How to Install a Centerset Bathroom Faucet in a New Vanity Top

centerset bathroom faucet

Upgrading your bathroom vanity, countertop surface, sink, and faucet is a great investment in a home repair upgrade. Removing an old bathroom vanity and installing a new stylish vanity will remake your bathroom. Not only is this a great idea if you’re going to be putting your home on the market soon, it’s also a nice way to create more visual interest and enjoyment for yourself in your personal oasis.

In the process of installing a new vanity, you will also be installing a new faucet. For this project tutorial, we provide a photo-rich visual guide to installing a new 4-inch centerset single-handle cartridge faucet in a new vanity top. The single handle cartridge faucet is a popular choice for kitchen and baths and comes in a seemingly endless variety of styles.

Installing the faucet takes patience and diligence to fit all the pieces together, but most homeowners can do it entirely on their own (and save money in the process).

We’ll show you a trick installation of the faucet into a new vanity top, in this case, a granite top with an undermount sink. The “trick” is to flip the vanity top upside down and make all the connections of the faucet to the top before the top is installed into the vanity. This makes the faucet installation very easy.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Plumber’s putty or silicone caulk
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • 2 Adjustable wrenches
  • Basin wrench (if installing the faucet with vanity top already installed)


  • 4-inch centerset single-handle cartridge faucet
  • Water supply lines


  1. Insert the Faucet Into the Vanity TopThe first step involves inserting the faucet body into the proper holes in the vanity top. Start by attaching the mounting brackets to threaded rods on each side of the faucet. Fasten the retaining nuts, leaving a few threads exposed.Place the plastic gasket on top of the vanity top ​and over the sink holes, making sure to correctly orient the gasket.Carefully insert the faucet body and threaded rods into the faucet holes by angling the mounting brackets so they can fit through the mounting holes.Ensure flush and proper alignment of the faucet onto the plastic gasket.
  2. Fasten the Faucet to the Vanity TopSecure the faucet to the vanity top by tightening the mounting brackets flush against the underside of the top, making sure the bracket spans completely across the faucet hole. You can use an adjustable wrench or a closed end wrench, or a basin wrench if space is limited.
  3. Attach Water Supply LinesOnce the faucet is attached to the top, attach the hot and cold water supply lines to the faucet. The supply lines will have a rubber washer on one end. That is the end that attaches to the faucet hot/cold water lines.Snug the connection but do not overtighten.
  4. Attach Sink Drain Flange to the SinkAttach the sink drain flange to the vanity sink by sealing the underside of the drain flange with a waterproofing sealant. You can use plumber’s putty. An alternative to plumber’s putty is to use clear silicone caulk around the perimeter of the drain.
  5. Tighten Sink Drain FlangeFasten the drain flange to the sink by securely tightening the large retaining nut to the drain flange tailpiece.
  6. Clean Up Residual SealantFlip the top over and clean any putty or caulk residue which has oozed out from under the drain flange with rubbing alcohol.
  7. Attach O-Ring to Drain Flange TailpiecePlace the rubber O-ring onto the drain flange tailpiece. It will seal the connection to the pop-up tailpiece.
  8. Attach Pop-Up Drain TailpieceTighten the pop-up tailpiece with the pop-up opening facing to the rear.
  9. Insert Pop-Up Ball/Pivot RodInsert the pop-up ball and pivot rod into the pop-up tailpiece. Make sure the pivot rod is inserted into the little hole at the bottom of the pop-up drain piece. Replace the pivot rod retaining nut and finger tighten.
  10. Install Drain Lift RodThe pop-up drain is controlled by a lift rod. There is a lift rod bracket that attaches to the lift rod with what is called a clevis screw.Drop the lift rod through the rod hole on the top of the faucet.Insert it into the flat bracket and temporarily secure with the clevis bolt. The final location of the clevis screw attachment will be determined with the final adjustment of the pop-up drain.
  11. Secure Lift Rod to Pop-Up DrainSecure the lift rod to the pop-up drain pivot rod with the spring clamp. It gets installed first though the pivot rod, then through the lift rod, then again through the pivot rod.
  12. Adjust Pop-Up to 1/2 Inch ActionAdjust the height of the pop-up drain so it is raised 1/2 inch when the lift rod is fully depressed and is sealed against the sink drain flange when the lift rod is raised.You may have to alter the location of the clevis screw and/or the lift rod clip to get the proper action of the pop-up drain.
  13. Install Assembled Sink/Faucet Into VanityWith the faucet installed into the sink, install the vanity top into the bathroom vanity.
Insert faucet through holes in vanity top.
Tighten faucet mount brackets against underside of vanity top.
Attach water supply lines
Plumbers putty attached to sink drain tailpiece
Fasten drain flange to sink
Cleaning sink drain
drain tailpiece o-ring
sink tailpiece
pop-up ball and rod
pop-up drain rod
pop-up rod retaining clip
Height of pop up above sink level
vanity sink and faucet