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How to Position Faucets with Undermount Sinks

How to Position Faucets with Undermount Sinks

Installing an undermount sink brings a touch of elegance and functionality to any kitchen or bathroom. However, one critical aspect often overlooked is the strategic placement of faucets, which significantly impacts both aesthetics and practicality. 

The synergy between the sink and faucet is pivotal for a seamless and efficient workflow. In this blog, we will help you know how to position faucets with under-mount sinks. Guide.  

Undermount Sinks and Placement of Faucets  

Unlike sinks of other types that typically have pre-drilled faucet holes within their rims, undermount sinks lack an accessible rim. Consequently, installing a faucet with an undermount sink involves drilling holes into the countertop. The number and placement of these holes hinge upon the specific type of faucet and additional accessories you intend to incorporate.  

In scenarios where a countertop arrives with a pre-installed undermount sink, such as in numerous bathroom vanities, faucet holes might already be bored. However, in many cases, you will need to ascertain the optimal faucet positions and manually drill the necessary holes into the countertop.  

You might have opted for an undermount sink due to its sleek simplicity, where achieving symmetry plays a crucial role when marking spots for faucet and accessory holes. Yet, limitations such as available space, sink size, and faucet design might necessitate an asymmetrical arrangement. 

However, asymmetry can possess its own allure. The key is ensuring the faucet effectively channels water to the desired areas without overcrowding or positioning it too near the backsplash, hindering the ease of handle operation. 

The Number of Holes Required  

Determining the number of holes necessary for your faucet depends on its specific style. Single-handle faucets commonly need only one hole, whereas bridge-style faucets typically require two, and traditional double-handle faucets often necessitate three.  

For installations requiring multiple holes, the hole spacing needed can be found in the product specifications or measured manually. Normally, for bathroom faucets, there is about a 4-inch spacing either between handles or between the spout and handle, while kitchen fixtures usually have an 8-inch spacing. 

Additional Required Holes  

Apart from the holes required for the faucet, there might be a need for additional holes to accommodate various accessories, such as: 

  • Soap dispensers 
  • Sprayers 
  • Water filtration systems 
  • Instant hot water dispensers 
  • Air gaps for dishwashers 
  • Drinking water faucets 
  • Side sprays 
  • Water purifier 

The number and placement of these accessory holes depend on the specific functionalities you wish to integrate into your sink setup. It is essential to plan and allocate space for these accessories based on your needs and preferences during the drilling process. 

The Need for Air Gap 

Furthermore, you might require an air gap for your dishwasher, especially if you reside in a state mandating its installation. Functioning as a dome-shaped valve positioned on the countertop, the air gap links to the dishwasher’s drain hose. Its primary role is to prevent the backflow of wastewater into the dishwasher by inhibiting the creation of suction in the drain hoses. To ascertain whether this component is necessary for your setup, consulting local plumbing codes and building regulations is recommended. 

Regarding the positioning of accessories relative to the faucet, there is a degree of flexibility. They can be arranged in close proximity, provided they don’t overly encroach upon each other or are positioned at greater distances.  

However, when aligning these accessories behind a sink, it is advisable to keep them within the defined space outlined by the sink’s edges. Failing to do so might result in a cluttered countertop appearance, leading to a loss of functional workspace. 

Placement of Faucet 

The typical and widely accepted position for the faucet placement is directly centered behind the sink, aligning midway between its sides. Determining the distance between the faucet holes and the sink’s edge relies on factors like the type of faucet and style, ensuring the spout extends completely beyond the sink’s rim. 

Product specifications often provide the setback distance, typically ranging between 2 to 4 inches, essential to consider. It’s crucial to ensure that the faucet connectors beneath the countertop have ample space to clear the sink’s base. In the case of square or rectangular sinks, the lack of adequate clearance often restricts placing the faucet closer to the recommended setback distance. 

For centering a two-hole bridge faucet, measure the tailpieces’ distance and mark each hole on the countertop, aligning them equidistant from the sink’s center. When installing a three-hole faucet, mark the center hole initially, then measure and mark the distances to the other two, ensuring alignment using a ruler parallel to the sink. These marks represent the center of each hole and should correspond accurately with the faucet tailpieces’ centers. 

Off-Set Placement of Faucet  

In numerous scenarios, the conventional placement of a faucet may become impractical or undesirable. These situations include: 

  • Limited Space: Insufficient space between the sink and backsplash, or obstructions beneath the sink, prevents standard faucet placement, especially in wider sink configurations. 
  • Irregular Sink Shapes: Some sinks deviate from conventional shapes like oval or rectangular, and double-basin sinks might have asymmetric basin sizes, making a centrally placed faucet less logical. 
  • Decorative Considerations: Unconventional designs in kitchens or bathrooms might call for an offbeat faucet placement to align better with the overall decor scheme. 
  • Enhanced Accessibility: Opting for an alternate faucet position, such as on the side of the sink, offers improved accessibility. This setup allows swiveling of the faucet to fill containers resting on the countertop, enhancing usability for specific tasks. 

Placing the faucet around the sink is permissible as long as specific criteria are met: 

  • Complete Overhang: The faucet’s spout should fully extend over the sink, ensuring water flows directly into the basin. 
  • Unrestricted Handle Operation: Nothing should obstruct the smooth functioning of the faucet handle. 
  • Free Swiveling (if applicable): For swivel-type faucets, adequate space should allow the spout to move freely without any hindrance. 
  • Unobstructed Water Connection: No obstructions should impede connecting the faucet to the water supply. 

When installing a two- or three-hole faucet, consider the following orientation guidelines: 

  • Linear Alignment: The line connecting the bathroom faucet holes should align sensibly with the sink’s shape. For square or rectangular sinks, the hole line usually parallels one of the sides. 
  • Curved Sink Shapes: In the case of round, oval, or curved sinks, a tangent line drawn on the curve, corresponding to the faucet’s center point, can guide the alignment of the holes. Ensure the line connecting the holes runs parallel to this tangent for optimal placement. 

Faucet and Accessory Placement 

There’s room for creativity when it comes to positioning faucets and sink board accessories, each with its specific clearance needs for hole placement. Typically, most accessory clearances match those of the faucet, allowing for mounting them at equivalent distances from the sink.  

In the case of square or rectangular sinks, optimal alignment involves ensuring all accessory holes fall along a single line parallel to the sink’s edge, encompassing the faucet holes.  

However, for round, oval, or differently shaped sinks, distributing the accessory holes evenly around the sink perimeter, maintaining equal distances from the edge, might be preferable. 

There’s considerable flexibility in the guidelines for accessory placement, offering ample opportunities for creative arrangements. You have the freedom to drill accessory holes either solely on one side of the faucet or distribute them across both sides.  

Whether spacing them evenly or asymmetrically, it largely depends on harmonizing with the room’s overall design. Additionally, aligning the accessory holes in coordination with other features like a rack or shelf is an option worth considering. The key consideration is ensuring adequate clearance for installing and utilizing the accessories effectively. 

In conclusion, achieving the perfect synergy between undermount sinks and faucets involves careful consideration of factors like sink shape, available space, and individual preferences. Whether opting for a classic centered placement or exploring creative alternatives, the key is to ensure functionality, aesthetics, and accessibility are seamlessly integrated. The diverse possibilities in faucet and accessory placement offer room for personalization and design flair, allowing you to create a space that perfectly aligns with your vision. For expert assistance in turning your ideas into reality, contact Arrant Construction. Let us transform your kitchen or bathroom into a harmonious blend of style and practicality. 


Is it possible to have creative placement for faucet and accessory holes? 

Absolutely! You have flexibility in placing accessory holes, whether grouped together or dispersed across both sides of the faucet. This allows for creative arrangements that suit your design preferences. 

How do I decide on the best placement for a faucet in an irregularly shaped sink? 

For irregular sink shapes, prioritize practicality and aesthetics. Consider placing the faucet where it aligns with the sink’s primary usage areas and complements the overall design, ensuring it doesn’t hinder functionality.

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