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The Single Handle Faucet (What are the Benefits?)

Photo collage of different types of single handle faucets.

In a world where it’s easy to get overwhelmed by endless options (I tend to panic in the breakfast cereal aisle), it’s nice to know that the basic design of a faucet really only comes in two options. Although they come in a variety of styles and shapes for your kitchen and bathroom, the main two functional options are between the single handle faucet and the double handle faucet. Here are a few details about the single handle water faucet.

A deeper look into the double handle water faucet can be found here.

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The Single Handle Water Faucet

Use: the single lever faucet is one cohesive unit of the faucet and handles that controls both the water pressure and controls the temperature. The option of having a pull-out spray nozzle is compatible with this type of faucet as well. One line is attached to the handle and nozzle, where both hot and cold water comes out of the faucet body.

These are the better option when your water basin is smaller in size, and as a double handle faucet would take up too much valuable counter and sink space. (Head on over here to check out some lovely bathroom basin styles.)

Installation: only one hole is needed on your countertop, making for the easiest installation. It’s entirely possible to install the single handle faucet by yourself, as long as you have a flashlight, a pillow (for that pretty head of yours), and a big bowl in case of spillage. Ensure that you turn off the main water line in your home — so as to prevent accidental flooding — then disconnect the water valve underneath the sink itself.

Home depot has a wonderfully thorough step by step explanation of how to replace your water faucet at home.

A stainless steel single handle faucet at a kitchen sink.

Pros: the single handle faucet is easier to maneuver if you only have one hand available. Since the temperature of the water doesn’t need to be balanced by adjusting two separate handles, finding the appropriate temperature requires less precision. Since the single handle faucet only possesses one entryway into the countertop, this also makes for easier cleaning!

No need to use a toothbrush to get in between all of the nooks and crannies. (Looking to pair your new faucet with a kitchen sink? Look at these 7 great options.)

Cons: if your single handle faucet ever leaks, in order to have it fixed both the hot and cold water needs to be shut off. This causes an inconvenience by leaving you without water access during the time needed for reparations. They tend to experience leaks quicker than the double handle faucet, as more water pressure is introduced to one output.

The ease of finding the appropriate water temperature also comes with its own downside. The single handle faucet doesn’t allow the same precision as choosing your temperature and finding it is a guessing game. This may be inconvenient when say a recipe asks for a very specific temperature of the water.

A close look at a plumber installing a single handle faucet at a bathroom sink.

Look: the single handle faucet seems to achieve a more modern and sleek look, which tends to be popular with newer developments. It takes up almost no space on the countertop or on the wall in front of your sink.

Cost: since they simply require less material and installation time dedicated to a single handle faucet, they are slightly less expensive, but the difference is almost negligible. Lowe’s has a great selection of faucets ranging anywhere from $40 – $200.

A man filling a glass with tap water from the faucet.

USE THIS CAPTION: Seen here, there’s also an option of having a separate single handle water faucet just for drinking water output!


Can you replace a double handle faucet with a single handle faucet?

Lots of older homes tend to come with 3 holes in the countertop, as double handle faucets are a more classic look. Luckily, single handle faucets can come with large faceplates, so all you need to do is run the water line directly through the center hole, and the faceplate will cover the other two holes.

How to tighten a single handle faucet?

Visual representation is a much more thorough explanation of tightening a single handle faucet, watch here.

How do I lubricate a single handle faucet when it squeaks?

Super simple application, simply loosen your faucet from below the sink, lift it out, clean it, and rub it with silicone-based grease.

Which direction is hot and cold on a single handle faucet?

This changes from country to country actually! But if we focus on the United States, tilting the handle to the right is commonly cold water, and tilting to the left is commonly hot water. But believe me, I am just as disoriented as you when it ends up being the opposite.

The opposite setting is usually found in older homes.

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