How Far Should A Soap Dispenser Be From The Faucet?

Are you considering installing a wall or sink mounted soap dispenser in your kitchen or bathroom?  These accessories can reduce clutter on your countertops, eliminate the need to keep buying disposable soap containers, and add a touch of sophistication to your decor.  But, before you start drilling holes in your walls or counters, it's important to know where to position your new dispenser.  How far should it be from the faucet, on which side, and how high?  We've done the research, and we have the answers for you!   

The typical distance between a kitchen faucet and a sink-mounted soap dispenser is 8 inches on center -- measured from the center of the hole for the faucet to the center of the hole for the dispenser.  In a bathroom, the common distance between the faucet and sink-mounted soap dispenser is 4 inches on center.  However, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Where you place the soap dispenser depends on:

  • the shape and size of the sink
  • the faucet's configuration
  • the number of accessories to be installed
  • and the homeowner's personal preference

Clearly, the decision about where to place your soap dispenser is a complex one.  In the remainder of this article, we'll discuss each of the factors listed above, investigate which side of the faucet to put the soap dispenser on, and describe the various options for positioning soap dispensers in your kitchen or bathroom.  Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

Stainless steel faucet and sink mounted soap dispenser on the side, How Far Should A Soap Dispenser Be From The Faucet?

Where Do You Mount Or Place A Soap Dispenser?

When deciding where to place a soap dispenser in your bathroom or kitchen, you have three options: on the countertop, attached to the wall, or built directly into the countertop next to the faucet.  Before discussing where the dispenser should go in relation to the faucet, let's explore the pros and cons of each type of dispenser.

Countertop Soap Dispenser

A countertop soap dispenser is a small, freestanding container made of plastic, glass, ceramic, or metal.  It dispenses soap via either a manual pump or an electronic sensor.  Countertop dispensers are ideal if you prefer a low-cost option. They come in a wide range of styles and colors to complement your bathroom or kitchen decor. 

Automatic soap dispenser

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On the other hand, they take up valuable space on small countertops.  Also, due to its small size, a countertop dispenser needs to be refilled often. Pouring liquid soap from a large container into the dispenser's relatively small opening can be a messy job!

Golden soap dispenser on gray background

Wall-Mounted Soap Dispenser

If space on your countertop is limited, you may want to consider mounting a soap dispenser on the wall.  Because most bathrooms have a mirror over the sink, wall-mounted dispensers are usually hung to one side of the basin.  The same holds true for kitchen sinks topped by windows. 

White lavatories and wall mounted soap dispensers with mirrors inside a public bathroom

The benefits of wall-mounted soap dispensers include their larger size and the relative ease of refilling them. Most wall-mounted dispensers use bags or cartridges of soap, which are easily replaced.  The major drawback is that most wall-mounted soap dispensers have an institutional look that can be out of place in a home setting. 

Soap dispenser over bathroom sink

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Sink-Mounted Soap Dispenser

Many homeowners choose this option in their kitchens and/or bathrooms.  Sink-mounted dispensers feature a small pump that's visible above the countertop; the rest of the apparatus hangs beneath the counter and is concealed in the base cabinetry. 

Although these dispensers are more costly to purchase and install, they reduce clutter on the countertop and add a stylish touch to your sink area's overall look.  Lower-quality models tend to rust and clog, so it's better to invest up-front in a higher-end dispenser if you select this option.

Kitchen faucet with water running into sink

How Far Should Soap Dispenser Be From Faucet?

Although there are typical measurements for soap dispensers' placement -- especially sink-mounted models -- there are no hard-and-fast rules. 

Countertop Dispenser

Of course, a countertop dispenser can simply be moved wherever the homeowner desires.  Still, it should be placed within easy reach of the person operating the faucet.  Typically, countertop soap dispensers are placed within 6" to 8" of the faucet.

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Wall-Mounted Dispenser

The placement of a wall-mounted soap dispenser is dependent on the size and configuration of the sink and its surroundings.  In a bathroom with a mirror above the sink, the soap dispenser must be placed beside the mirror.  In a kitchen, especially if there is a window above the sink, you may also need to position the dispenser to the side. However, you must also plan to avoid bumping into cabinets.  Placing the soap dispenser where it is convenient to use and refill, while maintaining the sink area's aesthetic balance, can be challenging.

Click here for modern-style wall-mounted soap dispenser on Amazon.

Luxurious interior of a modern bathroom with granite countertop and marble sinks and a huge mirror

Sink-Mounted Dispenser

In kitchens, sink-mounted soap dispensers typically measure 8" on center from the faucet.  This means that the distance between the center of the hole for the dispenser and the center of the hole for the faucet (or the handle nearest the dispenser) is 8 inches.   In bathrooms, the typical distance between the faucet and the sink-mounted dispenser is 4" on center.   

However, there are situations in which these measurements are not ideal, such as:

  • A very small countertop space in a bathroom may require you to place the soap dispenser closer to the faucet.
  • If you wish to install multiple accessories for your kitchen sink (e.g., dish soap, hand soap, lotion, sprayer), some of them may need to be placed close together.
  • If your sink is an unusual shape or configuration and your faucet is off-center, this may affect the placement of the soap dispenser or other accessories.

In these and other unusual cases, you can install your sink-mounted soap dispenser wherever it works best for you.  Just make sure you have enough room under the sink for the dispenser bottle to fit. If your faucet has lever handles, ensure they can open fully without bumping against the dispenser --plan for the faucet and accessories to be visually balanced. 

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Does Soap Dispenser Go To Left Or Right Of Faucet?

Getting soap from the soap dispenser

There are also no specific rules about which side of the faucet the soap dispenser should go on. This is really a matter of how your sink area is configured and what arrangement works best for you.  However, there are several factors you should consider when making this decision.


White sinks inside a modern bathroom with a wall mounted soap dispenser

Most right-handed people place their bathroom soap dispensers to the right of the sink.  This allows them to work the dispenser with their dominant hand while operating the faucet with the non-dominant left hand.  Left-handed people usually position countertop (moveable) soap dispensers to the left of the faucet.  However, they tend to install wall- or sink-mounted dispensers on the right.

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Determining which side to place the soap dispenser on is a more complex problem in the kitchen than in the bathroom.  There are more potential uses for the dispenser and more possible configurations of faucets and accessories.  For example, if you install three dispensers -- say, for dish soap, hand soap, and lotion -- you will probably choose to place the dish soap dispenser away from the other two.  Or, if you have a double-bowl sink, put the dispenser with the bowl in which you wash dishes. 

Before deciding on the placement of your dispenser and other accessories, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What is the configuration of my sink, and how does that affect soap dispenser placement?
  • How many accessories (soap/lotion dispensers, sprayer, hot water shot dispenser, filtered water dispenser) do I intend to install?
  • As I carry dirty dishes to the sink, which hand will they be in?
  • When I scrub pots and pans, which hand will hold them and which will scrub?  

Answering these questions should allow you to visualize yourself doing various tasks at the kitchen sink.  Plan the layout of your faucet and accessories based on this visualization.

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How High Should A Wall-Mounted Soap Dispenser Be?

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has strict requirements for the height of wall-mounted soap dispensers in public buildings, these regulations do not apply to private residences.  You are free to place your wall-mounted dispenser at any height that works well for you.  However, for the sake of convenience and ease of use, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • A person standing at your sink should be able to easily reach the soap dispenser.
  • You will need to refill the dispenser, so don't place it too high to see the top or too low to see the bottom.
  • Follow the ADA standard of placing the dispenser no more than 44" to 48" above the floor unless you have a pressing reason not to.

In Closing

Stainless steel faucet and sink mounted soap dispenser on the side, How Far Should A Soap Dispenser Be From The Faucet?

Installing a wall or sink mounted soap dispenser can add both style and convenience to your bathroom or kitchen.  The configuration of the sink, faucets, and accessories, as well as your own personal preferences, will determine the best placement for the dispenser.  With no specific codes or rules to follow, the most important factors are convenience, ease of use, and style.

You may also enjoy the following articles:

Should Faucets Match Across The Bathroom?

How Far Should A Faucet Extend Into The Bathroom Sink?

A soap dispenser on bathroom sink, How Far Should Soap Dispenser Be From Faucet?

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