Drilling Countertop Holes for Faucet Installations

Important! Before you drill, be sure to check the underside of the sink so you won't be drilling into a brace or other obstruction that would make installation of the faucet difficult or impossible.

Faucets require a hole in the sink or countertop for installation.

Hole Sizing

  • A standard (non-air-gap) faucet, with or without tubing attached, needs a hole that's 7/16" in diameter or larger. You can install standard faucets comfortably in holes up to 1.25". It's possible to install in a 1.5" hole, but it's hard with the standard faucet escutcheon. You can find oversized escutcheons, but they aren't always pretty.

  • An air gap faucet needs a hole that's at least 3/4" in diameter, and it should be no larger than 1 1/4".

Working with Existing Holes

  • If you have an existing hole that's slightly larger, you'll need to find an oversized escutcheon to take up the slack. Try a local hardware or plumbing supply store.

  • If you have an existing hole that's too small, there is no remedy other than to drill it larger. (We loaned our hole stretcher to a customer who did not return it.)

Drilling Through Steel, Porcelain or Cast Iron

  • Drilling smaller holes in a stainless steel sink is usually quite easy. A 1/2" hole, for example, can be drilled with a standard metal bit from the hardware store. It's easiest to drill a small pilot hole, then follow with a 7/16" or 1/2" bit. The cone-shaped “Unibits” that drill an increasingly larger hole work great on stainless sinks. Larger holes are difficult in stainless. In hardware-store quality tools, a good sharp “hole saw” is your best choice.

  • Many of the new sinks that appear to be porcelain are actually quite thin and quite easy to drill with a standard masonry drill bit. If in doubt, consult the sink manufacturer for advice.

  • Drilling older porcelain or cast iron sinks should probably not be attempted unless you have special equipment (a Relton Sink Cutter, for example).

Tip #1: If there is simply no place to drill a hole in a sink, you can sometimes drill into the countertop next to the sink.

Tip #2: If you're buying a new sink, you can usually get the seller to furnish a sink with the hole you need.

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