Franz Viegener Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 07/05/22
Franz Viegener US
4000 Porett Drive
Gurnee Illinois 60031
Franz Viegener, S.A.
Bernardo De Irigoyen
Buenos Aires B1604AFC
Warranty Footnotes:1. "[T]o the original consumer/purchaser to be free from defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original consumer purchaser owns both the product and the home in which the product was originally installed ..."2. The only living finish is unlacquered polished brass.3. The only powder coating is flat black.
Download/Print the Franz Viegener warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
Franze Viegener is a faucet company you have probably never heard of, but if you are in the market for a unique, well-designed upscale kitchen or bath faucet, it may be a company you will want to know about.
Its faucets are of very good quality using critical components – particularly cartridges – that are some of the world's best, and a very good value in good-quality, well-designed luxury faucets.
The parent company, F.V.S.A., is an Argentine manufacturer with German roots that sells its premium faucets in Canada and the U.S. through a subsidiary, FV America Corporation.
The faucets are sold exclusively through decorative plumbing showrooms in the U.S. and Canada. Showrooms may advertise online but may not sell the faucets over the internet.
The company's lifetime warranty on critical parts and most finishes is a solid lifetime warranty backed by excellent customer service.
FVSA is South America's premier faucet manufacturer with a 700,000 square-foot factory in Pilar near Buenos Aires, Argentina, and another in Ecuador. It is essentially the of South America, manufacturing faucets at every price point from economy to luxury, occupying the full range of the South American faucet market.
The brand is not well known in the U.S. even though the company has been exporting its faucets to this country for over 30 years.
They were distributed for many years by Barclay Products, LLC and sold through pioneering online retailers like Clawfoot Supply (long before it changed its name to – a diivsion of Ferguson Enterprises LLC) – and began selling faucets made mostly in China).
The faucets did not sell as expected in the U. S. however, so in 2013 Viegener changed its approach to the North American market. It severed its ties with Barclay and took over its own distribution as FV America Corporation from a home base near Chicago.
It also began importing just its premium line of faucets and restricting its sales venues to brick and mortar decorative plumbing showrooms. The company does not allow sales over the internet Note 1 and will not support faucets sold through unauthorized retailers, including Amazon and eBay.
To discourage discounting, the company enforces a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy. We are not privy to the actual policy (because we are not dealers), but by comparing dealer street prices with the company's list prices, we calculate the maximum discount that can be advertised is about 20% below the list price.
Some showrooms sell below this price, but they don't advertise the actual selling price.
According to the company history, the original Viegener company was in Attendorn, Germany – a brassworks founded by Franz Viegener in 1899 to manufacture beer taps for the domestic market. The son, Franz (later Francisco) Viegener, a wartime veteran of the German army, migrated to Argentina in 1921 to escape the economic and social chaos that engulfed Germany following the end of the First World War. Note 2
Trained in the arts of casting brass and bronze at the original Viegener factory, he started Franz Viegener S.A. as a small foundry in Buenos Aires, almost lost it to the worldwide depression that began in 1929 but recovered sufficiently by 1936 to buy the land that now houses the company headquarters.
In 1960 the company acquired the rural acreage occupied by its Argentine factory near Pilar, about 30 minutes from Buenos Aires, and completed the tranfer of its manufacturing to the new location in 11973. Shortly thereafter it opened a second factory in Equador.
By the mid-1980s Franze Viegener S.A. had become the largest manufacturer of faucets and related fixtures in South America with subsidiaries throughout Latin America.
The faucet lineup sold in the U. S. consists of sixteen basic faucets: fourteen bathroom faucets and two variations of a single kitchen faucet newly introduced in 2020.
Viegener faucets can be fitted with as many as six different handles. Each handle style is listed as a distinct model with a separate model number in the company's online catalog.
Handle variations create twenty-eight versions of the basic sixteen basic models.
The faucets are true designer faucets, created for Viegener by Josef Moskovic, chief designer of the Franz Viegener Design Group, that includes designers Leonardo Solferino, and Juan Cavallero. The company also engages outside designers such as noted artist and product designer Cristian Mohaded, creator the new Hito faucet.
Faucets available in to U.S. and Canadian customers are just a fraction of the designer faucets manufactured by F.V.S.A.. Many of the latest designs, including the Nueva 44, Cipres, and Hito are not offered by Viegener in North America.
Viegener styles are weighted toward contemporary designs where the company's design acumen can most easily find expression. But, the collections also include some traditional designs such as the Casablanca 60, a faucet with hints of Art Deco styling, and the Revere which would be at home in a traditional or Victorian bath.
The Edge lavatory faucet introduced in 2010 remains the company's signature faucet. It has, in the intervening decade, been widely copied, especially by Chinese companies. Its innovative styling earned the company its first Good Design award in 2011.
The company has subsequently won two more Good Design awards for its Skyline (2013) and Shoreline (2014) low-profile lavatory faucets.
Good Design, conferred annually by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, is the oldest and most prestigious of the international awards for product design innovation. Designs that are awareded a Good Design stamp are at the top of the international product design world.
Viegener faucets have also won other awards for their designs.
- The Nerea Knurling single handle lavatory faucet received a Hospitality Design Award from Hospitality Design Magazine.
- The kitchen faucet an NYCxDESIGN award in 2019 from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Viegener bathroom sink faucets are part of collections that also include tub spouts and fillers, showers, and accessories (towel bars and rings, robe hooks, bathroom tissue holders, etc.). All of the elements of a collection are in the same design pattern for a bathroom that looks totally coordinated.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Faucet
1. Lead-free certification is the single most important factor to consider in making an informed faucet-buying decision followed very closely by the
2. quality of the faucet's cartridge.
All Viegener faucets are certified lead-free, But while the faucets we examined included excellent cartridges that should give years of leak-free service, we did not look at every faucet. And, since Viegener does not disclose the origin of its cartridges on its website, it's the wise faucet buyer who contacts customer service to find out the origin of its cartridge before purchasing a Franz Viegener faucet.
We know that its two-handle faucets include excellent cartridges from Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH but we do not know the origin of the cartridges used in its single-handle faucets.
We presume they are reliable based on the company's willingness to guarantee them for the lifetime of the buyer, but we cannot be certain until we know where it is made.
We suggest caution in purchasing one of Viegener's single-handle kitchen or bath faucets until the company discloses more information about the cartridges it uses in these faucets.
Faucet Buying Rule: Never buy a faucet unless you know who made the cartridge. Companies that use good-quality cartridges in their faucets usually disclose the cartridge source on their websites. Those that don't will happily identify the cartridge in a call to customer service. If the company refuses to reveal the source of its cartridges, you can assume it is not one of the better brands.
To find out more information about faucet cartridges and the companies that make cartridges known to be reliable, see Faucet Valves & Cartridges.
The faucets are of very good quality. The samples we examined were precisely machined, all-brass faucets with impeccable finishes – easily as good as we have seen elsewhere from high-end manufacturers.
Some finishes are more durable than others. Some, the so-called , are intended to fade, discolor, and otherwise show the effect of use and wear over time.
Here are common types of faucet finishes and their durability from most to least durable.
- (PVD) finishes are 10 to 20 times more scratch-resistant than electroplated chrome.
- Thin Film Ceramic (TFC) is the newest type of finished used on Faucets, is nearly as durable as PVD finishes. Very few companies are using it, but see
- is the old standby. It is a tough finish that will stand up to most abuse, but its durability depends on the metal used.
- Chrome is durable, nickel less so because it is inherently a softer metal – the reason chrome replaced nickel as the faucet finish of choice in the early 20th century.
- is essentially a paint applied in powdered form then heated in an oven to cure. It is considered semi-dirable with about the same durability as the finish on your car.
- Lacquers are more vulnerable to damage than powder doatings. Clear lacquers may be applied to bare brass to prevent corrosion.
- are intended to respond to the environment by fading, discoloring, staining, and so on. They are designed to look old out of the box and look even older as time goes by.
The critical components of the faucets are some of the very best.
Viegener's two-handle faucets feature single-function stem cartridges, one for the hot-side handle, and another for the cold side.
These are supplied by Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH of Lüdenscheid, Germany. Flühs (often spelled Fluehs for English speakers) makes what is considered by most in the faucet business to be one of the best, if not the best, European faucet cartridges made for two-handle faucets.
The company's few single-handle faucets use a dual-function mixing cartridge. Like a single-function cartridge, it controls water volume, but unlike a single-function cartridge, it also adjusts the temperature of the water.
We do not know where these cartridges originate. The company's response to our queries was that the cartridges are "proprietary", made for F.V.S.A. by an manufacturer and is not in the "best interest" of the company to identify the manufacturer.
Aerators used in Viegener faucets are from Neoperl®.
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 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.
The company offers ten finishes on most of its faucets. Chrome, an finish, is the standard. Any other finish will result in an additional charge over the base price of the faucet.
All other finishes except Flat Black and Unlacquered Polished Brass are (PVD) finishes. These are incredibly durable finishes, almost indestructible, that require very little maintenance. A wipe-down every once in a while will usually suffice.
Faucet Finishes: For information on faucet finishes and the advantages and disadvantages of each type of finish, see Faucet Finishes.
Unlacquered Polished Brass is just a brass faucet without an applied finish. It is considered a intended by design to show evidence of age and use over time. It will not stay polished for long. Native brass tarnishes and has to be polished every few days to keep its gleaming like-new look.
Flat Black is Viegener's only . The finish is essentially a paint applied in powdered form and then cured in an oven.
A powder-coated finish is generally described in the industry as
semi-durable with about the same endurance as the finish on your car. It is not nearly as robust as electroplated or PVD metal finishes and requires more care to maintain a like-new appearance.
How to Buy a Faucet: For information on how to buy a reliable faucet that is safe, reliable, and free of lead and other toxins, see How to Buy a Faucet.
Viegener recently revamped its North American website to make it work well with multiple devices, from smartphones to desktop monitors. It is colorful, full of striking images, and well-designed with intuitive navigation. But, the hard data provided about each faucet is not sufficient for a well-informed buying decision.
Faucet listings vary greatly in the information they provide about a faucet. Most contain only the briefest description of the faucet, a display of the finishes available, a dimension drawing, and the faucet's certifications. Some include the faucet's flow rate(s), but not all.
Most faucet companies supplement this very basic information with a more detailed, specification sheet, usually in downloadable .pdf format. Viegener does not.
The dimensioned drawing is scaled-down and cannot be enlarged which reduces its usefulness in helping a user determine whether a faucet's reach and height will match his or her sink choice. Most listings have a link to the warranty – now a requirement under federal law – and a link to care and usage instructions.
Faucet Styles and Configurations: For more on faucet configurations and how reach and height may affect your choice of faucets, go to Faucet Style and Configuration
But, there is no link to an exploded parts diagram or installation instructions. Online installation instructions are a useful preview for your plumber to help him or her determine whether there might be any installation issues in the location you have selected for the faucet or if any special tools are required.
Faucets are displayed only in chrome. If you hunt around, sometimes an image of the faucet in another finish can be found. But, the actual listing, while offering as many as nine finishes for a faucet, does not give the user the option of displaying the faucet in any finish other than chrome.
The websites of other faucet companies (See, e.g. ) display the image of a faucet in whatever finish the user selects, a feature that is a great aid in visualizing the faucet. By not having a similar capability, Viegener is denying itself a powerful sales feature.
The website also does not disclose the origin of a faucet's cartridge.
Like almost all faucet companies, Viegener buys cartridges from technical ceramics manufacturers that specialize in these precision devices. Most faucet companies that provide top-quality ceramic cartridges for their faucets are eager to advertise the fact on their websites. Viegener, however, does not take advantage of the marketing potential of its first-rate cartridges.
The Franz Viegener warranty is a standard North American lifetime warranty.
Understanding Faucet Finish Warranties
No warranty protects against all of the hazards that can befall a faucet finish, and theFranz Viegener finish warranty is no exception.
it protects against just those defects that result from errors in the finishing process: peeling, flaking, blistering, scaling, excessive discoloration, and delamination. These are extremely rare, and by "extremely rate" we mean "almost unheard of."
Most damage to faucet finishes results from over-zealous cleaning. Modern finishes do not require scrubbing. They need little more than a wipe-down with a mild detergent and soft cloth. Harsh chemical cleansers or scouring pads are not needed. Finish damage caused by users is never covered by a faucet warranty.
The warranty guarantees all mechanical parts of a faucet against defects in material or workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the faucet and the home in which the faucet it initially installed.Note 3
Finishes other than living finishes and powder coatings are also guaranteed for a lifetime – a safe bet since electroplated chrome is very robust and PVD finishes almost indestructible. (See the sidebar Physical Vapor Deposition for more information.)
The company's sole living finish, unlacquered polished brass, is not guaranteed at all, which is not unusual. Living finishes are rarely guaranteed because they are intended to tarnish, change color, and otherwise show signs of age and use.
Flat black, its one and only powder coating, is guaranteed for just two years. This is an unusually short warranty term. Powder coatings are typically guaranteed for five years or longer. We consider the Veigener guarantee as an indication that the company is not yet fully comfortable with the long-term durability of its new powder-coated finish. The warranty will probably improve in the future.
Proof of purchase in the form of an original dated receipt is required to make a warranty claim. Viegener will not guarantee or provide service for any faucet purchased from an unauthorized source. It also will not pay for "labor charrges, installation or other consequential costs" no matter where a faucet is bought.
We did not conduct our usual tests on Franz Viegener's post-sale customer support. They usually don't work with very small companies like FV America employing just one or two customer service agents. Agents quickly figure out they are being tested. We did ask questions, however, and were satisfied that the answers we received were candid and accurate.
The Better Business Bureau does not have a file on the company, which suggests that in the or so years that it has been handling its own North American distribution, no customer has made a complaint to the BBB.
Faucets comparable to Franz Viegener in quality and strength of warranty, but not necessarily in price or design, include
In summary, we believe Franz Viegener faucets to be a very good value in luxury faucets. The faucets are well-designed, high-quality luxury faucets in a variety of styles and finishes suited to just about any decor preference. The faucets are equipped with very robust top-quality cartridges that should provide trouble-free service for many years. Viegener backs its faucets with a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser supported by knowledgeable and responsive customer service.
The fact that the company has not complied with the flow-rate certification requirements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act means that the sale of the faucets in the U.S. is illegal under federal law, but you as a buyer are not affected. Although Viegener cannot legally sell the faucets, you can legally buy them. FV America is at substantial legal risk for serious financial penalties, but you are at no legal risk whatsoever.
Viegener prices the faucets to be very competitive with North American and European designer faucets of equal quality. In many instances, they are half the price of the competition. For those looking for a fresh, innovative, and unique design in a luxury faucet with a variety of finish options, the Franz Viegener collection is well worth consideration.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Franz Viegener faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.
- According to the company: "We encourage our dealers to promote our beautiful products online so they're searchable, however, we want the purchasing experience to be personal; offering our showroom sales staff the opportunity to be part of the sales process. By doing this, both the consumer and the sales associate have a stake in the movement of product. This strategy offers the consumer the ability to easily address any product questions or concerns while affording the sales associate an opportunity to advise, offer care information or suggest other items which may be required to complete the installation."
- Interview with Rodolfo Viegener, former president of Franz Viegener S.A., by Andrea Lluch, May 23, 2008, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School.
- Original purchasers that are not homeowners are apparently out of luck according to the terms of the warranty. Since they don't own their home, the warranty never attaches. The better language would be "as long as the original purchaser occupies or resides in the home in which the faucet is originally installed."
- However, a company spokesman informed us by e-mail that the company does not take the ownership requirement literally, stating that "If a tenant buys the product and installs it in their leased apartment, they are still covered."