Barber Wilsons Faucets Review & Rating Updated: December 3, 2023

Summary
Imported
England Flag
England
Barber Wilsons North America.
P O Box 1236
Westbury Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901
(800) 727-6317

Barber Wilsons & Co., Ltd.
Crawley Road
Westbury Avenue
Wood Green
London N22 6AH
Business Type
Product Range
Kitchen and Bath Faucets
Certifications
Street Price
$1,300-$2,800+
Warranty Score
Cartridge
Lifetime1
Finishes
Lifetime
Mechanical Parts
Lifetime
Proof of Purchase
Required
Transferable
No
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
No2

Warranty Footnotes

1. The term "lifetime" is undefined. In the absence of a definition by the company, a court will set the duration of the warranty to the longest term possible, most liikely the "lifetime" of the faucet.
2. The warranty makes no attempt to comply with the U.S. Magnuson-Moss War­ranty Act, the federal law that dictates the minimum content and form of consumer products warranties in the U.S.
Read the Barber Wilsons warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Barber Wilsons makes both kitchen sink and bathroom faucets, all manufactured in London and the Midlands.

Its kitchen faucets are nice but unremarkable. But, the bathroom faucets are distinctive — for the most part unmistakably English in three basic styles covering the Victorian to Art Deco periods as well as some transitional styles in tune with a more contemporary bath.

These are luxury faucets, expensive but well made and impeccably finished.

Unfortunately, however, the company is a black-marketer. It sells only contraband faucets. It has chosen to flaunt U.S. and Canadian laws by selling untested, uncertified faucets.

We, frankly, do not think most $1,000 faucets are worth the money.

Let's face it, a perfectly fine, stylish faucet that will give years of trouble-free service can be bought for under $150 if one shops carefully.

So why pay $1,000 and more for a faucet? It would certainly have to be something spectacular: exquisitely designed with flawless workmanship and a hand-polished finish showing luster and depth that almost reaches Katmandu.

Fortunately, for those who love to surround themselves with beautiful things, there are such faucets in the world.

The British company

The Company

Barber Wilsons, a family-owned and managed company manufacturing water fittings in England, is one of the oldest members of the club.

The company has been in business in the same location and under the same family's control since its founding in 1905, during the reign of Edward VII (1900-1910), "By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith" and Emperor of India".

Established by Edward Barber with brothers William and Walter Wilson as a partnership in 1905. The company opened its factory on Crawley Road, off Westbury Avenue in London that same year, and began manufacturing plumbing fittings — a new and exciting industry in the first years of the 20th century.

It did not begin to concentrate on decorative fittings, however, until the 1980s when it resurrected its traditional Edwardian and Art Deco designs that take up most of its current catalog.

According to Companies House records in London, the company was subsequently incorporated on November 17, 1908, and has been in continuous existence since that date.

We have been looking at these faucets for years, hoping to acquire one for an examination.

Fortunately, a generous reader agreed to let us examine her new Barber Wilsons faucets provided we returned them unblemished. We were impressed. They are gorgeous — well made and impeccably finished. There is nothing about the quality of these faucets to complain about.

The company makes both kitchen sink and lavatory faucets, all manufactured in London and the Midlands.

Its kitchen faucets are nice but unremarkable, similar to the kitchen faucet styles available from several high-quality manufacturers. But, the bathroom faucets are distinctive — the faucets Victorians deamed about — nad, for the most part, unmistakably English.

Valves and Cartridges

The standard Barber Wil­sons valve is the tried and true compression valve — a good choice for areas with very hard water as it is not as likely to be damaged by the inevitable mineral build-up inside the faucet.

The disadvantage of the valve is that it requires periodic maintenance to replace the compression washer, a minor annoyance but simple to do by anyone who can wield a wrench and a screwdriver without risk of substantial injury to self or others.

The company appears to be slowly transitioning to a ceramic valve for all of its faucets but it's not there yet.

Some, but not all, faucets are now available with the well-respected ceramic cartridge manufactured by the German firm Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH.

This is a cartridge that, unlike most others, does not require a lubricant that can dry up over time making the faucet hard to operate.

It is the preferred cartridge of many high-end manufacturers such as If your "druthers" is for a ceramic valve, look for faucets that are identified with the code "CD" in the catalog. Presumably, this stands for "Ceramic Disk".

Barber Wilsons Website

The company's North American website has been entirely revamped. In contrast to its earlier site, faucets are described in plain English instead of the largely undecipherable codes that plagued its eariler site.

Navigation is menu-driven and largely intuitive.

Unfortunately, however, the website is deficient in the information about its faucets requires to make an informed buying decision – long on pretty pictures and puffery, sort on facts.

The listings for most faucets does not show any sort of hard information like flow rate, finish type (electroplate, PVD, etc.), or valve type or source. Technical information is limted to a single dimension drawing. Installation instructions are entirely missing.

The site uses British terminology throughout, so lavatory faucets are "basin taps", "accessories" are what we would most likely call spare parts, the mud room is the "dog and boot room," and so on.

BArber Wilsons Collections

Faucets are arrayed in collections that also include lavatory faucets, kitchen faucets, showers, tub fillers, bidet faucets, and spare parts.

The Re­gent and Re­gent Lever collections contain the same basic faucets. The only difference is that Re­gent faucets have cross handles while Re­gent Lever faucets are, of course, fitted with lever handles. The levers are available in all metal or ceramic versions.

The Re­gent Editions collection is another variation of the Re­gent faucet featuring cross handles with a more rounded appearance. The styling is late 19th century English and very suited to a Victorian kitchen or bath.

Mastercraft and Mastercraft Lever collections are more Art Deco, suitable for a kitchen or bath of the Arts & Crafts and early mid-century periods, from 1910 up to about 1945.

The Manhattan collection features the angular profiles of the New York styling of the mid-century period.

The Brigade collection faucets are a contemporary design with an industrial look similar to the Brooklyn 31 collection.

BArber Wilsons Finishes

The company offers a wide range of eighteen finishes sufficient to fit anyone's personal style.

Most of these are finishes, not the more modern (PVD) finishes.

Some are designed to "tarnish, patinate and expose base colours" over time. The polished brass finish, for example, is just native brass without any protective finish. It is not coated with any sort of protective film and will stay polished only so long as you polish it. Otherwise, it will turn an interesting shade of brown.

Other finishes are what the company calls "Established" finishes will "finishes change subtly in appearance but if cleaning instructions are followed, they will retain a sharp and pristine appearance."

By Appointment To... Royal Warrant
Barber Wilsons holds a Royal Warrant of Appointment to supply kitchen and bathroom faucets to HRH Elizabeth II.

A royal warrant is a seal of approval from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Charles, the only royal persons who may issue a warrant. It does not indicate that the product or service provided is necessarily the best, only that it is the one preferred by that particular royal household.

To get a warrant, a company must have been doing business with the Royal Household for at least five of the past seven years, and apply for the warrant. Warrant holders do not pay a fee for the royal endorsement and are not expected to provide their goods and services to the royal family gratis, or even at a reduced price.

Warrants of Appointment are not limited to U.K. companies. U.S. companies that hold royal warrants include Kelloggs Co. (cereals), Heinz (baked beans), S.C. Johnson Co. (household products), and the McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, LA for the Queen's preferred Tobasco pepper sauce.

Living and Established finishes are identified in the finish chart on the company website so if you don't want a finish that changes over time, you can avoid these types of finishes.

BArber Wilsons Warranty

The standard for residential faucet warranties in North Amer­ica is a lifetime warranty.

The company offers a one year in North Amer­ica on that is a copy of its U.K. warranty guaranteeing the faucet will be of "satisfactory quality wintin the meaning of the Consumer Rights Act of 2015." For "failure of the faucet caused by a defect in "workmanship, materials, or operation," the company will replace any parts found to be defective.

Consumer warranties in the U.S., however, are not subject to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 bu to the Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301), the law that sets the minimum content and form for consumer product warranties in the U.S.

The Barber Wilson's warranty does not comply in the slightest with the requirements of Magnuson-Moss.

The upshot of this failure is that in an lawsuit over the warrant, you state's warranty of merchantability will substitute. This warranty requires the company to do much more than replace a few parts. It will need to shoulder the entire cost of repairing the faucet including plubing labor, shipping, packaging, and so on. It will also have to pay your attorney fees, a little penalty built into Magnuson-Moss for companies that do not comply with its mandates.

Testing & Certification

The Barber Wilsons' catalog notes that "[m]any of our fittings are sent for testing to the WRC Evaluation & Testing Centre and, therefore, comply with the requirements of the current Water Bylaws". The Water Bylaws, however, are a British standard that has no applicability in North America and does not indicate that the faucets are safe, reliable, or legal for use in Canada or the U.S.

At one time Barber Wilsons faucets were certified by CSA Group, formerly the Canadian Standards Association, but that certification lapsed with the more stringent lead content rules under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act that went into effect in January, 2014, and it has not been renewed.

We have found no current certifications listing Barber Wilsons fau­cets as complying with the North American standards that ensure the safety and reliability of fau­cets or with the standards that ensure faucets are lead free and drinking-water safe. Faucets that are not certified are not legal to install in a drinking-water system in either the U.S. or Canada in any locality subject to a plumbing code.

In addition, the water conservation certification requirements of the U.S. Energy Policy & Con­ser­va­tion Act (EPCA) have not been met. The EPCA prohibits the distribution of fau­cets in commerce in the U.S. unless the required certifications have been filed, which means that Barber Wilsons fau­cets not on file may not be legally imported, advertised, offered for sale, sold, or delivered after the sale in the U.S. Canadian sales are not affected.

Comparable Faucets

Imported faucets comparable to Barber Wilsons in styling, including the rich English style of the Victorian Era include the excellent quality English crafted

For an American-made faucet of this caliber, look to

Conclusions

We would love to recommend these faucet to anyone looking for a luxury faucet. They are wonderfully styled, well made, and beautifully finished. Unfortunatel, however, they are not certified.

Installing uncertified faucets in a water system, public or private, that provides drinking water is at best a civil offense and in some states a crime. It is not Barber Wilsons that will be paying the penalty, however, it is you, the homeowner. Since these penalties in some states are criminal in nature, it is wise to stay away from Barber Wilsons faucets unless and until the company submits its products for certification and testing.

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