2023-2024 Best Value Faucets
Many faucet companies sell superior faucets in North America, offering good to excellent faucet values. In fact, there has never been a better time to buy a faucet. The technology is edging ever closer to producing a lifetime faucet that never leaks, never tarnishes, and never needs repair. We are not there yet, but we are getting closer year by year.
The quality of the faucets:Quality is averaged over the past five years. We look especially for companies with high average scores that are improving year over year.
- We don't guess at quality. We take faucets apart to see how well they are made, what sort of cartridge valves are used, and whether finishes are reasonably durable.
The strength of the warranty:No company without a solid faucet warranty on its mechanicals, cartridges, and finishes can hope to compete.
- The standard for North America is a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner "for as long as the buyer owns the faucet and resides in which the dwelling in which the faucet is first installed."
- Any language having the same or close to the same effect is acceptable.
- We interpret less than a lifetime warranty as evidence of a lack of confidence by the company in its faucets. We do not think a 5- or 10-year warranty on a product that most buyers expect to last a lifetime is a sufficient guarantee of quality.
- We believe that if a company like can build enough quality into its economy faucets to back them with a lifetime warranty, then so can everyone else.
- For faucets sold in the U.S., we also look at how well the company's warranty complies with the U.S. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301) and the regulations issued by the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act. If the warranty does not comply with the Act, the company is unlikely to be competitive.
Post-sale service:Many companies offer strong warranties on their faucets but fail to provide effective post-sale warranty service.
- We test a company's post-sale customer service and score it on a 0.0 to 5.0 point scale. A company that scores less than 4.0 is usually not considered.
- In a service environment in which the top performers like are booking nearly perfect scores, much less than perfect is not going to make it.
- In our first years of rating faucets, we ignored post-sale support but got an earful after we selected as one of our Best Value picks in 2005.
- Readers complained that our ratings should have included an assessment of post-sale customer support. Had it been, Grohe, a company that provided (and still provides) some truly dismal after-sale support, would not have made the cut.
- We learned our lesson.
Testing and Certification:A contender must have had its faucets tested by an independent laboratory and certified compliant with all joint U.S./Canadian standards for mechanical safety and reliability (ASME A112.18.1/ CSA B125.1), and with lead- and toxin-free standards (ANSI/NSF 372 and ANSI/NSF 61).
- Faucets that have not been certified to at least these minimum standards are not legal in the U.S. or Canada. We have no reason to even look at a faucet company that sells illegal, black-market faucets.
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of mediocre faucet companies selling products that are a not-so-good value and some that are selling untested faucets that have not been certified safe, reliable, and lead-free – faucets that are illegal to install and usually illegal to sell in the U.S. and Canada.Corsano kitchen faucet.', false, true, false ) //-->
Distinguishing the good from the bad, the superior from the inferior, and the legal from the illegal is what we try to do in our Faucet Reviews & Ratings of over 250 faucet brands.
And, every other year, we sit down to figure out the best of the best – not necessarily the absolute best faucets but the best faucets for the money.
Any company with adequate resources can make a lifetime faucet if price is not an object. It is much harder to produce a well-designed, well-made, tested, and certified lifetime faucet that average homeowners can afford.
We expanded our categories in 2017.
We formerly determined the best value faucet made in North America, Asia, and Europe. But, pitting economy faucet lines against luxury lines did not make for easy agreement among our panelists. So, we categorized faucets as luxury or mid-priced for each continent.
Starting in 2019, we enhanced the report further by providing a summary report on runner-up companies as well as the full report on the company voted the best value in each category.
Unfortunately, that idea did not prove popular with either readers or faucet companies. The problem is that identifying a company as a runner-up implies a substantial difference in scoring between the two categories. Too often such is not the case. The difference between the top three companies is often just a few points.
So this year we changed the format again to select up to three top companies in each category, ditching the runner-up notion.
It was, as it always is, a tough decision. Most faucets, with very few exceptions, are getting better and better with improved technology, better styling, and more precise manufacturing.
Eighteen years ago when we first started our faucet reviews, we expected the best faucets to last 15-20 years. Today we expect the best faucets to last at least a lifetime with almost indestructible finishes and superior ceramic valves that are unlikely to wear out until your grandchildren are eligible for Social Security (or Canada Pension Plan).
Our panel has replaced its early emphasis on styling with a focus on technology.
We saw the beginning of the shift in our 2017 report. Every edition since, it seems to have dominated the panel's considerations, resulting in much less emphasis on high style and much more focus on high tech.
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Electronics got a lot of attention for the first time in 2017 and again in 22019 and 2021. At each go-round, however, the panel eventually decided that the technology is not yet mature enough for serious consideration in developing our rankings.
The panel reached the same conclusion again this year. Automatic faucets for the home are getting better but have not yet reached "adequacy."
Most automatic faucets are still limited to turning water on and off. Some are beginning to appear that adjust water flow and temperature, many by way of voice commands through a whole house AI system like Alexa or Google Home.
However, the technology still has serious problems with premature failure as witnessed by the skimpy 1-5 year warranty on the electronics in even the best automatic faucets.
A majority of the panelist felt that the technology needed to become much less fragile before it merited serious consideration.
Most of the major companies have moved the manufacturing of their premium brands to Asia.
was the most recent casualty of globalized manufacturing. Until recently Delta Faucets made most of its upscale Brizo faucets in the United States. The pendulum has swung, however, and Delta now makes no more than one-third of its Brizo faucets in the U.S. The rest are made in China.
The Brizo brand was our first choice as Best Value in a premium faucet made or assembled in North America for nearly a decade. The brand is no longer a contender in this category simply because the majority of its faucets are no longer produced in North America.
It is still an excellent line of faucets, but in order to be considered Nort American, at least 51% of the faucets need to be made or assembled in here. Brizo no longer qualifies. (Find Brizo Faucets under Asian Luxury Faucets, below.)
One result of the major companies pulling up stakes is that the premium market is now wide open for smaller companies making very well-designed and well-crafted premium faucets in the US. and Canada.
Twelve faucet companies were nominated in this category. Our panel winnowed the list down to three that it believes represent its Best Value.
The nominees included companies like
Sonoma Forge makes rustic faucets that appear to have been fabricated out of left-over plumbing pipe. It's an illusion, of course. In actual fact, the faucets are carefully designed and meticulously manufactured in the U.S. But, they are definitely a niche market and not for everyone.
Phylrich was a close runer-up, but it lost points for its prices that are a little higher on average than those of our Best Value companies in this category.
Guerin and Sherle Wagner make artistic faucets by hand one at a time to order, Guerin from molds that have existed for well over a century and Sherle Wagner with artistic embellishments that have to be seen to be believed. But, they lost out because the faucets are very expensive.
All of these companies deserve honorable mention, however, and are worth a look if you are in the market for a unique handmade faucet.
There are only a handful of the 250 or so faucet companies in our reviews that seem to do everything right. California Faucets is one of these.
Its faucets (and showers) are well-designed and innovative, carefully manufactured using only the best components in an assembly plant that is more craft shop than factory. Its prices are considerably below the mean for luxury faucets – about 20-30% below the average.
It provides a strong limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and (except for living finishes) tarnishing. Its award-winning customer service is capable, responsive, and California-friendly.
Founded in 1988 by Fred Silverstein, California Faucets assembles well-made artisan faucets of its own design from domestic and imported components. The company is owned and managed by family members including Jeff Silverstein, the son of the founder. its current CEO.
The company has earned a solid reputation for quality and innovation.
According to company lore, California Faucets spent its first five years learning how to hand-assemble and custom finish quality faucets with short turn-around times that nearly equal assembly-line speed but produce a handcrafted faucet.
Now years later, that early effort has paid off.
The company's approach to making its heavy, all-brass craft faucets is smart and creative, helping to keep its prices relatively low while allowing extensive customization of its quality faucets.
Faucets are not produced en masse on an assembly line. They are assembled and finished one at a time as they are ordered.
The components used in its faucets are made by overseas companies, mostly in Italy and China.
Its faucets are a part of well-coordinated collections that for lavatory faucets may include faucets, tub sets, shower sets, bidets, and bathroom accessories consisting of towel bars and rings, toilet paper holders, robe hoods, and grab bars.
For kitchen faucets a collection may include a soap dispenser, taps for hot or filtered water, air gap, and an air activation switch for a disposer.
The faucet designs are extremely flexible.
Decorative items such as spouts and handles for each model faucet are often interchangeable, so a great many different configurations can be created without altering the mechanics of the basic faucet.
Faucets can be configured to a customer's preference just by swapping parts and finishes: sort of like ordering in a Chinese restaurant – take one spout from column A, a handle from column B, and a finish from column C.
The company offers a remarkable 30 finishes.
A faucet is finished in a customer's chosen finish only once it has been ordered. A customer ordering several coordinating products from a collection is assured that all of the items will look exactly the same since most of the time they are finished in the same batch – banishing even minor finish variations.
California Faucets provides one of the best limited lifetime warranties we have seen – well-written and fully compliant with U.S. warranty law. Only (another Best Value company) has a better warranty, and then by not more than a whisker.
The warranty is supported by one of the smoothest customer service operations we have encountered.
The company's handling of customer issues is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, and it has maintained that rating almost from its founding. It has also been awarded by the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association for its "responsiveness, courtesy, knowledge, ability to go above and beyond the norm, and overall performance."
For its focus on creative designs and faultless quality that includes the use of top-tier ceramic cartridges, a wide choice of finish options, and retail prices considerably lower than we would expect for premium faucets, we judge California Faucets to be a Best Value in luxury faucets produced in North America.
Despite our panel's emphasis on technology this year, there is little doubt that Rubinet stands out not for its advanced techno-wizardry (which is good but not cutting-edge) but for its design acumen.
Nearly every faucet in its collections is a stand-out design. Even its interpretations of traditional styles are fresh and interesting.
The Rubinet (Rubi-NAY) Faucet Company was formed in 1981 in Ontario. It is a quiet company that designs, assembles, and finishes striking and sometimes unique sink faucets, shower assemblies, and coordinating accessories in Canada but does so with little fanfare.
It makes almost no effort to promote itself or its original Canadian-designed faucet creations. We don't know why. But, it seems to work.
Rubinet faucets are arranged in 11 collections, ranging in style from traditional to ultra-contemporary.
All but the Jasmin collection include kitchen and bath faucets, tub fillers, shower assemblies, and coordinating accessories. (The Jasmin collection does not include kitchen faucets.)
The company's two-handle faucets are fitted with ceramic cartridges manufactured by Flühs Direhtechnik in Lüdenscheid, Germany, considered by most in the faucet industry to be one of the best, if not the best, European faucet cartridge made for two-handle faucets.
Cartridges for Rubinet's single-handle faucets are made by Kerox, Kft of Hungary and CeramTec GmbH of Luft, Germany, both world leaders in high-performance technical ceramics.
Finishing is done in Canada to order. This gives the company a great deal of flexibility in its finishes making its stunning variety of finishes possible. The company lists 22 standard finishes on its website.
The company's forté is in which one finish is the base and another becomes the accent.
Almost every faucet is available with a split finish. There are over 400 possible finish combinations available from the 22 standard finishes, some of which would be drop-dead ugly but most of which are very nice.
Most of its metallic finishes are electroplated. Some are (physical vapor deposition) finishes. Our experience with PVD finishes is that they are almost indestructible.
Non-metallic finishes are usually powder coatings, usually considered a semi-durable finish. But Rubinet's lifetime warranty on its finishes, including powder coats, suggests that the company is confident of the robustness and longevity of its powder coatings.
The Rubinet faucet warranty promises to replace any defective part and re-finish or repair any defective finish as long as the faucet is owned by the original buyer.
The warranty meets the North American standard for faucet warranties and it amply demonstrates the company's faith in the quality and long life of Rubinet faucets, including its finishes.
It is a "full" as opposed to a "limited" warranty under U.S. law. It is the only full warranty we have found in the faucet industry.
A full warranty has advantages to the consumer including a limit to the seller's ability to disclaim implied statutory warranties.
Customer service is very good. Agents are knowledgeable about Rubinet products and eager to help solve problems.
Our favorable view of the company's after-sale support is borne out by the Better Business Bureau which rates Rubinet A+ on a scale of A+ to F for its outstanding handling of customer issues.
Rubinet is a BBB-accredited business and pledged to abide by the high standards required by the BBB for accreditation.
For its focus on striking, innovative design and faultless quality that includes the use of top-tier ceramic cartridges, a wide variety of finish options, and retail prices somewhat lower than we would expect for designer faucets, we judge Rubinet to be a Best Value in luxury faucets produced in North America.
If you want to ensure the "Wow" factor in your new kitchen, Waterstone is the faucet you need.
They are relatively expensive faucets when compared to other American companies that sell luxury faucets.
The company made the list, however, because its competition is not domestic, but European, and compared to the European companies that make hand-crafted luxury faucets, its prices are very favorable and its quality often superior.
We cannot say with certainty that Waterstone sells the world's best faucets but we can say for certain that it is getting very close to that goal.
These are not, however, faucets for those looking for luxury in a faucet on the cheap.
When compared to the faucets offered by other companies in this category, its prices start where those of the other companies top out.
But, Waterstone faucets are in a very different league. Their competition is the great European craft houses like the French company, American importers of luxury European faucets such as When compared to these companies, Waterstone's faucets are reasonably priced.
What you get for that hefty price tag is unique styling and multi-layered, sophisticated finishes unlike any otherwise available in the world.
Founded in 1999 as a California limited liability company by Chris Kuran (after a stent as a U.S. Marine officer), Waterstone LLC manufactures all brass and stainless steel faucets.
Its factory in Southern California is located in the silicon valley of luxury faucet manufacturing in the U.S., an area that is also home to all top drawer companies.
Originally, the company made only kitchen, prep, and bar faucets, nothing for the bath. But, in 2021, it rolled out its first collection of faucets and accessories for the bathroom. the Argonaut, with a promise of more to come.
Waterstone's young but energetic and creative design team designs, engineers, and prototypes Waterstone's unique faucets that are produced in the U.S.A. - by which we mean milled, machined, finished, polished, assembled, shipped, and serviced in America.
Waterstone makes nearly all of its own parts and components, giving it nearly complete control of the quality of its manufacturing process from start to finish – one reason for Waterstone's reliability and low failure rate.
Waterstone's brass is Eco-Brass®, a lead-free, high-strength alloy developed in Japan. It is relatively easy to machine and resists wear,
The company is well known for its vast array of finishes. It offers 32 standard finishes, a number that seems to keep growing year after year, and just about any special finish you can describe.
Three of the standard finishes, chrome, polished nickel, and black nickel, are metal finishes. The rest are or lacquers. Waterstone does not use the newer finish technology, (PVD). It is experimenting with finishes, however, as a possible replacement for some of its powder coatings.
Faucets are sold primarily through showrooms and the Waterstone website. A limited selection of styles and finishes is sold by internet faucet retailers including Quality Bath, Plumbing Overstock, and Build.com. An even more limited selection of styles and finishes can also be found at general merchandisers like Amazon and Wayfair.
For special, custom, and split finishes or if you want to coordinate a faucet with other items in a collection like a soap dispenser or a filtration faucet, the better option is to work with a studio, showroom, or kitchen designer.
Waterstone has two faucet warranties, a function warranty, and a separate finish warranty. The function warranty guarantees a faucet's mechanical parts, including its cartridges, for a
lifetime, meaning, according to Waterstone sources, the lifetime of the faucet.
The finish warranty guarantees finishes against ordinary wear and tear, the first and only warranty we have seen that guarantees against ordinary wear and tear. Waterstone is not very clear on exactly what constitutes a defect that would trigger the ordinary wear and tear claim. We presume it would be something like a sudden change in color or extreme wear that exposes the underlying coating or even the bare metal of the faucet. It probably does not include scratches or mars that are the usual result of ordinary use in a kitchen or bath, nor the gradual fading of dark finishes from exposure to UV rays.
The duration of the finish warranty varies depending on the finish.
Chrome and stainless steel finishes are warranted for the same "lifetime" as the function warranty. , as is normally the case in the faucet industry, are not guaranteed at all. The remaining Waterstone's finishes, except Gold but including two electroplated finishes, Polished Nickel, and Black Nickel, are warranted for seven years. Gold is not guaranteed.
Our experience, however, is that Waterstone is less interested in enforcing the technicalities of its warranties than it is in getting customers help when they need it.
The company's customer service, like the products it services, is excellent. In our standard tests, customer service scored high on product knowledge, patience, and cordiality – and not just regular cordial but laid-back "California cordial." We ranked customer service at 4.6 out of a possible 5 points. Any score over 4.0 is acceptable and 4.6 is exceptional.
Waterstone's Better Business Bureau rating is A+. This rating means that the BBB considers Waterstone's handling of post-sale customer issues to be outstanding.
If you are remodeling a luxury bath or looking for that one luxury item to highlight a more modest bath, we suggest you give Waterstone a good, hard look. It would be hard to find a better faucet for the price.
The Italians are the masters of design; the Germans of engineering and the French … well, the French make some very fascinating, if quirky, faucets with a manufacturing mastery that needs bow to no other nation.
UK companies are also serious contenders with an industrial establishment that is more than 200 years old and has produced technical masterpieces such as the Rolls-Royce motorcar and the Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft of World War II fame.
What puts many European companies out of the running are their warranties.
European faucet warranties are typically 2 to 5 years. Ten years is considered generous. The standard North American warranty is for the lifetime of the original buyer.
It is almost impossible for a company offering a less-than-lifetime warranty in the North American market to accumulate enough points to be a serious contender for Best Value.
Companies like that make well-styled excellent products and offer American-style lifetime warranties on the faucets they sell on this side of the Atlantic.
The other disqualifying issue is certification. Some European companies, especially boutique firms like evidently feel they are exempt from testing and certifying their faucets to North American Standards, even though U.S. and Canadian laws say they must certify.
Without certifications, these companies cannot legally sell their faucets in the U.S. or in most of Canada. But, they do anyway.
No contraband faucet line sold illegally in North America can hope to get on the best value scoreboard. (For more information on black market, contraband, and counterfeit faucets, see Illegal & Black Market Faucets in North America.)
Finally, we don't consider companies that don't actually produce their faucets in Europe. A lot of European manufacturing has been outsourced to Asia.
the UK company that sells unique English-designed upscale faucets has hired a Chinese company to manufacture its faucets. They are very good faucets, but they are no longer English.
This leaves but a scant handful of companies.
The final few included
Hearbeau, KWC, and Perrin & Rowe proved too expensive and Paini's Fortis line was dismissed because it is not clear with all that is going on with the company that the faucets would continue to be sold in North America in coming months.
In the end, the penel's perennial top pick in this category, In2aqua was again a top choice, followed closely by Graff. The panel declined to name a third company for the simple reason thatthere really is no third company comparable to these two choices.
Barely years old, In2aqua is a German company that has successfully grown a robust market in both Europe and North America with advanced technology luxury faucets that are well designed, reasonably priced, and protected by what we believe is North America's best faucet warranty.
The company has developed its own superior cartridge using diamond-like carbon-coated discs and a rigid mounting technology to produce cartridges with a projected lifespan of several generations in ordinary household use.
In2aqua placed high in our rankings for three reasons.
- Low Price: By comparison to most other faucet companies selling premium faucets, In2aqua faucets are cheap for a premium. At the low end, the faucets barely break the $300.00 USD ($397.00 CAD) mark – a price that is very competitive with many mid-price faucets;
- Superior Cartridge Technology: In2aqua's faucets include lubricant-free cartridges that have been tested to four million cycles, equivalent to several centuries of household use; and
- Labor Warranty: In2aqua's lifetime faucet warranty covers the cost of labor to fix a defective faucet, not just the required parts. No other luxury faucet warranty that we know of includes a labor component.
Our panel felt that style and quality being roughly equal, a faucet that costs less, includes a superior cartridge, and covers labor in its warranty is a better buy than one that costs more, uses a less advanced cartridge, and excludes labor from warranty coverage.
Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) is one of the hardest materials known to man. It has many of the properties of diamond, including resistance to wear, low friction, and chemical inertness.
Unlike diamond, its structure is amorphous rather than crystalline leaving it with no fracture points. It is in some respects, harder than diamond. It is also very slick, slicker than Teflon™.
In its various forms, DLC can be deposited using thin-film physical vapor deposition ( onto nearly all metals, silicon, glass, ceramics, and plastics to make them harder, slicker, and more resistant to wear.
Deposition on the ceramic discs of an In2aqua PVD+ cartridge makes the discs many times less likely to wear than uncoated discs and slippery enough to operate smoothly without lubricant.
To illustrate just how tough it is: in laboratory abrasion tests, uncoated stainless steel lasted one week. Coated with DLC just two microns thick, the steel lasted for a simulated 85 years — 4,000 times longer. (A micron is about 1/70th the thickness of a human hair.)
DLC can be found on the edges of high-tech razor blades to make them harder and friction-free and on knives and barber shears that never need sharpening.
As a coating on drill bits, it greatly extends the life of the tool, and on dies and molds, it allows them to release molded products with less binding.
In car and truck motors hydrogen-free DLC reduces friction between moving parts significantly, increasing efficiency and the life expectancy of motor components and reducing carbon emissions.
Expect the use of the material to expand to household products as it becomes less expensive, including super nonstick coatings on pots and pans that truly are indestructible, finally making those tiresome TV infomercial claims actually come true.
In2aqua was formed in 2013 by Christopher Marshall, formerly the CEO of Hansa Armaturen GmbH, a well-known (in Europe) German faucet manufacturer, topping a career that included executive positions at Hansgrohe, and KWC.
When Hansa was acquired by Finland's Oras Group in 2013 he left the company to start In2aqua, capitalizing on his extensive knowledge of European faucetry.
The brand enjoyed almost overnight success in its home country and began selling on a limited basis in the U.S. in 2014.
It is now widely available on both coasts and in major cities, mostly from brick-and-mortar showrooms, and moving inland.
To better serve the North American market, In2aqua has opened a separate assembly plant in Germany to produce faucet destined for our shores.
The faucets feature the distinctive, well-defined Nordic-Hanseatic-German styling that is characteristic of such established companies as,
Each In2qua collection includes (or eventually will include) bathroom sink faucets, tub fillers, showers, and kitchen faucets, all coordinated designer products.
The company cuts no corners in either component selection or manufacturing.
The ceramic cartridges used in In2aqua faucets are uniformly the best available. All are lubricant-free.
In2aqua's two-handle faucets include lubricant-free stem cartridges manufactured by Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH of Lüdenscheid, Germany, considered by most in the faucet business to be one of the best, if not the very best, European faucet cartridge.
Its single-handle faucets are fitted with a proprietary ceramic cartridge that is even more advanced, not through a single technological breakthrough like the Delta Diamond Seal Technology® cartridge but through incremental improvements that have resulted in a cartridge with superior performance and longevity.
About Ceramic DiscCartridges
A durable lubricant is needed in most ceramic cartridges to help the ceramic discs slide over each other smoothly for easy operation.
The lubricant, even though it is not soluble in water, will not last forever. It will inevitably be scoured away over several years by the mechanical abrasion of the stream of water (and dissolved minerals in the water) pouring through the cartridge. The result is a faucet that is more difficult to operate or one that seizes up, failing altogether.
Cartridges that are Lubricant-free require no assistance to move freely, usually because they are made with an especially slippery surface.
The first refinement was its disc technology. PVD+ ceramic discs are coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC) applied using (PVD) in which billions of carbon atoms are blasted into an ionic plasma that is deposited on the discs in a coating measured in microns.
Diamond-like carbon not only improves a ceramic disc's hardness but using a technique called fluorine doping also produces an exceptionally slippery surface similar to non-stick coatings on cookware that moves freely without the need for a lubricant.
The second component of In2aqua's cartridge technology is the company's exclusive all-brass M-Lock mounting system which protects the cartridges from deformation, a major cause of leaks in cartridges with plastic housings.
In2aqua estimates that the PVD+ discs will last 10 times longer than uncoated discs. Based on independent laboratory tests, that estimate may be more than a little conservative.
After putting PVD+ cartridges through four million consecutive off/on-hot/cold cycles over 90 days in an independent laboratory, the discs showed no wear.
Four million cycles are equivalent to about 560 years of use in an average home kitchen.
We think the odds are good that PVD+ discs will last for the entire lifetime of an In2aqua faucet without replacement.
In2aqua faucets have been designed from the bottom up to be water-saving low-flow devices intended to comply with even the most restrictive maximum flow limits, including the new 1.2 gallons-per-minute (gpm) maximum flow required in California since 2016.
The In2aqua collections nicely cover the three design classifications — traditional, transitional, and contemporary — and every era from Victorian to modern, so there is at least one In2aqua faucet to fit almost any kitchen or bath decor.
The company is relatively new, so faucet styles are limited but it is adding new faucet designs almost continuously.
Finishes, too, were limited initially to polished chrome and satin nickel for lavatory faucets and chrome and stainless steel for kitchen faucets. The company has added two new finishes, matte black, and gold, available on a few faucets.
Graff is a relative newcomer to our list of Best Value faucets, appearing for the first time in 2019.
It had not made it to the top spot in past years but its well-designed and well-made faucets and its very quiet marketing finally required our attention.
The company's faucets are reasonably priced, most under $1,000. A few high-style faucets, such as the wall-mounted Luna faucet (pictured below) skew the pricing to above $3,000 at the high end.
Graff Faucets is a division of Meridian International Group, Inc. headquartered in Milwaukee.
Graff designs and distributes but does not manufacture its faucets. They are made by Valvex, S.A., another Meridian company, and imported from Poland. Valvex has been in the metal fabrication business since 1922.
The styling is European. Many faucets were designed by Italian design studios including Angeletti Ruzza Design and Davide Oppizzi's DCUBE Studio in Switzerland.
The faucets are gathered into two broad collections.
The Traditional group includes faucets in traditional and transitional styles. These faucets are stylish but conservative, reflecting conventional American/Canadian design elements.
The Contemporary group is more innovative.
The faucets are substantial and well-built brass and/or stainless fixtures with good ceramic disk valves intended to last a lifetime.
Graff's primary faucet materials are brass and stainless steel. Its brass is certified lead-free.
However, some components of its faucets that are not under water pressure and do not need the strength of brass are made of zinc or a zinc/aluminum alloy. These may include base plates, handles, and .
Some of the company's spray heads are plastic.
Plastic spray heads ("wands" in faucet-speak) are becoming increasingly common even in upscale faucets like Unlike metal wands, they do not get hot in use, and they are much less expensive to manufacture.
Unfortunately, they are also much more prone to failure.
According to a company source, the sprays that are still metal are all side sprays, and the pullout and pulldown sprays in the Bolero, Conical, Oscar, Perfeque, and Sospire collections.
Kerox kft valve cartridges are used in some of Graff's single-handle faucets. Kerox is generally considered one of the best ceramics manufacturers, and a frequent choice in cartridges for upscale European faucets.
Other Graff faucets were fitted with cartridges from Hain-Yo Enterprises Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese technical ceramics manufacturer of cartridges not considered as reliable as first-tier cartridges made by companies such as Kerox, but the difference is probably not substantial. The cartridges should provide years of leak-free service.
Neoperl® supplies most of the used in Graff faucets. Faucets with pull-down sprays appear to be equipped with aerators from Amfag S.r.l., a company manufacturing in Casaloldo, Italy. Amfag is Neoperl's leading competition in Europe. Both products are at about the same level of quality and endurance.
The company provides 19 finishes for its faucets.
The standard is polished chrome but faucets are also available in several nickels, including Steelnox (a satin nickel or stainless steel look-alike) and several bronzes, as well as two blacks, a white, gold, brass, onyx, and a gray finish the company calls Gunmetal..
Chome is . Four finishes are the durable finishes: Brushed Brass, Polished Brass, OR'osa, and Onyx. The remaining finishes are .
At one time the company warranted its faucets to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, including cartridges and all finishes, for the "lifetime of the product".
it has backed away from this universal lifetime warranty, however.
At present the lifetime term applies only to "mechanical parts and ceramic disc cartridges" as well as PVD and most electroplated finishes.
The warranty has some serious drafting problems and contain provisions that are illegal in a consumer product warranty in the U.S.
We rate Graff's customer service as very good. It scored extremely well on our service tests, never dropping below 4.4 out of a possible 5.0. Any score above 4.0 is satisfactory. The company generates very few complaints from consumers about post-sale issues and seems to handle those that do occur with dispatch.
The brand is relatively inexpensive and generally of excellent quality including durable cartridges and finishes. It is a very good value and worth a look by anyone in the market for a well-designed European-style luxury faucet. Be aware, however, of its sub-standard warranty.
A good example is Inax, a Japanese company owned by LIXIL. The winner of numerous design competitions since 2014, including its seventh prestigious Good Design award in 2023, makes and sells striking faucets but not here.
Another is the almost unknown (on this side of the Pacific) Jomoo Kitchen & Bath of Fujian, China, winner of its 75th Red Dot award in 2022 for its totally touch-free "Smart" electronic bathroom.
Jomoo sells only under its own brand name, and only around the Pacific rim, except North America.
Globe Union, the Taiwanese company with several faucet factories in China, manufactures and sells mid-priced faucets in North America. It also manufactures premium faucets that are sold in the U.S. and Canada by other brands: American Standard's upscale faucet brand, among several others.
Globe Union also does not sell premium faucets under its own brand name in North America.
The problem with establishing a premium Asian brand in North America is the general perception that Asian faucets are cheap and unreliable. That's not at all true. What is true, however, is that the (primarily Chinese) faucets sold on internet sites like Amazon and Wayfair are indeed mostly cheap and unreliable not to mention untested, uncertified, and illegal to sell in the U.S. Hence the general perception in North America that Asian-branded faucets are to be avoided.
The fact is, however, that some Asian companies, like Jomoo, are in many ways ahead of the West in bathroom technologies, and if the company ever decided to sell its plumbing products on these shores, it would probably do well after a careful introduction.
It took Globe Union's pioneering faucets almost ten years to find a solid footing in North America, but that's because Globe Union made about every mistake it could make in the process. Any company learning from Globe Union's experience ought to be able to shorten the time from introduction to market acceptance considerably.
All of this is preamble to the fact that, at the moment, there are not as many as three good-value Asian-made lines of premium faucets sold in North America. Most, such as are, in the opinion of our panel, perfectly average faucets that are overpriced or under-supported, or both.
Innovative styling, advanced cartridge and finish technology, a lifetime warranty, water-saving engineering, and some of the best customer care in the business combined with the near-universal availability of the brand make Brizo the faucet to beat in this category.
Several other faucet companies embody some of these attributes, but only Brizo has them all.
Brizo's designs are always crisp and clean and sometimes striking but of more importance than its style is the company's advanced technology. Brizo faucets are at this moment in time so far advanced that almost all of its competition has been made almost obsolete.
Until the last few years, Brizo assembled most of its faucets in the U.S. No longer. Brizo has shifted its manufacturing to China. Today, Brizo produces just over one-third of its faucets in the U.S.
Brizo is a Masco brand and really just the name given to Delta's high-end designer faucets. Not that this is anything to be ashamed of. Delta sells a very good faucet.
Brizo faucets combine Delta's mechanical reliability and impeccable finishes with some inspired styling that has resulted in numerous international design awards including the prestigious Red Dot Awards for the Jason Wu for Brizo collection and the Levoir wall-mounted faucet, and the much-soughty-after Good Design award for the Kintsu™ collection.
Faucet collections include traditional and transitional styles as well as contemporary designs. There is at least one Brizo model suitable for about any decor from Victorian to ultra-modern urban chic.
Some Brizo faucets are still assembled and finished at Delta's highly automated assembly plant in Jackson, Tennessee. Most, however, are manufactured in China at Delta's factory in Panyu, or by outside manufacturers under contract to Brizo.
The shift in manufacturing from the U.S. to China has been gradual over two decades. As older collections are discontinued and new collections added, the new faucets are sent to China for manufacturing rather than at Delta's Jackson plant.
As a result, the number of faucets made in the U.S. has declined steadily. Our most recent survey of the country of origin of Brizo faucets found that just over 65% were made in China meaning that most of today's Brizo faucets are Chinese faucets wearing the Brizo brand. Only 35% are actually American.
Brizzo faucets are part of collections of like-styled components. Kitchen faucets may coordinate with bar faucets, pot fillers, soap and lotion dispensers, filtered water taps, and instant hot water dispensers.
Bath collections are more extensive, typically including various shower options, tub fillers, tub spouts, and accessories such as towel bars, robe hooks, toilet tissue dispensers, and even toilet flush levers.
Most, but not all, Brizo faucets have now been converted to use the proprietary Delta Diamond Seal® (DST) ceramic disk cartridges. Delta manufactures DST cartridges in the U.S. at its plastics plant in Morgantown, Kentucky using imported ceramic discs.
Diamond Seal Technology is proving to be a revolution in ceramic disk technology. One disk in the two-disk set is diamond coated, a feature that Brizo says helps keeps the disks absolutely smooth since the diamond-coated disk continuously scrubs and polishes the other disk. As a result, they always mesh perfectly.
Delta has had this cartridge independently tested through 5 million cycles — ten times the testing cycles required by U.S./Canadian standards and equivalent to about 700 years of daily use in an average kitchen or bath.
It is very unlikely to fail in your lifetime. But, if it does break and you ever need to change the cartridge, it's very easy to do with common household tools and the new cartridge is free to the original owner for as long as he or she owns the faucet.
Brizo makes it easy to identify faucets that include a DST cartridge by adding "DST" to the model number.
Brizo offers over 20 standard finishes for its faucets, including nine Most of these are Delta's patented Brilliance® (PVD) finishes developed by Vapor Technologies, Inc., another Masco company that has been at the forefront of PVD coating technologies since 1986.
But, while 20 finishes are available, no single faucet is offered in all 20 finishes. The finishes actually available vary by faucet. The Jason Wu for Brizo™ collection, for example, comes in just one finish, black.
Delta claims that independent tests show that the Brilliance® PVD finishes stand up to drain cleaners, over 100 other common household cleaning products, and even repeated scouring with steel wool.
The finish can withstand prolonged exposure to harsh salt-laden coastal environments. They are guaranteed not to corrode, tarnish or discolor for as long as you own the faucet. If it does, Brizo will immediately replace it.
Our experience is that the Brilliance® finish is nearly indestructible in normal (and even abnormal) use.
All pull-out and pull-down sprays on Brizo kitchen and bar faucets now feature magnetic locking that securely holds the spray wand in place when not in use. Brizo calls it "Magnedock®."
The durable rare-earth magnets are, according to Brizo, made to last forever, while keeping the spray head always perfectly aligned in the faucet spout, preventing it from drooping.
The problem with Magnedock, however, is that in order for it to work, the spray heads (the industry term is "wands") must be very light in weight, a requirement that eliminates metal sprays.
All of Brizo's wands are plastic.
Plastic wands fail much more often than metal wands. And although engineers have made significant improvements to their reliability over the past decade, the problems with the material have not been entirely resolved.
The Brizo warranty is much the same as the Delta warranty, generally acknowledged as one of the strongest in the industry.
Everything (except electronic components) in a Brizo faucet is warranted against failure for as long as the buyer owns it. If something does break, a call to Brizo warranty support will get you instant help, and replacement parts in about three working days.
Delta's is one of the most praised customer service organizations in the industry. We rank it just behind customer service for product knowledge, helpfulness, and efficiency.
Brizo faucets are considered by most plumbers to be one of the easiest of all faucet lines to service and repair. Most parts of a Brizo faucet are exchangeable. Take out the old part, slip in the new part. All done.
Brizo is getting close to the carefree, lifetime faucet. Other than a periodic wipe with a damp cloth, a Brizo Brilliance finish never needs maintenance. And, a DST® cartridge is very unlikely to ever fail — not in just one lifetime.
In business in the U.S. since 2008, Isenberg Bath imports faucets from China. Its critical components, however, including ceramic cartridges and aerators are supplied by European companies.
The faucet collection is well thought out and artfully coordinated.
The components used in the faucets, especially the ceramic cartridges and aerators, are some of the best available.
The company started in India as Isenberg India Pvt. Ltd., importing and selling up-scale sanitary wares, including faucets, to the sub-continent. Isenberg Bath was for a short time structured as a subsidiary of the Indian firm. At present, however, the two companies are separate enterprises and do not appear to have any common ownership or financial ties. The current corporation dates from 2012.
Isenberg designs an increasing number of own its faucets in-house or through outside contract designers. Most of its faucets, however, are from its suppliers' and the designs are owned by the suppliers.
At least one Isenberg design, the IF.2000 Infinity wall-mounted lavatory faucet, has won international design awards including a 2020 Good Design Award and a listing Better Homes & Gardens as one of the 30 most innovative products of 2020 and a design award by Hospitality Design magazine.
Bath faucets are arranged in collections of like-styled products that may include faucets, tub fillers, showers, and accessories for a well-coordinated look.
Isenberg does not manufacture its faucets. It buys them already assembled from its suppliers in China with the possible exception of handles, cartridges, and other removable parts that may be attached only once the faucet is sold.
Its suppliers are some of the best of the Chinese faucet manufacturers, all of which are companies. The components used in its faucets are also some of the best including valve cartridges from Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH and Kerox Kft, two European manufacturers of some of the world's best valve cartridges.
Its aerators are made by Neoperl,® also considered some of the world's best.
These precision-engineered devices, about the size of a nickel, are used to shape and modify the water stream, restrict water volume to the lower flows required by federal and state water conservation laws, and in some cases, to prevent back-flow that can result in the contamination of household drinking water.
Faucets are available in seven standard finishes and nineteen special color finishes. Isenberg does not own a finishing facility and does not finish its faucets. It buys them already finished in several standard finishes that vary by manufacturer. If a special color finish is ordered, it is applied in a local facility.
The color finishes are Thin-Film Ceramic (TFC) coatings, a finish originally developed for military field equipment and firearms. Its migration to faucets to replace the less robust commonly used to produce color finishes is long overdue. Isenberg is one of the first faucet companies to adopt the technology.
The company backs its faucets with a lifetime warranty that meets the minimum requirements of the standard North American faucet warranty, providing lifetime protection to the original buyer against manufacturing and material defects.
It is, however, a flawed warranty. It was probably not written by a lawyer and the lack of expertise shows.
It does not meet the requirements of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act that dictates the content and form of consumer warranties.
Its errors, however, generally benefit the buyer, providing more legal protection than Isenberg intends. So, the flaws did not cost the company any points in its warranty score.
The company should have the warranty redrafted by a competent warranty lawyer, but if it does not, then its failure is to the benefit of its customers.
Isenberg's customer service is responsive and effective. A telephone call is answered almost immediately by an actual person rather than a robot, one of the most annoying features of our digital age. Problems get resolved quickly and courteously without much fuss.
The Better Business Bureau rates Isenberg's handling of consumer issues an A+, the highest rating on its scale of A+ to F.
Our bottom line on Isenberg faucets is that they are a good choice for those looking for an upscale faucet without the upscale price.
For what you get the faucets are cheaper – sometimes substantially cheaper – than most of its competition. You can buy a good quality Isenberg lavatory faucet for under $200, a price point that even mid-priced faucet faucet companies struggle to reach.
Most of the traditional manufacturers of mid-priced faucets have moved their manufacturing offshore.
, formerly Price-Pfister, for instance, was at one time one of the major faucet manufacturers in the U.S. Its plant in n Pacoima, California was the largest foundry west of the Mississippi, producing 5,000 finished faucets daily.
Pfister, however, began moving all of its faucet production to China and Mexico in 1993 – much to the detriment of the quality of the brand. At present, it does not manufacture any faucets at all. They are all made by contract factories in China and Korea.
followed roughly the same path after being acquired by the Japanese conglomerate, LIXIL Corporation, in 2013. Some American Standard manufacturing has moved to a Mexican plant owned by AS Maquila Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. in Aguascalientes. The company imports most of its faucets, however, from factories in China.
Delta Faucets was for many years one of the few holdouts. It kept most of its manufacturing in the U.S. But, that also has changed. IThe majority of its manufacturing is now in China.
Delta is still a top company producing Best Value faucets, but not in North America. Delta's faucets no longer qualify as North American made or assembled products.
Moen faucets are a Best Value not for one or two particular things but for nearly everything about the company and its faucet products. It is a North American company that produces very good to excellent innovative faucets with a strong warranty and customer support to be envied by most other companies.
While other North American faucet companies have shifted most if not all of their manufacturing overseas, Moen remains very much an American faucet institution with an international scope.
Most Moen faucets are made or at least assembled in the U.S. It employs over 2,000 American workers.
Alfred M. "Al" Moen invented the washerless mixing valve that made the single-handle Faucets possible.
Before his invention, all sink faucets had two handles. Today, seventy years after Al Moen, most sink faucets sold in North America are single-handle designs.
He persuaded Ravenna Metal Products of Seattle to finance and produce the new faucet. Ravenna sold the first Moen faucets were manufactured in 1947 for $12.00 each, which is about $130.00 ($172.00 CAD) in today's inflated dollars.
In the 1950s, Moen's one-handle faucet was the kitchen sink faucet of choice in the thousands of new homes built during the frenetic Post-War housing boom.
The Moen washerless valve is a cylinder. The faucet handle moves the cylinder up and down inside the faucet to control the volume of water and rotates it from side to side to control the water temperature.
This is done by aligning strategically placed holes in the cylinder with matching holes in the faucet body. When the holes are aligned, water can flow, when not aligned, water stops flowing.
When the handle is rotated left (clockwise), the hot water inlet is aligned so hot water flows, when rotated right (anti-clockwise), the cold water inlet is aligned, and cold water flows.
In any position other than far left or far right, the hot and cold water is mixed to varying degrees of warm water.
This is "Moen motion" which has become the standard for all single-handle faucets, even those equipped with ceramic disc cartridges.
No matter the style, source, brand, or manufacturer of a single-handle faucet, moving the handle up or back turns the water on. Down or forward turns it off. Right delivers cold water and left supplies hot water.
No one has to relearn how to operate a new single-handle faucet each time they buy a new one. They all operate the exact same (Moen) way.
Moen and (now just Pfister) were the first major faucet companies in the world to offer a lifetime warranty on their faucets.
The warranty was such a resounding sales boost that all other major U.S. faucet companies were compelled to follow suit. As a result, the standard North American faucet warranty is for your lifetime, while the standard European warranty is just two to five years.
Moen is one of the last of the major American faucet companies that still makes most of its faucets in the U.S. At our last count earlier this year, over 70% of Moen's sink faucets are assembled in the U.S. in its two fabrication plants in North Carolina.
The components and parts that go into the faucets, however, are made mostly overseas, primarily in Taiwan, China, and South Korea.
Al Moen's revolutionary washerless sleeve cartridge, now embodied in Moen's 1200 and 1225 cartridges for single-handle faucets and the 1224 for two-handle faucets, equipped all Moen faucets for three-quarters of a century.
The washerless sleeve cartridge has now been replaced, however, by ceramic valve cartridges, the 1234 (for two-handle faucets) or the 1255 (single-handle faucets) Duralast®. Ceramic valves are a better technology. They rely on nearly indestructible ceramic disks rather than rubber rings and seals to control water.
Al Moen continued with the company as chief engineer until 1982, accumulating 75 U.S. patents. His stream of inventions included
- The removable cartridge valve that is the model of all modern cartridges. It allowed worn valves to be replaced by simply removing the old cartridge and installing a new one.
- Swing n Spray™ faucet aerator that allowed the water flow to be changed from stream to spray at the push of a button.
- Moentrol® pressure-balanced shower valve that controls both water temperature and volume in a single control. Moentrol is still the single most popular show system in North America.
The durability of Moen's technical innovations can be judged by the fact that every one of them is still in use. Most were copied by nearly every other faucet company as soon as the Moen patent expired.
Innovation at Moen did not end with Al Moen's retirement in 1992. Today's Moen faucet may include:
- Power Clean™ spray technology in kitchen faucets provides a more powerful concentrated spray at the push of a button for faster rinsing.
- Power Boost™ performance temporarily increases the volume of water flow with the push of a button for faster filling and better spray performance. When the Power Boost button is released, water flow returns to the faucet's normal water-saving mode.
- Reflex™ spray heads that retract automatically and dock securely when released.
The innovation that got the most attention from our panel, however, was the M-PACT Common Valve System used in most of Moen's two-handle faucets.
In conventional faucet construction, the body and spout of the faucet do double duty. They direct the flow of water through channels built into the body and spout and provide the faucet's appearance.
The M-PACT system divorces water control from appearance. The water is controlled by a core unit called a "rough-in valve" installed under the sink. A shell, usually called the "trim", is installed above the sink to hide the core and give the faucet its appearance.
To change the faucet's appearance, all that is needed is to remove the existing shell and replace it with another. Moen calls this "as easy as changing a light bulb." We don't think it's quite that easy, but it's not very hard either and requires no disruption to the faucet's plumbing.
This technology is less an innovation than it is an adaptation of the construction techniques long used in wall-mounted faucets. The actual innovation is designing many faucet shells so they all fit one common rough-in valve.
Moen faucets are available in 15 finishes including several .
Chrome is . Six finishes (Brushed Gold, Brushed Nickel, Classic Stainless, Polished Brass, and Polished Nickel) are (PVD) finishes. The rest are .
A few faucets, such as those in the STo and Sinema kitchen collections, can be ordered in a . A base finish is paired with a trim finish. Matte Black with Chrome, for example.
Moen offers a residential lifetime warranty on the mechanics and finishes of its faucets against leaking or manufacturing defects to the original buyer of a faucet, and this includes its cartridges. That has been Moen's promise ever since it first offered a lifetime warranty in the 1970s.
Moen's post-sale customer support is the model that faucet companies should copy.
We have not sampled the after-sale customer services of every single major faucet manufacturer in the world but we will take a chance and proclaim Moen's to be the very best customer service of any major faucet company selling in North America. It is absolutely a first-class act.
Moen's process for quickly getting you a replacement part for a broken faucet is nearly as painless as can be. A quick call to 1-800-BUY-MOEN puts you in touch with a customer service representative who has been well-trained on Moen products, and you will usually get the part by express delivery in about four working days.
Moen has been one of the most popular faucets in North America very nearly since the first 12 faucets were manufactured, and we see no risk that its popularity will wane. Moen customers tend to stay Moen customers, including nearly half of our plumbing staff who have Moen faucets and showers in their own homes.
Moen pioneered nearly all of the technologies used in modern faucets, and along with the modern lifetime faucet warranty. Its faucets are of very good to excellent quality, priced very reasonably, and its customer service has no equal. As a choice for Best Value, Moen was an obvious and unanimous pick.
Even though it owns several factories in China, it is one the few American faucet companies that still produces most of the faucets it sells in North America in the U.S. and Canada.
It supports its faucets with a strong lifetime warranty and excellent customer service.
Kohler is a privately held, family-owned, and operated U.S. manufacturer of an enormous line of very good to excellent kitchen and bath fixtures and fittings since 1873.
Kohler is one of the largest U.S. plumbing products manufacturers, with a dozen or so North American factories. Still, that is just a small fraction of the 50 or so factories Kohler owns worldwide, and only 6,000 (15%) of Kohler's 40,000 worldwide employees work in the U.S. and Canada.
The company is also one of the top ten plumbing products companies in China. Despite its huge manufacturing capacity in China, Kohler still makes most of the faucets it sells in North America in its North American factories.
In our most recent survey, we found that 65% of the faucets sold in North America were assembled in either the U.S. or Canada – not because it is the most economical way to produce faucets but because Kohler, better than most other U.S.-based faucet companies, understands public relations.
Kohler uses good-quality components in its faucets, including some very good ceramic valve cartridges. Its cartridge for its two-handle faucets was for many years provided by Anton Tränkle, GmbH & Co. KG, a German company that makes superior ceramic cartridges. Tränkle has been replaced, however, in Kohler's new faucets by Kohler's proprietary UltraGlide® cartridges. Kohler calls these the "next generation of faucet technology".
Kohlers's claim has been supported by independent testing. The cartridge has been tested through four million on-off cycles – eight times the industry standard life-cycle test of 500,000, cycles and equivalent to about 560 years of ordinary household use.
For the cartridge valves in Kohler's single-handle faucets, the company uses cartridges made by Hydroplast S R L of Italy and Kuching International Ltd. in Taiwan, the manufacturer of KCG brand cartridges.
Kohler believes both are a very good cartridges worth guaranteeing for the lifetime of the original owner.
Kohler offers about 14 finishes on its faucets. We say "about" because, while its finishes do not change often, they do change. In fact, four finishes available on faucets at our last update to this report have now been discontinued. So, there may not be exactly 14 when you read this review.
Polished Chrome is the standard finish, available on most if not all Kohler faucets. The other finishes offered on a faucet depend on the model and whether it is a kitchen or bath faucet.
Certain finishes such as Vibrant Stainless Steel are available only on kitchen faucets while others, including Vibrant Moderne Brushed Gold and Vibrant Titanium, are limited to bathroom sink faucets.
Kohler makes a big fuss over its Vibrant® finishes, most of which seems justified. These are Kohler's PVD finishes and are easily identified because all have the word "Vibrant" in the name. However, Kohler has other PVD finishes not identified as "Vibrant." Oil-Rubbed Bronze, for example, is a PVD finish.
Matte Black its last surviving . All of the rest, White, Biscuit, Black Black, and Satin Black, have been discontinued.
The finishes available on each faucet are identified on the Kohler website. Any finish other than chrome will generally result in an addition, sometimes a hefty addition, to the price of the faucet.
Kohler's original and sometimes award-winning faucet designs are created in its five in-house design studios in the U.S., England, France, India, and China. The company has won 56 iF world design awards and multiple Good Design awards sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design
The company was recognized by iF in 2020 as having one of the top 50 in-house product design teams in the world.
Kohler always seems to have at least one faucet in inventory that stands the design world on its ear and forces it to pay attention.
The recently discontinued Karbon® faucet introduced in 2008 as the world's first articulating faucet was one of these wake-up-and-pay-attention products.
The newest Kohler eye-opener faucet, introduced in 2023, is the Purist Suspend® ceiling-mounted kitchen faucet – not as powerful a statement as the Karbon, but still interesting.
Kohler offers faucets at a wide range of prices. At the low end are competitive with the company's mid-priced competition including
At the high end, prices encroach on premium lines such as But, they never reach the stratospheric prices of some luxury faucets such as Waterstone's distinctive Wheel faucet that sells for $5,109.00 in Chrome.
Its most costly faucet is the new Purist Suspend ceiling-mounted faucet at around $2,200. Otherwise, its top-of-the-line faucets sell for around $1,200. Not chump change, but certainly not stratospheric.
The Kohler warranty has several defects, all of which toll against the company and in favor of the buyer. Original buyers have a lifetime warranty for as long they own their home. Our warranty panel judged it to be equivalent to the standard North American lifetime warranty. However, chrome and other "non-vibrant" finishes are guaranteed for just 1 year – something to keep in mind when selecting a finish.
Kohler's customer service is very good. If you have a receipt showing you bought a Kohler faucet that is now broken, they will help you fix it. They are knowledgeable about Kohler products, courteous, and eager to help with problems.
In our most recent tests, Kohler customer service scored 4.5 out of a possible 5.0 points, one of the highest scores ever. Anything above 4.0 is acceptable.
We have tested Kohler support periodically for 15 years. In that time, it has never received a score lower than 4.2, so the current exceptional score is not a flash in the pan.
Jaclo is a brand of decorative plumbing hardware, including faucets, distributed by Durst Corporation of New Jersey. It is a brand, however, that most buyrs in the U.S. and Canada have never heard of.
The faucets are well designed and made, and beautifully finished. They include good-quality components.
The Jaclo warranty has technical legal problems, but they don't affect you as a buyer and may be to your benefit. Its protection is average for North American faucet warranties, providing the industry-standard "lifetime" coverage.
Durst Corporation, Inc., is a New Jersey corporation that supplies plumbing sundries and is one of the major suppliers in the plumbing industry. Its products include almost everything a plumber or steamfitter could possibly need in the way of materials, tools, components, or fittings from a nearly 400-page catalog and through independent plumbing supply houses.
The company and its mid-priced plumbing brand, Jaclo, are very well known to plumbing industry professionals, but mostly a mystery to the buying public. However, Jaclo sells some of the better-quality faucets still assembled in the U.S.
Incorporated in 1988, the current company is just thirty-five years old but claims to be the successor to the old Durst Manufacturing Co., Inc. with a heritage of "five generations of [plumbing] industry experience" dating back to 1912.
It is one of the major suppliers to the plumbing industry. Its annual sales are estimated at $156 million.
Jaclo products are not included in Durst's main catalog. Durst treats Jaclo as a separte company, Jaclo Industries, with its own catalog and a separate website.
Jaclo products are arranged in eight collections ranging in style from traditional to very contemporary. The collections include faucets, tub fillers, showers, tub spouts, drains, and bathroom accessories such as towel bars and robe hooks.
The company does not sell kitchen faucets under the Jaclo brand.
The faucets are assembled by Jaclo in New Jrsey from imported parts and components, most of which are made in China. It finishes most faucets in-house. The rest are outsourced, but all faucets are given their finishes in the U.S.
The advantage of local finishing to order is that all of the items in an order – faucets, fillers, showers, and accessories – can be finished at the same time in exactly the same finish. There is little possibility of even minor tonal mismatches.
Some faucets are available in in which a base finish is accented with one or more different finishes – black accents on a chrome faucet, for example. Split finishes are generally a special order.
One of the reasons that Durst management is confident enough in its Jaclo faucets to offer a lifetime-of-the-buyer guarantee is that the faucets are fitted with components that are some of the best available.
The most critical to the longevity of the faucets are valve cartridges and aerators. Jaclo uses good quality cartridges in its faucets, which is important because its cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet.
Two-handle Jaclo faucets are outfitted with excellent single-function stem cartridges made by Flühs Direhtechnik of Lüdenscheid, Germany. Flühs (often spelled Fluehs for English speakers) makes a stem cartridge that is generally considered among the best in the world.
The dual-function mixing cartridges used in Jaclo's single-handle faucets are made by Sedal SA a company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, but manufacturing in China at two facilities:
The Sedal cartridge is generally not considered equal to the very best European mixing valve cartridges, but it is a good cartridge that should give reliable, leak-free service for many years.
The cartridges have been tested through 500,000 on-off cycles in order to be certified for use in North America – equivalent to about 80 years of average bahthroom use.
But, this test uses distilled water. Your household water is anything but distilled. It probably contains a generous assortment of dissolved minerals that will eventually wear out almost any cartridge.
Still, a Sedal cartridge should reasonably last 10 - 15 years without any misadventures. If it does not, Jaclo will replace it free of charge under its warranty.
The faucets also include made by Neoperl®, the Swiss engineering company that arguably makes some of the world's best aerators.
Modern aerators are precision products used to shape and moderate the water stream emitted from the faucet, limit water volume to the lower flows required by conservation laws, and prevent back-flow that could contaminate household drinking water. It is important, therefore, that this little device, a little larger than a dime, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-engineered Neoperl® aerator.
According to the company, Jaclo faucets are designed by Jaclo which has its own design studio.
Jaclo designs are appealing but fairly conservative. They introduce no design innovations. Most are variations on already-proven faucet styles, many of which have been around for decades.
Some Jaclo faucets offer as many as seven handle options to expand the range of appearance choices available from a modest number of base faucets.
The Jaclo warranty is clearly intended to be a limited lifetime warranty that reads, in relevant part, as follows:
"This warranty is extended to original consumer purchasers only. … The product (including the finish on the product but excluding any custom finishes and any installation hardware not supplied by JACLO) is warranted to be free from defects in material or workmanship under normal use and service for the lifetime of the fixture, so long as the original consumer purchaser owns it. …"
The warranty meets the requirements for a standard North American lifetime warranty. But, it is not well drafted and has several legal problems. The most important of these is that it does not comply with the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308), the federal law that dictates the form and minimum content of consumer product warranties in the U.S.
These legal issues, however, are to the detriment of Durst. They benefit a faucet buyer, giving the buyer more protection, so they have not affected the company's warranty score.
A strong warranty means little unless the service backing up the warranty is also good. Fortunately, Jaclo's customer service is very good and sometimes excellent.
We found customer service attitudes to be excellent: friendly, cheerful, and patient to a fault. But, product knowledge was low to medium and needs to be improved.
Overall, despite a few problems here and there with its warranty, we judge the faucets to be a Best Value. They are well designed and made, contain, good quality components, and on average priced below similar faucets of similar quality.
If you are in the market for a well-made bathroom sink faucet with an unusual and striking finish, Jaclo may be the faucet for you.
Delta has made and sold very good to excellent faucets since its founding soon after the Second World War. Nearly one out of three faucets sold in North America is a Delta product.
Formerly our top choice in mid-priced faucets made or assembled in North America, the company has moved more than 50% of its manufacturing to China and no longer qualifies as a North American-made faucet. Delta is still an excelllent faucet, just not an excelent North American faucet.
Delta's new DST super cartridge, its advanced finish technologies, water-saving engineering, lifetime warranty, and some of the best customer care in the industry make Delta almost unbeatable in this category.
The Delta Faucet Co. was first ranked the best value in the "Made or Assembled in North America" category in 2007 then again in 2011 and every year since — not by just a hair but by a large margin just about every year. The faucets just keep getting better.
Unfortunately, however, most Delta faucets are no longer made in America, they are made in China.
The migration of Delta manufacturing to Asia has not had any observable impact on the quality of the faucets but is certainly going to change how the company is perceived.
Delta was one of two companies that introduced the single-handle faucet to American consumers. (The other was Moen)
The company moved to the forefront of American-made faucets in the 1950s with its single-handle kitchen faucets equipped with the washerless ball cartridge invented by Landis Harlan Perry (1911-1985) and patented in 1952.
Delta launched its single-handle faucets in 1954, at the height of the Post-War housing boom. Just four years later, in 1958, Delta's sales topped $1 million (CAD $1.38 million). Delta is still one of the best-selling faucet in North America.
The washerless valve powered Delta faucets for most of half a century until 2008 when it was replaced by Delta's Diamond Seal Technology® (DST) super cartridge – a valve innovation that is a giant step ahead of existing technology.
The patented DST cartridge pairs a diamond-coated ceramic disk with an uncoated disk. Delta says this feature keeps the disks absolutely smooth since the diamond-coated disk continuously scrubs and polishes the other disk so they always mesh perfectly.
It also continuously grinds away any mineral deposits that may insinuate themselves between the disks. According to the company, the more you use it, according to Delta, the smoother it gets.
Delta Diamond Seal Technology Cartridges
Its cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet and should be your very first consideration when making a buying decision.
It is the component that controls water flow and temperature.
Its finish may fail and the faucet will still work. It may be discolored, corroded, and ugly but water still flows. If the cartridge fails, however, the faucet is no longer a faucet. It is out of business until the cartridge is replaced.
It's important, therefore, that the cartridge is robust, durable, and lasts for many years.
The Delta Diamond Seal Technology super cartridge is just such a cartridge. Tested to 5 million cycles, it is likely to provide a leak-free performance for a lifetime.
Unlike standard ceramic discs, DST does not require a lubricant to operate smoothly.
Lubricants, no matter how durable, eventually wear away and can leave the cartridge hard to operate. The DST cartridge does not use lubricant, so this problem is gone.
Delta's InnoFlex™ waterway is an equally impressive innovation.
In an era during which faucet companies are working hard to reduce the lead in brass faucets in order to comply with increasingly stringent lead-free limits, Delta simply bypassed the problem by routing the water in its faucets through a PEX tube.
PEX is a cross-linked polyethylene material that is flexible and very strong. It is now used in place of copper pipes in most residential and in many commercial plumbing installations.
Water never comes in contact with the metal in the faucet, so it cannot possibly pick up any lead.
The innovation allows Delta to use less expensive leaded brass in its faucets rather than very costly lead-free brass, which helps keep its prices lower than most of its competition in the mid-priced market.
The "new" technologies, now more than a decade old, are rapidly replacing the older mechanics in Delta faucets. Both are by all accounts, a stunning success.
DST cartridges have been tested using the standard U.S./Canada disk life-span protocol to 5 million six-step cycles without a failure — ten times the North American standard 500,000 cycles or about 700 years of typical kitchen use. (We're not kidding, folks. Seven hundred years.)
Delta has factories in Greensburg, Indiana; Jackson, Tennessee; and in Morgantown, Kentucky. Two more plants are located in Ontario, Canada: one in London and another in Cambridge.
Delta employs over 1,300 Americans and an equal number of Canadians.
However, Delta has chosen to extend its production not by investing in North American plant expansion but by outsourcing faucet production to other companies, most of which are in China.
Our 2021 survey of the origin of Delta faucets found that while the number of faucets made in China was increasing, most Delta faucets were still made in the U.S.
The tipping point, however, evidently occurred sometime in 2022. In our 2023 survey, we found that 58% of Delta faucets were made in China and only 48% in the U.S.
Delta design is North American with its flowing, transitioning curves as opposed to the industrial angularity of most European design.
Although some European elements have begun to creep in, the look of Delta faucets is still largely American/Canadian.
Those who prefer European styles might have to go elsewhere for a faucet. But, those who like the traditional North American look will love the contemporary interpretations in Delta's new faucet collections.
Delt's parent company, Masco Corporation, owns Vapor Technologies, one of the pioneer companies that developed (PVD) finishing technology. Vapor Technologies gave Delta a big jump-start in the early adoption of PVD for its faucets, far in advance of other American faucet companies.
There are no , , or on Delta faucets. Delta now uses the PVD finishes exclusively.
PVD finishes are estimated to be up to 20 times more durable and scratch-resistant than the standard faucet finish: plated chrome. PVD finishes enable the company to guarantee every finish for as long as the buyer owns a Delta faucet.
In our experience, Delta PVD finishes are nearly maintenance-free and almost impossible to damage in ordinary use.
Some Delta faucets feature SpotShield™ which helps prevent water spots from forming on faucets. An anti-microbial treatment incorporated into the finish retards the growth of bacteria and other micro-critters on Delta finishes.
The Delta lifetime warranty on every component in its faucets (except the electronics in its hands-free faucets) is a big plus. Other companies limit the warranty on hoses, sprayers, and some finishes to as little as one year. Not Delta.
Delta's customer service and warranty support is second only to which has the customer service organization that is the model to which others aspire but rarely reach.
Delta is easily our best value pick of the mid-priced faucet companies producing faucets in Asia. It has always been a company that manufactured well-made and well-supported faucets but its new Diamond Seal Technology® cartridges and InnoFlex™ waterways have pushed it far above the vast majority of other faucet companies, domestic or foreign.
For the price, there is not another faucet in the world that can touch a Delta, even one made in China.
Introduced to the U.S. in 2000, is a name under which Globe Union Industrial Corp. has grown a major brand identity in the U.S. It is the most actively promoted of the many faucet, fixture, and accessory brands owned by the gigantic Asian company controlled by the Ou-yang Ming family of Taichung, Taiwan.
Globe Union is the dominant faucet manufacturer in Asia under its GOBO brand. Its faucets are made primarily in mainland Chinese factories by its subsidiary Shenzhen Globe Union Industrial Corp. (with a small bow to Canada for some automatic faucets).
The company is a full-line manufacturer. Like the Masco line of Peerless-Delta-Brizo faucets, Globe Union's products range widely in quality, an effect of making products at every price point.
In the Globe Union lineup, Danze is positioned as the mid-priced faucet line.
As a whole, the Danze line is well made. Many of the faucets are very stylish, and while Globe Union in the past mostly copied existing European and American designs, the company has recently begun introducing its own styles based on European models. They are good, some are even excellent.
Danze has been a marketing success, having grown to impressive proportions since 2000 with hundreds of brick-and-mortar retailers and a strong internet presence.
Globe Union seems to have conquered the parts and warranty issues that plagued the brand's early years. For years it seemed impossible to get help with a parts or warranty problem, if only because no one seemed to have the Danze customer service telephone number.
Things have changed for the better. In our latest customer service tests, Danze scored above the 4.0 out of 5.0 that we consider satisfactory. The Better Business Bureau scores Danze as A+ for its response to customer issues, its highest score. Danze is not, however, a BBB-accredited business.
We believe the Danze faucets are a good value for the price.
They are generally of better quality than the run-of-the-mill Chinese faucet. The proprietary Danze ceramic cartridge has gone through several development evolutions over the years and is very good.
The Danze lifetime-of-the-original-owner warranty (where most importers of Chinese faucets offer 10 years or less) seals the deal.
If we had an economy or budget category, Dawn along with would certainly be the finalists in that class. We don't, so the best fit for Dawn is in the Asian Mid-Priced Category.
The company does not have the techno-wizardry of or the design finesse of faucets.
What it does have is a line of good quality inexpensive faucets made by one of the best of the Chinese faucet manufacturers supported by a strong warranty and very capable customer service.
Dawn is an importer and distributor of Chinese-made faucets founded in 2003 by Herman He Xin Kuang, its current president.
It is not, like a company that designs and manufactures its own faucets using proprietary cartridges and custom-made components.
Dawn's faucets are off-the-shelf products designed and manufactured by CAE Sanitary Fittings Industrial Co. Ltd.
For the most part, these are typical Chinese designs, stylish but not particularly innovative. Some CAE faucets, however, are designed by Itamar Harari an Israeli product designer working in Milan and these are quite striking.
Dawn does not pretend to be a manufacturer or claim that its faucets are made in America as many small importers do.
It represents itself as no more than exactly what it is, an importer of good quality Chinese faucets that are certified fully compliant with U.S. and Canadian standards, laws, and regulations, and are supported by a limited lifetime warranty and very good customer service.
Its mixing cartridges are from Kerox Kft, a Hungarian cartridge manufacturer that many consider the world's best.
Its careful selection of its faucet supplier and modest business model permit the company to sell its faucets for considerably less than most importers and still offer a robust, high-quality product that is legal to use anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, even in California and Massachusetts.
In the judgment of our panel, Dawn is a company to watch. For the price, Dawn faucets are a very good buy. Their quality makes them suitable for use in even a very busy kitchen or bath.
If you are in the market for an inexpensive faucet with good but not necessarily cutting-edge design that will last a long, long time, Dawn may well be your next faucet.
About StarCraft Reviews and Ratings
Faucet reviews and ratings are produced by StarCraft Media, LLC and hosted by StarCraft Custom Builders, a regional remodeling company located in Lincoln, Nebraska.
We started collecting information about faucet companies 20 years ago for our own information about which faucets to buy, which to avoid.
When we realized that the information was of interest to other people, we began publishing reviews on the web. The enterprise has now grown to involve two dozen volunteers who contribute their time, and sometimes their dollars, to researching, evaluating, writing, and editing, and to the unpaid consultants in the faucet industry who generously help with technical issues.
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, suggestions, or corrections.