Single handle faucet

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Single-Handle vs. Double-Handle Faucets: Pros and Cons

When it comes to purchasing a faucet for a kitchen or a bathroom, there are two options: the single-handle faucet and the double-handle faucet. Both have the same function – they control the water flow. That makes the choice much more difficult. However, each model boasts some pros and cons that homeowners should be aware of if they plan to do some remodeling around the house.

Single-handle faucets pros

Single-handle faucets are much more user-friendly than double-handle faucets. Installation is simple and requires the drilling of only one hole. They’re a common choice for older people as turning them is almost effortless for the infirm or those struggling with arthritis.

Furthermore, the great advantage of the single-handle faucet is that it’s possible to turn it on with elbows or wrists. This comes in handy when the hands are dirty from cooking or cleaning.

Finally, these faucets are an excellent option for small sinks as they don’t occupy much space.

Single-handle faucets cons

The main disadvantage of the single-handle faucet is that it’s necessary to turn off both valves when it starts to leak. This means that there won’t be water until the plumber comes and fixes the issue.

Moreover, some homeowners have trouble adjusting the desired water temperature. If the handle is too far to one side, the water can quickly become too hot, making this faucet dangerous for children.

Double-handle faucet pros

Double-handle faucets add charm to every house. They look stylish and timeless. There are bronze or gold knobs these days that can elevate the décor instantly.

Another advantage of these faucets is that they offer better water temperature and flow control. With the two handles, it’s almost impossible to turn on hot water accidentally. Additionally, if there are issues with leaks, homeowners can still have water. They will need to turn off one valve, but the other will be fully functional. Even if one handle breaks, the faucet won’t be entirely useless.

Double-handle faucet cons

The installation of the double-handle faucet isn’t that simple. Unlike the single-handle faucet, the double-handle faucet requires two holes in the countertop. That means more drilling and more mess to clean.

Furthermore, it consists of more parts than the single-handle faucet. If one of them breaks, it might be challenging to pinpoint the exact problem and repair it.

The decision

As you can see, both types of faucets boast unique features. While single-handle faucets are more suitable for those with arthritis, it’s virtually impossible to accidentally turn on extremely hot water with a double faucet. In the end, it’s a matter of preference. The faucet should suit the room style while also being functional. Therefore, explore all options and find the one that will look amazing in your kitchen or bathroom. If you have questions about which will be more suitable for your situation, talk to your friendly plumber.

If you need a licensed, bonded, experienced plumber for plumbing installation and service in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Ahwatukee or San Tan Valley call Norfleet Family Plumbing Heating and Air at 480-681-1764.


Single Lever Faucet Issues

By Renee Miller

Single lever faucets come in many designs and finishes so they can suit most decorating styles.

Single lever faucets use a lever style handle to turn the water on and to adjust the water temperature. This type of faucet takes up less room on your counter top, and you can easily turn the water on without transferring dirt or bacteria to the handle. However, single lever faucets aren’t without issues. If the parts inside begin to wear or are damaged, they can cause problems with the handle or cause the faucet to leak.

Before You Repair

Before you can repair any issues with your single lever faucet, familiarize yourself with the parts inside so that when you disassemble and reassemble the faucet, each part goes back into its proper place. Shut off the water supply to the faucet beneath the sink and pry off the decorative cap on the faucet handle to reveal the mounting screw. Remove the screw and then tilt the faucet handle back to pull it off. There may be a retaining clip holding the cartridge in place. Remove this with needle-nose pliers and then you should be able to pull the cartridge up and out. From here you can replace the part causing the problem.

Temperature Control

Sometimes it’s hard to get a precise temperature with single lever faucets. If you turn the handle one way the water is too hot, but turning it the opposite direction may give you water that’s not hot enough. With some faucets this is an issue that you can’t correct. Occasionally the problem is within the cartridge, which may not mix the hot and cold water properly if it is damaged, so replacing it may give you more precise temperatures.

Drips and Leaks

Single lever faucets will drip if the cartridge or the O-ring is damaged. To replace either part you have to disassemble the faucet. The O-ring is a round piece of rubber installed on the cartridge. Replacing cracked O-rings, which you can find at most hardware stores, should fix a dripping faucet, but if the cartridge itself is cracked or worn, this can cause dripping or leaking at the base of the faucet. Find faucet cartridges at your hardware store or order a replacement directly from the faucet manufacturer.

Self-Closing Handle

A common issue with single lever faucets is a loose handle that won’t stay up when you turn it on. Sometimes tightening the mounting screw holding the handle and faucet to the base corrects the problem. If it doesn’t, your cartridge may be causing the problem. When the faucet is manufactured, silicone lubricant is used on the cartridge and this can cause the faucet to self-close. To correct the problem, inspect the cartridge. If it is lubricated, wipe off the lubricant with a damp cloth and reinstall.

Stiff Handle

The handle on single-handled faucets can sometimes become difficult to lift up and down or to turn. This is often caused by sediment or debris in the cartridge, mineral buildup in the faucet parts or a damaged seal within the cartridge. Disassembling the faucet and cleaning away any scale or mineral buildup may fix the problem. If the cartridge is damaged, replace it. If the cartridge is fine and the parts are clean, applying a silicone lubricant on the cartridge may resolve the issue.


Writer Bio

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.

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Single vs. Double Handle Bathroom Faucets: The Best Choice for Your Space

April 15th, 2021
Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 6

The world of faucet design is vast. Today’s faucets come in a wide range of styles and finishes that we couldn’t have dreamed of 20 years ago. However, despite the plethora of design options, it all comes down to one simple choice: Single handle faucet or double handle faucet?

Your choices can be based on a few factors, but the most important consideration as you weigh the pros and cons of single handle faucets and double handle faucets is the installation requirement for each type.

Luckily, the plumbing requirements for both styles are the same. However, the number of holes that you have available is not. If you only have one hole in your space, then you must choose a single handle bathroom faucet unless you want to tackle the process of drilling additional holes in the sink, counter or wall. Beyond the plumbing aspect, your choice of a single handle vs. double handle bathroom faucet will require you to weigh the various advantages and challenges of each type.

Single Handle Bathroom Faucet Styles


Streamlined and Modern

Single handle faucets create a streamlined and modern profile that complements a variety of design aesthetics.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 1


The single handle splendor of this Loft 2.0 Collection faucet is the perfect accent to a modern industrial design.

Perfect for Small Washbasins

If you are working in a smaller space or choose a small washbasin, a single handle faucet takes up less space, making it the perfect choice.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 2


Less to Clean

With only one handle, there are fewer nooks and crannies and, therefore, leave you less to clean. Since cleaning the bathroom is a universally dreaded task, this is a firm checkmark in the advantage column.

One-Handed Operation

We’ve all been in a situation where at least one of our hands is messy or otherwise occupied, making it difficult to turn on a faucet. With a single handle faucet, you only need one hand. If both hands are dirty, its simple operation allows you to turn the faucet on with an arm or elbow.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 3


The asymmetry of this single handle Brooklyn Collection bathroom faucet is a unique touch in this rustic design.


Possible Capped Holes or Wider Base for Sink Mounted Faucets

If you previously had a double handle faucet, then you will have three holes in the sink deck, countertop or wall. It gives you the ability to choose between a single or double handle faucet, but if you choose a single handle, then you will have two unused holes.

A single handle bathroom faucet will sometimes come with caps that you can use to cover the unused holes, or you can choose a single handle faucet with a wide enough base to cover the holes.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 4


The extended spout of this Elements Collection faucet will go to great lengths for the perfect bathroom.

Double Handle Bathroom Faucet Styles


Better Temperature Control

A double handle faucet has one handle for cold and one handle for hot. This allows you to truly customize the faucet temperature. It is also less likely to change temperature suddenly if the handle is bumped as may be with a single handle faucet.

Can Still Be Used If One Handle Leaks

If one of the handles is leaking or otherwise in need of repair, the water can be shut off to just that handle, leaving the other handle available and the faucet still usable.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 5


The dark and brooding gunmetal finish on this Loft 2.0 Collection double handle bathroom faucet inspires deep contemplation.

Classic Look

A double handle bathroom faucet offers a classic look that will fit in nearly any bathroom design. This timeless quality will stand the test of time.


The symmetry created with a double handle faucet is a pleasing design detail that works with many different aesthetics.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 6


The beautiful handles on the Elements Collection faucet will make you happy you went with the double handle design.


Difficult to Replace a Single Handle Faucet

If you previously had a single handle faucet, replacing it with a double handle faucet can create a challenge. You’ll have to drill more holes in order to make it work, which creates a longer, more involved installation process.

More Moving Parts That Can Break

A bathroom faucet with 2 handles vs. 1 handle means that there are more moving parts that can potentially break or leak.

Single vs Double Handle Bathroom Faucets The Best Choice for Your Space 7


This Elan Vital Collection faucet is the best of both worlds with a double handle design on a single spout.

The Best Choice for Your Space

The best choice for your space depends on a variety of factors.

First, consider your design aesthetic and whether you want the symmetry and timeless look of a double handle faucet. Or would you rather incorporate the streamlined minimalism of a single handle faucet?

Next, consider the space that you have available. A smaller sink basin or limited counter space can call for a single handle faucet. A double handle faucet will have a wider spread and is more suited to a bathroom design with a little more space.

Another consideration is the style of the existing faucet. Deciding whether or not you want capped holes showing if you replace a single handle faucet will help you choose between a single handle faucet vs. a double handle faucet. If you’re starting from scratch, you have the benefit of drilling the right amount of holes for the style you choose.

Regardless of your choice, Watermark Designs offers a wide range of both single and double handle bathroom faucets that will complete your unique bathroom design. Click here to try out our Faucet Designer to create a one-of-a-kind faucet perfect for your needs.

How to Install a Single Handle Bathroom vaguelycontemporary.comohe's Talis Select

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Faucet single handle

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Magnum Cartridge: Repair and Replace (Single Handle - Moen - Bathroom Faucet)

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