I always think of a faucet as jewelry for your kitchen. It’s a finishing piece that brings the whole design together. Like a statement necklace, a new kitchen faucet can add style and personality to what is essentially a space that is typically more about function than form. With so many options to suit any design style finding a new faucet within your price range can be really simple. Big box stores as well as many online retailers make sourcing beautiful, quality, affordable options easy. However, having to hire a plumber to do the work of replacing your kitchen faucet can turn an inexpensive update into one that might be over your budget. Since I just replaced my own kitchen faucet, and many of you asked for a tutorial, I thought I’d break this relatively simple diy home project down for you all today. Although there are two things you should know before we jump in: 1. I’m in no way a professional plumber, so I’ll be using super technical terms like “lefty-loose-y”. and 2. If I can do this, a monkey can. So trust me, you can absolutely do this yourself! 😉
First things first. When you are shopping for a new faucet you’re going to want to find a replacement faucet that matches the style of the one you currently have in place. If you currently have a one hole faucet you have to replace it with another one hole style…….unless you’re also ripping out the countertops……which is a whole other story. If you have a three hole faucet, you can convert that to a one hole if you can find a plate that will cover the other holes. So look at how many holes are in your counter and then source a new faucet based on that.
Once you have your new faucet, I recommend opening the box and reading through the installation guide. Make sure you have all the parts. There is nothing worse than removing your old faucet only to find that you don’t have everything you need to install the new one. Many new faucets come with supply lines. If yours doesn’t and you’re replacing an old faucet you will probably want to purchase new supply lines. There are two tools that really come in handy for this type of plumbing work. An adjustable wrench is probably lurking around in your junk drawer, but a basin wrench may be one you don’t already have. It’s a less than $20 tool you can pick up at any hardware store and it makes working under the sink much easier.
Okay, once you’ve read through the installation guide, made sure you have all the parts for your new faucet and have gathered your tools, you are ready to do this thing! You’re obviously going to start by removing your old faucet. This is the hardest part of the game. Once you have the old faucet out, putting the new one in is a piece of cake.
This is an excellent time for a good purge and clean-out of the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Might as well knock out two birds with one stone.
Now that the cabinet is empty, get familiar with the main players down here.
It’s dark down here. You’re going to need a flashlight. I recommend using the flashlight app on your phone, works like a charm.
Now you’re ready for step 2.
If that sounded like Greek to you, let me break it down. The valves, those white thingamabobs, you have to close them to keep the water from running when you disconnect the supply lines. Your shut-off valves may look different from mine. Yours may be silver knobs that you’ll turn clockwise to close and counter-clockwise to open. Right now you’re closing them to stop the flow of water. Once they’re off, turn your faucet on, this will drain any residual water that may be in the supply lines. If you skip that step you’ll end up getting some water in your cabinet when you disconnect the supply lines. Either way, it’s a good idea to have an old towel handy.
If your valves look like mine the picture below shows how to turn them off and on. Once your shut-off valves have been turned off, you’re ready for step 3.
It’s lefty-loose-y, righty-tight-y. So you’ll turn the nut, that silver doodad, to the left to loosen it so that you can disconnect the supply line. You’ll do that for both the hot and cold water supply lines.
Then once your hot and cold water supply lines have been disconnected from the shut-off valves, if you have a sprayer, you’ll move on to step 4. If not you can jump right to step 5.
Once all the lines have been disconnected, you’re ready to bust out your basin wrench. You’re going to really need that flashlight now. You’re going to get all mechanic like and put a towel down to use as a cushion in order to lay on your back so that you can access the nut or nuts (if you have a three hole-r).
Now you’re ready to pull the old faucet completely out – lines and all. Just pull up from on top of the counter to remove. Then clean the area where the old faucet was installed really well before installing your new faucet. In terms of installation, all the directions you’ll need for your specific faucet will come with your faucet. If the installation guide is too vague, check out the manufacturers website. Many of them have installation instructions you can download online.
If your new faucet doesn’t have supply lines already attached, attach the new supply lines you purchased to your faucet. Before you feed the lines through the hole in the counter, check to see if your faucet came with a soft, plastic gasket. If not, you’ll need some plumber’s putty to seal around the base to keep water from getting under it. Most new kitchen faucets come with a gasket, but if not, plumber’s putty is really easy to use. Just put a bead around the base before you mount the new faucet. When you tighten the nut under the sink with your basin wrench a little of the plumber’s putty will squeeze out, but you can easily wipe that up with a damp rag or some rubbing alcohol. Speaking of tightening the nut under the sink, you’ll want to tighten a little then check to make sure your faucet it placed exactly where you want it before tightening all the way.
Once the faucet has been mounted, you’ll follow the same steps as noted above for removal but in the reverse order. You’ll connect the sprayer (if you have one). Then you’ll connect the hot and cold water supply lines to the the shut-off valves. If it’s lefty-loose-y to loosen than you’re going to tighten by turning the nuts righty-tight-y. Be sure not to over tighten. Once the hot and cold water supply lines have been connected to the valves, you can turn the valves back on to check for any leaks. If there are leaks, tighten the fittings a little more and then recheck. Once the lines are connected and there are no leaks, you’re done! Time for a little Happy DIY Dance Break!!
I promise you, if I can do this, you can too! Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them!