Hardware House Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 02/05/22
P.O. Box 249
Atchison Kansas 66002
Footnotes:1. Lifetime for defects from manufacturing or normal use. To the original purchaser.
Download the Hardware House warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
Hardware House LLC is a corporation chartered in Alabama but operating out of a warehouse in Atchison, Kansas. It has been owned jointly by Blish-Mize & Silliman Hardware Co. and HH Acquisitions LLC (trading as House-Hasson Hardware of Knoxville, TN) since 2009. Blish-Mize distributes hardware products in thirteen Midwestern states and House-Hanson in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Hardware House is, in effect, the house brand of these two large regional distributors.
Hardware House sells over the internet, including through hosting websites like Amazon and Wayfair as well as through the brick-and-mortar hardware and home improvement stores affiliated with Blish-Mize and House-Hanson.
The company sells plumbing fittings like faucets and showers but not plumbing fixtures such as sinks, tubs, or toilets tubs. It also sells bath accessories including towel racks, rings, and hooks, and toilet paper holders. Faucets are just a fraction of the thousands of products sold by the company under the Hardware House brand that include lighting, door and cabinet hardware, and bathroom furnishings.
The faucets are made in China by
- (Shenzhen) Hua Ming Hardware Products Co., Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer and
- Wellmade Faucets Corp.. a company organized in Taiwan but manufacturing in Guangdong, China.
Bothe of these companies are manufacturers.
In the recent past, Hardware House faucets were made by Tarng Haur Faucet Enterprises Co., Ltd., located in Chang Hua, Taiwan but with a second factory in Shenzen, China. This relationship, however, appears to have ended.
We know next to nothing about Hua Ming Hardware. It has been supplying faucets to North American faucet companies for about ten years but keeps a very low profile. We know that it exports fully certified, Watersense® listed faucets to its North American wholesale customers. It supplies faucets sold by Compass Manufacturing International. and at one time supplied Ferguson Enterprises with some of the faucets it sells under the brand. It looks, however, as though that relationship has ended.
Wellmade Faucets Corp. makes mostly plastic and what it calls "hybrid" faucets. In its entire catalog, we found only five all-metal faucets. It manufactures the plastic faucets that Hardware House identifies as "non-metallic" faucets. It also supplies the faucets with "plastic lined hybrid waterways," which seem to be the most common type of faucet sold by Hardware House.
The plastic faucets sold by Hardware House are not included in this review or considered in determining the company's rating.
Plastic is not a suitable material for faucets that are intended for normal household use. They do have their uses, however. They are common equipment in RVs where water pressure is typically much lower than household pressure. They are also preferred in highly corrosive environments such as some chemical laboratories and in locations with heavily salt-laden air such as along seacoasts where corrosion can be a problem for metal faucets.
Hybrid waterway faucets are identified on the Hardware House website as such.Note 1 From what we have learned from Wellmade, these are metal faucets that include a "non-metallic" waterway. Non-metallic is usually faucet industry euphemism for "plastic." The metal, however, may not be brass or stainless steel, the usual materials used to manufacture faucets.
- Faucets not intended for installation in drinking water systems such as beer taps and keg spigots,
- Faucets intended for RVs, trailers, boats or other vehicles,
- Plastic faucets,
- Specialty faucets such as filtration and instant hot water faucets
- Commercial faucets, unless otherwise specified, or
- Faucets intended for outdoor use such as hose bibbs, sillcocks or garden hydrants.
The faucets are neither designed expressly for nor unique to Hardware House. They are out of each supplier's and routinely supplied by Hardware House's manufacturers to other importers in the U.S. and Canada. Substantially identical faucets are offered by several other import companies for approximately the same prices, including
The line of faucets is well balanced among contemporary, traditional, and transitional designs. Its finishes are limited to the three standards: bright chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze. Not all faucets are available in all three finishes.
Most Hardware House faucets are equipped with "washerless" valves. In single-handle faucets, these are a Delts-style ball valve, invented in 1952. In two-handle cartridges, it is a valve invented by Moen that is an even older technology. Washerless valves use rubber seals or rings to control water and these wear out fairly rapidly. They are simple to replace but count on having to do so every two or three years depending on the frequency with which the faucet is used. In modern faucets, these have been replaced with ceramic cartridges that control water with nearly indestructible ceramic discs. Washerless valves are now used only in economy faucets.
Some Hardware House faucets are equipped with modern ceramic cartridge valves made in China, but the manufacturer is not identified and we have no way of judging their quality, durability, or expected longevity.
The company website is clearly designed for use by business customers, not consumers. Most of the information about the company's faucets is contained in a .pdf catalog that can be displayed online but is best viewed downloaded into Adobe reader or a similar application. There is no site search capability.
The information provided for each faucet is reasonably detailed, but specification sheets for most faucets are nothing more than dimensioned drawings. There is no exploded parts diagram, and cartridges are not identified by the manufacturer's name. ADA-qualified faucets are noted.
The Hardware House lifetime warranty meets the standard for faucets sold in North America and shows the company's considerable confidence in the reliability of its faucets. It is unusually generous in that it not only covers manufacturing defects but also defects arising from the "normal use" of the faucets.
Hardware House offers all of its faucets in the standard finishes: polished chrome, brushed nickel, and what the company calls "classic bronze", a very dark bronze. The company's faucet catalog identifies the finishes available for each faucet. Keep in mind that bronze finishes often do not match well across manufacturers, and matching the bronze finish may be particularly difficult. All faucets are available in chrome but the availability of other finishes varies.
Faucets imported from China that are comparable to Hardware House faucets include:
Hardware house metal faucets are
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Hardware House faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.
- The term "hybrid" used in the faucet industry has not commonly agreed-upon meaning. Some European companies, such as Oras and Hanza used it to mean automatic "touchless" faucets. Sellers of Chinese-made faucets use the term to obscure the fact that some part of the faucet is not brass.
- Brass and zinc or a zinc alloy is a common type of hybrid faucet. Zinc is not as strong as brass and is not as suitable for parts of a faucet that are under water pressure, but it is a lot less expensive than brass. Its use in ancillary parts of a faucet such as handles or baseplates saves a few dollars in fabrication and does not harm the quality of the faucet. Brass/zinc hybrids have been common in economy faucets for several decades, but are now expanding into mid-priced and even some up-scale faucet lines.
- Plastic hybrids, however, are another matter. Like zinc hybrids, if the use of plastic is restricted to ancillary parts like handles and baseplates, there usually is no problem, but plastic is increasingly being used in water channels – parts of the faucet that are under water pressure. Household water pressure in North America is typically between 40 and 60 pounds per square inch (PSI) but can surge to over 120 p.s.i. This does not seem like much until you realized that if that much pressure were put on the floor of your house, a square foot of floor would carry between 8,600 and 19,200 pounds of weight, and would instantly collapse.
- Most plastics will not handle the pressure over the expected lifetime of a faucet. But, certain types of plastic work well: cross-linked polyethylene, for example, commonly known as PEX is one of these. PEX. has been used with good effect to replace copper water pipes for over 40 years. It is recognized by all national plumbing codes as a suitable material for channels under water pressure.
- Its use in faucets as water channels has been largely in response to the very low lead requirements of the SSafe Drinking Water Act effective in January 2014. Since brass contains small amounts of lead, one technique for reducing lead in drinking water is to replace the brass parts of a faucet that come in contact with water with something that is not brass. Copper and stainless steel are common choices but increasingly faucet companies are using PEX for water channels within the faucet, eliminating traditional brass channels.
- One of the first companies to adopt the new technology on a large scale is Delta which has replaced brass channels in its with PEX channels. PEX connects the shut-off valves under the sink directly to the faucet valve and the faucet valve to the water exit point in the spout. The faucet body and spout have nothing to do with water flow, they are just decorative shells disguising the PEX tubing and cartridge valve inside. No water ever touches metal, so no lead can leach into the water.
- Unfortunately, most manufacturers of faucets with plastic water channels do not identify the type of plastic used. Most don't even use the word "plastic", preferring a euphemistic term such as "hybrid" or "non-metallic." So the best option in buying a faucet is to avoid a hybrid water channel unless the manufacturer clearly identifies the material from which the water channel is made.