There are two types of taps in my house, and both of them are suitable for cold, hot or mixed water.

The difference is one kind has ONE knob and the other kind has TWO.

The one-knob tap (for kitchen) controls hot and cold water together. When the knob is rotated to the left, hot water flows out, meanwhile right means cold water, and center means mixed water.

The two-knob tap (for bathroom) controls hot and cold water separately. One is for hot water and the other is for cold water.

OK, so are there two specific terms or phrases for two kinds of taps?

Thanks a lot.

  • 1
    Uh, "one-handle faucet" and "two-handle faucet".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 3:13
  • (Or "single-handle faucet".)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 3:17
  • 4
    According to build.com.au/types-and-styles-taps and bathrooms.interiordezine.com/fixtures/types-of-faucets , it sounds like both are "mixer taps" (i.e. there's only one spout for the mixed hot and cold water, instead of two separate spouts). The dual-knob type might be known as a "crosshead tap", "spoked tap", or "knob tap" (depending on what shape it is) and the single-lift type might be known as a "lever tap". Like any specialized field, I'm sure there's much, much more terminology that I'm not familiar with! Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 5:16
  • @NickWeinberg - Aside from "mixer", I've never heard any of those terms in the US, and I doubt that many plumbers have either. homedepot.com/p/…-PIPHorizontal1_rr--206786189--100626527--N
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 0:58
  • Presumably, what you describe as a one knob tap, as well as its knob controlling the temperature, requires another knob to control the flow?
    – WS2
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


Single-handled and double-handled (or one- and two-handled) are the terms you'd look for while buying a faucet, and also refer to faucets with knobs. This is likely what the average customer would search for, but there are more technical terms that exist.

"Single Hole Kitchen faucet" is another term for single-handled faucets, according to here.

One specific type of two-handled faucet is the compression faucet:

Compression faucets have two separate handles. When the handle is turned, it raises or lowers a washer or seal that closes against a valve seat at the base of the stem to restrict water flow through the faucet body when you turn the handle off.

  • 1
    This may be the US term, but the terminology may differ in the UK, where the word faucet is not used.
    – choster
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:00
  • @choster From what I saw, the only difference is that "tap" is used instead of "faucet". For example: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/60818
    – Laurel
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:09
  • 1
    The "compression faucet", also known as a "globe valve", is the standard "old-fashioned" faucet, the same as is used in a "sill cock" or some other stand-alone water valve in traditional (US) plumbing. Ignoring "gate valve", which is only used for main water cutoff purposes, the other (more modern) scheme is some variation of the "ball valve", where a ball, cylinder, or plate slides against some sort of manifold containing ports that let water through when hole in the sliding piece is oriented with a port. Pretty much all single-handle faucets use some sort of slider mechanism.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 1:44

The most common terms for one-knob tap and two-knob tab are single handled faucet and double handle faucet. Some people might also call single or double hole; but, that denotes different thing. A faucet with single hole can have double handle or knobs. You seem to be interested about tabs or faucets. I found Faucetsreviewed helpful. Have a look. Thank you.

  • 1
    Hi Thomas, welcome to EL&U. You seem to use "tap" and "tab" interchangeably - is there a reason for that? Note also that "the most common terms" are country-specific: "faucet" in not commonly used in most Commonwealth countries. See here for BritE preference. Also, your link doesn't seem to work - I recommend deleting it, as it's not probably relevant for EL&U. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 3:53

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