All About: Single-Handle Faucets

Faucet Spotlight

If you've already renovated a kitchen or are just beginning the process, you know how overwhelming the details can be. Our Fittings and Material Spotlights are quick guides to basic kitchen fixtures to familiarize you with terminology, pros and cons, and relevant reader reviews. We've covered sinks and countertops, and now we're moving on to faucets. Curious about pot filler versus pull-out spray faucets? We'll get there. Today we start the most common kitchen faucet: the single-handle.

Faucet Style: Single-Handle

Also Known As: Single-lever faucets.

Distinctive Features: The single-handle faucet is just what it sounds like: it has one handle that controls both the temperature and pressure of the water. This is the most common type of kitchen faucet control in use today.

Installation: Many single handle faucets only need one or two holes, which means they only require one hole in the countertop for installation. (Some faucets also come with a mounting plate to cover additional holes.)

Compatible with Pull-Out or Pull-Down Sprayers? Yes. In fact, the single-handle pull out spray faucet (like this one from Moen) is apparently the fastest growing faucet type on the market.

Compatible with High-Arc Spouts? Yes.

Pros: Easy to use and install; clean, minimal aesthetic.

Cons: Depending on the particular design, side-mounted handles can be inconvenient, since there's less clearance between the handle and backsplash.

Price range: Hugely variable. Anywhere from $30 for very basic models to $800 for models with special accessories and details (material, spray, arc, water-saving features, finish, etc).

Kitchn Reader Reviews:

I agree about the faucets, though. They should have, at most, a single handle to be useful if you actually want to cook in your dream kitchen. - Dulcibella
We went with one (Kohler?) that has a single handle, spray/flow button, pull down spray head and with a high arc (so you can get large stuff under it) and love it. Can't think of any other features I'd add. - Kaz
Single handle. My goodness - who wants to be mixing their water temperatures when you have stuff on the stove! - RomeoandJewels

Related Kitchn and Apartment Therapy Posts:
What Should I Look For in a New Kitchen Faucet?
How To Replace a Kitchen Faucet
15 Single Level Faucets for Every Budget
Style Sourcelist: Contemporary Kitchen Faucets Under $300

Readers, do you have a single-handle faucet? What brand do you have? What additional details did you go for? (Spray, arc, handle position.) Tell us what you like and don't like about your faucet!

(Image: Leela Cyd Ross)