Graff Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 10/18/18
3701 W. Burnham St.
Milwaukee, WI 53215
Footnotes:1. Graff products are "warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship... for the lifetime of the product...."
This Company In Brief
Best Value Faucet
Our panel of homeowners and industry professionals has recognized Graff faucets as a best value runner up for luxury faucets made in Europe.
Graff Faucets, founded in 1922 as KZA Company, was reorganized and incorporated in Wisconsin under its present name in 2002 after being acquired by Milwaukee-based Meridian International Group, Inc., a family of related companies involved in the casting, machining and finishing of metal products, including American Metalcast Technologies, Inc. a manufacturer of low pressure brass casting machinery and Polco Metal Finishing, one of the largest independent metal finishing companies in the U.S.
A quiet company, Graff rarely advertises but simply sells exceptional products and waits for the world to notice. That the world has noticed is indicated by Graff's reputation for very high-quality faucets.
These are substantial, well-built faucets intended to last a very long time. All Graff faucets are brass and/or stainless Note 1 fixtures with ceramic disk valves; manufactured in Poland by another Meridian subsidiary, Valvex, S.A. Note 2
The faucets are gathered into two broad collections. The traditional and transitional faucets are stylish but fairly conservative. These are typically designed and engineered by Valvex staff with a little help from Graff-USA engineers to ensure they fit North American standards.
The Contemporary collection, however, is a different story. It is designed by actual industrial and product designers. The Italian design studio Angeletti Ruzza Design and Davide Oppizzi's DCUBE studio in Confignon, Switzerland design Graff's Contemporary faucets.
The innovative Oppizz-designed ring showerhead include in Graff's Ametis collection has won numerous design awards. Graff's SENTO faucet won the 2013 Product Innovation Award from Architectural Products magazine and the Sospiro collection was named one of the 30 most innovative products for 2018 by Better Homes & Gardens.
Graff faucets are sold in most parts of the world and in most venues, including an extensive presence on the internet.
The company offers four standard finishes for its faucets, and warranties every one for the lifetime of the faucet. The standard is polished chrome, of course, but most faucets are also available in polished nickel, Steelnox (a satin nickel or stainless steel look-alike — the two finishes are similar) and something called olive bronze, which looks to us like the standard "oil rubbed bronze" finish but Graff also offers an oil-rubbed bronze as a special-order finish which is a little darker. Other special-order finishes include 18k gold, antique brass, antique copper, architectural black, brass, brushed nickel, and pewter. Special order finishes may take up to 8 weeks to deliver.
Graff warrants its faucets to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, including cartridges and all finishes, for the "lifetime of the product". Unfortunately the expression "lifetime of the product" is not defined and has no commonly accepted meaning. We assume it means that the warranty is in effect as long as the original purchaser owns the faucet.
Graff may require the faucet be returned for evaluation but in practice rarely does. The warranty seems to indicate that a faucet with a defective finish must be returned for refinishing. In fact, Graff will usually just replace the faucet unless it was made with an unusual or special finish.
We rate Graff customer service as good to very good. It scored well on our customer service tests. The company generates very few complaints from consumers and seems to handle those that do occur with dispatch. The most common complaint has to do with a problem with a faucet finish rather than the mechanicals of the faucet.
Based on the very few number of complaints received by the Better Business Bureau and the company's response to those few complaints, Graff is rated "A+" on a scale of "A+" to "F" by the BBB. Graff's service department was selected by the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association as the customer service department of the year for 2015.
The Graff website is very artistic: full of very beautiful, well-staged photographs. It used to be very slow due to overuse of Adobe® Flash, and very hard to actually use. But, it has been redesigned and is now very functional. Faucets can be displayed individually or as an item in the collection of matching showers and accessories. It's very useful to see all of the pieces of a collection before deciding on a faucet. You may love the faucet but hate the towel rack or soap dish, which may be a factor in your buying decision.
The collections are so complete that they even include components that you will never see, and are of interest only to plumbers, such as valve extension kits, and vessel rings. Whoever put all this together did a really good job.
The information provided about each faucet is extensive and very clearly presented, including its available finishes, critical dimensions, and options. Downloadable .pdf files include a dimensioned drawing, exploded parts diagram, parts list, installation instructions, and detailed specifications for each faucet. In an earlier exploration of the website, we found a lot of these did not display properly. That problem, however, has been fixed.
There are some deficiencies, however. Only one view of most faucets is provided. There should be several, displaying the sides and back of the faucet, or better yet, a 360° view the user can rotate such as is provided by faucets. The exploded parts diagram is keyed to the parts list which can be displayed only as a separate document. It would be more useful to combine the two into one document.
There is no identification of the type of valve used. We presume ceramic cartridges are used in all faucets but don't see an explicit statement to that effect. We would also like to see the cartridge manufacturer identified. Our inspection confirmed that cartridges from Kerox kft are used in Graff's single handle faucets. Kerox is generally considered one of the best of the ceramics manufacturers, and the usual choice in cartridges for upscale European faucets.
Cartridges for two-handle faucets are more varied. Most faucets include a brass 1/2" quarter-turn ceramic stem cartridge, easily the most common size of stem cartridge used in faucets and made by almost every cartridge manufacturer. We were unable to identify the manufacturer from inspection alone and have asked Graff to identify the cartridge. The inquiry is still pending.
Graff's upscale faucets are intended to compete with European designer companies such as
among others, and they do compare very well. We think of Graff as the Americanized version of the up-scale European faucet. If you are outfitting a heritage kitchen or bath, Graff's traditional collections may be just the ticket. Faucets suitable for a Victorian or mid-century motif are abundant. If your kitchen or bath is more contemporary, there are even more choices in Graff's modern collections.
These are serious faucets: heavy, solid and substantial. We are very impressed with their quality and with the very low number of consumer or plumber complaints over a ten-year period. They are definitely luxury items, with prices to match. But, the prices are competitive. They are a good to very good value and well worth a look for anyone in the market for a European designer faucet.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Graff faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.