Kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle [2023]

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When purchasing faucets for your kitchen sink, you certainly want to go for a classy, durable, and reliable model. You can choose from two types in the market. Let’s compare: kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle. Both options control the flow of hot and cold water, and so it is not always easy to know which one to settle for.

kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle

The key points to consider when deciding between a single-handle and double-handle kitchen faucet:

  • Cost: Single-handle faucets are generally less expensive than double-handle faucets. A basic single-handle faucet can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, while a double-handle faucet can cost $100 to $400 or more.
  • Functionality: Single-handle faucets are more convenient to use, as you can control the water flow and temperature with just one hand. Double-handle faucets require you to use both hands.
  • Style: Single-handle faucets are more modern, while double-handle faucets are more traditional.
  • Finish: Both types are available in a variety of finishes. Choose a finish that complements the other hardware and appliances in your kitchen.
  • Ease of installation: Single-handle faucets are generally easier to install and require less plumbing.

Single-handle faucets are more convenient to use and generally less expensive than double-handle faucets. However, double-handle faucets may be a better choice if you prefer a more traditional style or if you have specific temperature control needs.

Since each type of faucet has its features, advantages, and disadvantages, it is best to consider your options. Your kitchen style, needs, and budget mostly dictate your choice. We will help you differentiate between single-handle faucets and double-handle faucets, as well as examine their pros and cons.

The Pros of Single Handle Faucets

Many homeowners consider installing single-handle faucets in their homes for a variety of good reasons.

Easier and Faster to Clean

Single-handle faucets have few nooks and crannies since they only feature one part. This feature makes them easy to clean and maintain. Using a soft cloth to wipe them every day takes less time.

Great for Small Sinks

A single-handle faucet will work well if your kitchen has a small sink. Single-handle kitchen faucets are also ideal for corner sinks and small spaces.


One of the best reasons to install single-handle faucets is that they are easy to operate and user-friendly. It only requires a single hand to control the single handle and reach the desired water temperature. If your hands are messy or you’re in a rush, you can move the handle with your elbow. It’s also convenient for use by kids without calling for assistance.

kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle easy

Good Faucet Design

Single-handle faucets feature a simple yet attractive design and come in different styles. You can also choose bronze or gold knobs to complete the look.

Easy to Install

Single-handle faucets are easy to install compared to double-handle faucets and only require one hole. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to install them.

The Cons of Single Handle Faucets

Single-handed faucets have a few cons that make homeowners reconsider buying and installing them in their homes. They include:

A Leakage Renders Your Faucet Unusable

The main disadvantage of single-handle faucets is needing to turn off both valves when they start leaking. That means you have no water flow until your plumber arrives.

Problems While Adjusting Water Temperature

Controlling the desired water temperature might be difficult if the handle turns too far. With a  handle that turns too far, water gets hotter quickly, making it dangerous for kids and the elderly.

The Pros of Dual Handle Faucets

Double or dual-handle faucets feature two hot and cold-water handles; one controls the flow of hot water while the other handle controls cold water.

It Can Still Be Used if One Handle Leaks

The best thing about installing dual-handle faucets is you can still use them if either the hot or cold-water handle is damaged or leaking. You will have to turn off the valve connected to the broken handle and use the other handle while you wait for a plumber.

kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle leaking

Customize Water Temperature

Since they feature two handles, double-handle faucets give you a chance to customize the water flow and temperature depending on your needs. It also means that you cannot change the water temperature if the handle is bumped, as in single-handle faucets; so accidents are minimized.

Adds Style

A double-handle kitchen or bathroom faucet fits any design to give it a classic vibe. Two handle faucet designs also works with different styles, and you can choose from bronze or gold knobs.

The Cons of Dual Handle Faucets

Difficult to Replace a Single Handle Faucet

The main disadvantage of dual handle faucets is that changing from a single-handle faucet style to a double handle faucet style can be challenging. You will have to drill two more holes to make it work, which can take time and complicate the installation process.

It Takes Slightly Longer to Install

Installing a dual-handle faucet takes more time than installing a single-handle faucet since it has more parts to fix. You are also required to drill three holes, unlike single handle faucets that require one hole.
kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle more

Which Faucet Type Is Right for Your Sink?

The right answer depends on several factors that dictate your choice of faucet, like your design and style; do you prefer the traditional look of a double-handle faucet or the modern and sleek one-handle faucet style? Also, consider the type of existing faucet and the size of your space; tiny spaces require single-handle faucets.

Faucet Operation

It’s vital to consider the operation of each type of faucet before settling for one. Single-handle faucets operate by combining cold and hot water in one lever. The amount of cold or hot water dispensed through the spout depends on the position of the handle. Two-handle faucets feature two handles for both cold and hot water supply. You control the amount of hot and cold water by adjusting each grip.

Faucet Configuration

You can settle for single-handle faucets if you prefer a simple and easy-to-operate handle. On the other hand, traditional dual-handle faucets are a minimalist option for those who find the one-handle too sensitive. Two-handle faucets give a classic look, while single-handle faucets provide a sleek, modern look.

kitchen faucet single handle vs double handle simple

Plumbing Requirements

Apart from the number of holes required in the sink or countertop, the faucets are designed to connect to existing plumbing configurations. Therefore, it’s an easy do-it-yourself installation. Most faucets have optional base plates for mounting the taps to single or multiple-hole sink or countertop applications. The plumber cost to replace kitchen faucet might be a bit lower when there’s just one hole to work with.

Additional Considerations

It’s crucial to consult with your plumbing contractor to determine the type of faucet that is ideal for your kitchen or bathroom project. Traditionally, holes for mounting faucets pass through the sink, but with modern designs, mounting the faucet directly on the countertop has gained popularity. Some countertops, like granite and other solids, require predrilled holes to fix faucets.

How to Install a Single Handle Kitchen Faucets

To install a single-handle kitchen faucet, you might need materials like an adjustable wrench, a pipe wrench, a standard screwdriver set, a bucket, old rugs, and thread tape.

  • After switching off the water and power supply, slide the new single-handle faucet in one hole. First, place the escutcheon plate over the holes on the side. The faucet components should go through the middle mounting hole.
  • After threading all pre-attached lines or hardware through the holes, fasten your new faucet to hold it in place. Some faucets have nuts you have to tighten on bolts, while modern options feature sizeable plastic wing nuts.
  • Attach your faucet to the supply lines. Turn on your water supply, and check for any handle leaks.

How to Install a Double Handle Kitchen Faucet

The installation of dual-handle faucets differs from the installation of a one-handle faucet since you need three holes to fix the faucet. For separate handles, the hot water gear goes through the first hole, the main tap through the middle hole, and the cold-water faucet through the third one.

After threading any pre-attached lines, ensure you secure the new faucet in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install and secure the faucet to avoid problems.

Single Handle Faucet vs. Double Handle Faucet: What to Choose?

After weighing the pros and cons of the two types of kitchen and bathroom faucets, the choice comes down to your style, space size, and budget. Both options can bring out the best in your kitchen and bathrooms if you choose the best handles and knobs; you can go for bronze or gold knobs for a sleek look.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo

    Double handle faucets ruin your counter tops with three holes. Single handle faucets look so much better it’s not even comparable. This is a dumb article.

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I have to agree with you. I, too, like single-handle faucets more. In my view, they are also more ergonomic and easier to use. I have only singles on my properties and designs. On the other hand, there are people who like the classic look of double handles and are OK with the inconvenience. And then there are options where you have double-handle but connect to the sink or countertop through only one hole.

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