installing the faucet before we install the garbage disposal and the final connections of the sink drain piping, making it easier to gain access to the supply lines and connect the faucet. If you are replacing a faucet on an existing sink, take a minute to examine the accessibility to the water supply lines beneath your sink. Consider removing a garbage disposal or drain lines for easier access, though a basin wrench is the right tool to minimize any extraneous work.
  3. Wrap teflon tape around the threads of all plumbing connections. This creates a water-tight seal. We recommend performing this step prior to installing the faucet.
  4. Slip the mounting washer or O-ring over the faucet's feeder lines. Then, place the flange over the faucet opening, thread the feeder lines through the flange and sink hole and set the faucet on the countertop.
  5. Slide on the mounting plate from the underside of the sink and finger-tighten the flange nut. Check for proper alignment of the flange and faucet from above. Tighten the faucet-mounting nut from below. Be sure not to overtighten the mounting nut. Quick Tip: If you are installing a faucet into an overmount sink, it is often easier to install the faucet into the sink first, and then set the sink into place.
  6. The spray nozzle line should be fed into the faucet body next and then connected to the faucet supply line with the provided spray hose fitting.
  7. Connect hot and cold supply lines to the feeder lines on the faucet (this step depends on the type of supply lines you use). Trim supply lines if necessary.
  8. Check and clean the copper supply lines as necessary to ensure a tight connection. Add new shut-off valves to your supply lines if necessary.
  9. Slip the nut, compression ring, and valve body over the supply pipes and tighten. Be sure not to overtighten the compression fitting.
  10. Turn on the water valves and check for leaks. If your drain lines are not connected, place a bucket in the sink to catch the water. If you don't see evidence of any leaks, you have properly installed your new kitchen faucet. Also, before turning on the faucet for the first time, remove the aerator to ensure that debris in the lines will not become lodged in it.
Ryan Carpico

Ryan is a Registered Architect who earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky in 1998. His experience in a broad spectrum of architectural projects includes design and project management in multi-family residential, general commercial, and institutional projects. This architectural experience is balanced with a background in general contracting of residential and light commercial construction projects. Ryan’s knowledge and ability as both architect and builder enable him to address both the technical and practical sides of the comprehensive body of construction knowledge.

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