Italia Faucets Review & Rating Updated: [00/00/18]
2505 Anthem Village Dr.
E. Henderson, NV 89052
Footnotes:1. All parts of the faucet other than the cartridge. The company advertises a lifetime warranty but it applies only to the body of the faucet — the part least likely to break. All "replaceable parts" are guaranteed for just one year.
This Company In Brief
Italia Faucets, Inc. is a Nevada-based importer of inexpensive Chinese faucets that it distributes in the U.S. under the Italia, Fontaine and Brienza brands.
The company was founded in 2012 as a California corporation located in Irvine. That corporation is now dissolved. The business was reconstituted in 2013 as a Nevada corporation. Its sole stockholder, director and, officer is Amelia Liza Martin (formerly Kwik).
The business is the successor to brand faucets from Lake Forest, California until 2013 when it abruptly ceased business. Italia inherited the Fontaine brand name but disclaimed any warranty responsibility for Fontaine faucets sold prior to November 2013.
The company buys its faucets through Markimex, the owner of the faucet brands. Markimex buys from several different manufacturers, adding and changing suppliers from time to time. Despite its name, none of Italia's faucets are from Italy. They are sourced from China.
As of the date if this report, Italia's suppliers include:
- L.S.H. Faucet Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer that also supplies faucets to Italia sells these faucets under the L.S.H. brand, and may also sell them under one of its three proprietary brands.
- Guangzhou Seagull Kitchen and Bath Products Co., Ltd., a manufacturer established by the Peoples Republic of China as a state-owned enterprise in 1958 at the beginning of the Great Leap Forward and long before the opening of mainland China to the West. It is one of the oldest of the Chinese faucet manufacturers. Seagull supplies faucets or faucet components to as well as Italia.
- Ningbo Yida K&B Technologies Co., Ltd., a lesser known Chinese faucet manufacturer that sells Yida brand faucets throughout the far east. It sells to
Markimex uses other suppliers. Some of the faucets from these suppliers may end up in Italia's collections. We have not seen it yet, but there is no guarantee it is not forthcoming.
Italia sells faucets made by (Jangsu) L.S.H. Faucet Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer, under its Italia, Fontaine and Brienza brand names.
It also sells L.S.H. faucets under the L.S.H. name. Faucets sold under the L.S.H. brand are not Italia faucets and are not included in this review. For information about" see our review of the brand.
Faucets sold under the L.S.H. brand are made to U.S. standards and certified safe and reliable by IAPMO-RS. They are legal to import, offer for sale or sell in the U.S.
Italia faucets are, with a few exceptions, very ordinary Chinese faucet designs of largely unremarkable quality, more or less indistinguishable from the faucets available from any of dozens of other importers of Chinese faucets (See the list below). Italia faucets are neither designed by nor made especially for Italia. They are faucets offered generally to the industry at large by the Chinese factories that make them.
For example, the Adelais (see images at top and at left above) two-handle lavatory faucet (street price: $256.00 US) is made by Seagull and appears in the Seagull 0nline catalog as the Model 9L128001 two handle, three-hole lavatory mixer. It is also sold by Markimex as the
also sells the faucet as the Model SG104-T Twist faucet. Markimex supplies faucets to MYC Direct, Inc., the company that sells Decor Star faucets, so it is not surprising that the same faucets are in both collections.
Chinese faucet designs tend to conservative, targeting mass market customers. A new faucet design that proves popular in the European or North American markets will ultimately find its way to Chinese factories. The lag time is normally three to five years behind the Western designs, by which time the design is no longer new.
Italia sells three faucet brands: Brienza, Fontaine and Italia. Italia is identified as the company's "flagship" brand but it may be in the process of being phased out. We found only one "flagship" Italia faucet in the company's current online product list. All the others were marked "sold out".
Italia acquired the Fontaine brand in 2013 upon the demise of
In its acquisition announcement, Italia indicated that it had acquired only the Fontaine name and would not be responsible for warranty claims on Fontaine faucets formerly sold by FSA Imports. Nor has it undertaken to stock replacement parts for these older faucets. So, FSA Fontaine faucets are orphaned, without warranty or parts support.
This is a concern with start-up companies like FSA and Italia. Most start-ups fail within ten years, and faucet companies are no exception. Italia may be one of the lucky few that go on to find a niche in the highly competitive North American faucet market but if it does not then any possibility of future warranty or parts support dies with the company.
The faucets sold by Italia as Fontaine faucets are not the same faucets formerly sold by FSA Imports. The FSA faucets were made by Italia does not get any of its faucets from Lota. Italia still maintains the old Fontaine website but it is now nothing more than a stub directing viewers to Italia's website.
The company seems to be expanding into showers and tub fillers if the additions to its Bellver and Adelais collections are any indication. In general, however, it limits its offerings to sink faucets with a generous selection of lavatory faucets designed for vessel sinks.
Italia sells through its own website, through Britt & Jules and through various other internet retail venues including Home Depot (online only), Faucet Direct and Wayfair, and as a third party seller on hosting websites such as Amazon, Houzz, Overstock and Walmart (online only).
The Italia website is well designed with intuitive navigation. The information provided about each faucet is inadequate, however, There are no installation instructions, dimensioned drawings or parts diagrams available online or for download. Only one view of each faucet is provided, which sometimes makes it difficult to discern the true appearance of the faucet. Multiple images or better yet a 360° viewing feature such as is used by faucets, which allows the mouse to rotate the faucet to any viewing angle, are invaluable in fully visualizing the faucet.
Italia's standard finishes are chrome, brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze. Not every faucet is offered in all three finishes. Some specialty finishes such as Antique Copper are available on a few kitchen faucets. The finishes offered on a faucet depend on the finishes available from the faucet's Asian manufacturer.
We have found two different warranties for Italia faucets. The written warranty packaged with the faucets we examined had a straightforward limited lifetime warranty, although the term "lifetime" was not defined.
On its website, the company claims a limited lifetime warranty but only on the body of the faucet and any components permanently attached to the body. Any "replaceable" components — ceramic cartridge, aerator, handles, and base plate — are guaranteed for just 1 year and finishes for 5 years. The term "lifetime" is not defined in this warranty either, and will ordinarily be interpreted by a court to mean "as long as the original owner owns the faucet". If a faucet under warranty is "discontinued and no longer replaceable, a pro-rated credit towards a purchase of another similar Italia Faucets, Inc. branded faucet will be issued."
We're not sure which warranty actually applies, so we have accepted the online version as the most recent warranty, and, therefore, the current statement of the company's warranty. The standard faucet warranty in the U.S. and Canada is a limited lifetime warranty on every part of the faucet, including its finishes. The Italia warranty is below this standard and hardly a ringing endorsement of the company's confidence in the quality, durability or longevity of its faucet products.
As to replacement parts, the company states that, after the expiration of the warranty, replacement parts "may be available for purchase." Delivery of replacement parts "typically take s up to 10 business days. In some cases, replacement .... may take up to 4-6 weeks for delivery." Typically Italia would stock only a very few, if any, replacement parts, relying on its distributor, Markimex, for a more in-depth parts inventory. However, if Markimex does not stock a needed part, then it has to come from the Chinese factory that made the faucet, if, indeed, the factory still has the part. If it has to be sent from the factory, the 4 to 6 week delivery time may be wildly optimistic.
Chinese-made faucets comparable to Italia but generally with much stronger warranties include:
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Italia faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.