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How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Learning how to install or replace a kitchen faucet is a simple way to update your décor and refresh your space. Kitchen faucet upgrades are also a great, cost-effective option compared to replacing large appliances, upgrading countertops or adding new furniture. We’ll show you how to install a single-handle kitchen faucet in this simple guide.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Prepare the Area

    A close-up photo shows an assortment of tools and the space under your average kitchen sink.

    Preparation is key when learning how to remove a kitchen faucet and replace it with a new one. To get started, first clear out the area beneath your kitchen sink. Remove everything so you have space to work.

    Get the tools you need to do the job and have them handy under the sink. You’ll want a flashlight and safety glasses for eye protection as well. Position a small bucket under the water valves and cover your sink drains with painter’s tape to keep small parts from getting lost during the installation process.

  2. Step 2 Turn off the Water at the Shut-off Valves

    A person works on drain lines during a kitchen faucet replacement project.

    Turn off the water at the shut-off valves under the sink. Alternately, you can turn off the water at the main shut-off valve for the whole house. You may want to install shut-off valves beneath your sink if you don’t already have them.

  3. Step 3 Disconnect the Water Supply Lines

    A person uses a wrench to disconnect the hot and cold supply lines underneath a sink.

    Once your water is off, you’re ready to proceed to the first step of your actual kitchen faucet installation.

    Disconnect the hot and cold supply lines at the valves using a wrench and loosen the upper nut on the supply by hand.

  4. Step 4 Remove the Old Faucet

    A person loosens the retaining nuts on the underside of a faucet by hand.
    A man cleans a faucet to remove excess putty and debris.

    Now it’s time to start the process of removing the old faucet.

    Remove the retaining nuts inside your cabinet that hold the faucet in place. Stand up and remove the old faucet from the top. The fixture should come out in one piece. Clean any putty and excess debris from the faucet mounting surface using a soft cloth so you don’t scratch your sink in the process.

  5. Step 5 Check the Type of Faucet That Will Work with Your Sink

    A clean stainless steel sink is ready for a new faucet installation.

    Modern faucets often come with pre-installed gaskets, making them easy to put in place. However, you’ll need to ensure that the type of faucet you choose is a match for your sink. You’ll also want to pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s installation instructions, as they may differ from those of your old faucet.

  6. Step 6 Anchor the New Faucet on the Countertop or Sink

    A person begins the process of installing a new faucet on a modern countertop.
    A person tightens the retaining nuts under a sink by hand.

    Your old faucet is out of the way and your sink is clean. Now you’re ready to install your new faucet.

    Put the faucet in place, inserting it straight down into the hole on the mounting surface. Put the plastic and metal washers that came with your new faucet in place beneath the sink.

    Tighten the retaining nuts from below while keeping one hand on the tap. Don’t tighten them all the way, as you may need to adjust them later. Check that the faucet is straight and tighten the fixture in place from below.

    Repeat this process for the hot and cold taps, tightening them into place from below once you’ve ensured that they appear straight on the mounting deck.

  7. Step 7 Reconnect the Water Supply Lines

    A person reconnects a water supply line under a sink.

    Re-attach the hot and cold water supply lines using your basin wrench to tighten the nuts in place.

  8. Step 8 Install the Sprayer (Optional)

    A close-up of a nearly completed kitchen faucet installation shown from below the sink.

    Some sinks come with a sprayer attachment. To use this, you’ll need to attach a quick-connect assembly beneath your sink. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for a clear diagram of how to connect this assembly.

  9. Step 9 Turn on the Water Supply and Check for Leaks

    A person’s hand checks a nut near a water shut-off valve for leaks.

    Your installation is nearly complete. Now you can turn on the water supply beneath your sink or for your whole home, as required. Check for leaks and adjust your installation if they’re present.

    Typically, further tightening nuts will prevent leaks if you’ve performed your installation correctly.

  10. Step 10 Flush Any Debris Out

    A new running tap fills the sink with fresh, clean water.

    Flush debris out of your water lines by turning off the water shut-off valves again and running the faucet until no more water comes out. Unfasten your water supply lines and position them so any water will go into your bucket.

    Turn the water shut-off valves back on and let water flow into the bucket for about 30 seconds. Turn the water off and re-connect your water supply valves. Turn the water back on and run the faucet normally, inspecting for debris. If none are present, you’ve successfully completed the installation.

What You Need for This Project

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