Kraus Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 04/04/22

Summary
Imported
China Flag
China
Kraus USA, Inc.
12 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
(800)775-0703
Rating
Business Type
Product Range
Kitchen, Bath, Prep and Bar Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Kraus
Street Price
$100 - $1,300
Warranty Score
Cartridge
5-years1
Finishes
Lifetime2
Structure
Lifetime3
Spray Head & Hoses
1-year4
Other Components
None5
Proof of Purchase
Required
Transferable
No
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
Yes

Warranty Footnotes:

1. "Kraus warrants the Faucet's cartridge to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal usage for a period of five (5) years from the date of purchase."
2. "Kraus warrants the structure and finish of the product to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal usage for as long as the original purchaser resides in the residence in which the Faucet was first installed."
3. The term "structure" is not defined, but Kraus evidently intends to refer to the body and spout of the faucet – parts that almost never break.
4. "Kraus warrants the Faucet's sprayhead assembly (including the engine, aerators, structure, restrictors, back flow preventers, sprayer hoses, braided supply line hoses which encompasses nylon, silicon and stainless steel) of the product to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal usage for a period of one (1) year from the date of purchase."
5. Non-structural components such as handles, base plates, wall plates, drain levers, etc. are not mentioned in the warranty and evidently have no warranty.

Read the Kraus faucet warranty.

Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Kraus is an importer of above-average to good quality Chinese-made faucets that it sells through internet venues, including most plumbing supply sites, and big-box lumber stores such as Home Depot. The faucets are sourced from a variety of suppliers.

In addition to faucets, it sells sinks, showers, and accessories, often in coordinated collections for that well-put-together look.

The Kraus faucet warranty is sub-par, providing a mere five years of protection on the most important component of the faucet, its cartridge, and just one year on spray heads and hoses.

Since December 31, 2020, Kraus has been a part of Masco Corporation, operating as an "affiliate" of Masco's .

Founded in 2007 by Russell Levi and Michael Rukhlin, two New York entrepreneurs, Kraus is an importer of above-average to good quality Chinese-made faucets that it sells through internet venues, including most plumbing supply sites, and big-box lumber stores such as Home Depot.

In addition to faucets, it sells sinks, showers, and accessories, often in coordinated collections for that well-put-together look. It can even provide flooring.

Kraus Exquisite lavatory faucet in polished chrome.

The company has been very successful, carefully threading its way between the obstacles that impair most faucet-seller success with a carefully selected inventory of stylish products.

It has been so successful, in fact that in December 2020 it was purchased from its founding partners by Masco Corporation, the owner of the Bris­tan Group, Ltd. in the U.K.

Masco was founded in 1929 as Masco Screw Prod­ucts Comp­any by Alex Man­oog­ian, an Ar­men­ian from Smyr­na, Tur­key who fled to the U.S. at age 18 from the Ar­men­ian Geno­cide (1915-1918). The company was renamed Masco Corporation in 1981.

Mr. Manogian's pleasant demeanor and engaging smile masked one of the shrewdest minds in American industry. Before his death at age 95, he had grown the company into what may be the largest building products company in the world.

How the addition of Kraus benefits the Masco empire is not altogether clear.

Kraus Bolden kitchen faucet in split Champagne Bronze and Matte Black.

Most of Masco's faucet subsidiaries are manufacturers to some degree or another. Kraus, however, is not a manufacturer – although the company routinely identifies itself as such in its literature and press releases including the release announcing its sale to Masco in which it claimed:

Kraus USA has been transforming the kitchen and bathroom industry for over a decade, with a long history of manufacturing exceptional sinks, faucets, and accessories for the modern kitchen and bathroom. (emphasis supplied)

It is evident from our research, however, that the company has no history whatsoever of manufacturing sinks, faucets, or accessories, — exceptional or otherwise. It is purely an importer — a very successful importer to be sure, but nothing more than an importer.

Its products, including its faucets, are manufactured by other companies, almost all located in China.

Manufacturers that have supplied Kraus with faucets over our look-back period of 60 months include:

Kraus Ansel oull-down kitchen faucet in polished chrome.

All of these manufacturers are .

These companies have been Kraus' consistent faucet suppliers for the better part of a decade. In the past, however, it has bought faucets from other manufacturers, including Yatin Bath Corporation. This relationship has now ended.

The company does an enormous volume of business.

It has received over 3,000 import shipments from Asia in the 43 months since August 2018, an average of two deliveries each day, and there is no indication that the volume of its imports is decreasing.

Kraus has made what seems to be a concerted and continuing effort to distinguish itself from the deluge of Asian importers that are flooding North America with questionable quality Chinese faucets. It has improved both the style and quality of its faucet lines over the past five years.

Kraus faucets are, for the most part, heavy, durable faucets that should give years and years of reliable service. All of the Kraus faucets we examined were well made with thick-walled brass castings or sturdy stainless steel construction with careful finishing.

Its brass faucets are not all brass, however. Some Kraus faucets contain zinc or a zinc/aluminum alloy and some plastic components. Zinc or its alloys in non-critical parts is not usually a problem. For faucet components not under water pressure such as handled and base plates, zinc is perfectly adequate, and because it is much less expensive than low-lead brass, its use saves a few dollars in production costs.

Kraus KPF1622SN single-handle pull down kitchen faucet with dual function spray in satin nickel.

Plastic is another matter. Plastic in contact with water is too prone to chemical deterioration for use in a lifetime product such as faucets and should be avoided. Be especially wary of plastic spray heads on Kraus' pull-down and pull-out kitchen faucets. Plastic spray heads seem to be a constant source of failure problems and customer complaints, not just in Kraus faucets but in all faucet lines that use them, including some very up-scale faucets.

Kraus is very aware of the plastic problem and guarantees its plastic heads for just one year compared to a lifetime guarantee on the metal parts of the faucet.

Many of Kraus' single handle mixing faucets include a ceramic cartridge made by Kerox, Kft, a Hungarian ceramics manufacturer that enjoys a worldwide reputation for solid, reliable cartridges. Kerox is the ceramic cartridge preferred by many high-end European faucet brands.

We also identified mixing cartridges from Sedal S.L.U., a Spanish manufacturer that makes its cartridges in three factories in China and Kuching International, Ltd., a China-based manufacturer of the widely used KCG cartridge.

These cartridges do not have the solid reputation of a Kerox cartridge. But, the difference between first-rank and second-rank cartridges is narrowing rapidly, and these Chinese-made cartridges are completely serviceable and robust enough to give years of trouble-free service.

Some of the Kraus two-handle faucets we examined were equipped with Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH cartridge, considered by many to be the finest stem cartridge made for two-handle faucets. Other faucets appear to be equipped with cartridges from Guang­dong Hent Tech­nolo­gy Co., Ltd., one of the oldest of China's technical ceramics companies. Hent makes a good cartridge, but not of the same high quality as the Flühs product.

We have not examined every one of the hundreds of faucet models sold by Kraus, however, so we cannot guarantee that every faucet contains a good-quality ceramic cartridge. So, if you are considering a Kraus faucet, check its website specifications to look for its cartridge by name. If it is not identified by name, telephone customer support for that information.

The Faucet Cartridge: Kraus' very limited 5-year warranty on faucet cartridges of concern. Its cartridge is the heart of a modern faucet. It is the part that controls water flow and temperature. Its finish may fail and the faucet will still work, it may be discolored, corroded, and ugly but water still flows. But, if a cartridge fails, the faucet is out of business until it is replaced. A five-year warranty on this essential faucet component is not nearly adequate.

In addition to improving quality, Kraus has concentrated a considerable effort on improving the design of its faucets, a somewhat challenging objective when sourcing faucets from China.

Design adventures in China are rare. Chinese manufacturers gravitate toward conventional designs to reach the widest possible market and, to reduce market risk even further, tend to copy successful North American and European designs. If a faucet sells well on either continent, it will soon appear, in Chinese faucet catalogs (in slightly modified form to avoid patent infringement lawsuits).

Kraus Indy lavatory faucet in four finishes: brushed Gold, Stainless Steel, Matte Black, and Matte Black with Stainless Steel accents.

That is slowly changing, however. CAE has avoided the limitations of Chinese design by hiring an Italian company, Slide Design, to create its new collection of faucets. They were designed by Slide's noted industrial designer Itamar Harari. One of these designs, the Edolo faucet, won an iF Design Award in 2016. IF is an international design competition sponsored by iF International Forum Design GmbH since 1953. Kraus does not, however, sell the Edolo faucet.

Kraus Faucet Finishes

Kraus Indy lavatory faucet in four finishes: brushed Gold, Stainless Steel, Matte Black, and Matte Black with Stainless Steel accents.

The company offers two finishes available on almost all faucets: polished chrome and oil-rubbed bronze,. kitchen faucets are available in eleven other finishes some of which are combinations such as chrome with matte black. The pallette for bathroom faucets is more limited and includes two split finishes, brushed nickel with satin nickel and chrome with brushed nickel.

The number of finishes offered for a particular faucet depends on two factors. The first is the finishes available from the manufacturer that makes the faucet – Kraus does none of its own finishing and can offer only those finishes available from its faucet suppliers. The second consideration is how much inventory Kraus wants to maintain. Each new finish means a considerable increase in the number of faucets, faucet accessories (base plates, wall plates, etc.) and spare parts Kraus has to maintain in stock.

The Kraus website is a reasonably well-designed, no-nonsense site that does not overuse flashy full-color images that get in the way of efficient navigation. Navigation is menu-driven and intuitive. At no time did we reach a point on the website from which we did not know where to go next.

Drilling down to a faucet that may meet your needs and design preference is made easy by filters that allow you to select for faucet configuration, height, finish, the number of holes required to mount the faucet, and so on. The filtering is reasonably accurate.

Each time a filter is selected, however, the site jumps back to the top of the page requiring the user to scroll down again to select the next filter item. It is poor web design and could easily be cured by an Apply Filters button that allows the user to select all applicable filters before the page is refreshed.

Once a suitable faucet is identified, the information needed to make an informed buying decision is extensive but not quite complete, and sometimes presented in code rather than plain English.

Faucets are well illustrated with multiple images showing the faucet from various angles and in several installations. Tabs across the bottom of the listing provide access to:

Certification Translation Table
UPC () Refers to ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1, the basic North American faucet standard to which all sink faucets must be certified.
NSF/ANSI 61, NSF/ANSI 372 Sometimes cobined as NSF/ANSI 61/9, are the North American lead free (NSF 372) and drinking water safety (NSF 61) standards. Faucets certified to these standards are "lead-free" and comply with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the state laws of Calif­ornia, Louis­iana, Mary­land, and Ve­rmont, and dispense water that is safe to consume.
AB1953 Same as ANSI/NSF 372. Indicates compliance with the lead free standards of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the state laws of Calif­ornia, Louis­iana, Mary­land, and Ve­rmont.
MASS Identifies faucets that may be legally sold and installed in a drinking water system in Massachusetts.
CEC Identifies faucets that may be legally sold and installed in a drinking water system in California.
DOE Identifies faucets that have been certified with the Department of Energy as compliant with the flow restrictions of the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
ADA Indicates a faucet that is compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Access Canada Act and is suitable for use by persons with physical limitations.
FTC The Federal Trade Commission has issued many regulations that affect faucets. These include warranty requirements, standards that must be met for "Made in USA" qualification, and many more. We do not know which regulation is referred to by Kraus' use of "FTC" and evidently neither does Kraus. None of the Kraus people we spoke to could tell us what law or reguation FTC referred to.

The company has upgraded the length of its warranty from 10 years to a lifetime warranty on some components of its faucets including its finishes. This is a step in the right direction which suggests that the company is gaining more confidence in its products.

Understanding Faucet Finish Warranties

No warranty protects against all of the hazards that can befall a faucet finish, and the Kraus 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." The days of peeling "China chrome" with a fingernail are long gone. Chinese faucet finishing technology is equal to any in the world these days.

Most damage to faucet finishes results from over-zealous cleaning. Moden 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.

Some parts, however, have a much shorter warranty. Cartridges are still guaranteed for just 5 years and a "faucet's sprayhead assembly (including the engine, aerators, structure, restrictors, back flow preventers, sprayer hoses, braided supply line hoses which encompasses nylon, silicon and stainless steel)" are guaranteed for 1 year. The very short warranty suggests that most if not all of Kraus' spray heads are plastic and that Kraus has no confidence in their longevity.

This wording of this provision is somewhat confusing. We have never seen an "engine" in a spray head and have no idea to which component the term refers. We have also never seen a sprayhead assembly with its own supply line. Supply lines connect the faucet to the water supply usually at a shutoff valve under the sink. We have never seen one connected directly to a sprayhead assembly.

The company at one time required that all faucets be installed by a licensed and insured "trade professional" experienced "in the installation of bathroom and kitchen manufactured goods." Now such installation is merely "recommended."

The company guarantees to have the parts needed to fix a defective or broken faucet for just five years. Interesting to us is the question of how the company intends to honor its lifetime warranty if, twenty years from now, a Kraus faucet breaks the but company does not have the parts to fix it, having run out of parts after five years.

In a prior report, we identified several legal problems with the Kraus warranty that violated the Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308), the federal law that dictates the minimum content of and sets the rules for consumer product warranties in the United States, and suggested to the company that it needed a complete rewrite by a lawyer who understood warranty law.

Kraus did rewrite its warranty and it now fully complies with federal law.

Customer and warranty service varies in quality. It is not unusual to experience long waits to talk to a customer service representative, and then be asked to leave a message for a callback.

Once a customer service agent is reached, he or she is often unable to provide any more information about a Kraus faucet than is available about the product on the company website.

But, while lacking, customer service is much better than it was a few years ago when it was almost non-existent.

The company is rated A+ on a scale of A+ to F by the Better Business Bureau, a rating that indicates satisfactory responses to consumer complaints made to the BBB and an impressive improvement over its C rating just a few years ago. Kraus is not, however, BBB accredited.

Overall, we like Kraus faucets. Kraus is an importer of some of China's better quality and better-designed faucets which it sells at a fair price. We do not think Kraus offers the best faucets in the world but it doesn't charge "best faucet" prices either. For the prices it does charge, Kraus usually gives its customers a good value.

We would be willing to install a Kraus product as the main faucet in a busy kitchen or bath. But, we would look specifically for a Flühs or Kerox cartridge. The likelihood that Flühs or Kerox cartridges will give you any trouble is reassuringly remote. We would also avoid kitchen faucets with plastic spray heads.

Our one hesitation would be the Kraus warranty. We are not enthusiastic about the skimpy 5-year warranty on cartridges or the skimpier one-year warranty on hoses and spray heads. If this is all the confidence Kraus has in these components, it needs to find manufacturers that can provide better components.

Chinese-made imported faucets comparable in quality and warranty strength to Kraus' products but not necessarily in design or price include:

Most of these companies provide a much better warranty on their faucets.

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