Types of Water Faucets: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Faucet Styles And Designs

The world of water faucets can be daunting, leaving you confused and uncertain about which type suits your needs. With an overwhelming number of options available, each has a different working characteristic.

So, what are the different types of water faucets? There is a faucet style to suit every taste and preference, from traditional to modern designs. An example is the compression faucets, which feature separate hot and cold handles. Another example is the cartridge faucets which offer easy temperature control with a single lever.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this article, we will explore all the types of water faucets. We will compare all so that you know what is best for your needs.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Taps?

We explore the different types that will transform your kitchen or bathroom into a haven of elegance and convenience. The types include the following:

Types Of Faucets According To Design and Operation

In terms of design and operation, water taps are mainly 4 types. The varieties in this category include the following:

  1. Compression Faucet: This is one of the oldest and most traditional faucets. It consists of separate hot and cold water handles that are turned to open or close the water flow. As you purchase these, know they require regular maintenance, such as replacing washers, to ensure optimal performance.
  2. Cartridge Faucets: They operate by using a cartridge mechanism that controls the flow of water. Cartridge faucets are known for their durability and ease of use. They have a cartridge made of brass or ceramic and are responsible for regulating the temperature and water flow. You can choose between single-handle and double-handle models, providing flexibility in design and functionality.
  3. Ball Faucet: Ball faucets feature a single handle controlling the temperature and water flow. Inside the faucet, there is a ball-shaped disc with chambers and rubber seals. Rotating the handle moves the ball, aligning the chambers to allow the desired water temperature and flow rate.
  4. Disc Faucet: Also known as ceramic disc faucets, these are modern and efficient in design and functionality. They use ceramic discs to control the flow and temperature of water. These discs slide against each other, creating a watertight seal or opening for water to pass through. Disc faucets are highly reliable, providing smooth operation and excellent water control.

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Types Of Faucets According To Installation Method

Faucets also differ in their installation methods. You will mainly find 5 types of water faucets according to the installation method. The varieties here include:

  1. Single-Hole Faucets: As the name suggests, they require only a single hole in the sink or countertop for installation. These compact faucets combine the spout and handle into one unit, creating a sleek and minimalist look. They are particularly well-suited for smaller spaces or modern designs that emphasize simplicity.
  2. Centerset Faucets: These are the best choice for bathrooms, especially those with pre-drilled three-hole sinks. They feature a single unit with the spout and two handles positioned close together, typically 4 inches apart. The handles control the hot and cold water independently, while the spout is between them.
  3. Widespread Faucets: They consist of three separate components—the spout and two handles. The components are spaced apart and require three separate holes for installation. The handles and spout can be placed 8 to 16 inches apart. Widespread faucets offer a more spacious and luxurious look, particularly suited for larger bathrooms or vanities.
  4. Wall-Mounted Faucets: These types are installed on the wall rather than the sink or countertop. They offer a unique and contemporary look. Hence we recommend them for modern and minimalist designs. Since the faucet is mounted on the wall, it frees up space on the sink or countertop. This creates a clean and clutter-free environment.
  5. Vessel Sink Faucet: Vessel sink faucets are specifically designed for vessel sinks, which sit on the countertop or vanity. These faucets are typically taller and have an elongated spout to reach over the raised edge of the sink. Vessel sink faucets come in various styles, from sleek and contemporary to ornate and traditional. This allows you to create a visually striking focal point in your bathroom.

RELATED: Faucets Dripping Can Save You From Pipe Bursting

Types Of Water Taps According to Style and Design

Style and design also play a crucial role in enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space. Even faucets are divided into 7 different types in terms of style and design.  Here are the types available:

  1. Traditional Faucets: These exude timeless charm and sophistication. Inspired by classic designs, these faucets often feature intricate detailing and elegant curves. They are commonly crafted from materials like brass or bronze, adding a touch of vintage elegance to your space. We recommend using these only in traditional and transitional settings, where they can complement other traditional fixtures and decor elements.
  2. Modern Faucets: Most of these are sleek and minimalist. They prioritize clean lines, geometric shapes, and a streamlined appearance. Usually made of stainless steel or chrome, modern faucets embrace simplicity and functionality. They also often incorporate innovative features like touchless operation or pull-down sprayers.
  3. Industrial Faucets: Drawing inspiration from factories and warehouses, these faucets showcase raw materials, exposed pipes, and rugged finishes like matte black. Industrial faucets are robust and durable and make a bold statement in industrial or loft-style interiors.
  4. Vintage Faucets: For those seeking a nostalgic vibe, vintage faucets bring the charm of yesteryears into your space. These faucets often mimic the designs from the early to mid-20th century. They feature cross handles, porcelain accents, and intricate detailing.
  5. Minimalist Faucet: If simplicity and clean lines are your preference, a minimalist faucet is an ideal choice. These faucets embrace a minimalist design philosophy, focusing on functionality and simplicity. They often feature a single lever or handle and a sleek, uncluttered appearance. Minimalist faucets are versatile and can seamlessly integrate into various design styles, from modern to Scandinavian.
  6. Farmhouse Faucet: Also known as a country-style faucet, it embodies the rustic charm of farmhouse kitchens. It typically features a high-arc spout, often with a pull-down sprayer and a two-handle design. The faucet can be brass or stainless steel, offering durability and a classic farmhouse look.
  7. Bridge Faucet: It offers a unique blend of vintage charm and modern functionality. The faucet features a bridge-like structure, connecting the hot and cold water handles with the spout. This design provides an elegant and sophisticated look reminiscent of traditional and vintage aesthetics. Bridge faucets work well in kitchens with traditional or transitional design themes.

Types Of Faucets According to Working Characteristics

As for the mechanism they use to deliver water, the water faucets are mainly of 7 types. The types are as follows.

1. Sensor-Operated Faucets:

These have gained popularity in recent COVID-19 years due to their hygienic and convenient operation. Equipped with motion sensors, these faucets detect the presence of your hands and automatically initiate water flow.

This touch-free experience not only enhances hygiene by eliminating the need to touch the faucet handles but also promotes water conservation by reducing accidental wastage.

2. Pull-Down or Pull-Out Faucet:

Pull-down or pull-out faucets are designed with a flexible spray head attached to a retractable hose. This versatile feature lets you easily maneuver the spray head to reach different sink areas.

It makes tasks like washing dishes and filling pots more convenient. With a simple pull, the spray head extends from the faucet and provides a flexible stream of water.

3. Waterfall Faucets:

For those seeking a visually striking and unique water flow experience, waterfall faucets are an excellent choice. As the name suggests, these faucets create a cascading waterfall-like effect as the water flows out. The water gently flows over a wide-open spout, creating a serene and visually appealing stream.

4. Tub Faucets:

These are available in various styles, including deck-mounted, wall-mounted, and freestanding options. Each has a functionality similar to what its name suggests. And yes, they are all specifically made for the tub.

5. Shower Faucet:

This is designed to control the water flow and temperature in your shower. It comes in different types, including thermostatic and pressure-balanced faucets. Thermostatic faucets allow you to set and maintain a specific water temperature.

This ensures a consistent and comfortable shower experience. Pressure-balanced faucets, on the other hand, help maintain constant water pressure. They will maintain it even when other fixtures are in use in the same household.

6. Bidet Faucets:

They are designed explicitly for bidets, which are used for personal hygiene purposes. These faucets feature a horizontal spray nozzle that delivers a controlled stream of water for cleansing.

Some advanced models may offer adjustable water pressure and temperature controls, allowing you to personalize their experience.

7. Outdoor Faucet:

This is commonly called a garden faucet or hose bib. It is specifically designed for outdoor water usage. Hence it is installed on the exterior walls of buildings or outdoor fixtures, allowing for easy access. These faucets often feature a threaded outlet to which a hose can be screwed without needing tapes.

RELATED: The Best Faucet For Outdoor Kitchen

Comparison of Different Water Faucets

Here is a comparison to further your understanding of water faucets as well as their applications:

Single Hole vs Widespread Faucet

  • Single-Hole Faucet: Single-hole faucets offer a minimalist design with a single handle and spout integrated into one unit. They are a perfect choice for smaller sinks, such as those in powder rooms or compact bathrooms, where space is limited.
  • Widespread Faucet: In contrast, widespread faucets feature separate handles and a wider spout, allowing for flexible installation on sinks with three-hole configurations. This design provides a more spacious and sophisticated look, offering greater customization options for handle and spout placement.

Centerset vs Widespread Faucet

  • Centerset Faucets: Centerset faucets strike a balance between compactness and functionality. They consist of a single unit with both handles and the spout closely spaced together, typically designed for three-hole sinks. This configuration simplifies installation and maintenance while providing a streamlined appearance.
  • Widespread Faucet: On the other hand, widespread faucets offer versatility in handle and spout placement. These also feature separate components allowing for a broader range of customization options. They create a more elegant and expansive look in the bathroom or kitchen.

Wall-Mounted vs Counter Mount

  • Wall-Mounted Faucets: Wall-mounted faucets make a striking visual impact by being installed on the wall instead of the sink or countertop. This installation style frees up valuable counter space, facilitates easier cleaning, and provides a sleek and modern aesthetic.
  • Counter Mount Faucets: Counter-mounted faucets, in contrast, are directly mounted on the sink or countertop. They offer a more traditional and familiar look and are available in various designs and configurations. This makes them a versatile choice for different sink and countertop styles.

Vessel Sink vs Undermount

  • Vessel Sink Faucets: Vessel sinks are designed to sit on top of the countertop, creating a dramatic and eye-catching focal point in the bathroom. These sinks require faucets that are specifically tailored to their above-counter installation. So, vessel sink faucets are typically taller to accommodate the sink’s height and provide easy access to the bowl. They often feature stylish designs that enhance the overall aesthetic and can even offer a waterfall-like flow of water, adding to the visual appeal.
  • Undermount Faucets: On the other hand, under-mount sinks are installed beneath the countertop, creating a seamless and integrated look. Faucets for under-mount sinks are usually shorter and more compact. They only need to reach over the sink’s rim while maintaining a cohesive appearance with the surrounding countertop.

RELATED: Best Faucet for Undermount Sink

Farmhouse Sink vs Apron Sink

  • Farmhouse Sink Faucets: Farmhouse sinks are characterized by their exposed front panel that extends beyond the edge of the countertop. These sinks evoke a rustic and charming atmosphere in kitchens and require specialized faucets that can accommodate the deeper basin. Faucets for farmhouse sinks often feature an elongated spout height to ensure sufficient clearance and functionality.
  • Apron Sink Faucets: Apron sink faucets are similar to farmhouse sinks. They also have a front panel, but it does not extend as far as farmhouse sinks. The choice of faucet for apron sinks can vary depending on the specific style and design of the sink itself.

Tap vs Faucet

Although the terms “tap” and “faucet” are sometimes used interchangeably, there are slight differences in their usage. In general, “tap” is commonly used in British English, while “faucet” is more prevalent in American English.

Both terms refer to the valve used to control the flow of water. However, faucets often encompass various fixtures with various designs, finishes, and features. They can also feature decorative elements such as intricate handles, ornate spouts, and unique finishes.


The above types of water faucets give you endless possibilities for enhancing your kitchen or bathroom. From the classic elegance of widespread faucets to the sleek simplicity of single-hole options, each type offers unique benefits and design features. Remember, whether you refer to it as a tap or a faucet, the ultimate goal is to find the perfect type for you. The perfect fixture should effortlessly combine practicality with aesthetics, transforming your space into a haven of comfort and beauty.

Welcome everyone to my blog Faucet Meaning. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me. Why did I start the Faucet Meaning blog? There are very few people who have not faced water tap and sanitary issues while using water in daily life. Determining the water supply and sewage disposal system is a fundamental task in the design of a building. Determining the right plan, right equipment and right product to do this is time-consuming. We've designed our Faucet Meaning blog to make things easier. From now on both a home owner and a plumber can benefit. My Credibility: Actually I am not a professional plumber; But we have a group of talented researchers. Who are always busy with plumbing problems and solutions, market research and information gathering of updated products. Basically we share the research knowledge. The blog regularly publishes essential tips, pictures and videos. Also, various information is shared through social media.

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