What is the difference design-wise between widespread and mini-widespread faucets?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by golem, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Been researching this for the better part of the day and can't determine. I understand 4"-centerset is for 4" only, 4"-mini-widespread applies to both 4" and 8" while 8"-widespread is supposed to be 8" only. For the life of me though I can't determine why a widespread faucet could not be mounted on 4" centers. It seems most (if not all) of the widespread bathroom sink hardware includes a flexible hose connection between the valves and spout which should allow for any spacing up to 8". There must be something I'm not seeing. Maybe the above sink hardware is not properly sized for 4" and would interfere with each other? Hopefully someone will enlighten me. :eek:

    I have a relatively small pedestal sink with 4" centers but like the look and easier to clean aspect of the three piece faucet. Also, I have found a style I really have my eye on and it's available only in 8" with the added bonus of not carrying the premium mini-spreads seem to have.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,019
    Location:
    New England
    Sinks tend to come in three styles: single center hole, 4" offset holes, 8" offset holes. Depending on the sink you have, that limits what valve you can select.
  3. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Thanks for the reply jadnashua!

    Yeah, I've got that. I'm just really curious as to what the actual physical design difference is between the mini-widespread and widespread faucets themselves making the latter for 8" only. If it were a fixed-width cast manifold I could readily understand but as this seems not to be the rule there must be some other design aspect making it so. Curiosity is going to make me hit the box store tomorrow and physically look at them side-by-side to satiate my need for engineering understanding.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  4. asktom

    asktom Member

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    559
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    A 4"CC sink uses a 4" centerset or mini widespread.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Mini-widespread is three individual components on top of the sink but they are on a single "body" under the sink. They are ALWAYS 4", never 8", which is why they are "mini". A centerset is a single component on top of the sink and a widespread is three individual components connected together with copper or plastic hoses. The larger size of the handles and spout of a a widespread make them impractical to use on a 4" drilled sink.
  6. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Much appreciate the clarification. Not sure where I believed I read a "mini" was compatible with both 4" and 8" spreads. Anyhow you spurred me to research again and every article describes applicability just it as you do. Through searching had opportunity to see a mini-widespread faucet actually installed in a 4" spread basin and am beginning to think it may not be as wise a choice as I thought. The ease of cleaning is likely non-existent due to the components being so closely grouped and many of the designs look crowded when truly on 4" centers. The faucet-only display photos of the mini hardware is very misleading, most of the time displaying them with a much wider grouping. I can also see that, as described by you, there must be a a difference in scale between the mini and standard widespread above-sink hardware both for function and proportion.

    Again, thanks for the reply!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The way a mini-widespread is constructed, it CANNOT be shown as anything other than a 4" spacing, so your perception that they are being shown at a "wider grouping' is faulty. The true widespread handles and spouts are much "rounder" than a mini, and would NOT be practical even if you could/did mount them in a 4" setting.
  8. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Thanks again for the reply!

    A perfect example would be these attached images of Grohe Arden faucets in differing finishes. Both are labeled as mini-widespread. I couldn't help but believe the 2nd image is of one very diminutive unit. So, I checked the specs sheet on both units and each spout has a 4 3/8" x 4 5/8" dimension. The valve escutcheons on each are also identical at 1 3/4". That second image, and having seen so many displayed as such, is the reason I posed my original question.

    f.jpg g.jpg
  9. golem

    golem New Member

    Messages:
    18
    Location:
    VA
    Upon continued research I have found an answer to my question based upon at least one manufacturer (Danze). The following links are to the product and specifications pages. It is listed as a mini-widespread and, while it doesn't say it outright on the front page, the specs sheet advises it's suitable for both 4" & 8" 3-hole installations. The design/construction of the three piece faucet is much like what I expected allowing for universal width installation as long as the top-side hardware does not interfere.

    Danze product page

    Specification page
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your right hand photo is a wide spread, not a mini wide spread, but if the components are narrow enough it might fit a 4" drilling. IT would not be the way a mini wide spread is constructed however. The common wide spread is NOT fixed at 8" centers. Because the components are flexibly connected they can be installed from 6" to 14" centers in many cases. It depends on how long the connectors are or whether they can be replaced with longer ones.
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