How To Replace Your Bathroom Faucet Like A Pro

Serving the Greater Richmond area since 2016 | Over 100+ projects completed in 2021 alone

A newly installed bathroom faucet.

Are you looking to upgrade your existing bathroom faucet? Are you wondering what the best way is to replace your bathroom faucet? Whether you want to upgrade an old fixture, repair a leaky one, or just change the look of your sink, this guide will provide a step-by-step overview of how to replace your bathroom faucet. And if you’re looking to remodel your bathroom, we have a few bathroom remodeling ideas you should check out! By the end of this blog post, you should feel confident replacing your bathroom faucet on your own.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: A few hours

Cost: A few hundred dollars (depending on the faucet purchased)


  • Basin Wrench
  • Adjustable Wrenches
  • Bucket
  • Putty Knife
  • Rags


  • Bathroom Faucet
  • New Supply Lines (optional)
  • Silicone Caulk
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Plumber’s putty

How To Replace Your Bathroom Faucet

Replacing a bathroom faucet may seem complicated, but following these steps will make it easy for even beginner DIYers.

1. Shut Off The Water Supply

P-trap and water supply valves under a bathroom sink

Before beginning any plumbing project, it is essential to turn off the water supply first. This is done by turning off the valves under the sink that control the hot and cold water supply lines. If you don’t have shutoff valves underneath your sink, you’ll need to locate your home’s main water shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to close it.

Then, open your bathroom sink faucet to relieve any residual pressure in the system. This will prevent any additional damage or mess from occurring while you work on replacing the faucet. 

Pro tip: This is the perfect time to check the condition of the shutoff valves under the sink! Many people overtighten their valves when shutting them off, which damages them and causes them to leak. If yours aren’t working correctly, you should replace them before proceeding with the faucet replacement.

2. Disconnect Hot & Cold Water Supply Lines

After you’ve shut off the water supply, disconnecting the hot and cold water supply lines from the faucet is next. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove each line from its connection point on the faucet. Make sure not to strip or break any of the nuts or connections, as this could lead to leaks when you go to reattach them. 

3. Unscrew Faucet Mounting Nuts Under The Sink

 The next step is to unscrew the mounting nuts that hold your old faucet in place under your sink. These are usually located at either side of where your old faucet was connected and can be removed with an adjustable wrench or socket set. (Note: Some models of faucets may be attached with Phillips-head screws.) These nuts may require some force to unscrew them as they may be very tight due to years of corrosion and build-up.

Pro tip: Use a basin wrench to loosen the mounting nuts if they are located in a difficult-to-reach area under the sink.

4. Disconnect The Lift Rod

Depending on your model of bathroom faucet, you may need to disconnect a lift rod before lifting up on your old assembly. If your bathroom sink has a pop-up drain, then there will be a metal rod connected between it and the stopper lever located at the top of the sink bowl. Disconnecting this metal rod simply requires loosening up a small nut with an adjustable wrench and then pulling it off from its connection point on both ends.  

5. Lift Up The Old Faucet Assembly

Firmly grip the current faucet assembly with both hands and pull it up from the top until it is clear of the sink, taking care to pull the old supply lines through the faucet mounting hole. The old faucet may adhere to the surface of the sink, so make sure you have a secure hold on it.

6. Clean The Sink Area Around The Faucet Holes

Don’t be surprised if you find some grime under the old faucet fixture! Carefully clean the area around the faucet holes with rags. You can use a putty knife to carefully scrape off any stubborn residue that remains.

7. Unscrew Slip Nut That Attaches The P-Trap To The Old Drain

Unscrew Slip Nut That Attaches The P-Trap To The Old Drain

Note: Many bathroom faucet kits include new drains along with the faucet assembly. If this is the case for yours, you’ll want to replace the drain pipe as well.

To do this, you’ll need to unscrew the slip nut that attaches the P-trap to the old drain. This is usually done with an adjustable wrench, although you can use pliers in a pinch. Start by turning the nut counterclockwise until it becomes loose enough to remove by hand. 

Be sure to have a bucket under the P-trap and rags nearby in case any water spills out.

8. Unscrew Sink Drain Nut On Drain Flange

Next, you’ll need to detach the sink drain flange from its tailpiece located beneath the sink. To do this, simply unscrew the sink drain flange from underneath the sink.

9. Unscrew Vertical Drain Pipe And Pull Sink Stopper Out 

Unscrew the top part of the pipe from its housing. You should then be able to gently pull out the sink stopper.

10. Clean The Area Around The Drain Hole

Now that the drain assembly has been removed, you can clean the area around the drain hole with rags and a mild cleaning solution.

The next steps will walk you through the process of installing your new faucet.

11. Insert New Faucet Through The Mounting Holes At The Top Of The Sink

Insert your new faucet through the mounting holes at the top of your sink basin.

Note: While this guide is focused on installing a single-hole faucet, some faucets use separate knobs for hot and cold water. If this is the case for your faucet, carefully place each half of your new assembly into their corresponding holes before hand-tightening each nut until they are snug against both sides of your sink basin. Some faucets may also include a deck plate for covering up extra holes in your sink basin. For those models, the deck plate should be set in place at the same time as the faucet assembly.

Do not use a wrench at this point, as over-tightening could cause damage or breakage. 

12. Apply Silicone Caulk Around The Bottom Edge Of The Faucet Assembly

A caulk gun resting on a bathroom vanity.

Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the bottom edge of the faucet assembly. This will help prevent water leakage around the base of your new faucet once it’s installed. Make sure you apply a generous amount of caulk so that it forms a good seal against your sink basin.  

Note: Some faucets may include a plastic or rubber gasket around the bottom of the assembly or deck plate. In those cases, no caulking is required.

13. Hand-Tighten The Faucet Mounting Nuts Before Using A Wrench

Once everything is in place, go ahead and hand-tighten the faucet mounting nuts underneath the sink basin. After hand-tightening, carefully tighten them more securely with an adjustable wrench or basin wrench.

14. Wrap Plumber’s Tape Around Threaded Connections For Faucet Water Supply Lines 

Wrap the plumber’s tape around all threaded connections on your new faucet water supply lines. This will create a waterproof seal and prevent leaks once everything is put back together again.

Note: Most faucet assemblies come with pre-attached water supply lines. If your faucet does not have those, you can attach new supply lines to your faucet or reuse your old water supply lines.

15. Connect Hot & Cold Water Supply Lines

Connect hot and cold water supply lines to your new bathroom faucet using plumber’s tape and adjustable wrenches. Make sure you double-check every connection for tightness before moving on to installing the drain flange into place. 

Keep the water supply shut off at this point–you’ll want to install the new drain assembly before testing the faucet.

16. Put Plumber’s Putty Around The Underside Of The New Drain Flange And Insert In The Drain Hole 

Put the plumber’s putty around the underside of the new drain flange before inserting it into the drain hole in the sink basin. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the lock nut at the bottom of the sink basin until securely fastened in place. 

17. Screw The Vertical Drain Pipe Under The Sink To The Drain Flange

Now reattach the vertical drain pipe to the new drain flange.

18. Attach The Drain Pipe To The P-Trap With Plumber’s Tape On The Threaded Connection

Plumber attaching P-trap

Reattach the drain pipe to the P-trap. Use plumber’s tape on the threaded connection to ensure a waterproof seal. Tighten all connections with an adjustable wrench or pliers until everything is snug. 

19. Attach The Lift Rod To The Vertical Drain Pipe

Next, attach the lift rod to the vertical drain pipe using a coupling nut and washer. Tighten all connections securely until everything feels snug but not overly tight. 

20. Turn On The Water Supply Valves

With your new faucet in the “off” position, turn the water supply back on.

21. Remove The Faucet Aerator And Flush The Lines

It’s essential to flush out any debris or sediment that may have accumulated inside your water supply lines while they’ve been disconnected from your main water line. After turning on both of your water supply valves, remove the aerator from your faucet and flush out any debris or sediment that may be present in your lines. Once you are satisfied that there are no blockages present, go ahead and turn the faucet off.

22. Reattach The Aerator And Check All Connections For Leaks

Reattach the aerator and turn the faucet back on. Check all the connections under the sink to see if there are any leaks.

If there are any leaks, tighten the connections until they are snug. Fill up a pot with water to verify that the flow rate is satisfactory.

Congratulations! You have successfully replaced your bathroom faucet.

Fabling Built Can Bring Your Ideal Bathroom To Life

Bathroom remodeled by Fabling Built

Installing a new bathroom faucet can seem like a daunting task. But it can be a breeze with the right tools and some careful preparation. We’ve outlined all the steps you need to take to get the job done, from shutting off the water supply to testing your new faucet.

Now that you’ve replaced your bathroom faucet, you may be thinking about making other, more substantial changes to your bathroom. If you have some bathroom remodeling ideas that you’d like to bring to life, fill out our contact form today, and one of our expert remodelers will get in touch with you soon.