Q:  We purchased and installed a new faucet ourselves, and it seems loose and flimsy.  It’s a reputable brand name faucet from a ‘big box’ home supply store.  Did we install it wrong?

A:  While it’s possible the faucet was installed improperly, there’s another possible explanation.

There is a base to the faucet which penetrates though your sink or counter and which is tightened from below.  The base can be different sizes and configurations, depending on the manufacturer and whether your sink is configured for a single-hole or multi-hole faucet.  A nut and washer generally thread over the base and against the bottom of the sink to secure it.  We’re seeing more plastic bases vs. the brass that’s been used for generations.  Plastic is generally less sturdy than brass and can’t be tightened as much or it will crack.  This leads to complaints of loose and flimsy faucets.