Faucet Valve (Spigot): 5 Common Types for Bathroom and Kitchen

Faucet valves, often overlooked yet integral to our daily routines, serve as the silent guardians of our water systems. Embark on an exploration of the intricate world of faucet valves, shedding light on their functionality, maintenance, and upgrade options to empower consumers with knowledge and choice.

What is a Faucet Valve?

Faucet valves are critical components in the operation of faucets, governing the flow of water through plumbing fixtures. They work by controlling the release of water from the supply system when the faucet handle is turned. The type of valve used can affect both the performance and durability of a faucet.

Distinguishing Tap from Valve

While colloquially used interchangeably, there exists a subtle yet significant difference between a tap and a valve. A tap encompasses the entire faucet assembly, including the spout and handle, serving as the interface for water flow control. Conversely, a valve refers specifically to the mechanism responsible for regulating water flow and temperature within the tap assembly.

Types of Faucet Valves

The main types include compression valves, known for their mechanical operation and tactile feedback; ball valves, which offer single-handle convenience and quick operation; ceramic disc valves, recognized for their durability and minimal maintenance; cartridge valves, versatile with simpler internal mechanics; and globe valves, less common in faucets but valued for precise flow control. Each type has specific attributes tailored to various applications and user preferences.

1. Compression Valves

Compression valves are typically dual-handle setups where rotation of the handle manually raises or lowers a stem. At the stem’s base, a washer or seal made of rubber or a similarly pliable material presses against a valve seat to obstruct water flow. The direct mechanical action offers tactile feedback to the user but is prone to wear due to the friction between the seal and seat, often requiring periodic replacement of the washer to prevent drips.

2. Ball Valves


These valves use a rotating ball with a hollow core that aligns with the water flow when the handle is in the open position and blocks flow when turned off. The ball rests against spring-loaded seals and has slots that allow for mixing hot and cold water, making them suitable for single-handle faucets. Precision in the machining of the ball and seats is crucial for preventing leaks. The ball valve’s design allows for quick and effortless control but may require maintenance due to sediment buildup affecting the seals.

3. Ceramic Disc Valves

Ceramic disc valves are known for their longevity and resistance to mineral buildup and wear. They consist of two flat ceramic discs in a sealed cartridge—the upper disc rotates with the faucet handle, while the lower disc remains stationary. The absence of compression in the open and close action significantly reduces drip potential. These discs must be manufactured with high precision to ensure a proper seal, and they generally require little to no maintenance due to the hardness of the ceramic material.

4. Cartridge Valves

Cartridge valves can be either single-lever or dual-handle. They have fewer moving parts, making them less susceptible to wear and easier to repair than compression valves. The cartridge contains an O-ring seal and can be easily replaced as a unit, simplifying repairs. Flow and temperature are controlled by the movement of the cartridge within the valve body, and the design typically allows for a smoother handle operation.

5. Globe Valves

Although not commonly used in faucets, globe valves may be found in some specialty plumbing applications. They consist of a baffle with a movable disc or plug that adjusts flow through the valve seat. These valves offer good throttling capabilities and precise flow control, but they have higher pressure drops compared to other valves due to the S-shaped fluid path. They’re often used in applications requiring flow rate regulation rather than on/off control.

Faucet Valve Materials

Faucet valves are critical components in the control of water flow and temperature in plumbing fixtures. They come in various designs and are made from materials that prioritize durability, resistance to corrosion, and compatibility with water. The choice of material affects the valve’s longevity, functionality, and maintenance needs. Here’s an overview of common materials used in faucet valves.


Brass is a popular choice for faucet valves due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. It is an alloy of copper and zinc, which can also include small amounts of other metals to improve its properties. Brass valves are known for their longevity and are often used in applications requiring resistance to water corrosion. They can be found in many high-quality faucets due to their reliability.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is another common material used for faucet valves, prized for its strength and resistance to rust and tarnishing. This material is an alloy containing iron, chromium, and sometimes nickel and molybdenum. Stainless steel valves are suitable for areas with hard water or high mineral content because they resist scaling and corrosion.


Various types of plastic, including PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene), are used in faucet valves, especially in more economical models or in specific applications where metal corrosion is a concern. Plastic valves are lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and can be a cost-effective option. However, they may not offer the same durability and temperature resistance as metal valves.


Ceramic is highly resistant to wear and corrosion, making these valves virtually maintenance-free and leak-resistant over many years of use. Made from two ceramic discs that slide against each other to regulate water flow, these valves are known for their precision and longevity. 

Kitchen Faucet Valve

A kitchen faucet valve is the core component of a kitchen faucet that controls the flow of water through the faucet. It is responsible for regulating both the volume and temperature of the water that is dispensed. The valve operates when the user manipulates the faucet’s handle(s) or lever(s), adjusting the flow and mix of hot and cold water to achieve the desired temperature and flow rate.

Bathroom/Shower Faucet Valve

A bathroom or shower faucet valve plays a critical role in controlling the flow and temperature of water in bathroom fixtures. Unlike kitchen faucet valves, which are often designed for a single spout that delivers both hot and cold water, bathroom and shower faucet valves come in a variety of configurations to suit different types of fixtures, such as sinks, bathtubs, and showers. These configurations can include:

Single-Handle Valves: These valves use a single handle or knob to control both the flow rate and the temperature of the water by moving the handle up and down or left and right. They are convenient and widely used in both showers and bathroom sinks.

Dual-Handle Valves: Common in traditional bathroom setups, dual-handle valves feature separate controls for hot and cold water, allowing for precise temperature adjustments. They are used in both shower and sink faucets.

Unitrade: Sealing the Deal on Faucet Valve Excellence

From the foundational elements of functionality and reliability to the advanced technologies driving innovation, faucet valves play a pivotal role in shaping our everyday experiences with water. With Unitrade’s commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, navigating the world of faucet valves becomes a seamless journey towards enhanced performance, efficiency, and sustainability. 

If you’re looking for a faucet valve (also known as spigot) replacement, you’ve come to the right place. Over the past 40 years, Unitrade has been Malaysia’s leading supplier of construction materials, including fittings, pipes, and faucet valves. We also provide kitchen and bathroom/shower faucet valves made from the most durable materials. 

Explore Unitrade’s range of faucet valves to discover the perfect solution for your plumbing needs, and experience the Unitrade difference today