Fontana Showers Faucets Review & Rating Updated: December 2, 2023

Summary
Imported
ChinaFlag
China
Fontana Showers, LLC
trading as
Fontana Showers
4429 Brookfield Corporate Dr.
Suite 500
Chantilly, Va 20151
(800) 684-4489
(703) 372-6580
(877) 486-0948
(703) 378-2808
Corporate
Sales
Customer Service
Complaints
Rating
Business Type
For more information on the five faucet company business types, see Faucet Companies
Product Range
Kitchen, Bath, Bar, and Prep Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Fontana
Fontana Showers
Street Price
$141.00 - $985.00
Warranty Score
Cartridge
Faucets: 1 year
Motion Sensor Faucets: 3 or 4 years
Finishes
Faucets: 1 year
Motion Sensor Faucets: 3 or 4 years
Mechanical Parts
Faucets: 1 year
Motion Sensor Faucets: 3 or 4 years
Proof of Purchase
Yes2
Transferable
No
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
No

Warranty Footnotes:

Motion sensor fau­cets: Free of drips and material or manufacturing defects for 3 years if purchased from Fontana Showers or 4 years if from Fontana Sensor Faucets. Other fau­cets: Free of material and manufacturing defects.
Read the Fontana Showers warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Font­ana Show­ers, LLC is an importer of Chinese-made faucets that it sells in the U.S. and Canada under the Fontana and Font­ana Show­ers brands.

It sells through proprietary internet venues and internet retailers that host third=party sellers such as Ama­zon and Way­fair.

The company maintains that its fau­cets are certified to joint Canadian/U.S. standards and are legal to install in drinking water systems. However, our detailed research has determined that they are uncertified, contraband products.

Skull

Black Market Faucets: These faucets are not legal for sale in the U.S. and not legal for installation in a drinking water system in the U.S. or Canada. For more information on contraband fau­cets and how to avoid these potentially dangerous products, please visit Illegal and Black Market Faucets in North Amer­ica.

Fontana Showers, LLC is a company formed in 2018 by Maysara Khalid Sadiq to import and sell decorative plumbing products. As the name suggests, its principal products are showers and enclosures but it also sells sink faucets, and tub fillers as well as an extensive variety of accessories such as towel bars and rings, robe hooks, and toilet paper holders.

The products are sold primarily through three proprietary websites:

All of these entities operate out of the same Brookfield Corporate Drive address in Chantilly, Virginia.

Fontana fau­cets are also sold at other proprietary websites of companies owned or controlled by Mr. Sadiq, including BathSelect.com.

It sells fau­cets in North Amer­ica as Fontana and Font­ana Show­ers. Neither name is a registered trademark.

"Font­ana­show­ers" was applied for by Mr. Sadiq in 2022 as a standard character mark. The application, however, is still pending.

This is Mr. Sadiq's third attempt at trademark registration. Two earlier applications were deemed abandoned by the Trade­mark Of­fice for failing to provide required information on time.

The products covered by the application include "fau­cets and showers." It does not encompass the myriad of other products sold by the company.

The trademark has not been applied for in Canada or China.

The lack of registration does not affect the company's common-law ownership of the marks. But, it does mean that the ® symbol cannot be used in conjunction with the marks.

The Company

Font­ana Show­ers LLC is a limited liability company chartered in Virginia. It is just one of a group of Virgina entities owned or controlled by Mr. Sadiq under various aliases[1] or his family members.

These include JunoShowers LLC and BathSelect LLC.[2]

These entities also sell fau­cets over the internet. The fau­cets are in many instances identical to those sold by Font­ana Show­ers but sold under different brand names and model numbers.

As of the date of this report, these companies, along with Font­ana Show­ers, LLC have been deemed "inactive" by the Virginia Secretary of State for failure to pay required fees.

Legally, an inactive corporation or limited liability company does not exist. If it continues in business, its officers and directors lose their liability shield and are personally liable for its financial debts or any legal obligations of the entity.

The Manufacturers

Font­ana Show­ers does not manufacture fau­cets. It buys them from companies in China. Companies known to be Fontana suppliers include:

These are almost certainly not the only companies that supply fau­cets to Font­ana Show­ers, just the ones we can identify through import records or product inspection.

Construction & Materials

The fau­cets are constructed conventionally. The body and spout of the fau­cets, as well as being decorative, are the components that channel water within the fau­cet.[3]

Most Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets are made from brass. A few touchless fau­cets intended primarily for commercial use are in stainless steel.

Font­ana Show­ers claims that the brass is lead-free, but there is no independent verification of this claim.

Stainless Steel

The stainless steel is, according to the company, 304 stainless, an alloy that includes chrom­ium and nickel. The nickel gives the steel a crystalline structure which increases its strength. The chromium helps the steel resist corrosion.

Why Stainless Steel Does Not Rust: Properly alloyed stainless contains at least 10% chromium (which gives stainless its slight yellowish tinge) and a dollop of nickel. These form a coating of oxides and hydroxides on the outer surface of the steel that blocks oxygen and water from reaching the underlying metal, preventing rust from forming. The coating is very thin, only a few atoms thick, so thin that it is invisible to the eye under ordinary light but thick enough to protect the fau­cet.

Stainless 304, also known as "food-grade" stainless, is by far the most common alloy used to make kitchen utensils, silverware, cookware, and fau­cets.

Steel is harder than brass. It can be made in thinner profiles that use less material and still have more than adequate strength. But, steel is more difficult to fabricate and generally requires heavier machinery, so there usually is no cost savings over brass.

Brass

Brass is the preferred material for fau­cets for two reasons:

But, brass has one serious drawback. It may contain lead.

Traditional (alpha) brass is a blend of copper and zinc with a small amount of lead (1.5% - 3.5%) added to make the material more malleable, less brittle, and easier to fabricate.

Lead, however, is now all but banned in North America in any drinking water component due to its toxicity to humans, particularly children.

According to the En­vir­on­ment­al Prot­ec­tion Agen­cy (EPA), lead, even in small amounts, causes slowed growth, hearing loss, learning disorders, anem­ia, hyperactivity, and behavior issues.

Before 2014, a fau­cet sold in the U.S. or Canada could contain as much as 8% lead and still call itself lead-free.

Now the maximum lead content of those parts of a fau­cet that touch water is 0.25% (1/4 of 1%) – a bare trace. In fact, there may be more lead in the air you breathe than there is in a fau­cet that has been certified lead-free.

Font­ana Show­ers claims that its brass fau­cets are made from lead-free brass. However, its brass fau­cets have not been certified lead-free, so this claim has not been independently confirmed by laboratory testing.

We do know, however, that Chinese fau­cet manufacturers tend to use much less expensive leaded brass in fau­cets made for their home market, and are not above exporting leaded brass fau­cets to North America. (See Lead in Chinese Faucets.) Many hundred of these illegal, contraband fau­cets can be found on Ama­zon alone.

To comply with the restrictions on lead, today's fau­cet brass replaces lead with other additives to reduce brittleness without adding toxicity. The most common is bismuth.

Bismuth is similar to lead – right next to lead on the periodic table of elements – but it is not harmful to humans.

It is, however, very expensive. It is 300 times rarer than lead, even rarer than silver, which is the reason that bismuth-brass alloys are considerably more expensive than leaded brass.

This increased cost has encouraged many fau­cet manufacturers to use substitute materials in their fau­cets where possible.

Zinc & Zinc/Aluminum Alloys

The most common substitute is zinc or a zinc-aluminum (ZA) alloy. One of the most common is called ZAMAK, a composition containing 4% aluminum.

Zinc is not as strong as brass and does not resist water pressure as well as brass. But, its use in non-pressurized parts of a brass fau­cet such as handles, base and wall plates, and is common even among manufacturers of luxury fau­cets.

It does no harm when used in these components, and may save consumers a few dollars.

Plastics

Plastic is the other commonly used substitute material. It may be safely used in incidental parts like base plates and has been largely trouble-free in aerators and as casings for ceramic cartridges but otherwise, its use is suspect especially if under water pressure.

Among those suspect uses is its use in the spray heads of kitchen fau­cets. Plastic spray heads (called "wands" in the fau­cet industry) have become the standard for many manufacturers, including some that sell upscale fau­cets such as

Font­ana Show­ers kitchen fau­cet sprays are plastic.

These manufacturers give three reasons for their use of plastic:

However, plastic wands also fail much more often than metal wands. And although engineers have made significant improvements to their reliability over the past decade, the problem has not been entirely solved.

Better wands are made of metal, insulated against excessive heat transmittal.

The Sure Cure for Too-Hot Spray Wands: The simple cure for spray wands that get too hot is to reduce the temperature of the water. Dishes do not need to be rinsed in scalding hot water.

Design & Styling

Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets are a mix of contemporary and traditional designs. Most of the designs are conservative but some are very contemporary modern designs. They are fairly common Chinese designs, however, attractive enough but exhibiting no particular design originality.

The goal of Chinese fau­cet manufacturers is to sell as many fau­cets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.

Although some Chinese manufacturers have begun producing original designs, some of which have won awards in international design competitions, The manufacturers of Font­ana Show­ers fau­cet are not among those companies.

Designs are usually adopted from Eur­ope and North Amer­ica.

A style that sells well in these major markets will often be imitated by Asian factories (with minor changes to avoid patent infringement). The lag time is usually 3 to 5 years, so by the time a design appears in a Chinese fau­cet, it is no longer new.

Font­ana Show­ers fau­cet designs fit this pattern. They are pleasant and often smartly styled, but most are over a decade old, some are well past voting age, and a few are looking at their thirtieth anniversary in the rear-view mirror.

Some Fontana fau­cets, however, follow Asian design motifs. The most obvious are its various Dragon and Swan fau­cets. In Chinese tradition, the swan is a symbol of wisdom, intelligence, and Loyalty. The dragon symbolizes power, strength, and good fortune. Both of these symbols are extremely popular in Asian decor.

Faucet Components

The critical components used in Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets are ceramic valve cartridges and aerators.

Valve Cartridges

The fau­cets we examined contained a universal configuration ceramic cartridge made by Wenzhou Hairui Ceramic Valve Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of ceramic valve cartridges.

This valve is popular with Chinse companies that manufacture inexpensive fau­cets for mass marketing. It does not maintain a website. Its reputation is that of a fairly average cartridge used mostly in fau­cets made for the domestic Chinese market, Eastern Europe, Russia, and India.

Replacement cartridges are sold in the U.S. and Canada. The cartridges have a standard configuration that is available from any number of cartridge companies, so a replacement should not be hard to find should the cartridge ever fail.

Aerators

Dozens of Chinese companies make aerators, most of which are entirely satisfactory. Fontana Shower do not use precision engineered aerators like those made by by Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best. But the aerators used looked to us to be perfectly capable.

Faucet aerators used to be simple devices that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink.

Today, however, they are also used to limit water volume to the lower flows required by federal and state water conservation laws, and in some cases, to prevent back-flow that can result in the contamination of household drinking water.

It is important, therefore, that this little device, often smaller than a dime, work well and be completely reliable.

Faucet Finishes

Font­ana Show­ers has no standard finish chart. Its finishes are whatever its manufacturers can provide and change often.

A little research on its various websites, however, revealed the following finishes available as of the date of this report: Antique Brass, Black, Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Gold, Oil-rubbed Bronze, Rose Gold, Stainless Steel, and White.

A few fau­cets are available in in which a base finish is paired with an accent finish. Split finishes include Black with Chrome, Black with Nickel, and Black with Gold.

Stainless steel is available only on stainless steel fau­cets. It is not an applied finish, but the material of the fau­cet buffed and brushed to a nice finish.

The rest of the finishes are applied using one of three common processes: electroplating, physical vapor deposition (PVD), or powder coating.

Fontana Show­ers does not reveal the process used to product a particular finish, something it may well not know. It does not finish its own fau­cets and may not be familiar with the processes used by its manufacturers. However, the process affects the durability and longevity of the finish and is infomration that is important to a fau­cet-buying decision.

Two of the finishes. Chrome and Brushed Nickel are probably electroplated. Black, White, Gold, Rose Gold, and Oil-Rubbed Bronze are typically powder coatings, but could also be PVD finishes. In fact, a finish like Gold or Oil-Rubbed Bronze could be a powder coating from one manufacturer and a PVD finish from another.

Electroplating

involves immersing the fau­cet and the metal to be used as plating in an acid bath, then applying an electrical charge to both objects so metallic ions are drawn from the plating metal to the fau­cet.

Usually, multiple coats are applied, one or more undercoats and then two or more coats of the finish metal.

Finish Durability

Some finishes are more durable than others. Here are the Font­ana Show­ers fau­cet finishes and their durability from most to least durable.


For more information about fau­cet finishes, including their durability and longevity, see Faucet Basics: Part 5 Faucet Finishes.

The process is potentially hazardous to the operator and the environment. It involves toxic and corrosive chemicals that must be disposed of safely. No other coating technology even comes close to the dangers involved in electroplating.

The top coat may be polished or brushed. Chrome, a relatively hard metal, is usually polished to a high shine. Nickel, a softer metal, is usually brushed to help hide the inevitable minor scratches.

Physical Vapor Deposition

or PVD is one of the latest space-age fau­cet finishing technology, rapidly replacing electroplating as the finish of choice.

Although the technology was discovered in the 19th century, it was not used in industry until the 1950s and then only rarely due to its great expense. Its first use was in nuclear reactors. Today, technology is everywhere and the machinery required is getting smaller, faster, and cheaper all the time.

The process itself is a mixture of materials science and a flair for the artistic.

Load a chamber with unfinished fau­cet components, remove all the air, and add back a carefully calculated mix of nitrogen or argon and reactive gases.

Add a rod of the metal to be used for the coating. Heat that rod to a temperature so high that the metal dissolves into individual atoms. The atoms mix with the various reactive gases to get the color and finish effects you want and are then deposited in a very thin layer – 2 to 5 microns – on the fau­cets.

A micron is one-millionth of a meter or 1/26,000 of an inch. The average human hair is 83 microns thick. The smallest the human eye with excellent vision can see without magnification is about 5 microns.

Despite being just microns thick, a PVD coating is extremely dense and, in consequence, very hard and durable. By some estimates, it is up to 20 times more scratch-resistant than electroplated chrome.

From long experience, we know that PVD is nearly impossible to accidentally scratch or mar, never fades or changes color, and resists all forms of soiling.

A PVD finish can usually be maintained with just an occasional wipe from a damp cloth to remove water spots.

Powder Coating

is usually described as semi-durable, not as robust as electroplated or PVD finishes, about as durable as the finish on your car, and requiring more care to maintain a like-new appearance.

It 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.

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 its durability, reducing the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.

Finish Care Instructions: Always read and follow the fau­cet seller's care instructions. Careful cleaning and maintenance not only preserve the good looks of your fau­cet but also your finish warranty.

Faucet Prices

Compared to sellers of uncertified Chinese-made fau­cets offered by other importers, prices on Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets are unaccountably high &ndash as much as three times the price at which the same fau­cet can be purchased elsewhere. They are typically higher than the prices charged for similar fau­cets that ere fully certified and legal to sell and install.

If Fontana fau­cets were fully certified and protected by an exceptionally strong long-term warranty combined with responsive and effective post-sale customer service – like – we could see some justification for the pricing. But, unfortunately, the warranties on the fau­cets are substantially sub-par, and customer service considerably below average.

We, therefore, have to conclude that, for the most part, the fau­cets are overpriced and the price-to-value relationship is extremely poor.

Faucet Warranty

The Fontana Show­ers fau­cet warranty is of very short duration, incomplete, and violates federal warranty law. It should be an embarrassment to the company. But, Font­ana Show­ers does not seem to be a company that embarrasses easily.

The warranty on motion sensor fau­cets is three years if purchased from the Font­ana Show­ers website and thour years if purchased from the Fontana Sensor Faucets website. We found no obvious reason for the difference. On other fau­cets it is one year – barely a warranty at all.

The warranties require the consumer to bear the cost of the labor required to remove, repair, and reinstall the fau­cet.

All the company will do is provide replacement parts, but the customer has to pay the "shipping and handling" to return defective parts to Font­ana Show­ers for examination and to return replacement parts.

Not very customer-friendly and, from a purely business point of view, incredibly unwise.

Shipping and handling costs the company comparatively little, so it's a good investment in customer loyalty. Whereas, forcing an already aggrieved customer into paying for shipping and handling just increases annoyance and virtually guarantees that the customer will never again buy a Font­ana Show­ers product.

The provision is a strong indication that the company does not care about repeat sales.

Despite the flowery laudations Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets in its sales materials, the truth about what company management actually thinks about the durability and longevity of its fau­cets lies in its warranty.

The Font­ana Show­ers fau­cet warranties suggests strongly that management has almost no confidence in its fau­cets.

For more detailed information on how to read and interpret fau­cet warranties, see Faucet Basics, Part 6: Understanding Faucet Warranties.

In addition to the coverage problems with the warranties, they do not comply with federal Warranty law.

The Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301) specifies the content and form of consumer product warranties. Font­ana Show­ers warranties do not complay in a great many respects with the law. Inparticular they do not …

Customer Service

To complement its below par warranty, Font­ana Show­ers provides substandard customer service.

Our experience with its customer service has been far from favorable. We did not conduct our usual formal tests. They do not work with very small companies since agents soon realize they are being tested and change their behavior. But we did have our researches call from different parts of the U.S. and Canada with typical questions and problems that customer agents might encounter.

In general, the results were unsatisfactory. Agents seems to know little about Fontana fau­cets beyond the limited information already on the company's website. They could tell us nothing about finish processes used or the source of cartridges. They insisted that the fau­cets were certified to joint U.S./Canadian standards even in the face of overwhelving evidece that they are not.

One gentleman offered to provide us with listing certificates showing that the fau­cets' certifications, but only if we agreed to remove any mention of Maysara Khalid Sadiq, the owner of the companies, from our report. Snce we don't allow fau­cet companies to censor our reports, and do not belive such listing certificate exist, we declined his generous offer.

We rate the company's customer support as unsatisfactory.

The Better Business Bureau agrees with our assessment. It rates Font­ana Show­ers an F on its scale of A+ to F for failure to handle customer issues. Its report states that Font­ana Show­ers LLC failed to respond to 70% of the complaints filed by customers with the Bureau.[4]

This BBB complaint is typical:

"We placed an order on Jan 20, 2021 for bathroom Faucets and Soap Dispensers which totaled $1472.58. After several weeks of calling to find out the status of our order, we were told the items were not in stock and they may have them in March. "

"We are in the middle of a renovation and can not wait until March, so we asked for a refund. We were told the refund would take in 3/5 business days."

"I have been calling daily since February 4. The times they have answered, I am told the accounting department is short handed and they have other refunds to process and we should receive our refund in 3/5 business days."

"I have tried to talk to a supervisor who is never available. Most times when I call there is no answer and I have left quite a few voice messages."

"No company should be allowed to hold on to someone's money this long. They had no problem taking our money right away. All we desire is to get our refund which rightly belongs to us."

Font­ana Show­ers did not respond to this complaint.

Fontana Showers Website

Font­ana Show­ers has three websites as identified above. This reivew if of its main site: FontanaShowers.com.

The site is colorful. Its products are well illustrated and navigation is menu-driven and intuitive. We had no problems moving through the site.

The site search function is fairly robust. We used it to find all products finished in gold and it displayed 72 pages of gold products. Trying to finter the search using "gold fau­cets" reduced the result to 45 pages, but still show tub fillers. Using "Gold sink Faucts" did the trick, reducing the reslts to 19 pages.

For non-product searches, however, it was a bust. It could not find "warranty" or "returns."

The site had no filters that allow the includsion of only those characterics wanted. The user has to rely on pre-defined categories such as "contemporary fau­cets" which are effective, but if the user want charactristics not pre-defined, the taks of find an appropriate fau­cet is much harder. As earcg if "traditional fau­cets," for example, produced no result.

The site does not make the distinction between sink fauces, shower fau­cets, and tub fillers. Technically they are all fau­cets but what most consumers mean by the term "fau­cet" is sink fau­cet. Clickin on the product "fau­cets' display page after page of tub fillers and showers as wll a fau­cets. There seems to be no way to filter out the unwanted tub fillers and showers which make finding a fau­cet that much more difficult and cumbersome.

Producets are displayed in images with a brief caption. The images are not thumbnails, but largish images that take up 1/3rd the width of the page. This makes paging through the products very time consuming. At 36 images per page, 19 pages are required to display all of the products. Smaller images would convey the same visual information, and take up less space.

Once the user has found a suitable fau­cet, hard information about the fau­cet is hard to come by. Five links on the listing page (Installation Inst., Specification, BIM Object File, Product Video, and Warranty) do nothing when clicked except return the user to the same listing page.

The same links are repeated further down the page under the heading "DETAILS". Again, they nothing except return to the same page.

Coninuing down the page to "FEATURES", we found some basic information about the fau­cet inclding some essential dimensions, material (usually brass), maximum flow, and finish.

Undeneath "FEATURES" we sometimes, but not always, found yet another link to the warranty in tiny typeface – not at all the "conspicuous link" required by federal law. But, at least this one worked – it actually displayed the warranty.

The eqully tiny-type link to "Installation instructions" also worked.

A considerable amount of basic information about the fau­cets is missing.

These are just some of the many gaps in the basic information that should be provided about a Fontana Showers fau­cet.

Testing & Certification

The California Energy Commission sued the Fontana Showers, LLC for illegally selling unapproved faucets in California from April 2019 to May 2019. The company paid a penalty of $1,800.00 to settle the suit in 2022.

Comparable Faucets

Faucets made in Asia comparable to Font­ana Show­ers in quality with the same or a better warranty, but not necessarily comparable for design or price, include

Conclusions

We can see absolutely no reason to buy Font­ana Show­ers fau­cets.

They are pricey, and in our judgment not a good value tor the price.

Dozens of companies (see the list above) sell comparable fau­cets that are fully certified and legal to sell and install in the U.S. and Canada for about the same or even a lower price with a better (often a lifetime) warranty and superior customer support.

The Font­ana Show­ers warranty is very sub-par If a fau­cet fails after one, three, or four years, you are entirely on your own. There is no adequate source for replacement parts.

Most of the fau­cets are brass and have the potential for lead contamination. Fontana Showers claims the fau­cets are made of lead-free brass, but that claim is unsupported by independent testing and certification and cannot be verified. Chinese manufacturers such as those that supply Fontana Showers fau­cets are particularly suspect when it comes to leaded brass fau­cets. China has no regulation limiting the use of lead in fau­cets made in that country.

It may be that the company's fau­cets have not been certified because the company is fully aware that they are not lead-free and will fail the lead-free tests. Even worse, they may have already been tested and failed. Testing laboratories do not publish reports on fau­cets that fail certification testing.

In any event, these are contraband fau­cets. They are illegal to install in a drinking-water system anywhere in the U.S. or Canada that has a plumbing code.

A plumber probably will not install one for you, If you install it yourself and are caught, at the very least you will have to replace the illegal fau­cet at your expense and possibly pay a small fine. In an increasing number of jurisdictions, however, you can go to jail for knowing and intentional violations.

Fontana Showers knows it has a prblem with its lack of certifications and seeks to shift responsibility for that lack to its customers when a plumbing inspector discovers that the fau­cets are contraband. Here is Fontana's disclaimer buried in its warranty:

"… [P]roducts being produced in our factories overseas, are not guaranteed to meet U.S. inspection requirements. All customers are responsible for install [sic] and removal costs of our products in case products do not pass inspection due to lack of specific certification paperwork.

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