Single-handle faucets continue to gain in popularity thanks to their stylish silhouettes, simple space-saving installation, and speedy one-hand operation, which ensures the user has one hand free for food-prep and washing-up tasks.
A single lever (positioned on the front, top, or side of the spout or inset into a sink deck) adjusts water flow and regulates temperature. The lever activates one of three types of operating systems: ceramic disk, cartridges, or ball. Models might be installed as a stand-alone spout (sometimes equipped with a pull-down or pullout sprayer) or on a mounting plate. Depending on the model, a side sprayer might be integrated into the mounting plate or installed individually. Some faucets come with a soap or lotion dispenser. Wall-mount models are also available as pot filler faucets and main sink faucets; main sink models are more expensive than their conventionally set counterparts.
Lever placement might impact how well a single-handle faucet works, notes Consumer Reports (consumerreports.org). Their researchers found that single-handle faucets required the least effort to use but that those equipped with side handles were problematic. Users tended to hit their fingers on the backsplash when manipulating side handles, and if their hands were dirty, that mess transferred to the backsplash or wall.
With that said, the majority of one-lever faucets are compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations because they are simpler to activate than two-handled versions.
You'll find the majority of these faucets in the $60-$600 range and in chrome or stainless-steel finishes, though they are also available in bronze, nickel, brass, black, and white. Basic models tend to be low-profile, but gooseneck styles with side or pull-down sprayers can be found for under $100.
Mid- to high-range faucets supply make-a-statement profiles, including statuesque spiral designs and multijointed wall units, and top-notch conveniences such as spouts that swivel 360 degrees, touch- and motion-sensor controls, water-saving and temperature-preset systems, leak-proof designs, and lime- and fingerprint-resistant finishes.
When it comes to shape, spouts range from classically understated to architecturally appealing. There are traditional goosenecks and low-arch styles done up in Victorian style or Tuscan-inspired patinas. Squared-off spouts top tall pillar bases; streamlined versions with moveable joints offer fold-up convenience. Levers also vary in shape (from flat to winged and cylindrical) as well as in size, so it's important to give each faucet you're considering a test run before you buy.
Faucet Buying Guide
A great faucet is integral to your kitchen's style and function. It's one of the most used items. Hi! I'm Lacey Howard and I'm here to help you sort through the faucet features and find the right tap for your kitchen. When choosing a new faucet, assess your cleanup area and your existing sink. Then evaluate where you might use a second sink and faucet. Your faucet may connect to plumbing below the sink or mount directly to a wall. Pay attention to the number of holes in your sink's back panel, the spacing between the holes, the available space for additional fixtures such as a sprayer or drinking water dispenser. If you have good DIY skills, you can probably replace a countertop faucet. It matches up with your existing plumbing. However changing the configuration, adding holes, running extra waterlines, or mounting a fixture to the wall are all jobs best left to a professional plumber. Although you'll probably get excited about finishes and handles, pay attention to the inside workings. The flow of water is controlled by cartridges inside the faucet. Less expensive cartridges are made of resin. Higher quality are made of ceramic. Spend some time test driving various faucets and see how you prefer to regulate the flow and temperature of water. Common options include single handle or level, or double handle or level. Also pay attention to how the water will flow from the faucet. Gooseneck and arching spouts take water high above the basin. A pullout sprayer doubles the function of your spout. Qualify faucets begin with solid brass fittings. However this doesn't mean you have to choose a brass colored fixture. Look for finishes such as chrome and colored epoxy that are durable. Matte and brushed metals are gaining popularity and come in various use. Designer finishes come in every color of the rainbow or mimic the look of metals like brushed bronze or iron. Faucet options are about more than getting water from one place to another. Options include instant hot water tabs for tea and cooking. Wall mounted hot filler faucets over a range or cooktop. They mean you don't have to love a water filled pot from sink to range. If you had children at home, choose the faucet with anti-scald controls. It keeps water at a set temperature usually about 110 degrees. Safe and stylish, what could be better?