LDR Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 03/30/18
600 N. Kilbourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624
Warranty Footnotes:1. LDR "warrants that the parts and assembles of this product will be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal household use for as long as it is owned by the original consumer purchaser.".
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This Company In Brief
LDR Industries was established in 1971 to import and distribute plumbing supplies, fittings, and piping, mostly manufactured in Asia.
In 2014, the company, then in a dispute with U.S. Customs over the proper classification of threaded steel pipe and facing a sizable assessment of delinquent customs duties, sought protection in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Coda Resources, Ltd., a Brooklyn-based importer of Asian products, purchased selected assets of the company out of bankruptcy, including the LDR name and trademark. Coda formed a subsidiary, LDR Global Industries, LLC to own the newly acquired business.
Coda Resources, Ltd. is an experienced importer of Asian products. The company has been in the import business since its founding by Abraham Tropper as the Central Notion Company in 1947. Its initial products were buttons and other sewing supplies (traditionally called "notions" for you hairy types who wouldn't know a darning needle from a Ramen noodle) that Mr. Tropper imported mostly from Japan and sold to the garment industry in New York City. Japanese industry in the immediate post-WWII reconstruction period was able to produce simple industrial products such as plastic buttons, at a price far below the U.S. competition, so the company did well.
As the New York garment industry faded, the company extended its product lines and import sources to include Taiwan and later China. It changed its name to Coda Resources, Ltd, in 2004 to better reflect its expanded business. Coda owns subsidiary companies including Cambridge Resources, Ltd., as well as LDR Industries. The company is still privately owned by the Tropper family, and at least three members of the family David, Moshe, and Hillel Tropper are active in the business.
LDR's primary business is wholesale plumbing. It supplies every type of pipe, pipe fitting, hose, or tube you can imagine to retail plumbing outlets. It also supplies faucets, showers, tub fillers, and some bath accessories to companies that sell the faucets under their own store brands. Menards ( faucets but that relationship appears to have ended.
Since the transition to new ownership, LDR has also begun selling LDR branded faucets directly to consumers on a limited basis over the internet at Home Depot (but not in stores) as well as through general internet retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Overstock, Rakuten, and Wayfair. This is a departure for LDR which has long resisted retail selling.
The faucets being reviewed in this report are LDR branded metallic faucets. LDR also offers "non-metallic", that is, plastic faucets. In the past plastic faucets were limited to LDR's Exquisite® brand. But, we are now seeing them sold under the LDR nameplate. Plastic faucets, however, branded, are not included in this report. We do not consider plastic to be a suitable material for faucets other than for very specialized (RVs, campers, laboratories), limited or temporary use.
LDR does import some stylish Asian faucets but these usually end up in its wholesale lines that are re-branded and sold as in-house faucets by companies like LDR faucets are typically more basic, less remarkable designs of average to good quality. The closest American-made analog would be Delta's line of budget faucets. These are ordinary faucets, agreeably styled but nothing special, suitable for a little-used guest bathroom, bar, or laundry but not our first choice for a family bath or busy kitchen. For what they are, the quality is good and the price is certainly right. We have yet to find an LDR sink faucet for sale at a street price of more than $150.00.
Most are supplied with Chinese or Taiwanese ceramic cartridges of the type made by Sedal in China or Kuching in Taiwan, good five-year cartridges but, again, nothing extraordinary. Some of LDR's lower-priced faucets are equipped with the venerable Delta ball cartridge — a superior cartridge for its time but now outdated. Some utility faucets are equipped with the even more venerable compression cartridge.
The faucets are usually stainless steel or brass. Some of the lower-end models, however, are made of zinc or zinc/aluminum alloy plastic. Zinc is not as durable as brass or stainless steel as a material for the parts of a faucet under pressure. Some faucets are plastic. The company calls these hybrid faucets.
Coda has facilities in China including a factory in Heze, China, which opened in 2006, that produces injection-molded plastic products and small metal stampings. Coda does not, however, manufacture faucets. All of LDR's faucets are obtained from contract manufacturers in Asia, including:
- Guangdong Meijie Faucet Company, Limited a Chinese company that is LDR's princial faucet supplier. It also manufactures for
- Long Tai Copper Corporation from Taiwan that produces some of the faucets sold by
- Xiamen Runner Industrial Corporation, a Chinese company that manufactures faucets for
LDR also imports through brokers, including LDR International, a subsidiary enterprise that will deliver full container-loads of faucets to wholesale customers, and through Ningbo Haishu Kolehome Trade Company which supplies faucets and faucet components from Asian manufacturers. It is not possible to tell if these are different from the manufacturers listed above or merely the same companies shipping through a broker.
LDR's finishes include the basics: chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze. Chrome is a finish that appears to be available on every faucet, brushed nickel on some faucets and oil rubbed bronze on a faucet here and there. The company offers what it calls its PermaShine® finish but the nature of the finish is nowhere explained. We believe it to be nothing more arcane than a physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating but its advantages over other PVD coatings, if any, are not noted in any literature we have been able to find.
LDR's website has been completely revised since our last report from the sparse six-page site or its early years. But, it still does not have its catalogs online. The information about its faucets is fairly comprehensive including material (plastic or metal and plastic), flow rate, type of cartridge (ceramic, washerless ball, or compression), and length of warranty. Better faucets have a lifetime warranty, lesser faucets are guaranteed for ten years.
The company's customer service is not focused on faucets — as is typical of a company that deals in all sorts of merchandise — and agents appear to know very little about the product. Technical information, specifications, certifications, cartridge information, and installation instructions, all critical or at least very useful information, are nowhere to be found online, and efforts to get this information from LDR's customer service usually resulted in the telephonic equivalent of a blank stare.
Customer service agents have told us that LDR carries few replacement parts. If parts are needed, they are scavenged from faucets still in the warehouse. If there are no longer any faucets in the warehouse, warranty claims are usually handled by replacing the faucet.
The Better Business Bureau reports no complaints about LDR branded products but we have received several complaints about fumbles in taking care of the problem faucets, sold by Menards but serviced by LDR. The primary problems seem to be
- Failure to respond to e-mails or return telephone messages;
- Lack of parts with which to fix faulty faucets; and
- Slow delivery of those parts that are available.
This is obviously an area that the company needs to address to make good on its promise of "superior customer service."
Faucets manufactured in China or Taiwan comparable to those sold by LDR include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with LDR faucets, good, bad, or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.