Water­stone Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 12/17/19

Summary
Made in USA stamp
Water­stone, LLC
26790 Madison Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562
(888) 304-0660
Waterstone Gantry pre-rinse kitchen faucet in polished chrome.
Rating
Business Type
Product Range
Kitchen, Prep, and Bar Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Water­stone
Street Price
$700-$8,900
Best Value Logo Our panel of homeowners and industry professionals has recognized Water­stone LLC as a runner-up for best value in luxury fau­cets manufactured or assembled in North Amer­ican.
War­anty Score
Cartridge
lifetime1
Chrome & Stainless Finishes
lifetime1
Gold &
None
All Other Finishes
7-years
Mechanical Parts
lifetime1
Proof of Purchase
Required
Transferable
Yes
War­anty Footnotes:
1. The term "lifetime" is not defined. See the main report for more information.
For more information on interpreting fau­cet warranties, see see Under­stand­ing Fau­cet War­ran­ties.

This Company In Brief

Water­stone L.L.C manufactures brass and stainless steel fau­cets that have every bit of the creative design and hand-made quality of the finest European craft shops.
The company's stated goal is to manufacture the finest fau­cet in the world, one at a time, with painstaking attention to detail. 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.

For those who think innovative and distinctive styling, old-world craftsmanship, flawless finishing, and unsurpassed quality are not available from U.S. fau­cet manufacturers, we have just one word for you: Water­stone.

Founded in 1999 as a Cal­iforn­ia limited liability company by Chris Kuran,

Hosereel washdown fau­cets were invented for commercial use in busy restaurants and institutional kitchens. Waterstone has reimagineered the design for residential kitchens. The reel retracts the hose smoothly to its resting position as soon as the spray-head is released. M/p>

This keeps the spray out of the way but right at hand for maximum convenience.

Water­stone LLC manufactures all brass and stainless steel fau­cets that have every bit of the design pizazz and hand-made finesse of the finest European craft shops.

Kuran stated in an interview with our researcher in 2013 that his goal is to manufacture the finest fau­cet in the world, one at a time, with painstaking attention to detail. We cannot say with certainty that Water­stone makes the world's best faucet — there are a lot of truly excellent fau­cets in the world and most of them are sold in North America — but we can say for certain that Water­stone is getting very near the top.

Its factory in Southern Cal­iforn­ia is located in the heart of luxury fau­cet manufacturing in the U.S., an area that is also home to all top drawer companies.

At present, the company's offerings include only kitchen, prep, amd bar fau­cets — nothing for the bath. But, according to Chris Bica, Business Support Manager for Waterstone, the company is in the process of creating a line of faucets and accessories for the bath with an expected launch in 2021.

Our faucet reviews do not include
In keeping with that policy, Waterstone filtration and instant hot water faucets are not a part of this review.

The company started out as a manufacturer of components for filtration systems and integrated water filtration along with instant hot water dispensers are still an optional part of its fau­cet systems. In fact, if you are considering a filtered or instant hot water option, you might want to take a look at the various Water­stone under-sink packages to go along with your Water­stone kitchen sink fau­cet.

Water­stone's young but energetic and creative design team designs, engineers and prototypes Water­stone's unique fau­cets. Some of the designs are truly imaginative. The Gantry pull-down fau­cet is a prime example as is the Wheel fau­cet, a reimagined residential version of the commercial reel-type pre-rinse fau­cet. Nothing like these faucets exists elsewhere in the faucet universe. (Both faucets are pictured abpve.)

Water­stone fau­cets are manufactured in the U.S.A. by which we mean they are machined, milled, finished, pol­ished, assembled, and in Amer­ica.
The company does not cast or forge. Its faucets are machined our of brass or stainless steel bar stock. This type of faucet is usually called a monoblock faucet. The process somewhat limits the styles of faucets that can be made (although considering the Waterstone style inventory, not by much) but some industry experts think it results in better faucets since it eliminates casting flaws which can be hidden and come to light to cause problems only years later.

How to Get a Sample Water­stone Faucet

So you're miles and miles from the nearest gas station — never mind an authorized Water­stone fau­cet showroom — but you hate to invest the kind of money Water­stone asks for its fau­cets sight unseen. Where can you get your hands on a Water­stone fau­cet to see what it's all about?

Contact Dino Rachiele at Rachiele Sinks or text him at 407-396-3596, which he will actually answer. How rare is that?.


Dino and his guys make some fabulous handcrafted custom sinks in copper, stainless and a handful of other metals (if you ask nicely).

He is also an authorized Water­stone dealer.

He keeps a few Water­stone fau­cets around that he will lend you for a few days, free of charge, so you can see (and feel — they weigh up to 12 lbs. or even more) for yourself the impressive quality and craftsmanship of these Amer­ican-made premium fau­cets. All heas asks in return is that if you decide to buy a Waterstone faucet, you buy it through his company.

While you're poking around Rachiele's website, take a look at the fabulous Rachiele custom sinks. One of the few lines of sinks that equal the quality of Wa­ter­stone fau­cets.

A little extravagant? Ab­so­lute­ly! But, hey, every kitchen needs that one sinfully luxurious item that makes it truly special. Maybe it should be a Wa­ter­stone fau­cet or Ra­chiele custom sink.
The fau­cets are certified "Made in Cal­iforn­ia" and qualify for "Made in USA" labeling under the very strict rules of the Federal Com­mis­sion. The regulations require more than 50% of the value of a fau­cet originate in the United States.

Unlike other companies that rely on outside suppliers for milled and machined parts, Water­stone makes its own giving it complete control of the quality of its manufacturing process from start to finish — one reason for Water­stone's reliability and low failure rate.

The other is its choice of quality materials and components.

The fau­cets are fabricated from either lead-free brass or type 316 stainless steel. Unlike the much more common type 304 (18/8 or 18/10) stainless, 316 stainless is designed for highly corrosive or acidic environments and better resists corrosion, staining and pitting and is preferred for salt-laden environments such as coastal areas.

Waterstone's brass is Eco-Brass®, a proprietary high-strength lead-free brass alloy developed in Japan that is relatively easy to cast and machine and resists wear, Eco-Brass® is considered by many in the industry one of the best alloys for water fau­cets.

Most of the ceramic cartridges used in Water­stone fau­cets are made by Ge­ann Industrial Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese company.

Its ceramic cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet. The cartridge controls water flow and (in single handle faucets) water temperature. With a working cartridge, a faucet is a faucet doing what faucets do: metering water in a safe and controlled manner. With­out a working cartridge, a faucet is just a strange looking paperweight. So, it is important that the ceramic cartridge be tough, durable, and long-lived.

Ge­ann has been manufacturing ceramic cartridges for over 35 years. its cartridges do not have the widespread name recognition of the top European cartridge makers like Germany's FlÜhs Drehtechnik or Kerox in Hungary, two companies considered by most to manufacture some of the best cartridges made. But, Ge­ann is growing an international reputation for solid reliability and is certainly a candidate for the top Asian-made ceramic cartridge.

Other fau­cet brands known to use Ge­ann cartridges include

The fau­cets also feature Neoperl® aerators. Faucet aerators used to be simple devices that merely infused a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink. Today, however, they are precision-engineered products used to limit water volume to the lower flows required by federal and state water conservation laws and in fau­cets with pull-out sprays, to prevent back-flow that could contaminate household drinking water. It is important, therefore, that this little device, often smaller than a dime, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Swiss-engineered Neoperl® aerator.
Waterstone is very well known for its vast array of finishes. It offers 32 finishes, a number that seems to keep growing year after year. Three of the finishes, chrome, polished nickel and black nickel, are electroplated. The rest are powder doatings that may be top-coated with a polyurethane clear-coat similar to that used to protect automobile finishes. The precise combination of powder-coatings, and top-coating depends on the finish and is usually a closely-held trade secret.

A powder coat is essentially a dry paint in powder form applied using a special low-velocity spray gun that disperses the powder while giving it a positive electrical charge.

The particles are drawn to the item to be finished which has been given a negative charge.

The material really is a powder, similar to baking flour, sold by the pound in over 65,000 different colors which can be blended to produce a virtually unlimited rainbow of hues and tones.

Once the powder is applied, the item being coated is baked in an oven which melts and bonds the powder and changes the structure of the coating into long, cross-linked molecular chains.

These chains are what give the coating is durability, reducing the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.

Powder coating is less dur­able thatn the other common finish technologies, electroplating and (PVS) but also considerably less burdensome to the environment than electroplating which uses toxic chemicals that need to be disposed of carefully.

The disadvantage of powder coatings is that they have to be applied in relatively thick coats to avoid defects like orange peel, a mottled, uneven surface. The thickness can obscure fine detail.

If Water­stone's standard finishes do not suit, the company will custom finish a faucet suite in any metal that can be electroplated, including gold, or in any color that can be powder coated, which is essentially every color.

The powder-coated finish is what Water­stone describes as semi-durable, not as robust as electroplated finishes and requiring more care to maintain a like-new appearance. The most frequent source of damage to fau­cet finishes is over-aggressive cleaning, so Water­stone's detailed care instructions should be closely followed.

The company offers in which a base finish is accented with a second finish applied to certain parts of the same fau­cet. There are six standard finishes that a customer can mix and match. Any finish other than the standard six is a custom split finish which takes longer and costs more.

Water­stone also offers a stainless steel "finish", which is not properly a finish but the actual material from which the fau­cet is made. It is available on some of Waterstone's contemporary fau­cet styles, but only those made of stainless steel — obviously.

For more information on the types of fau­cet finishes and their advantages and drawbacks, see Faucet Finishes.

Any finish other than chrome can substantially increase the price of a fau­cet — up to two or three times its cost in chrome — and a custom finish, especially one using a material like 24 karat gold, can launch the price into low Earth orbit.

The company sells fau­cets pre-finished with a selection of its 32 standard finishes from its website. There is a link on the home page called "On the Shelf" rather than "Retail Store" or "Buy Here" or some other more obvious label. From other pages you need to click on "Support" at the main menu, then "On the Shelf" and scroll down to the list of available fau­cets.

The fau­cets are also sold by internet plumbing fixture retailers including Quality Bath, Plumbing Overstock, Build.com, and Housera. A limited selection of styles and finishes can 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 filtration fau­cet, the better option is to work with a studio, showroom or kitchen designer. Authorized showrooms and other brick-and-mortar retailers in your area can be found by clicking "Find a Dealer" on the Waterstone website.

It's best if all of the items to be given a particular finish are ordered at the same time. Finishes can differ slightly from batch to batch, so everything ordered for a kitchen should, if possible, be finished in the same batch for the best result.

Irrespective of where you buy a Waterstone fau­cet, do not expect substantial discounts. Waterstone enforces a The most that a retailer can discount Water­stone's retail list price is 25 percent. A retailer that discounts below the minimum retail price may no longer be permitted to sell Waterstone products.

The Waterstone website was redesigned in 2017 to display correctly on any device from smartphones to full-size desktop monitors — so-called "responsive design". Navigation is menu-driven and intuitive. Faucets are listed under the "Products" tab on the main menu by type and collection. Waterstone calls its collections "suites".

A suite may include several fau­cet configurations in different sizes with smaller fau­cets intended for prep stations and bar sinks. Pot fillers. side sprays, filtration and instant hot water fau­cets, soap or lotion dispensers, air switches (for disposers), and air gaps (required in some jurisdictions for dishwashers) may also be included in the suite. Some suites even contain cabinet hardware designed by Waterstone to complement its fau­cet styles. Everything in the suite can be given the same finish.

Styles range from traditional through transsitional to very contemporary, so there is certain to be a style to match any decor preference. The number of traditional and contemporary suites is about evenly divided with just one suite is identified by Waterstone as transitional: the Yorktown suite.

For more information on fau­cet style categories, see Faucet Styles & Configurations.

The information provided about each fau­cet is reasonably complete. It includes the base material of the fau­cet (brass or stainless steel), flow rate, extension (horizontal reach), finishes available, and the faucet's certifications. A link to a dimensioned drawing of the fau­cet is displayed as a thumb-nail — no mistaking what the link is for. Links to downloadable .pdf specification sheets and installation instructions are very clearly indicated.

Instant Links to Customer Support We like the link to customer support provided on every product page, but we would like it even better if it opened an online dialog with a customer service agent so any questions could be answered immediately rather than opening an e-mail form to be answered within 24 hours. Chris Bica speaking for Waterstone indicated that the company is working on a chat function which should be available shortly.

Missing from the fau­cet information is an adequate identification of the cartridge used in the fau­cet. It is described only as "ceramic cartridge", which is not very helpful. Almost every modern fau­cet is built around a ceramic disc cartridge, some good, some not so good. The actual identity of the cartridge's manufacturer allows the buyer to judge the quality of the cartridge. Waterstone uses good quality cartridges, so it need not be bashful about disclosing a cartridge's pedigree.

Each fau­cet is illustrated with a single 3/4 view supplemented by one or two illustrations of an installed fau­cet. A 360° visualization capability such as that provided by would better enable the user to visualize the fau­cet. Click on the 360° icon and the fau­cet is displayed in a box that allows you to rotate the fau­cet using the mouse to view it from any angle. No more imagining what the back of the fau­cet looks like, just rotate it with the mouse until the back is revealed. The feature takes the guesswork out of selecting a fau­cet from a limited number of static images.

Waterstone has two fau­cet warranties, a function warranty and a separate finish warranty. The function warranty guarantees a fau­cet's mechanical and functional parts, including its cartridges, for a lifetime, meaning, according to Water­stone sources, the lifetime of the fau­cet.

The finish warranty guarantees chrome and stainless steel finishes for the same "lifetime". All the rest of Waterstone's finishes, except gold and are warranted for seven years. This includes two electroplated finishes, polished nickel and black nickel.

Living finishes, as is normally the case in the fau­cet industry, are not guaranteed at all. They are intended to show stains, tarnish, fading, color changes, and other evidence of use over time. Since there is almost nothing to guarantee, rarely is a warranty offered and if offered, is usually very restrictive (peeling or delaminating) and for a very short terms, such as 90 days.

Standard are given the warranty of the finish that has the shortest warranty period — usually seven years. Custom split finishes have no warranty and are not returnable.

The warranties are transferable — a rarity in the fau­cet industry. Waterstone warranties follow the fau­cet, not the buyer.

The warran­ties are written in plain English rather than legalese, making them easier to understand. Un­for­tun­ate­ly, however, the company went a little overboard in its quest for simplicity, omitting compliance with several legal requirements imposed by the Mag­nu­son-Moss War­anty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301 et. seq.) on consumer product warranties.

The first omission is the warranty caption. A consumer product warranty must be captioned either as a "Full War­anty" or a "Limited War­anty". To be a limited warranty, the words "Limited" and "War­anty" must appear at the very top of the warranty document, separated from the text of the warranty and in a "conspicuous" type designed to be noticed by the consumer. Unambiguous variations are allowed, such as "Limited Faucet Warranty" or "Limited Lifetime Warranty", but potentially confusing captions such as "Limited Full Warranty" are not.

Any warranty not captioned or captioned other than with some acceptable version of "Limited War­anty" is automatically a full warranty (15 U.S.C. §2303(a), 16 CFR §700.6) irrespective of the intent of the warrantor — even if the clear intent to offer a limited warranty is evident from the text of the warranty.

Waterstone's warranties are not captioned at all, so both the function and finish warranties are legally full warranties.

A full warranty gives the consumer many more rights than a limited warranty, vitiating many of the restrictive provisions written into the Waterstone warranties that seek to narrow the fau­cet owner's access to warranties of merchantability and fitness for use provided under state law and to incidental and consequential damages resulting from a fau­cet failure.

Another requirement mandated by Mag­nu­son-Moss is a clear and unambiguous statement of the duration of the warranty — how long does it last and when does it end?

Duration can be stated as specific period of time such as "seven years" or "90 days", or it can be defined by an event or condition like "for as long as the original buyer owns the fau­cet". What it cannot be is undefined or ambiguous.

Water­stone uses the term "lifetime" to identify the duration of its function warranty and the warranty on two fau­cet finishes. "Lifetime", however, has no clear or certain meaning. Which lifetime? The lifetime of the fau­cet, the lifetime of the buyer, the company's lifetime? We don't know because Waterstone does not tell us.

Any court considering Waterstone's warranty would be required by Mag­nu­son-Moss to interpret "lifetime" most favorably to the consumer which could very well result in a warranty for as long as the faucet is still in use and the company is still in business.

If Water­stone does not intend its warranties to be full warranties or for its lifetime warranty to last forever, it probably should get a lawyer conversant with warranty law to re-write its warranties to conform to Mag­nu­son-Moss. The company would also not be remiss if it combined its separate warranties into one document. The separate warranties do not seem to serve any useful purpose.

For more on understanding and interpreting fau­cet warranties, see Understanding Faucet Warranties.

The company's customer service is, like the products it services, very good. In our standard tests, customer service scored high on product knowledge, patience, and cordiality — and not just regular cordial but laid back "California friendly" cordial. We ranked customer service at 4.6 out of a possible 5 points. Any score over 4.0 is acceptable.

Waterstone's Telephone Answering If we gave out gold stars, Waterstone would have earned one for avoiding automated telephone answering, one of the most annoying features of our digital lives. When you call Waterstone, your call is answered by a real, live person. You don't have to wade through an interminable list of options (which "have recently changed") or wait on hold, "entertained" by elevator music, while a recorded voice interrupts periodically to remind you that "Your call is very important to us." Kudos and a bow to common sense.

The company does not have a Better Business Bureau rating. This usually means that the BBB has never gotten a complaint about Water­stone in its 20-year history, which is very good. But, it also means that the company is not a business accredited by the BBB, which is not so good. Water­stone qualifies for and should apply for BBB accreditation.

For comparable North Amer­ican-made or -assembled fau­cets, look at

We give Water­stone a big "thumbs up" for its quality, innovative design and the fact that its fau­cets are made in the U.S.A. If they were not made in the U.S., the company would still get a big thumbs up, just not quite as big. The design of the fau­cets is imaginative and creative, the quality very good to excellent, and the finishes superb. Throw in a first-class customer service organization and you have an unquestioned winner.

These are unabashedly luxury faucets and priced accordingly. The prices are in line with designer faucets of similar quality made by other manufacturers but if price is a big factor in your faucet-buying decision, these relatively expensive faucets may not be for you.

On the other hand, if you are in the market for a creatively-designed premium faucet, especially one with a fabulous finish, and even more especially, one made in America, you might give Waterstone a very close look. There is no one here that would hesitate to buy one for his or her own kitchen — probably not in a 24 karat custom split gold finish, however.

We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Water­stone fau­cets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.