Widespread sink faucets have two separate handles for hot and cold water. These handles are not visibly connected to the main spout of the faucet. Many faucets have only one handle that you shift from side to side to change the temperature, or they have separate handles that sit in a common base with the spout. All three types are popular, but widespread faucets often look neater as there's no extra base to deal with. When choosing a widespread faucet, you can choose between levers or long handles, and knobs that you turn. Specific factors decide which one you get.
Longer levers, which you push and pull to turn the water on and off, are much more accessible. You don't need much dexterity to use these; the little you do need is simply to finetune the rate of flow of the water when positioning the lever. This style of faucet handle is also good for people who can't use their hands for one reason or another. Knobs, on the other hand, require grip strength to loosen and tighten the knobs. Wrists also need to be flexible enough to move the hand and knob around comfortably. If accessibility will ever be an issue, the lever-style handles are the ones you want.
Also, if your hands are wet, you don't have to worry about your fingers slipping off the lever-style handle when you try to use it. With knobs, it's very easy for your fingers to slide over the shallow depressions in the plastic or metal housing of the knob if there aren't any protruding parts that you can brace your fingers against.
If you've ever forgotten that the sink was on — maybe you were filling up the sink with water, got distracted for a moment, and then realized it had been more than a moment — you need to turn that water off fast. A lever-style handle is great for that as all you have to do is push the handle to the off position. No rapid turning to worry about.
Your Pets – Seriously
Levers sound great, right? And they are. But one specific circumstance gives knob-style faucet handles a leg up: Your pets, and their thoughts toward the sink and water as toys. Some pets, even cats, love water. They want to drink more water, they want to bat at a stream of water, and they love moving that little handle back and forth like a game. They can do this when the handle is like a lever that they can push. If accessibility isn't an issue, and you do have pets that will mess with anything they can, then the knob-style faucet handle is best. Your cat won't grab the faucet with both paws and turn (or, at least, you hope it doesn't) the water on.
You'll have your pick of different faucet handle styles, so be prepared to browse. Keep each point in mind as you test out the faucet handles when looking for ones that feel solid but that turn easily.
For more information, contact a store such as Kingston Kitchen and Bath.