Widespread vs. Centerset Kitchen Faucet: Which One is Better?

By Gretchen Sunder, 18 Jan 2022

When designing a house, many factors often come into play. Unfortunately, it's no surprise when very critical and crucial things are ignored or forgotten because people perceive them to be very minor.

Let us briefly look at one of these: The kitchen faucet. Have you imagined how beautiful, efficient, and functional a kitchen can be with some small and cozy designs of faucets?

A kitchen is aesthetically beautiful and efficiently helpful or functional, depending on the kind of faucet one has. Think about the convenience of washing your vegetables, rinsing your hands, cleaning your utensils, or simply the joy of having clean fruits.

One cannot underestimate the comfort and joy of having the right kitchen faucet. This simply is whether you are a chef, mother, or even a homeowner in need of the right spaces and tools for your house.

Faucets can be many and of different sizes and designs. However, we will only focus on two types of kitchen faucets in this piece. For each, we will briefly highlight their pros and cons and later look at the major differences between them.

Widespread Faucet

Widespread faucets come as three different pieces and often with two handles that work interchangeably to improve the ease of having cold or hot water. The handles are very independent of the spout.

The spread is usually the distance between mounting holes.

These faucets can be mounted either on the sink or the countertops but can also be used in the bathroom.


Easily adjustable

Widespread faucets have their handles separately, making it possible for each to be fixed independently and adjusted with ease.

The handles can be spaced with about 6-8 inches, but for those with big bathrooms and countertops, they can adjust it to as far as 12 inches.


Widespread faucets are available in many different designs, such as farmhouse, Victorian, or modern.

One can easily make a single-handle faucet from the widespread faucet by the virtue that each handle can be fixed differently.

Easy to fix

The widespread faucet has each of the handles fixed separately, and this may mean that if one of them is not working properly or experiencing leakage, it can then be fixed easily.

When the cartridges are not working, it's also possible to remove and fix each independently without interfering with the rest of the faucet.

Easy to tidy and keep clean

In a widespread faucet, there is sufficient space between the spout and each handle, and therefore every easy to tidy up and maintain cleanliness.

They also have few tight spots and spaces and are therefore easy to identify when dirt accumulates and clean as it may be required. The few tight spots also make it less strenuous when cleaning.


Consume more space

The widespread faucets have three spaces that are fixed separately, and the space between each can range between 6-12 inches. This might be highly ineffective for those with small sink spaces and bathroom basins.

Complexity in installation

Since widespread faucet comes in three different pieces, it might be difficult and even time-consuming to learn how to fix each handle and the spout as required.

For Some plumbers, they are likely to charge you more in terms of the installation cost since they have to do the work multiple times.


Widespread Faucets come with great flexibility, variety in terms of their designs and style, and ease of spacing. However, these great aspects make them very expensive and might not be very affordable for a person intending to minimize costs.

They are not only expensive in terms of purchase but also installation costs and repairs in the long run.

Centerset Faucet

Centerset Faucet is a single unit that is often installed in both kitchen and bathrooms. It is one of the oldest and traditional designs to remain in fashion yet very efficient.

The faucet and the handles are all attached as one item on the base or the base plate.

It is also known as the 4-inch spread faucet, with the 4inch referring to the distance between the holes. It has three holes, with two on the handle and the other one on the spout.

Compared to the widespread faucet, it might seem very compact and small because its three pieces are connected.


Save on space

Centerset faucets are usually fixed compact, and they, therefore, save on space, especially for those with small basins and sinks. The handles are also made with only a slight gap of about 4 inches, making it possible for them to be useful even in small spaces.

These faucets are also designed specifically to fit in counter holes and precut sinks, with the largest of them measuring about 6 inches. This is relatively smaller compared to the widespread ones.

Easy to Install

Centerset faucets are easy and highly flexible whether you decide to fix them yourself or with the help of a plumber. This is because all the parts are combined into one unit comprising of the handles, the spout, and the base.

Most Centerset Faucets are usually premeasured, making it possible for one to fix and install with ease.

Highly affordable

Centerset is the most common and oldest kitchen faucet, and even though it has very limited varieties, it is readily available and very affordable.

They are also available in two different options, either a single-handle or a double-hand, both of which are also easy to fix.

Because of how popular they are, it is very easy and affordable to find different spare parts. Most of the time, the cost of hiring a plumber is relatively low compared to the widespread faucet, whose labor might be twice as much.

Decent and trendy

If you are looking for something extremely decent and trendy for your kitchen, the Centerset is your piece to pick.

They are made and designed to be in such a way that not only are they useful for small spaces, but they are also very decent, and their connectedness makes them look easy.


Old school and very simple

If you are looking for something durable, exotic, and fancy, the Centerset might not be your ideal faucet. Because of how long they have been in the market, they are only made to be as simple as possible and just decent instead of modern and stylish.

They are also fixed in terms of variety, with only a few options to choose from.

Difficult to maintain and clean

The Centerset Faucets are very difficult to clean, and this is mainly because they are joined as one piece and are very compact.

They also have very many tight spots to clean and, therefore, are more time-consuming when cleaning.

What are Some of Those Major Differences Between the Two Faucets?

  • The most obvious difference is that the Widespread Faucet is a three-piece faucet that comes with two handles and a spout, and each piece can be installed individually. The Centerset Faucet is only one piece and very compact.
  • The widespread faucets are commonly used in kitchen sinks, countertops, or even in the bathrooms. The Centerset Faucets are mainly for the bathroom basins and are mainly effective in small spaces.
  • In most cases, the gap between the handles of a widespread faucet is about 8 inches but can be adjusted slightly up to 12 inches since each item can be fixed independently. The gap between the handles of a Centerset set faucet is usually 4 inches, but others can be slightly longer with up to 6 inches. However, one cannot adjust the gaps, unlike in widespread faucets.
  • A widespread faucet allows one to remove one of the handles if it's not useful or when in need of repairs and automatically adjust to be a single-handle faucet. However, it is practically impossible to remove any piece with the Centerset Faucet since they are all joined together as one piece.
  • Widespread Faucets can generally be used for both large and small sink sizes, whereas the Centerset Faucets can only be used for the small sinks because it does not allow for more room between the handles and the spout.

When Should One Choose One Faucet Over the Other?

There are times when one has to make a really tough decision when it comes to choosing one faucet over the other. We have highlighted for you below the best fit.

Choosing Widespread Faucet

  • Large spaces
  • Undermount sinks
  • More than 6inch mounted holes
  • High budget
  • Need for variety
  • Need for a corner mounted faucet

Choosing Centerset Faucet 

  • Small spaces
  • Drop-in sinks
  • Less than 6-inch mounted holes.
  • Low budget
  • Need for neatness and simplicity 
  • Only for center-mounted faucets

Final Word

There are so many great benefits that one can enjoy from having well-fitted and neat kitchen faucets, and one cannot underestimate the role they play in ensuring neat, clean, and beautiful kitchen spaces. However, one needs to choose from the different types available in the market.

This piece was specifically designed to make it easy for you to choose between a widespread faucet and a Centerset one. You need to weigh each wisely with the different cons and pros that each comes with before finally settling down with either.

Besides the make and designs, it is also important that you consider the elegance, quality, and durability of each, and we have provided some of these guidelines in our previous articles. Be sure to check some of them and let us know if they were helpful.

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