Widespread Faucet vs. Centerset Faucet: Which One Is Right for You?

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Both the centerset faucet and widespread faucet come in two handles and a spout—but is one better than the other?

Widespread and center-set faucets aren’t interchangeable and choosing between the two can make a world of difference in the overall look and functionality of your bathroom. With that being said, you should consider the type of sink you have, your needs, and your budget.

Widespread faucets provide you with more flexibility and are ideal for larger sinks. Centerset faucets, on the other hand, are a practical solution that offers both simplicity and functionality. Their compact profile works well with smaller sinks and bathrooms.

But which one should you get?

There’s not a single answer to this question. It all comes down to your preference. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between these two popular faucet types. We’ll also look into their pros and cons to help you decide.

What Is a Widespread Faucet?

What Is a Widespread Faucet

A widespread faucet is a type of faucet that comes in three separate parts including a spout, which is typically wider than a standard faucet, and two handles. Similar to any faucet with two levers, the handles allow you to adjust the water flow and temperature.

The handles of widespread faucets are generally spaced apart by 6 to 16 inches, thus the name. When it comes to installation, they require three pre-drilled holes on counters or under-mount sinks. Some versions can also come with a base plate to cover extra holes on certain sinks.

Widespread faucets are commonplace in both bathrooms and kitchens. They are ideal for large sinks due to their size.

Pros of Widespread Faucets

Stylish: Widespread faucets come in various designs and finishes. From brushed nickel with a waterfall faucet spout to a modern oil-bronzed look, you have a range of options to complement your home decor. The larger gaps between the handles and the spout also make any sink look more spacious.

Flexibility: This means that you can customize the spaces between the handles and the spout. In fact, you can spread the pieces up to 16 inches apart. You can even install them in nonstandard configurations. It may not suit all bathrooms, but at least you have that option.

Easy to clean: Due to the sufficient amount of spacing between the parts, widespread faucets are easy to clean and maintain. You won’t struggle to get to the tighter areas and there’s no base plate that gets in the way.

Cons of Widespread Faucets

Tricky installation: Widespread faucets typically don’t have a deck plate so you will need to align the holes to ensure a good fit. And if your sink or counter doesn’t have pre-drilled holes, the process can become even more time-consuming.

Takes up more space: Installing a widespread faucet may not be a good idea if you have a small sink or counter space. They also have larger spouts than centerset faucets. And small vanity sinks mean limited under-sink space, right? That small space may not be able to accommodate the plumbings and connectors.

Expensive: Widespread faucets are often twice as expensive as centerset faucets due to their versatility in spacing and design. You need to also factor in the installment fee.

Who Needs a Widespread Faucet?

A widespread faucet is best for those planning to build a new bathroom and if the space permits. Yes, they are on the pricier side, but they may be worth considering. Installing a widespread faucet is also a great way of adding a touch of elegance to the space.

What Is a Center Set Faucet?

What Is a Center Set Faucet

Centerset faucets have been around for ages. They come in a single solid unit and are installed on three pre-drilled holes on bathroom sinks and countertops. These bathroom faucets are classic, with two side handles that allow you to control water flow and temperature.

A center set faucet is typically mounted on a single base plate, where the handles and the spout are spaced 4 inches apart, though some versions come in 6 inches. Such a faucet can also come with a single handle.

Pros of Center Set Faucets

Compact: Centerset faucets are a great space-saving solution for smaller sinks and spaces.

Easy to install: Since they come integrated into one solid unit, it makes installation easier since you don’t have to do the extra step of lining up the three individual holes. All you need is to mount the mounting plate into the sink or counter and you’ll be done in no time.

Less expensive: If you want to save money, a center faucet will be a more affordable choice. It comes in a single unit so they require fewer materials to install.

Cons of Center Set Faucets

They look basic: If you’re looking for something sleek and modern, center-set faucets will give you a more limited choice in the design department.

Hard to clean: The gaps between the faucet handle and spout are just too close that they can be hard to maintain.

Do You Need a Center Set Faucet?

You may want to consider getting a center-set faucet if you have a smaller bathroom or sink. They are compact and also work well for drop-in sinks. Plus, they are less expensive if you don’t mind getting a simple faucet that does its job.

What Is the Difference Between a Centerset Faucet and a Widespread Faucet?

The key difference between widespread and centerset faucets is in their configurations. A center set faucet comes with two handles and a spout integrated into a single solid unit. It’s designed to fit bathroom sinks with three holes or requires three pre-drilled holes when installed on countertops.

The handles of center-set faucets are usually spaced close together. This makes them a great option if you have a smaller sink. Aesthetic-wise, however, they have a visible mounting plate which can make them look visually bulky despite being compact.

A widespread faucet, on the other hand, comes in three separate parts including two handles and a spout. Each part is mounted on three individual holes in the sink or countertop. They are commonly used in larger sinks and bathrooms and offer more flexibility when it comes to installation.

Whether you need to replace your entire bathroom sink and fixture or replace your old faucet, you must consider the following:

Sink Compatibility

If you want to replace an old faucet, check that your existing sink is compatible with the faucet you want to install, be it a center set or a widespread faucet.

For smaller bathroom sinks, a widespread faucet may not be a viable solution. But for tight corners, it should work. Just make sure to install the spout on the rear side of the faucet and the handles on the side.

That said, a center-set faucet will be the most suitable option. Since they are generally more compact, smaller sinks will accommodate them better.

When it comes to the holes, a widespread faucet might work where the center set was previously installed. But since the center set faucets are typically only 4 inches, you might need to hunt for a mini widespread faucet.


Center set faucets, being a single unit, tend to cost about a fraction of the prices of widespread faucets. This is due to their simple design and installation.

The reason widespread faucets cost more is that they have separate parts. This also means you need to pay for the additional step required to install the pieces individually. And if your existing sink has more than three holes, you may need to buy a mounting plate separately to cover the extra holes.


When it comes to installation, a centerset faucet is less laborious because it comes in a single solid unit. No elaborate parts to install; you just need to make sure that the holes on your sink or counter are compatible with a center-set faucet. Widespread faucets can be trickier to install since you have three individual parts to install.

If you need to replace a faucet on an existing sink, make sure to measure the “spread.” This is the distance between the centers of the two handles. You can start from the center of one outer hole to the center of the other hole.


Can I Put a Widespread Faucet on a Centerset?

Yes, you could. In some cases, you can install a widespread faucet where the center set is previously installed. This is because widespread faucets offer individual parts. Many widespread faucets are designed to be compatible with where standard center set faucets are installed.

However, keep in mind that the pre-drilled holes for center set faucets are usually 4 inches or center. So, a mini spread faucet may be your best option.

Does a Centerset Faucet Have 3 Holes?

A centerset faucets require three pre-drilled holes for installation. The faucet holes are spaced at 4-inch apart from each other and are reserved for the spout and two side handles. But depending on the style of the centerset faucet, it may also only require one or two faucet holes on the counter or sink.

Is Widespread Faucet Better?

Not necessarily since we all have our own preferences. However, widespread faucets are more flexible. They can be installed on nonstandard configurations, making them a great choice if you want to place them on tight corners. Widespread faucets also look more visually appealing than single, solid center-set faucets.

That said, because they have more parts and may need additional drilling into the sink or countertop, such faucets may take longer and can be laborious to install. On top of that, they could cost more than other types of faucets.


So, it is centerset or widespread faucet?

When it comes to the debate on choosing between a centerset and widespread faucet, the right fixture for you depends on the style of your sink, your needs, and your budget.

A widespread faucet can be a good option if you want a more customized look. These faucets come in a range of design options that a center set faucet simply does not offer. However, you may get away with the more compact and simple design of center set faucets.

Whichever you pick, make sure that you’re investing in a high-quality bathroom faucet so it can serve you for years to come.

Aside from these two, learn more about the different types of bathroom faucets – there are plenty!

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