Elkay Faucets Review & Rating Updated: December 2, 2023
2222 Camden Ct.
Oak Brook, IL
511 W Freshwater Way
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Footnotes:1. "As long as the original purchaser of the faucet owns the faucet."2. Elkay reserves the right to inspect the faucet and its installation.
Download the Elkay residential faucet warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
Elkay is an American company that manufactures and distributes kitchen sinks. It pioneered the die draw method of pressing stainless steel sinks from sheets of metal.
It still manufactures some of its sinks in the U.S., but most are now made overseas. It also designs and sells faucets to accompany its sinks but does not manufacture any of its faucets. They are made by contract factories in China, Taiwan, Israel, and Italy.
Elkay's residential faucets are generally more expensive than competing imported brands of similar quality and design.
When its residential faucets were modest modifications of its heavy-duty commercial faucets, we felt the pricing was justified. Today, we see little added value in the company's residential faucets that justifies the line's generally higher price tag. The one saving feature is its excellent warranty and exceptional customer service.
Founded in 1920 by Leopold and Louis Katz with Ellef Robarth, Elkay, headquartered in the Chicago area for over 90 years, was a Katz family-owned and -managed global player in the kitchen and bath world until 2022 when the company was acquired by Zurn Water Solutions and renamed Zurn Elkay Water Solutions Corporation.
Zurn Elkay owns the Elkay brand of sanitary wares, faucets, and bath accessories, and also MasterCraft, Medallion, and Yorktowne cabinetry — all major brands, with eight factories in the U.S., and the Revere line of plumbing fixtures.
The company did not begin producing its signature product, stainless sinks, until 1935 and during the World War of 1939 to 1945, produced thousands of sink units for the U.S. Military.
In 1948 it developed a method of die-drawing stainless steel to make sinks. The innovation cut manufacturing costs in half. Elkay's die-draw process is now the standard, used throughout the world to produce stainless steel products of all kinds.
With manufacturing facilities in Broadview, Illinois; Lumberton, North Carolina; and Ogden, Utah, Elkay manufactures many of its sanitary-ware products (toilet, sinks, etc.) domestically.
But, it also owns Zhuha Daya Kitchen Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd., a manufacturer based in China, and E.B. Tecnica Mexicana, Mexico's largest sink manufacturer located in San Luis Potosi.
These provide stainless steel sinks for their home markets but also supply Elkay with sinks for sale in the U.S. and Canada.
Elkay's Faucet Manufacturers
Elkay does not manufacture its own faucets.
Faucets have always been somewhat a sideline for Elkay, offered to complement and round out its main product, kitchen sinks. At one time it manufactured its faucets in North America but those days are long gone. We are no longer able to identify a single faucet manufactured or even assembled by Elkay in the U.S. or Canada.
Most are now manufactured in China, Taiwan, and Israel, shipped to Elkay in the box and ready to sell.
Elkay's known foreign faucet manufacturers are:
- Tech O.E.M. International Corp. of Taiwan manufactures professional and semi-professional kitchen sink faucets for Elkay and for
- Sheng Tai Brassware (Taiwan) Co., Ltd. makes most of Elkay's stainless steel kitchen faucets. It also sells its own line of stainless faucets in Asia under the Bestyle and JustMe brands, primarily in Asia.
- Zhejiang Jinyuan Copper Mfg. Co. Ltd. despite its name, manufactures in brass. It provies commercial pre-rinse faucets to Elkay. It also supplies faucets to the of Canada.
- Chang Yi Shin Co., Ltd. of Taiwan, which sells its own T.A.P. brand of touchless faucets in Asia, makes most of Elkay's extensive line of automatic faucets for commercial and residential applications.
- Sloan Valve Company, Inc. of Franklin Park, IL, which manufactures in the U.S. and China, also provides four of Elkay's automatic faucets, all of which appear to have been made in China.
- Carlo Nobili SpA of Borgomanero, Italy makes a few Elkay faucets. It also supplies faucets to
Elkay's Faucet Designs
Elkay has never been a name that immediately springs to mind when thinking about stylish residential faucets.
But, if you are building a hotel, restaurant, or public restroom, it may be the first catalog you reach for. It has, in the last few years, begun adding more contemporary styles to its faucet line but historically its designs have always been fairly conservative. Most buyers prefer traditional or transitional styling which is Elkay's strong suit.
Elkay faucets, historically, have been justly famous for their reliability. Since the change from domestic to foreign manufacturing, we have begun to see some decline in the quality of the company's faucets. They are not the durable, extra-heavy-duty faucets they once were.
One change we especially don't like is the more expansive use of plastic in essential parts of the company's residential faucets. The pull-down spray head of the Avado faucet, shown at left above, for example, is plastic. In fact, Elkay does not sell a pull-down, pull-out, or spring-type faucet spray in its residential line that does not include a plastic spray head. For an all brass sprayer, you have to look to Elkay's commercial faucet lines.
Elkay's Faucet Finishes
Elkay offers a very limited choice of faucet finishes, essentially polished chrome on brass or stainless steel.
The company's new website, launched in 2014, is extremely well done, visual, with intuitive navigation. The website faucet finder looks for features you rarely see elsewhere, such as flow rate and spout reach as well as the usual "number of handles", finish, "number of mounting holes", etc.
All of a faucet's certifications are identified on its specification page and links to download installation instructions, specification sheet, user manual, and warranty are provided.
Elkay's Faucet Warranty
The Elkay residential faucet warranty is considered one of the best in the industry, and certainly one of the simplest.
All faucets are guaranteed against any manufacturing defect or part failure for as long as the original purchaser owns the faucet, which, if you move and take it with you, could be for your actual lifetime.
Elkay seldom asks for any proof of purchase document, figuring that you probably would not ask for replacement parts for a faucet you don't actually own, and generally is willing to take your word that you are the original purchaser of the faucet.
Elkay's Customer Service
The company's customer support is responsive and helpful, famous in the industry for its efficiency, as befits a customer support organization that deals every day with builders and architects — folks not especially well-known for their limitless reserves of patience and understanding.
Warranty service on our test faucet was hassle-free and very quick. The Elkay agent was able to identify our model faucet and the part that needed to be replaced, even though our tester deliberately tried to sow doubt and confusion. We give Elkay customer service a thumbs up and a customer service score of 4.5. Anything over 4.0 is very good.
The Better Business Bureau agrees with our conclusion, having graded Elkay with an A- for seven customer complaints about the company in the past three years — which means that customer problems are handled effectively within the company so that customers do not feel the need to seek outside assistance from the BBB with problem resolution. However, seven complaints is more than the zero complaints the company had three years ago when it was rated A+.
Testing & Certification
The California Energy Commission sued Elkay for illegally selling unapproved faucets in California from July 2015 to December 2021. The company paid a penalty of $20,000.00 to settle the suit in 2022.
Faucets comparable to Elkay include
We rate Elkay faucets a fair value on a scale of very poor, poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent. The prices are high compared to competing faucets of equal quality, and especially high for what are now, with a few exceptions, Asian faucets
In the old days, when Elkay still made its own faucets, its higher prices could be justified by the extraordinary heavy-duty commercial construction of its products. Today, that distinction no longer exists.
Elkay faucets are still well designed and well made but not any better made than the high-quality residential faucets offered by such diverse companies as yet Elkay faucets still sell for prices 30% to 50% higher than these competing brands. The sole saving factor is Elkay's excellent warranty and exceptional warranty service.
As a consequence of Elkay's merger with Zurn, we expect significant changes to occur as early as this year.
Zurn Elkay has already started to back off from it push to capture more of the consumer market. To advance that objective, Elkay has closed Mr Direct, the internet retailer it purchased in 1016.
MR Direct, founded in 2004, sold sinks, faucets, and accessories. It's Sir brand faucets were hight rated and reasonably priced. After being acquired by Elkay, more Elkay-branded products were featured on the site, but it otherwise remained unchanged.
We suspect that Zurn Elkay will withdraw from the retail market entirely and concentrate of commercial plumbing which has always been Zurn's bread and butter. We also expect facilties closures as the two companies consolidate operations. It has already announced downsizing in its domestic manufacturing and has begun laying-off employees.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Elkay faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.