Aqua Faucets by Kubebath Review & Rating Updated: 11/303/23

Summary
by
Imported
China Flag
China
Kubebath LLC
5354 E. Slauson Ave.
Commerce, CA 90040
(877) 888-3842
(626) 566-8330
info@kubebath.com

Kubebath (Ontario)
41-80 Jutland Road
Etobicoke, ON M8Z 2H1

Toronto Vanity
451 Alliance Avenue
York, Ontario M6N2J1
(416) 274-324
(877) 389-7979

Rating
Business Type
Product Range
Bath Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Aqua
Street Price
$93-$245
Warranty Score
Cartridge
Lifetime1
Finishes
Lifetime
Mechanical Parts
Lifetime
Proof of Purchase
Unknown
Transferable
Required2
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
No

Warranty Footnotes:

1. "KubeBath Shower Equipment and Faucets carry a limited lifetime warranty for residential use."
2. "Any claim made under this warranty must include a copy of a valid proof of purchase showing the date and place of purchase."

Download/Print the Kubebath warranty.

Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Kubebath LLC is an importer of bathroom furniture, sinks, faucets, showers, tubs, and bathroom accessories from China. It is one of two companies that sell largely the same merchandise from the same suppliers. The other company is Toronto Vanity of York, Ontario. Although organized as separate companies, the business operates as a single entity with U.S. and Canadian branches.

Aqua faucets distributed by Kubebath are of reasonable quality for economy faucets and are supported by a limited lifetime warranty. However, after-sale technical and customer service is difficult to reach and has a poor reputation for responding to and handling customer issues.

The faucets are not approved for sale in California. In 2022 the company settles a lawsuit resulting from illegally selling faucets and shower systems in california and paid a penalty of $18,373.00.

Kubebath is a wholesaler and distributor of bathtubs, showers, vanities, sinks, faucets, and bathroom furniture and accessories that it imports from China.

Faucets are just a small fraction of Kubebath's business. Its main products are bathroom furniture and fixtures. Kubebath sells just bath faucets. Nothing for the kitchen, prep table, or bar.

The Companies

Kubebath LLC was founded in 2016 by Miguel Braga, its current president. Mr. Braga also owns Toronto Vanity opened in Canada in 2008. He is reportedly a partner in (Ningbo) Best Choice Freight which shares the Alliance Ave. address with Toronto Vanity, and the creative director at Zhejiang Migao Bath. [1]

Although organized as separate companies, Kubebath and Toronto Vanity are for most purposes the same entity under common management.

Kubebath handles the wholesale distribution end of the business, Toronto Vanity the retail end. [2]

Kubebath also trades as Aqua Bath, Inc. on houzz.com (not to be confused with Aqua Bath Company, Inc. a Tennessee corporation that owns the "Aqua Bath" trademark).

A third company, 8718822 Canada Inc., is a Canadian corporation that lists two Kubebath employees as its sole directors. It is the entity through which many of the products sold by Kubebath are imported. In the 24 months beginning in January 2018, 8718822 Canada received 48 shipments from China all from a single freight forwarder, Ningbo Best Household Supplies.

Trademarks

The U. S. and Canadian trademark registries show all of Kubebaths's applications as "abandoned."

U. S. trademark registrations of the word Kube­bath and the Kube­bath graphic logo including the tagline "Affordable Luxury for Your Bathroom", were applied for by Kubebath, LLC but the applications were allowed to lapse. The trademarks were also applied for in Canada, but again, allowed to lapse.

The lack of registration does not affect the company's common-law ownership of the marks. But it does mean that the ® symbol cannot be used in conjunction with the marks.

The Kubebath trademark is also registered in China by 8718822 Canada, Inc.

The Manufacturer

The faucets are imported from Aqua Gallery Co., Ltd. which owns the Shan Aqua Gallery Kitchen & Bath Factory, an bath­wares manufacturer established in 2010 in Foshan, China.

Aqua Gallery specializes in suites of bathtubs, showers, vanities, sinks, and faucets all matched in coordinated sets. It manufactures almost entirely for export to the Americas from which it derives 92% of its revenues.

'The Kubebath Aqua Elegance faucet. This is an old design, sold by Kraus USA for many years until discontinued about five years ago. The faucets sold by Kubebath are stylish but by no means new or original designs.

Faucet Design

Kubebath faucets are all very contemporary single-handle, single-hole faucets. There are no traditional or transitional styles in the Kubebath inventory and no two-handle faucets. So, for those looking to remodel a heritage bath or who simply prefer two-handle faucets, you will need to look elsewhere.

Aqua Gallery faucets exhibit no particular design distinction or originality. The designs are stylish but getting dated. Most of the designs have been around for 15 years or more. Chinese designs are rarely original.

Chinese designs are rarely original. They tend to be middle-of-the-road and to follow the pack rather than lead it. The goal of Chinese faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible.

Styles are often adopted from Europe and North America. A design that sells well in these major markets will usually be imitated by Asian factories. The lag time is usually 3 to 5 years, so by the time a design appears in a Chinese faucet it is no longer new.

Some of Aqua's designs have already come and gone from the inventories of other importers of Chinese faucets.

A faucet identical in style to the Aqua Elegance faucet was imported by until about five years ago when it disappeared from the Kraus catalog in favor of newer designs. The distinctive Filli is also a ten-year-old design phased out by most of the Chinese manufacturers that formerly made it.

Faucet Construction

The quality of the faucets is average for China-sourced products. The faucets are made of certified lead-free brass with some ancillary parts made of zinc or zinc/aluminum alloy. This is typical construction. The use of zinc in non-critical parts is normal practice that saves money by using a less expensive metal in parts that do not require the strength of brass.

The mixing cartridge used in the faucets is a Quore ceramic cartridge made by Ningbo Wanhai Cartridge Technology Co., Ltd., a Chin­ese technical ceramics company.

Quore cartridges are widely used by Chinese manufacturers that specialize in making faucets for the European market. The cartridge is rare in North America. It is considered a good but not exceptional cartridge. Quore cartridges are certified "drinking water safe" to North American standards.

Faucet Cartridges: For more information on the types of faucet cartridges and valves and the advantages and drawbacks of each, see Faucet Valves & Cartridges.)

Faucet Finishes

The finishes available are polished chrome and brushed nickel, and black and white. The other standard finish found in most faucet lines: oil rubbed bronze, is not available from Kubebath.

At least one faucet, the Adatto, is available in a combining polished chrome with white.

Chrome has been the go-to faucet finish for over a century. It polishes to a beautiful shine and is very durable. It will scratch and should not be cleaned with any product that contains an abrasive, but it is unlikely to ever chip or flake.

The chrome plating seems adequate. The days when "China chrome" could be scraped off with a fingernail are long gone. Chinese plating is a good as any in the world these days.

Powder coating is a process of applying pigmented finishes to a faucet in powdered form. The term "dry paint" is not exactly correct but close enough.

The technique has been around for a long time. It was developed nearly 80 years ago during the Second World War as an alternative to slow-drying liquid paint to speed up wartime production of armaments, most of which needed to be painted.

Powder-coats are considered semi-durable, slightly more robust than the finish on your car. They require more care in both use and maintenance to protect the finishes and preserve their like-new look. This is especially true of matte finishes, so it is very important that you carefully follow Kube­bath's care and cleaning instructions.

Faucet Finishes: For more information on types of faucet finishes, see Faucet Finishes.

Faucet Warranty

Kubebath provides a written limited lifetime warranty on its faucets, but the warranty is very hard to find.

The warranty is not available on the company's website. We asked Kubebath customer service for a copy but were told that a copy of the warranty is"available only to authorized resellers" – a stance that is very much at odds with the U.S. Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308) that requires a warranty be made available to any potential buyer prior to the purchase of a consumer product (15 U.S.C. 2302; and 2309; 16 CFR 702). It is also contrary to the consumer protection laws of most Canadian provinces.

Turning to Toronto Vanity for a copy, a representative agreed to send us a copy by e-mail. We were sent a synopsis of the warranty, but not the document itself.

We finally found a copy of what we believe is the current warranty on a reseller website. (Download/Print the Kubebath warranty.)

The warranty is not well drafted. In parts, it is duplicative, ambiguous, and confusing. It also does not meet some of the technical requirements of the Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act, including the following:

In consequence, most of the exclusions and limitations contained in the warranty, including the exclusion of the cost of labor to repair or replace a faucet, would most likely be found invalid in any court proceeding in the U.S.

Some parts of the warranty are just bad policy. For example, if Kubbath insists on inspecting a defective faucet, the customer has to pay to have it shipped to the company. And, after 30 days from the date of purchase, the customer has to pay a "nominal fee" for Kubebath to ship repair parts or a replacement faucet – an example of penny-pinchery at its worst.

Kubebath Aqua Riccio single handle lavatory faucet in polished chrome.

Customer Service

Kubebath does not make claiming under its warranty an easy process. Kubebath customer service is hard to reach.

The method of contact the company prefers is by e-mail which is the only contact option Kubebath offers on its website. It does not publish a contact telephone number. We had to research other sources to find its toll-free telephone number. However, this number did not put us in touch with Kubebath. It routed us to an answering service that took down our name and number and promised a callback that never came.

We had better luck dialing its local number: (626) 566-8330. Once we did get into contact with customer service our experience was less than satisfactory. The agent appeared to know very little about the company's faucet products and after putting us on hold several times to get information from someone else, finally asked us to put our questions in an e-mail. We did exactly that but got no response from Kubebath to the e-mail. In fact, we have never gotten a response to any e-mail we have ever sent to the company.

Kubebath's retail arm, Toronto Vanity, in Canada was a little more responsive. We got a live person to talk to who helped us with our warranty questions but also had little knowledge of the technical details of Kubebath's faucets.

Our low opinion of Kubebath's post-sale customer service is not shared by Better Business Bureau. The BBB rates the company A+ on a scale of A+ to F, its highest rating (up from its D+ rating two years ago), for responding satisfacority to consumer complaints and making a satisfactory effort to resolve those to which it did respond.

Kubebath Website

The company website is well designed. Navigation is menu-driven and intuitive. The site is responsive, displaying and behaving well on desktop monitors as well as smartphones.

The search function is effective when searching for product information. The term "matt black", for example, returned 5 pages of items having a matte black finish — useful if you are trying to coordinate finishes across several product types: faucets and matching drains. (The finish is described as "matt black" in some places and "matte black" in others; seemingly without rhyme or reason. According to our in-house lexicographer "matte black" is the correct spelling.)

For other than product information, the search feature does not work at all. A search on the term "faucet warranty" returned 33 pages of results — none of them having anything to do with a faucet warranty. A search on "returns" produced "no search results for 'returns'.

The website provides several images for each faucet, including views of the installed faucet, making it easier to visualize how it might fit your bathroom. Otherwise, the information about each faucet is grossly insufficient to make an intelligent buying decision.

The written description of each faucet is abbreviated almost to the point of uselessness. There is no information about the material from which the faucet is made, its cartridge, aerator, or flow rate. It would be nice to know if the faucet is brass or stainless, for example, if it contains any zinc or zinc alloys. Kubebath does identify the faucets' certifications, however, which is a plus.

Some of the information about the faucets on the Kubevath website is just plain wrong. The matte black Arcco faucet, for example, is described as having a "matt white" finish. We found that kind of offhand error in several places.

Links to .pdf downloads are not provided on each faucet's page where we would expect them but in the main menu item entitled "Specs & Installation". These are listed by SKU, so you have to remember the SKU of the faucet you are interested in, then find that SKU in the list of products on the Specs & Installation list — if it's in the list. Some faucets were not in the list.

Once you find the right link, be prepared to be underwhelmed. There are no detailed specifications, just installation instructions. The instructions include a dimensioned drawing (in metric) but no exploded parts diagram and nothing that remotely resembles actual detailed specifications.

The installation instructions are somewhat general. Nevertheless, our plumbers had no issues with installing the faucets and rated installation "easy" on a four-point scale from "very easy" to "very hard".

Where to Buy

Kubebath does not sell faucets from its website. It is a distributor, not a retailer. There are no prices (not even MSRPs), no cart to drop items into, and no checkout. Its showroom and retail arm is Toronto Vanity which sells faucets to retail buyers throughout Canada and the U.S. Faucets sold in Canada are shipped from the Kubebath warehouse in Ontario. Faucets for delivery in the U.S. are shipped from the warehouse in California.

Kubebath faucets are also sold on Amazon and Wayfair, and on home decor and bathware websites like allmodern.com, bhg.com, and houzz.com. There is a Find a Dealer" on the Kubebath website.

Testing & Certification

Kubebath was sued by the California Energy Commission for illegally selling unapproved faucets and showerheads in California. To settle the lawsuit, Kubebath agreed to cease selling unapproved products and paid a penalty of $18,373.00.

Comparable Faucets

Conclusions

Kubebath faucets are of reasonable quality and economically priced. We would probably be a little hesitant about installing them in a busy family bathroom, but for a little-used guest bath, they would be just fine.

The Kubebath faucet warranty meets the standard for North American faucet warranties, but warranty service in our experience is uncertain. But, the BBB rates the company as as excellent for its handling customer issues.

If you are in the market for an inexpensive Asian-made faucet, one of the suppliers listed below might be a reasonable alternative.

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

Footnotes:

  1. The precise roles of the three companies are not always a clear bright-line division. Kubebath LLC's primary role is warehousing and distribution. It imports all of the products destined for the warehouse in California. Products shipped to Kubebath in Canada are imported by 8718822 Canada, Inc. Toronto Vanity is the retail seller in the group and does not appear to import or distribute. But it describes itself in its entry on Houzz.com as a "Retailer and distributor … with distribution centres in Toronto, ON and Los Angeles, CA USA." In actual fact, it appears that its retail sales in the U.S. are shipped from Kubebath LLC in California while its non-store sales in Canada are fulfilled from the Kubebath warehouse at 80 Jutland Rd in Toronto.
  2. We have not been able to independently confirm the existence of an entity named Zhejiang Migao Bath. We found a Migao Bathroom (International) Limited chartered in Hong Kong. This company, however, is dissolved and no longer active. We also could not confirm Mr. Braga's affiliation with Migao Bath as its creative director.