How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

Out with the old

First, shut off your water. You likely have two shut-off valves under your sink, one each for the hot and cold water supply lines. Turn off the water by turning these valves clockwise. You shouldn’t need a wrench for this.

If there aren’t any valves under the sink, then you’ll need to follow the supply lines away from the faucet until you find a valve. You may end up shutting the water down at the water heater (and water heater bypass for cold), or the main valve. In this case, leave all the faucets on the lowest floor turned on to drain water from the entire system. 

After you’ve shut the water off, turn on the faucet you’re changing to make sure the water is actually shut off: If water continues to flow, you have a faulty valve. With a bucket and towel handy for any residual water, use an adjustable wrench to remove the supply lines. Stabilize the valve assembly with a pair of slotted pliers as you loosen the water line connection; this will keep the valve and line from twisting and getting damaged. 

Once the valves are disconnected, you’ll need to remove the old faucet assembly. It’s held on by one or more retaining nuts under the sink, depending on the current configuration. These are sometimes difficult to access and you may need what’s called a basin wrench. If you’re lucky, a specific socket wrench may have been provided with the faucet. Once the retaining nuts are removed, you should be able to remove the old faucet from the sink. 

With the old faucet removed, we can slide the ne

With the old faucet removed, we can slide the new one in and start working to get it connected.

Chance Lane/CNET


Step 13: Find a New Faucet

Find a faucet that will work with the number of holes that are available on the kitchen sink.

Comment: The faucet requirements shown in the picture (Figure 13) allows for installation on a 2 or 4 hole-sink.

Tip: In step two you figured out the number of holes available in the sink for the new faucet.

Step 23: Turn the Water On

Turn the hot and cold water valves counter-clockwise (Figure 23).

Comment: When water valves are not used for long periods of time (years), they may leak from the handle. If this is the case, turn the handles until they are completely on. Turning the handles as far as they can go in the on position may re-seat the sealing gasket in the handle and stop the leak.

Warning: If the valves continue to leak after turning the water valves completely on, then they may need to be replaced. Failure to do so may result in personal injury or damage to property.

Check New Faucet Connections

Now that our old faucet was removed we checked the

Now that our old faucet was removed we checked the new faucet connections for compatibility with our existing water supply lines.

Learn from our mistake!

You may want to do this beforehand so you don’t need to run back out to the home improvement store…again.

Our supply lines were SharkBite connections but the new faucet used traditional connection sizes (3/8 compression).

Hmm we weren’t sure what to do so…

So we called in reinforcements…

We called my dad who is a plumber for advice.

Thank goodness for FaceTime!

My dad suggested we purchase connectors ) which sa

My dad suggested we purchase connectors ) which saved us from having to replace the SharkBite supply lines and shutoff valve in the correct sizes.

So back to the home improvement store we went.

With the new connectors, it was simple to attach t

With the new connectors, it was simple to attach to the existing SharkBite water line on one end and the new faucet water line on the other.

You will need to do this for both the hot and cold

You will need to do this for both the hot and cold water lines.

Since we had excess lines under the sink we used a

Since we had excess lines under the sink we used a zip tie and a small command hook to pull them together and hook them to the back of the cabinet to get the water lines out of the way.

This leaves a little more storage space under our kitchen sink.

Seal the deal with strong connections

Now, it’s time to connect the faucet’s water supply lines to the shut-off valve beneath the sink. With mine, the water lines were attached to the new faucet, but this isn’t always the case. If you need to supply the water lines, it’s recommended to change out hoses even if the ones you already have are compatible. If these hoses wear out and leak, you could have some trouble on your hands. 

You’ll want to apply a thin wrap of Teflon thread tape in a clockwise direction (the same direction you will turn the nut to tighten) around the threaded male connections to lubricate the threads, which allows for a better seal. Finger-tighten the threaded nut valve connections — then, while holding the valve assembly with a pair of slotted pliers, finish tightening the connection with an adjustable wrench. 

Slowly turn your water supply back on while checking for leaks. If the water flows normally and everything down below stays dry, then you’re all set. 

Once the new faucet is in, remove the aerator fr

Once the new faucet is in, remove the aerator from the spray nozzle and run the water for a minute or so to clear your plumbing of any debris.

Chance Lane/CNET

Now install the new faucet

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Follow any manufacturer’s preassembly instructions and place the optional flange (see Photo 8) over the faucet opening. Finger-tighten the flange nuts underneath the sink and check the alignment of the flange, faucet and sink hole from above.

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Check the operation of the faucet and handle to confirm you’re not putting it in backward, and thread the feeder lines through the flange and sink holes. Then slip on the faucet washer, and thread on and tighten the faucet-mounting nut from below, gently spreading the faucet supply tubes if necessary to gain tool clearance (sometimes manufacturers provide a special tool for this).

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Hand-tighten, then snug up the flange nuts with an open-end wrench. You can only turn the wrench about a one-sixth revolution at a time.

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet suppl

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet supply tube

Thread the spray nozzle line through the faucet body, then thread the spray hose fitting onto the faucet supply tube and tighten it. Pull the nozzle out of the faucet to make sure the hose under the sink operates freely, then attach the counterweight following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to c

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to cut them

Tighten the new valves onto the supply tubes and mark the feeder lines just above the compression nuts on the valves for cut-off.

Photo 10: Connect the supply tube to the supply lines Clean the copper tubing with fine sandpaper, then slip the nut, compression ring and valve body over the pipe and tighten. Close the valve, turn on the main water valve and check for leaks. Place a bucket under the faucet and turn the faucet on to check for leaks. Reassemble the garbage disposer, P-traps and drain lines.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mount the new faucet, then remount the sink (with the new faucet) and hook up the water lines as we show in this how to replace a kitchen faucet project.

TIP With most faucets, only three of the four holes are covered, so you’ll either need to get a blank insert or use the extra hole for a liquid soap or instant hot water dispenser. Plan to do the installation while you’re under the sink with everything torn apart. If you have a leaking faucet, consult this article on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Selecting a faucet When you’re buying a faucet (as with most other things), you get what you pay for. Faucets that cost less than $100 may be made of chrome-plated plastic arts with seals and valves that wear. They’re OK for light-duty use but won’t stand up long in a frequently used kitchen sink. Faucets that cost more than $100 generally have solid brass bodies with durable plating and washerless controls that’ll give leak-free service for many, many years. Some even come with a lifetime warranty. Quality continues to improve up to about $200. Spend more than $200 and you’re mostly paying for style and finish. Stick with brand name projects so replacement parts will be easier to find—in the unlikely event you’ll ever need them.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to replace a kitchen faucet is one of the easier kitchen remodeling updates that DIYers can accomplish to freshen up their homes. While a new faucet can be installed in just a few hours, the type of faucet being swapped affects the amount of time, number of tools needed, and whether professional help may be optimal.


If you are updating a single-mount faucet with another single-mount, it is the easiest scenario. For those who want to change from a single-mount to a double-mount, holes will need to be created to accommodate the new faucet. Changing from a double-mount to a single-mount is also possible, but it requires a base plate to cover the holes that are no longer needed.


Steps on How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

  1. Shut the water off to the faucet underneath the sink.
  2. Disconnect the water hoses from the shutoff valves.
  3. Loosen the nuts underneath the sink using the basin wrench.
  4. Cut the hose connecting the faucet to the sprayer with a pair of scissors.
  5. Carefully remove the old faucet off of the sink.
  6. Assemble the pieces of the faucet according to the instructions on the packaging. In general, it starts with a gasket that goes directly underneath the faucet and then a cover plate.
  7. Apply a thick glob of plumber’s putty underneath the cover plate and put the faucet into place. Be sure all the hoses connected to the faucet go through the center hole.
  8. Underneath the sink, slide the gasket, then the washer, and then the mounting bracket onto the faucet. Use a screwdriver to secure the bracket to the sink.
  9. Add a weight to the spray hose to allow it to retract when in use.
  10. Reconnect the hot and cold water hoses to the shutoff valves.
  11. If there is a fourth hole exposed from the old spray hose, use a cover plate or soap dispenser to block it. Add plumber’s putty to the underside and secure it to the sink.
  12. Turn the water back on.

Sign up for the Newsletter

Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox.


Leave a Comment