As I was researching about faucets, escutcheons got my attention. I realized that they play an important role in the final look of a faucet installation. So, I thought of writing this article to elaborate about what an escutcheon on a faucet is.
What is an escutcheon on a faucet? An escutcheon (“əˈskəCHən”) on a faucet is the metal plate around its base that covers the gap around the base of the faucet and the sink. Often, it is also called a cover plate or flange. Its primary purpose is to give a neat finish to the installation.
Escutcheons come in various styles and finishes. Thus, knowing the various options that are out there can be confusing when trying to choose the right one. So, let’s look at some of the options available and how to choose the right one.
Types of Escutcheons on a Faucet
There are many types of escutcheons for faucets. Such as escutcheon rings, deck plates, and remodellers’ plates. Each one of them satisfies its goal of giving a clean finish in its own way. For instance, the escutcheon rings cover the gap around the hole and the faucet. And, the deck plates provide a firm base and covers unused holes. Also, the remodellers’ plates hides larger holes used to repair a leak or faucet valve. Although escutcheons come in various shapes and sizes, they all play the same role. That is, to make the installation look neat and clean.
Escutcheon rings are generally found at the base of the faucet. This gives a nice clean finishing touch to the whole fixture. Depending on the model, some fixtures may not need them. Although rare, they become an important element to complete a faucet installation.
Deck plates are also known as cover plates or escutcheon plates. They sit at the base of the faucet and cover any unused holes and give the installation a nice clean finish. As you see below, they come in various configurations to meet almost any type of remodelers. To be precise, from no-hole to three-hole hide. They also come in round or square shapes with a range of finishes to suit almost any faucet installation. At the same time, some deck plates come manufactured for a particular type of faucet. Thus, it is important to find out if a particular deck plate matches the sink and faucet combination.
A deck plate
Remodeller’s plates are often referred to as retrofit plates or smitty plates. Unlike the other types, these plates hide large holes where there was a faucet valve. Or, where there was a need for a large hole to repair a leak or a valve. Nonetheless, it proves to be a cost-effective alternative to refurbishing the wall.
Choosing the Right Escutcheon for Your Faucet
Almost all new faucets come with at least one escutcheon plate. In case the plate provided does not fit the particular installation, you can replace it. They are inexpensive and are available for almost all types of faucet-sink configurations.
Let’s say you have a sink made for a Centerset faucet and you decided to buy a single-hole deck mount type faucet. Now you need a deck plate long enough to cover the unused holes and make the faucet sit firm.
Overtime the escutcheon plates can look old and rusty. Although you can try and clean it using vinegar or solvent, you may be better off buying a new one. Likewise, make sure you buy the the size and shape right for your installation.
Since they come in various sizes and finishes, make sure you get one with the same finish as your faucet. In other words, if your faucet has a brushed nickel finish, make sure you get the escutcheon in the same finish too.
Square escutcheon – Polished chrome finish
Toto – Widespread – Brushed nickel finish
Grohe 10″ 2 hole escutcheon – Chrome finish
4 Ways to Cover a Sink Hole Without an Escutcheon
The easiest and most cost-effective way to close a sin khole is to use an escutcheon or a sink hole cover. Yet, there are other innovative and functional ways to cover a sink hole are as follows:
A single hole sink cover
1. In counter soap dispenser
An in-counter soap dispenser is a practical way of closing the sink hole. You can get one where you refill from the top so that you don’t have to crawl under the sink every time the soap runs out. Also, they come in various finishes such as chrome or brushed nickel so that you can match your faucet.
2. Garbage disposal switch
The switch to your garbage disposal unit can take the place of the hole. To set it up, you will need an Air Switch Kit. The mechanism is quite simple. All you have to do is to plug the Air Switch Kit to the wall outlet underneath your sink. And, plug your garbage disposal into the air switch and viola. Also, they come in various finishes too so you don’t have to worry about a mismatch either.
3. Instant hot water dispenser
An instant hot water dispenser is another slick option. They come with stainless steal finishes and can deliver up to about 60 cups per hour of steaming hot water. Also, the temperature is adjustable from around 160 to 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, you can use it to make hot coffee or tea, warm baby bottles, and clean dishes.
4. Water filtration unit
You can use a water filtration unit to cover the sink hole. This would be a useful and healthy choice. By installing one, you can enjoy a steady stream of clean and healthy bpa-free drinking water. And, they provide protection from over 58 contaminants found in drinking water. Some of them include sediments, chlorine taste and oder, cysts, lead, and chemicals. And, they come in various finishes too. Furthermore, they are a cheaper alternative to buying bottled water.
How to remove a faucet escutcheon? Start by turning off the water supply to the sink. Using the appropriate screwdriver remove the handles on the faucet. This allows you to access the nuts holding the escutcheon plate in place. Afterward, using an adjustable wrench remove the nuts. Thereafter, if the plate remains in place, use a putty knife to pry it off. In case if the deck plate is screwed into the faucet, you may have to turn the faucet to remove the plate.
How to clean an escutcheon on a faucet? You can use vinegar to clean your escutcheon. Not only are they good for cleaning escutcheons, but also any chrome fixtures in your home. They are especially good for cleaning stained chrome or stainless steel fixtures. Likewise, another good cleaning agent is lemons. They not only give your escutcheons a good shine, but also leave behind a nice fresh fragrance.
How to caulk around an escutcheon on a faucet? Take a caulk gun and insert a tube of silicone caulk with the nozzle pointed away. Next, cut the tip of the caulk tube at 45 degree angle using a utility knife. Check the size of the bead by squeezing some on to some scrap cardboard. If the bead is too narrow, you may have to trim a little more off the tip. Usually, cutting 3/4 inch off the tip will result in a 1/8 inch bead. Afterward, start at the outer base of the escutcheon by squeezing the caulk trigger. Additionally, you would need to push the tip aroundf the edge of the escutcheon to lay a smooth bead. Then, trim excess caulk using a razor blade or knife. Finally, allow up to 24 hours to dry.