Harrington Brass Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 01/14/19
Harrington Brass Works
855 Conklin St.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Table Footnotes:1. Mixing cartridges in single-handle faucets.2. Stem cartridges are used in two-handle faucets.3. The term lifetime is not defined, so, in most jurisdictions, it means the actual lifetime of the original purchaser. See the main review for more information.4. Polished chrome, polished nickel, satin nickel, and polished brass.5. Oil rubbed bronze, polished brass (unlacquered), polished copper, oil rubbed copper, silver lining are all considered living finishes.6. …warranted to the original purchaser to be free of defects in material and workmanship for one year."7. The warranty is enforceable for the benefit of a subsequent owner of the faucet without the warranty being transferred. See the main report for an explanation.
Read the full text of the Harrington warranty in footnotes at the end of this report.
This Company In Brief
Harrington Creations, LLC sells well-designed luxury faucets for the bath primarily through showrooms but also at a few internet outlets. It is the successor to Harrington Brass works Limited, Inc., of Harrington, New Jersey which started the business of selling decorative plumbing fixtures and accessories under the Harrington name in 1980.
In 2011 Tim Herley, then the company's president, purchased "certain assets" of Harrington Brass Limited and created a New York corporation, Harrington Creations, LLC, to sell faucets and other sanitary wares under the Harrington Brass name.
The Flühs stem cartridge at left for two-handle faucets is guaranteed by Harrington for the lifetime of the original owner.
The Kerox mixer cartridge at right for single-handle faucets is guaranteed for just three years.
Other up-scale companies that use the same cartridge including to name just a few, guarantee the cartridge for a lifetime.
Mr. Herley has a long history in the faucet industry. He migrated from
In Harrington Brass literature he is described as a luxury brands expert, and considering his pedigree, that description seems apt.
Harrington Brass was formerly well-known for vintage faucets in late 19th century Victorian and Belle Époque styles. In fact, it is credited by some with introducing the Victorian-look faucet into the U.S. from Europe. It has expanded its style offerings and currently sells in all design classes — traditional, transitional and contemporary — and a fourth category that the company calls "Classic".
Its bathroom sink faucets are a part of collections that include showers, tub fillers, and accessories (towel bars, towel rings, toilet tissue holders, etc.), making it simple to create a coordinated look in the same style and finish.
The company at one time sold kitchen and bar faucets but these have been discontinued. In fact, a lot of faucets have been discontinued. The familiar Berkley, Carlyle, Chateau, Claridge, Colisee, Covington, Cristalsinn, Mandoline, Mayfair, Montclair, Palace, and Polo collections are all gone from the company catalog, but may still be found in showrooms. (A company spokesman has indicated that the company intends to reintroduce kitchen faucets in 2019.)
In their place are faucets manufactured in Italy by Mariner Rubinetterie S.r.l., a well-established manufacturer with a good international reputation.
With some exception, these are not Mariner's faucets.
Nor are they original with Harrington. Most of the faucet designs in the current Harrington catalog appear to have once been sold in the U.S. by another company, AF New York (AF||NY) as its DaVinci Collection.
AF|NY is a retailer of upscale decorative hardware, fixtures, fitting, furniture, and accessories from its showroom in New York City. It describes itself as New York City's "premier decorative plumbing showroom." AF|NY is a subsidiary of AF Supply Corp., a plumbing supplier with ten outlets in the New York City area.
According to AF|NY, the DaVinci Collection was designed by AF's design director, Bennett Friedman. By other accounts, Mr. Friedman did not design the faucets but coordinated and supervised the process. Still others insist that Mr. Friedman had very little or nothing to do with the designs themselves. He just assembled the collection from existing faucets.
At the moment we don't know for sure where the designs came from. We found no design patents in either North America or Europe which would serve to nail down the identity of the designs' owner. We know that Harrington does not claim to be the designer, and AF|NY's claim seems somewhat questionable.
Our best guess is that the manufacturer, Mariner Rubinetterie, owns the designs, but this is just a guess that has not been confirmed.
We don't need to guess about the quality of the designs, however. Many of the faucets offered by Harrington are striking and unlike any faucets we have seen elsewhere. A few are a little pedestrian, without the innovative sparkle that characterizes the rest of the collection. A very few appear to have been taken directly from Mariner's of faucets. For example, the Harrington Metro series appears to be a minor adaptation of Mariner's Extra faucet collection. Some Extra faucets are also being sold by AF|NY in its Zen series.
AF|NY no longer sells most of what used to be DaVinci Collection faucets. Today, the faucets are mostly unique to Harrington. They are not, as far as we can determine, available from any other faucet company.
Harrington Brass is completely upfront about what it does. It is an importer, nothing more, and that's all that it claims to be. It does not, as so many small faucet companies try to do, claim to be a manufacturer or designer of faucets. As the company says on its "About Us" page: It introduces well-designed, good quality European faucets, fixtures and accessories to American buyers.
There are about 20 basic faucets in the Harrington lineup, most of which are available with at least two of the nine different handle styles offered by the company. Each handle style is listed in the company catalog as a different faucet model with its own model name and stock number. The Windsor Cross (O8-100-08) is, for example, the same basic faucet at the Windsor Lever (08-100-08L). Only the handles are different.
When a faucet is ordered, the appropriate handle style is added to the parts in the box (the kit) to eventually be assembled by a plumber into a faucet at installation. This process is called "kitting" Note 1 and it saves the company the burden and expense of keeping a lot of different faucets in inventory. The company stocks bare-bones faucets and adds handles, trim and accessories to a basic kit as orders are received.
The company website is well organized and fairly simple to navigate but some features were not working on the day we tested the site. The site search function, for example, could not find even basic searches on individual faucet or collection names. It worked only with the exact faucet model number of a faucet. By the time you read this, however, the defects will probably have been cured.
Basic information about Harrington faucets is lacking. We are fans of using a few well-chosen words, but Harrington seems to use many fewer words than are required to convey the necessary information. The description for a faucet, for example, is often just one line. Typical is this description of the Victoria Cross faucet:
"Deck mounted widespread lavatory faucet with spout. Rough and pop-up drain included."
Unless you are an industry insider, the fact that a "Rough…is included" is not going to mean much to you. Other than that, the description is admirably terse and gives us a fair idea of the faucet basics. It's a widespread configuration so it will require three mounting holes and is matched to an included pop-up drain, so we don't have to buy the drain separately. Available finishes are displayed for the faucet. But, we would like to know a lot more about the faucet, including:
- Compliance with the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act,
- Valve or Cartridge type and manufacturer,
- Water flow rate,
- ADA compliance, if any, and
- Whether it is legal for sale in California, Colorado and/or Massachusetts.
Each faucet page includes a link to specifications available as a .pdf download, but these are a disappointment. For most faucets, the "specifications" are no more than a dimensioned drawing. There is also no exploded parts diagram nor any installation instructions.
These are all standard details provided by most faucet websites and very useful in making an informed buying decision.
We are almost certain that at least some of the Company's faucets are ADA compliant but nowhere are these faucets identified. Harrington faucets also include very good ceramic cartridges and what look like first class aerators. It would be a marketing bonus to identify them to a potential buyer, but Harrington is silent even as to the type of valves in its faucets. (All ceramic disc cartridge valves, by the way.)
The warranty is also missing. It is briefly described in FAQs, but the actual warranty is nowhere to be found on the website. We came across it in the back of a downloaded Harrington price book — not where one would typically look for a warranty.
In FAQs, Harrington Creations characterizes its "lifetime" warranty as "one of the most extensive in the industry." In actual fact, it is sub-par for the North American market in which the standard is a limited lifetime warranty on every part of a faucet. Note 2 And, it is poorly drafted, rife with ambiguity.
The "lifetime" part of the Harrington warranty applies only to two ceramic stem cartridges (used in two-handle faucets) and four out of thirty or so available faucet finishes. The term lifetime is not defined. Absent a definition, the common meaning of the term, the actual lifetime of the original purchaser must be applied in accordance with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which holds any ambiguity in a written warranty against the writer — in this case, Harrington.
Harrington Basic Finishes
Only four of these finishes (polished chrome, polished nickel, satin nickel, and polished brass) are protected by the lifetime warranty. The remaining finishes are guaranteed for just the first year, except for which are not guaranteed not at all.
In addition to the basic finishes, Harrington offers 20 special finishes including gold and silver. Not every finish is available on every faucet, but the web site does a good job of identifying which finishes are available on a faucet.
Be aware, however, that not only will a special finish add considerably to the cost of a faucet, but also to the amount of lead time required before the faucet can be delivered.
There is an additional problem. The warranty does not require that the original owner continue to own the faucet for the lifetime warranty to remain in effect. So, the original purchaser could sell his or her house and the faucet with it, yet make a valid claim against the warranty for the benefit of the new owner long after he or she no longer owned the faucet. The only limit is that the original purchaser must still be alive.
Probably not what Harrington intends, but that's how the warranty reads. Notice that the warranty itself is not transferred to the new owner, only the faucet. The warranty does not, at law, travel with the faucet. It stays with the buyer unless the warranty document says different. This one does not. And, the legal notion that one person may enforce a contract for the benefit of another person has been written in stone in Anglo-American law since the Middle Ages.
The Kerox mixing cartridges used in Harrington's single-handle faucets are guaranteed for just three years. A three-year guarantee of a Kerox cartridge is, so far as we know, unparalleled in the faucet world. All other faucet companies using the cartridge guarantee it for a lifetime.
All other parts of the faucets are guaranteed free of defects in material and workmanship for a miserly one year — not exactly a ringing endorsement of the endurance of Harrington's material or workmanship.
All finishes other than the standard four are likewise guaranteed for just the first year of ownership, a fact that puzzles us. Harrington characterizes its finishes as of the "highest grade." So, we cannot imagine the problem with its finishes that would cause company management to have so little trust in their durability over the long run. The finishes on the faucets we examined looked pretty substantial, and very nicely polished. But, we assume, as always, that management probably knows something about its finishes that we don't. And, a finish that management is not willing to back for more than a year may not be one you will want to take a chance on.
The company's are not guaranteed at all. This, however, is no surprise. No one guarantees living finishes which are by their very nature expected to stain, mar, fade, scratch and discolor over time. It's part of their charm. But, if you don't want your faucet finish to stain, mar, fade, scratch or discolor over time, be sure your chosen finish is not one of the Harrington living finishes. It's amazing how many people make that mistake.
Customer service is good to very good. Customer representatives handled our purely imaginary installation problems with dispatch. We never had to wait more than a minute to talk to a live person, and representatives seemed very knowledgeable of Harrington products. Our plumbers rated the installation of our Harrington faucets "Easy" on a scale of "very Hard" to "Very Easy".
The Better Business Bureau does not have a file on the company, a fact that almost always means that the BBB has never received a complaint about the company's products or services in all the time the company has been in business. That's a record to be proud of.
Harrington uses very good components in its faucets. The company's two-handle faucets include stem cartridges manufactured by Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH in Lüdenscheid, Germany, (often spelled "Fluehs" for English speakers), considered by most in the faucet world to be one of the best, if not the best, European faucet cartridge made for two-handle faucets.
Mixing cartridges for Harrington single handle faucets are made by Kerox, Kft. of Hungary, a world leader in high-performance technical ceramics. Kerox mixing cartridges are the preferred brand of many manufacturers of premium faucets, particularly in Europe.
Faucets comparable to Harrington Brass Classic and Traditional collections in roughly the same price range include:
For comparably priced Transitional and Contemporary North American designs, see:
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Harrington Brass faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.
1. Kitting: "The process in which individually separate but related items are grouped, packaged, and shipped together as one unit." Source: BusinessDictionary.com.
2. The standard warranty in North America is a limited lifetime warranty to the "original purchaser for as long as the purchaser owns the faucet and the residence in which the faucet was first installed". Compare this to the full text of the Harrington warranty, reformated for improved clarity and reproduced below.
Harrington Brass Works Warranty
- Harrington® Brass Works products are warranted to the original purchaser to be free of defects in material and workmanship for one year.
Our finishes carry the following warranties:
- Our PERMA-BRASS™ finish (030), polished nickel (014), polished chrome (026) and satin nickel (015) carry a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser.
- custom and special finishes carry a one year warranty.
- Copper (050), polished brass unlacquered (PB), oil rubbed bronze (ORB), oil rubbed copper (ORC) and light bronze (090) are and therefore have no warranty.
- Harrington® Brass Works ceramic cartridges (80-1302-000/C and 80-1302-010/H) carry a limited lifetime warranty.
- Cartridges for 20-201 (20-80-6445-002), 20-210, 20-211 and 20-212 (20-80-6445-001) carry a 3-year warranty.
- All other cartridges carry a one year warranty.
- Pop-ups and drains have no warranty.
- Parts made of glass, crystal and porcelain have no warranty.
- Damage to Harrington® Brass Works products caused by the following will not be covered under warranty: salt water, hard water, bleach, plumber's putty, abuse, misuse, improper installation or cleaning with an abrasive material. Use water or a damp cloth to clean product.