Kallista Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/29/21
from imported parts and components
Warranty Footnotes1. "Kallista products are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship from five years from installation date. Kallista will, at its election, repair, replace or make appropriate adjustment where Kallista inspection discloses any such defects occurring in normal usage …"2. Rarely asked for.
Read the Kallista warranty.
Learn more about faucet warranties.
This Company In Brief
Kallista is Kohler's luxury faucet brand catering primarily to interior decorators and kitchen and bath designers.
Unlike Kohler faucets, Kallista is not part of the Kitchen & Bath Group but belongs to the Kohler Interior Group along with Ann Sacks Tile and Stone, two upscale furniture companies, and a lighting products company.
Kallista faucets are designed by Kallista but produced mostly by Kohler, although with Kohler's manufacturing dispursed to Mexico and Asia there is no guarantee that they are produced in the U.S.
For design that pushes the frontier of contemporary styling combined with the legendary reliability of Kohler engineering and manufacturing, you should take a look at Kallista.
Kallista was founded in 1979 in San Francisco by Anthony Pontin and Norman Bell to design and sell premium sanitary wares. It was acquired by Kohler a decade later and positioned as Kohler's upscale designer bathwares company to compete with Delta's premium faucets.
Unlike Kohler-branded decorative plumbing products, Kallista is not part of Kohler's Kitchen & Bath Group but belongs to the Kohler Interior Group along with Ann Sacks Tile and Stone, two upscale furniture companies, and a high-end lighting products company.
The faucets are sold primarily by decorative plumbing showrooms and through interior decorators. There are a few online sources but don't expect these faucets to appear any time soon on Amazon or Wayfair.
Kallista is a design company. It designs and engineers faucets but does not manufacture them. Production is by Kohler's Kitchen & Bath Group, but not entirely in the U.S. No Kohler faucets are still manufactured in North America. Most are assembled here but using parts and components imported from China and Mexico.
Until a few years ago made most if not all of Kallista's faucets in Picardy. According to Adam Horwitz, Kallista's president, most of that manufacturing has been moved back to the Kohler1
The same is true of Kallista's ceramic products. A few years ago many, if not all, of Kallista's toilets, bathtubs and sinks were made by a Turkish manufacturer, Ekom Eczacibasi Dis Ticaret A.S., an ceramics manufacturer that sells its own VitrA brand of enamelwares in the U.S. This relationship has now ended. Today, according to Mr. Horwitz, all Kallista vitreous china products are manufactured by Kohler. This does not necessarily mean that they are manufactured in Wisconsin. Kohler owns over 50 manufacturing plants around the world, including factories in Mexico, China, and Indonesia. Of its 30,000 worldwide employees, only 5,500 are in the U.S.
Most of Kallista's newer collections were designed by its creative in-house design group. But, in the recent past, it was more likely to look outside the company for inspired design. It paired with well-known, mostly American, designers and architects around the turn of this century to produce some unique collections, including
- Michael S. Smith, the noted California designer (For Town, For Country, For Loft and Inigo Collections),
- Barbara Barry (Original, Glamour, Counterpoint and Tuxedo collections),
- Laura Kirar (Vir Stil collection),
- Bill Sofield (Jeton collection),
- https://big.dk, a Danish designer (Taper collection), and most recently.
- Robert A.M. Stern Architects (Central Park West Collection).
Some of the older collections are now discontinued. The Glamour collection by Barbara Barry, for example, is no longer listed in the Kallista catalog and her Original collection has been reduced to three sinks. The Jeton collection from Bill Sofield is even more anemic, represented by just one remaining undermount bathroom sink.
Kallista collections include faucets, sinks, and showers, and also the accessories that go along with them, even cabinet hardware in some instances, for a completely coordinated look. Kallista designers will also happily point you to coordinating tile from Ann Sacks, vanities or lighting from Robern, or complementing furnishings from either of the upscale furniture companies included in the Kohler Interiors Group: Baker or McGuire Furniture.
The faucets can be extensively customized. Many include the option of precious and semi-precious stones embedded in the faucet. Customization may add several weeks to the lead time.
Kallista faucets are available in any of thirteen standard finishes including Nickel Silver, French Gold, and Gunmetal, along with the standard polished chrome, brushed nickel, and three varieties of bronze. A handy chart was at one time published on the company website that displayed the finishes available for each Kallista faucet and indicated whether the finish was standard or special order for a particular faucet. This chart is gone. In its place is a simplified finish chart showing only the current standard finishes with no indication of the faucets for which the finishes are available.
Not every faucet is available in every standard finish. Some are available in just one finish, usually polished chrome, but not always. The website listing identifies the standard finishes in which each faucet may be ordered. The One™ collection, for example, is available in chrome, Nickel Silver, Brushed Nickel, Gunmetal, Carbon Black, and Unlacquered Brass. You can, however, order any other finish as a special order finish, but it can be costly to do so and greatly extend delivery time.
Selecting a finish on a faucet listing page displays the faucet in that finish, a feature that is very helpful in visualizing the faucet in each finish available.
We found that the most efficient way of finding all of the Kallista products available in a particular finish is to search on the finish name using the site's search function. A search on "Nickel Silver", for example, resulted in an illustrated list of 411 products that could be finished in Nickel Silver, including twenty-three faucets, eight tub fillers, sixty-one shower components, and numerous drains, flush handles, medicine cabinets, mirrors, and lighting fixtures. The search made it easy to identify and select fixtures, faucets, showers, and accessories in a matching finish.
Kallista's faucet warranty is far below the "lifetime" warranty that is the standard in North America but is typical of faucets made for the very upscale buyer which is Kallista's target market. Similar anemic warranties are offered by the company's competitors.
The company's customer service is capable and responsive, as one would expect of a Kohler company, easily passing the tests we conducted over the past 24 months with no down checks except hold times that sometimes exceeded our maximum limit of 5 minutes. Moreover, Kallista customer service has a reputation for often going beyond the minimum necessary. One reader reported that when she asked for a replacement part under warranty, Kallista sent her that part, and the other parts needed to totally rebuild her faucet. That, folks, is customer service.
Kallista also seems very relaxed about its warranty time limits. We have received several reports of Kallista agents going above the call of duty to take care of problems even when the 5-year term had long expired. This largess is not consistent, however. We have also gotten reports of customers who were not extended the courtesy.
Kallista has no Better Business Bureau file which usually means that the BBB has never received a complaint about the company — an enviable record. Kallista has not, however, been accredited by the BBB, which means it has not undergone the rigorous BBB vetting. It should consider accreditation.
These are not faucets for the budget-minded. They are aimed at up-scale buyers who do not mind paying for uniquely beautiful fixtures or those of more modest means who want just that one sinfully luxurious item for their new bath. If you belong to either of these groups, you should give Kallista a careful look. We are quite confident that the style and craftsmanship of these faucets will not disappoint, nor will the longevity and reliability of Kohler-engineered and -manufactured mechanicals and ceramic cartridges. The one downside is the company's skimpy 5-year warranty. It could be much stronger as befits the quality of the faucets.
Faucets comparable to Kallista include
All of these faucet companies offer a stronger warranty. Few, however, have Kallista's style.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Kallista faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.