Kalia Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/28/21
1355 2nd Street Industrial Park
Sainte-Marie, Quebec G6E 1G9
Warranty Footnotes:1. "Kalia Inc. guarantees all aspects of its faucets to be free of defects in material and workmanship for normal residential use for as long as the original consumer-purchaser owns his or her home."2. The warranty sin not in the form required by the U.S. Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301), and is missing ertain quaifying language required . However, the missing language does not diminish the rights of the faucet buyer, and in may actually strengthen those rights.
Download the Kalia warranty.
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This Company In Brief
Kalia is a family-owned and -operated Canadian company that sells faucets, tub fillers, bathtubs, showers, shower enclosures, and other bathwares through showrooms, plumbing supply dealers, and over the internet.
It designs its own largely contemporary kitchen and bath faucets in Canada but does not manufacture or assemble the faucets. It has them manufactured in China by contract manufacturers.
Bathroom collections are very complete with sink faucet, tub fillers, showers, and bath accessories in each collection for a coordinated look. Kitchen collections often include full-size faucets for the main sink and a junior version for the prep or bar area. Kitchen accessories are usually limited to soap dispensers.
Kalia is a family-owned and -operated Canadian company located in Quebec. It designs faucets that it then has manufactured in China by faucet manufacturers.
The owners, David, and Marie-France Poulin, and Bruno Raby were formerly associated with MAAX Bath, Inc., a leading Canadian manufacturer of bathwares. The family sold its interest in 2004, and some of its members founded Kalia, Inc. in 2007.
Kalia sells faucets, tub fillers, bathtubs, showers, shower enclosures, and other bathwares through showrooms and plumbing supply dealers, and over the internet. A dealer locator is available on its website.
The faucets are organized into eleven bath and eight kitchen collections. However, three of the bath collections do not include sink faucets. The eight that do also include tub fillers, showers, and accessories that coordinate with the faucets.
The eight kitchen collections all include full-size kitchen faucets for the cleanup sink and may include a smaller version (a "junior") for a prep or bar sink with the assurance that they will coordinate nicely.
Many of the kitchen collections, however, no longer show all of the faucets on the website that appear in the printed kitchen catalog. Some kitchen collections appear to be on their way out. The Elito collection, for example, is hanging on with a single junior faucet and a matching soap dispenser still shown on the Kalia website. In the catalog, four faucets are shown, two full-size and two junior. All of which leads us to wonder whether Kalia intends to de-emphasize and eventually eliminate its kitchen faucets.
Most Kalia faucets are very contemporary, although some, such as the Rustic wide-spread lavatory faucets evoke Art Deco styling and would be quite at home in an Arts & Crafts or early Mid-Century Modern bath. For the kitchen, the designs are not as distinctive.
We liked the older designs better. They were much fresher and more innovative. Many of Kalia's current designs are somewhat tentative — tweaks on existing faucet styles — but a few are truly distinctive while staying firmly rooted in the Northern European design tradition, so they are at the same time refreshingly new and comfortably familiar.
The Elito kitchen collection was designed and prototyped in Canada by the company's in-house Studio Team – the last survivor of four collections, including the now extinct Kachet, Neris, and Monark, designed in house.
The distinctive Kurve kitchen faucet designed by Yu Qing of Yatin Bath Corporation, Ltd. has also been discontinued. The Kurve was the only faucet sold by Kalia not designed in Canada. It Was for a time also sold by Build.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., as the MK-750 Baffi commercial faucet. Build.com confirmed to our reporter that it acquired MK-750 faucets from "a French Canadian company". The faucet is no longer in the Miseno catalog, nor is it currently sold by Kalia.
Industrial designer Rémi Théberge of Montreal created the Cité, Umani, and now defunct Bellino faucet collections. M. Théberge also designs for faucets and for the Italian faucet manufacturer Rubinetterie 3M (Treemme). He is the winner of numerous international design awards for his bathware designs, including two Good Design awards in 2014. Good Design is sponsored by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and is the oldest and most prestigious of the international design competitions.
The company has replaced two of the manufacturers identified in the last update of this report. Gone are companies with long histories of quality manufacturing. Guangdong Holatz Plumbing Fittings Industries Co Ltd. and Yatin Bath Corporation, Ltd. no longer manufacture for Kalia.
The sole remaining manufacturer from the earlier group is NCIP, Inc. is a company chartered in Taiwan but manufacturing in China. NCIP is an ISO-9001 company that has earned a solid reputation internationally. It also supplies faucets to
The replacement manufacturers are Chinese companies that do not well-established reputations amoung U.S. importers but which seem to be solid producers of quality faucets. These include:
- Zhejiang Vogueshower Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd., a Chinese company that manufactures soem contemporary bathroom and kitchen faucets that is sells outside North America under the Vaguel brand.
- Kaiping Pasgo Plumbing Products Co., Ltd.. The company manfactures faucets, shower systems, valves and fittings, tiilets and sinks, shower cabinets, bathroom vanities, and accessories that it sells under the Chizhou brand.
- Mavis Plumbing Products Fitting Co., a manufacturer with a 21,000 square foot factory in Kaiping, China manufactures brass plumbing fittings, including faucets, and also makes bathroom accessories. It sells under the Mavis brand in Asia.
We like the quality of Kalia faucets. The ones we took apart to examine were of thick-walled brass, carefully machined, with a heavy plating and reliable cartridges. All of our test faucets sere installed easily with no difficulty – but do read the installation instructions all the way through before installing the faucets. In operation, the mechanics of the single-handle mixing faucet were smooth and flowing with precise temperature and volume control. Two-handle faucets operated with equal precision.
Kalia offers seven faucet finishes: Chrome and Bright Chrome, Btushed Nickel, Stainless Steel, Matte Black, White, and Pure Nickel. It offers three : Black/Chrome, White/Chrome, and Black/Stainless Steel. Chrome, Bright Chrome, and Brushed Nickel are finishes. Pure Nickel and Stainless Steel are (PVD) finishes, snd Matte Black and White are .
Stainless Steel is available only on kitchen faucets. It is not the material of the faucet but is an applied PVD finish that is much more scratch-resistant than actual stainless steel, and does not show fingerprints like true stainless. Bright Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Pure Nickel, and White can be ordered only on bathroom sink faucets. Only Chrome and Matte Black can be found on both kitchen and bathroom faucets.
PVD is the latest space-age faucet finishing technology, rapidly replacing electroplating as the finish of choice. It's still fairly new but growing rapidly. Fifty years ago, PVD barely existed outside of experiments in laboratories. Today, the technology is everywhere and the machines required are getting smaller, faster, and cheaper all the time.
The process is almost science fiction. Load a chamber with unfinished faucets, remove all the air and add back a carefully calculated mix of nitrogen or argon and reactive gases. Add a chunk of the metal to be used for the coating, usually in the form of a rod. 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 can see without magnification is about 5 microns.
Although thin, the coating is extremely tough. By some estimates, it is 20 times more scratch-resistant than electroplated chrome. In our experience, PVD is almost indestructible.
Electro-plating is the well-established traditional way of finishing faucets that has been around nearly since faucets were invented. It can be a very durable finish, but its durability largely depends on the metal being used as the finish. Chrome is hard and not easily scratched. Nickel is a relatively soft metal more prone to minor scratching in everyday use. In the 19th and early 20th century, it was the finish of choice for brass faucets but was beginning to be replaced by the more durable chrome by the 1930s. Electroplated chrome is still the king of finishes. An estimated 70% of all faucets sold in North America are finished in Chrome.
A powder coat is a powdered pigment that is usually applied to a faucet with a special low-velocity spray gun that disperses the powder while giving it a positive electrical charge. The particles are drawn to the faucet which has been given a negative charge. The faucet is then 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 is durability, reducing the risk of scratches, chipping, abrasions, corrosion, fading, and other wear issues.
Powder coatings are not as durable as metallic finishes. They are considered "semi-durable." the finish does not bond to the underlying metal like metallic finishes which means it will chip if not handled carefully. It also requires more care in cleaning. A harsh cleaning solution can damage the finish. The most frequent source of damage to powder coatings is over-aggressive cleaning, so Kalia's care instructions should be closely followed.
For more information on types of faucet finishes and the pros and cons of each type, go to Faucet Finishes.
Most of the ceramic cartridges used in Kalia single-handle faucets are from Kerox Kft and made in Hungary. Kerox is the mixing cartridge preferred by top European faucet manufacturers that don't manufacture their own proprietary cartridges. Its reputation is that it is extremely reliable and performs well even in relatively hard water. We judge it to be a very good cartridge.
The cartridge used in Cité kitchen faucets is made by Gear Plastic Co. Ltd., a Chinese company that, despite its name, manufactures ceramic cartridges used widely in better Chinese faucets. Cartridges used in the Kontour BF1285 and BF1412, and the Oze BF1289 and 1410 faucets are from Kuching International Ltd., which makes the well-regarded KCG cartridge in Taiwan.
For two-handle faucets, the company has chosen stem cartridges made by Geann Industrial Co. Ltd. of Taiwan. Geann is gaining recognition as a cartridge on par with many of the best European products and is becoming the cartridge of choice for faucet companies that buy faucets from Taiwanese manufacturers, including recently switched from German-made Flühs cartridge, generally believed to the world's best stem cartridge, to Geann cartridges for its entire line of upscale American-made faucets.
All of these cartridges are lifetime products and are unlikely to fail but if they do, Kalia promises to replace them under warranty, and for most of Kalia faucets, installing the cartridge takes five minutes with ordinary household tools.
The company's warranty is average for the North American market, promising to provide replacement parts to repair a broken faucet or defective finish for as long as the faucet is owned by the original buyer. It is not transferable to any subsequent owner and does not travel with the faucet if it is removed and reinstalled in another house. The warranty document is clearly written and does not contain any hidden trickery as is the case with many faucet warranties.
We rank customer service as average — competent but unremarkable. We were able to reach customer service agents by telephone with a minimal delay, and they seemed to know a great deal about their products and were open with information. But, two out of three attempted contacts by e-mail did not elicit a response, a situation we do not feel is acceptable.
The Better Business Bureau has no report on the company, which generally means that it has never received a complaint but also means that the company has not been accredited by the BBB, and it should take steps to become so.
The website is polished and navigation is intuitive. The information provided about the company's faucets is adequate but we would prefer a lot more information on the faucet's web page rather than buried in .pdf specifications and installation instructions. The site's search feature does not appear on the home page for some odd reason. You have to go to a faucet collection to find the search box, and then it is about 1/3rd of the way down the page and very inconspicuous This is just poor design. The dealer locator section is clumsy and more difficult to use than it needs to be. It could use some redesign. In addition, there is no link to the home page anywhere on the site, most unusual.
The site is in French by default. Most of the time it will detect a U.S. user and display the U.S. English version of the website, but not always. To manually select the U.S. English version, you will need to click on the U.S. English link at the top right of the page. If you are a Canadian that prefers to read English, you can select the Canadian English website.
The difference between the U.S. and Canadian English sites is not the language – Canadian English and U.S. English are pretty much the same – but monetary denomination. List prices are displayed in U.S. dollars on the U.S. site and Canadian dollars on the Canadian site.
The faucets are not Watersence® qualified. As they almost certainly comply with Watersense® requirements, the company should seek the necessary qualification.
We judge these faucets to be a good value in a well-designed and well-made heavy-duty faucet backed by a solid, no-nonsense warranty. The average price of the faucets is somewhat less than we would expect of faucets of this quality and compares favorably to other designer faucet lines. We also like the company. It is managed by people with a lot of experience with faucets who have created some very interesting designs, chosen top-quality components, and selected first-line manufacturers.
Unfortunately, legal sales are limited to residents of and visitors to Canada.
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We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Kalia faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.