While not every home needs a laundry sink, every sink needs a faucet. And finding the right laundry faucet is all about finding the best fit for your sink, whether you’ve chosen a white ceramic drop-in sink or a freestanding utility sink.
Laundry faucets have many names – utility faucet, utility tub faucet, wash tub faucet, service sink faucet, mudroom sink faucet, mud sink faucet, wash basin faucet, garage sink faucet, and more. But regardless of what you call it, these are the types of laundry faucets to consider:
- Wall Mount
While you can choose any type of faucet for your utility sink, the best utility faucets favor durability over style, simplicity over complexity, function over form.
Getting to Know the Types of Laundry Faucets
There are many types of laundry and utility sinks, ranging from small ceramic drop-in laundry sinks to large laundry tubs. Pairing the faucet with your sink is all about knowing to identify the right fit, whether it’s a utility sink faucet with sprayer or a wall-mounted hand-sink faucet.
Utility Sink Faucet
A utility sink faucet differs from a kitchen faucet in one major area – the ability to attach a hose. A utility faucet is threaded on the outside of the spout, not unlike an outdoor faucet, allowing you to attach a hose. For this reason, you most often find utility sinks in garages or mudrooms. Many homeowners attach a short hose for rinsing off tools, muddy boots, and more.
Also, utility faucets don’t typically include aerators like kitchen sink faucets. Aerators are a small mesh screens screwed into the spout. It’s designed to break up the water flow by aerating the water, reducing the splash while improving flow pressure. It’s the reason why the water flow from your kitchen sink isn’t like the outdoor hose. Aerated water isn’t as necessary with utility sinks, due to extremely deep basins and the tendency for homeowners to attach hoses to the spout.
Utility faucets are often made of unfinished metals like brass, bronze, and stainless steel. They don’t usually have a polished or brushed finish, because they aren’t meant to look pretty. That said, the unfinished look is great for an industrial style.
Many utility sinks are also wall-mount faucets – the handles and spout are mounted to the wall instead of a countertop or sink deck. Wall-mount faucets are excellent when you don’t have much countertop space. However, most utility sinks are freestanding tubs with four legs and no deck. As such, plan on mounting the faucet to the wall unless the sink includes a small deck for a faucet.
Wall-mounted laundry faucets are often very industrial in design and almost always made with two handles and a long spout. The spout is often simple brass piping with a support rod and the end has exterior threading like an outdoor faucet. The handles on wall-mounted utility faucets are often cross handles or simple levers.
A bridge faucet is a two-handle faucet where the plumbing from the handles to the spout is exposed, creating the look of a bridge. Usually this connection is hidden under the sink deck or countertop, but a bridge faucet is stylistic choice with vintage appeal, making it a great fit in laundry rooms with a farmhouse, colonial, cottage or traditional interior.
Bridge faucets don’t offer any advantage over other two-handle faucets, save for style. Since they are designed as stylistically striking architecture of piping and plumbing connections, look for bridge faucets made of copper, bronze, or brass. Chrome, polished steel, and polished nickel are also great finishes for bridge faucets.
Most laundry tub faucets have a two-handle design, which has a classic symmetry common with vanity sinks. Since two-handle faucets have a simpler construction than a single-handle faucet, they tend to last longer without leaking, making them great for laundry rooms.
The two-handle design also provides greater control over the temperature. Since the plumbing is simple – one handle opens the hot water and the other opens the cold, mixing them in one flow to the spout – you have greater control over ideal temperatures for laundry. Since single-handle faucets rely on complicated mixing valves, the water temperature is often never fully hot or fully cold. And cheaper mixing valves are inconsistent, with tendencies to leak. With two-handle faucets, you are the mixing valve.
Utility faucets almost always have two handles, as do wall-mount faucets and bridge faucets. The handles are typically cross-shaped or levers in various shapes and styles. With cross-shaped handles, you twist the handle open or close the valve. With lever handles, pull the lever to open the valve and push it to close. Levers are generally easier to use, especially if the faucet is higher than a typical faucet. Some utility faucets have levers that move up and down rather than forward and back.
Single-handle faucets aren’t common with laundry, utility, or mudroom sinks because there isn’t as much advantage for one handle in these rooms. Single-handle faucets are mostly used in the kitchen, where you often have a hand occupied with a pan or scrubber. However, you can still install a single-handle faucet in your laundry room, especially if you’ve found a product you like.
A single-handle faucet with sprayer is a handy option for pre-treating stains. The faucets with sprayers include pre-rinse faucets, pull-down faucets, pull-out faucets, and some wall-mount faucets.
A pre-rinse faucet is made with a roto-flex gooseneck spout and a hose that extends up to a foot. This makes the spout extremely flexible while retaining a rigidity, ensuring the hose doesn’t kink or get in the way. This makes it great for rinsing dishes in a kitchen, but is it a good fit for a utility room or laundry sink? Yes!
Using pre-rinse faucets with utility sinks is more common due to pets. Since pre-rinse faucets are flexible with increased water pressure, they are excellent options for washing pets. The water pressure rinses soap out of fur while the roto-flex spout moves with squirming pets. With a pre-rinse faucet and a deep utility laundry tub, you no longer need to wash your dog in the shower or take your puppers to a salon.
A pull-down faucet generally has a large gooseneck spout with a spray nozzle you can pull out of the spout. It’s an extremely popular faucet in the kitchen, but it’s not a common installation in a laundry room. That said, there is no reason you can’t install one in your laundry room. The large gooseneck spout stays out of your way whole you’re pre-treating clothing and the spray nozzle helps target specific stains.
Pull-down faucets are great with modern and contemporary sinks. Many even include beveled décor, making them great for traditional or cottage styles. However, pull-down faucets are generally more expensive than other styles, since they are made primarily for the kitchen.
A pull-out faucet has a shorter spout than a pull-down faucet, but a longer hose. It’s more common for a pull-out faucet to be in a laundry room than a pull-down faucet. While not as popular, there are pull-out laundry faucets specifically designed for laundry tasks. You can tell the difference because it has two handles instead of one. And it usually has more than two spray settings.
If you’re someone who does a lot of handwashing or pre-treatment, a pull-out faucet is a valuable function. Pull-out laundry faucets look best with drop-in or undermount sinks. And both come in just about any style you want. So, if your laundry room has a farmhouse or classic or contemporary style, you can easily find a faucet to fit the style.
How to Choose the Best Laundry Tub Faucet
Pairing the Faucet to the Sink
The key to finding the best laundry sink faucet is examining your laundry sink. If the sink’s deck has three holes, you need to measure how far apart the exterior holes are.
Widespread: If the holes are between 8” and 16” apart, the sink needs a widespread laundry faucet where the hot and cold levers are separate from the spout.
Centerset: If the holes are 4” apart, then you need a centerset faucet (which is where the hot and cold handles are part of the same structure as the spout) or single-handle faucet with an escutcheon plate to cover the additional holes.
Single-Hole: If there is one hole, you need a single-handle faucet.
No Holes: If the sink has no holes, then mount the faucet to the counter or the wall. In this case, you can choose widespread, centerset, or single-hole faucets, unless the countertop already has holes for the faucet.
Utility Sink: They typically have a higher back that acts as a splash guard against the wall. If a utility sink doesn’t have a deck with holes in it, then you need a wall-mount faucet.
Choosing a Material
The material of your faucet determines its quality and durability. Brass, bronze, and copper faucets are the best materials for handling the day-to-day tasks of a faucet. They are antimicrobial and dense. Stainless steel is also a premium material with antimicrobial properties, though not to the same degree. Nickel faucets are a good option for budget faucets and mid-range faucets.
Deciding on a Finish
The finish on a laundry sink faucet is not as important as the finish on a kitchen or bathroom faucet. Many utility sink faucets don’t have a finish at all. Polished, brushed, satin and matte are all good finishes for a faucet.
How to Change a Laundry Faucet?
Whether you’re replacing a leaky faucet or simply changing the style up, replacing a laundry faucet is a task anyone can do. Doing it yourself saves money and feels exceptionally satisfying.
Here are the necessary steps to changing out a laundry faucet:
- Turn off the Water
Make sure you turn off the main water supply. This allows you remove plumbing without flooding your home.
- Disconnect the Supply Lines
Look for the supply lines to the hot and cold levers. These are usually under the tub or accessed through a panel in the wall if wall mounted. Place a bucket under the supply lines and using a wrench, loosen the pipes until they detach from the faucet. Let the water from supply line drain into the bucket. (If it’s gushing water, you have forgotten step one.)
- Remove the Old Faucet
After disconnecting the supply lines, pull the faucet from the countertop, sink deck, or wall. Examine the rubber seal in the pipe connecting to the faucet. If it looks old and worn out, replace it before installing the new faucet. Clean the area where the old faucet used to sit.
- Mount the New Faucet
Lower the new faucet into the existing holes in the countertop, sink deck, or wall. After making sure it fits, attach it to the supply lines.
- Turn the Water On & Check for Leaks
After turning the water on, let the faucet run for a few minutes. Check the supply line for leaks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laundry Faucets
What is a Faucet Spread?
The faucet spread is the distance between the mounting holes for the hot and cold handles. For a widespread faucet, the distance between the hot and cold handles is typically between 8” and 16” while a 4” spread for a centerset faucet (often referred to as mini-spread faucets) is standard.
What is a Laundry Faucet?
A laundry faucet is a term often associated with any faucet used for sinks not in a kitchen or bathroom sink. But it’s a much broader term than just a faucet for use in a laundry room. This is because laundry rooms are very different from house to house. Some people have their washer and dryer in the garage and prefer a utility sink. Other layouts include the laundry appliances in a mudroom where they might use a large utility tub or a standard sink, or no sink at all. Either way, a laundry faucet is not strictly associated with a laundry room.
What is the Difference Between a Laundry Faucet and a Utility Faucet?
There isn’t a distinguishable difference between a laundry faucet and a utility faucet. It’s all about how the faucet is being used. Most utility sink faucets have exterior threading on the spout, don’t come with an aerator, and look very industrial. These faucets are still considered laundry room faucets because the utility sinks they are paired with are typically installed near washing machines and dryers.
However, faucets installed in finished laundry rooms using standard sized sinks are typically no different than a kitchen or bathroom faucet.
What Size are Faucet Supply Lines?
The most common size for a faucet line is 1/2” in diameter, whether it’s a laundry faucet or shower faucet. However, the size of the supply line has less to do with a standard diameter and more to do with the size of the connector fittings. Supply lines use either a 1/2" slip joint (SJ), 1/2" outside diameter (OD), or a 3/8” OD. Supply hoses to the washing machine are typically 3/4" and have female hose thread on both ends of the line. So, check the fittings to understand what size supply line to use.
Does a Laundry Room Need an Interior Design?
Many people spend time in rooms with a clear and distinct style because intentional design makes rooms feel comfortable. As such, approaching your laundry room with a specific interior design, such as modern or classic interior, could help make doing laundry feel like less of a chore, minimizing the chance of mountains of laundry to pile up.
If you’re renovating your laundry room, prioritize function over style. Plan for linen cabinets, supply shelves, utility closets, counterspace for folding laundry, a laundry sink, and good lighting. By focusing on functional design, you make the room more appealing to potential buyers if you’re planning on selling the home.
If you need laundry room inspiration and ideas, talk to one of our expert designers. They can help you narrow down your style, choose the right products to fit your space, and design a cohesive space full of functional features.
Why Do Some Faucets Cost So Much More than Others?
As with most items you purchase for your home, the price range for faucets is wide. Budget faucets start at around $20 to $30, but they are made of plastic and won’t last more than a few years.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are faucets over $1,000. These are made of premium materials like copper, brass, and bronze. They are often handmade, and the valves are made from brass or ceramic materials designed to last for decades. In more contemporary faucets, smart features like touch or touchless designs, precise flow, voice control, and more are often the reason for a high price.
Choose the Best Laundry Faucet!
Whether you choose a classic two-handle laundry faucet for a ceramic laundry sink or an industrial wall-mount utility sink for a mudroom sink tub, we have the best products for your laundry room.
Consult with our virtual interior designers by calling 855.483.2629. Or email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!