Which is better, single handle or dual handle faucets?

February 25, 2021
Did you know that faucet choices are often very different from region to region?

Will that be one handle or two? 

Most people don't put a lot of thought into things like faucet styles until it is time to choose a new one, and then they are faced with a selection that is so huge, making a choice can be daunting. We are often influenced by what we had before, or what our friends have or even what region we live in. (Did you know that faucet choices are often very different from region to region?  Urban centres tend to select single lever faucets, while dual handles are often the choice for the mid-west and South.)

The trick to making any choice is to jump right in!  First, try to whittle down the options  by deciding on larger differences, and go from there. If you can decide whether you want a dual or single handle faucet, you cut your selection in half! There are a lot of articles on line comparing all kinds of product options; some showing really significant differences in quality, performance or longevity.  When comparing faucet styles, the differences are a lot more subtle. Bigger differences would be evident in comparisons between older and newer technologies; (compression faucets vs. ceramic cartridge), or between low quality cartridges/finishes vs. higher quality (brass, rather than plastics) – but when deciding between single and double, there simply isn't a 'one size fits all' answer.

So, let's explore the differences:

Single handle faucets:

  • Faster and easier to install - (you are installing one piece instead of three - the main faucet and two handles)
  • Tend to be More Contemporary – or transitional than dual handle faucets
  • They work on small or large basins and work better in tiny spaces
  • Easy to use - you only need one hand to operate, and if your hands are messy, they are easily operated using a wrist or even an elbow.  So, a single lever faucet may be easier to operate for folks with disabilities, arthritis or a limited range of motion.  
  • Easier, (less) to clean

Dual handle faucets:

  • Often transitional or even traditional styling, (although there are several contemporary dual handle faucets)
  • Grander, large styling may suit some larger interiors better
  • Don’t always work as well in very small bathrooms/spaces; (in a very small space you will want to make sure that there is enough room to actually turn the handles without hitting the sink, back or side wall.)
  • Sometime they are more expensive, (when comparing like-quality products).
  • More to clean
  • Danger for small children only turning one handle, (if they choose the hot only).
  • Two cartridges to maintain instead of one

So, when faced with this decision, it is helpful to think about the following;

  • How much room do you have?
  • Are you buying a new basin or trying to match and existing hole pattern, (although you can buy a faceplate)?  Sometimes the choice may be made for you.
  • Is your home more traditional or contemporary
  • Do you have any special needs to take into consideration, like disabilities, or young children?

And the REAL question....regardless of logic -is quite simply... which do you like better?

There really is no right answer!  Whatever suits your taste, budget, style will make you happy - go for it! 

It's your home; your money and – your choice.


There really is no right answer...