Lacava Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 05/06/23

Summary
Imported
ItalyFlag
Italy
ChinaFlag
China
Lacava,LLC
6630 W. Wrightwood Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60707
773-637-9600
Rating
Business Type
Product Range
Kitchen & Bath Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Lacava
Street Price
$700 - $2,000
Warranty Score
Cartridge
lifetime1
Finishes
Lifetime
Mechanical Parts
Lifetime
Proof of Purchase
Required
Transferable
No
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
No

Warranty Footnotes:

1. "For as long as the original consumer purchaser owns his or her home."
Read the Lacava faucet warranty.

Learn more about faucet warranties.

Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Lacava is an "everything for the bathroom company" that distributes faucets along with showers, fixtures, furnishings, and accessories in collections. Its forté is its coordinated bath suites.

The company has given onsiderable thought to creating collections with a distinctive "Lacava" look of ultra-modernity.

If Lacava proves nothing else, it demonstrates that a very striking collection can be created by a discerning eye without the need for custom-designed faucets.

You just have to be able to identify the best of the existing designs and coordinate them with furnishings, fixtures, and accessories. This is something that Lacava does very well.

The Company

Founded by Carmine Lacava in 1997 as an Illinois limited liability company, Lacava is small as fixture companies go, with only $5 million in gross sales. It tries hard to be very exclusive, concentrating its sales efforts on interior designers.

Lacava's striking and distinctive contemporary bath furniture is all designed in-house and manufactured in Chicago by Lacava Industries, LLC. The company identifies itself as the "American heir to the Italian design tradition" and a "leading designer and manufacturer of bath furnishings."

While it may be a "leading designer and manufacturer of bath furnishings – vanities, medicine cabinets, and the like – that's all it designs or manufactures.

Plumbing fixtures, fittings, and accessories are all imported, primarily from Italy and China.

Lacava Designs

Company literature claims that Lacava collaborates "with designers from around the world" to "enrich American private homes and lifestyles, …"

We cannot exclude the possibility that the company has a hand in the design of some of the fau­cets it sells. But, we can find no evidence of it.

By far, a majority of Lacava faucets are taken from each supplier's and are not designed by or expressly for Lacava.

For example, the distinctive Embrace lavatory faucet was designed and is manufactured by Rubinetterie Ritmonio Srl, and is sold throughout Europe as the Ritmonio Paolo e Francesca.

Ritmonio has modified the faucets by replacing metric fittings with those that work with U.S. and Canadian plumbing systems. But, the style and configuration are exactly the same.

Another example is the Cigno 1586 lavatory faucet designed by Goldiden and available in two handle styles. It is sold as the Taron JT105101P11 faucet throughout most of the rest of the world.

The Manufacturers

In addition to Ritmonio and Goldiden, manufacturers of Lacava faucets include:

Lacava's general approach to building its faucet collections is similar to that used by

It enters into agreements with foreign faucet manufacturers to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of the manufacturer's faucets.

The faucets it agrees to distribute are the manufacturer's existing faucets with minor modifications needed for the U.S. market (which is usually little more than adapting the faucets to U.S. rather than metric fittings).

There are hundreds of boutique faucet manufacturers in Europe and Asia, and all of them are looking for a low-cost entry into the giant U.S. market.

Lacava provides that entry with a minimal investment by the manufacturer. In return, Lacava gets the exclusive right to sell some very stylish, high-quality, foreign faucets in the U.S.

Some of its faucets, however, are not exclusive to Lacava in the North Amer­ican market.

The Zoom collection of automatic sensor faucets, for example, is made in China by a manufacturer we have yet to positively identify, but is probably Shan Aqua Gallery Company Limited.

These are also sold as and its related companies owned by Maysara Khalid Sadiq.

Unlike Lacava's Zoom faucets, however, the Bravat versions are not certified to North American standards and are illegal to install in a drinking water system in the U.S. or Canada.

Other Suppliers

In addition to faucets, Lacava also imports its wash basins, tubs, and bath accessories. Its known suppliers of these articles include:

These are almost certainly not all of Lacava's suppliers, just the ones we have identified so far.

Lacava Finishes

Lacave offers as many as six base finishes on its faucets: Polished Chrime, Polished Nickel, Brushed Nickel, Brushed Gold, Matte Black, and Titanium, and two special order finishes: Brushed Stainless Steel and Matte White.

According to the company, Matte Black and Matte White are . All of the other finishes are produced through . None of Lacava's finishes are .

All Lacava fau­cets are available in Polished Chrome. Some are available in Polished Nickel and a few in the remaining four finishes. The finishes available on a fau­cet depend on the company that makes it.

Physical Vapor Deposition

If you have a choice, a PVD finish is the finish to get. They are, nearly indestructible.

The finishes are applied in a vacuum chamber loaded with unfinished fau­cet parts. All the air is replaced with a carefully calculated mix of inert and reactive gases. A rod of the metal used for the coating is heated to a temperature so high that it dissolves into individual atoms creating a plasma that is bombarded onto the fau­cet parts to create a very thin (2 to 5 microns) but very dense and hard (Rockwell HRC-80+, Vicker HV-2600+) coating.

In standard abrasion tests, PVD finishes are regularly found to be 10 to 20 times more scratch-resistant than the old standard, electroplated chrome.

In our admittedly less formal tests, a Scotch Brite® pad mildly scratched a PVD chrome finish, but it took work. a Brillo® pad had no effect at all. (Don't try this at home! Keep all scouring pads far, far away from your faucets.)

Powder Coatings

Powder coating is the usual way that fau­cets are given non-metallic or "painted" finishes like Matte White. It is a durable finish, certainly more robust than the finish on your car, but not nearly as tough as most metal finishes.

To produce the finish, a colored powder similar in texture to baking flour is applied with a special low-velocity sprayer that gives the powder a positive electrical charge. The particles are drawn to the fau­cet which has 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 that give the coating its durability.

Lacava's powder coated finishes are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for a lifetime – a strong indication from management that it is convinced of the long-term durability of its powder coated finishes.

Lacava Warranty

The Lacava warranty is on its website, but hard to find. It is under "Terms and Con­di­tions" at the very bottom of most website pages.

It is buried among Ship­ping Pol­i­cies, Re­turn Pol­i­cies, Care In­struc­tions, and explanations of pricing and limitations on technical specifications.

We have extracted just the warranty and reproduced it in a more readable form. It can be viewed in its entirety here or you can read all of Lacava's Terms and Con­di­tions.

Consumer product warranties in the United States are governed by the federal Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2308), a law that specifies the form and content required of such warranties.

The Lacava warranty does not come even close to meeting the legal requirements imposed by the Act.

Defective Captioning

Its first, and most serious problem is its title or what Mag­nu­son-Moss calls its "caption."

To be a limited warranty, a consumer warranty must clearly designate the warranty as a limited warranty with the magic words "limited" and "warranty" in its caption or title right at the very top of the warranty.

The caption must be conspicuous and "clearly separated from the text of the warranty."

The words can be arranged to make a variety of acceptable captions: "Limited Warranty", "Limited Faucet Warranty", "Limited Lifetime Warranty", "Lacava Limited Warranty", and so on. "

So long as the words "limited" and "warranty" are included, it gives fair warning to the buyer that its protection is intended to provide only limited warranty protection.

The Lacava warranty is captioned just "Warranty". The word "limited" is nowhere to be found. And, although it is clear from the text of the warranty that Lacava intends to offer a limited warranty, the missing "Limited" in its caption automatically converts the warranty to a full warranty. (15 U.S.C. §2303(a), 16 CFR §700.6)

Full Warranty Requirements

A full warranty gives a buyer many more rights, voiding most of the restrictions and limitations appearing in the Lacava warranty.

  1. Limitation on Remedy: In its warranty, Lacava agrees to
    "… repair or replace the product (whichever cost is smaller to LACAVA) at its own expense (excluding installation charges). Under no circumstances is LACAVA responsible for installation/service fees or any dollar amount beyond the cost of the item."
    Under a full warranty, however, that is not enough. A faucet falls into the category of a product that "has utility only when installed" so Lacava must pay for the labor both to repair or replace the faucet and uninstall and reinstall the faucet. 16 CFR §700.9
  1. Limitation on Transferability: The Lacava warranty tries to limit warranty coverage to the original buyer and prevent the transfer of the warranty to any subsequent owner of the faucet. In a full warranty, however, a subsequent owner is given all of the protections of the warranty during the term of the warranty, and the company cannot prevent the transfer. (16 CFR § 700.6)
What Are Consequential and Incidental Damages?

Consequential and incidental damages are those other than the defect in the fau­cet itself.

For example, your fau­cet leaks and damages your cabinets.

The cost of fixing the leak is the "direct damage."

The cost of remedying the damage to the cabinets is consequential damage – damage that is a consequence of the defect in the faucet, but not the defect itself.

If you need to hire an expert to assess the amount of your damage, the experts's fees are an "incidental damage" – the cost of proving your claim.

Collectively, consequential and incidental damages are called "indirect" or "special" damages;

  1. Disclaimer of Liability: The Lacava makes a clumsy attempt to protect itself from claims for incidental and consequential damages with the following provision:
  1. "LACAVA will not be held liable, in any event, for any special, indirect, incidental or consequential damages or losses (including but not imited to damages for loss of business, loss of profits, etc.) for breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability or otherwise, even if it has been advised of the possibility of such damages. LACAVA's liability on any claim (including negligence) will not in any case exceed the contract price paid by the original purchaser for the product claimed defective or unsuitable."
  1. The attempt has several problems. The most obvious is the fact that a business cannot just unilaterally declare itself immune from liability for personal injury resulting from a defect in its products, nor shielded from contract or tort liability. (It would be an interesting world if such declarations were legal: "I'm going to punch you in the nose, but first I deem myself immune from any liability in tort or contract law for punching you in the nose.")
  1. The warranty does not meet the two requirements imposed by Magnuson-moss for an effective exclusion of incidental and consequential damages. The attempt, consequently, fails and has no effect whatsoever.
  1. a. The disclaiming language is not conspicuous. It is not in bold print or in some other way made to stand out from the rest of the document. Magnuson-Moss permits the exclusion of incidental and consequential damages only if "such exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty …" (15 U.S. Code § 2304(a)(3))
    b. It does not include the qualifying language mandated by Magnuson-Moss: (16 CFR § 701.3(8))
    "Some States do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you."

The final warranty issue is not a legal problem, but it is a problem.

Lacava defines the duration of its lifetime warranty to be
"as long as the as the original consumer owns his or her home."
The problem with this definition is that it excludes lessees, tenants, and renters from warranty coverage. These buyers don't own a home, so the warranty never actually goes into effect.

We would be alarmed if the Lacava warranty was actually written by a lawyer. If so, that individual badly needs a refresher on legal drafting and warranty law.

The warranty needs to be rewritten to, at minimum, comply with the law. As it now stands, Lacava is exposed to all sorts of liability. In a lawsuit brought for breach of warranty by even a reasonably competent lawyer, the company will lose, and lose badly.

Lacava Customer Service

Lacava is justifiably proud of its record with the Better Business Bureau avoiding customer issues and promptly taking care of those that do occur. So much so that it links to its BBB report from the Lacava website. The BBB rates Lacava A+ for its handling of customer problems, its highest rating on a scale of A+ to F, and representing a numerical score of at least 97 out of 100 possible points.

In our informal tests, the company did well. We do not run our standard test battery on small companies like Lacava. Representatives soon realize they are being tested and change their behavior accordingly. In our informal tests, however, agents score high on product knowledge, courtesy, willingness to help, and problem resolution.

Lacava Website Faucet Listing Scoresheet
(Minimum Website Information)
Score: 80 out of 100
Grade: B-

(Checked boxes indicate specifications usually, but not always, provided on the Lacava website.)

We encountered no wait times, and (big, big plus) the phone is usually answered by a person, not a robot.

Lacava Website

Overall we score the Lacava website an A for presentation and navigation and a B- for providing most, but not quite all of the information necessary to make an informed buying decision.

The website is well-designed. Navigation is intuitive and the site is responsive to any size viewing device from a smartphone to a desktop screen.

The site search function is not always accurate. It does well on single word searches like "titanium", displaying all of the fittings, including faucets, that are available in a Titanium finish. Adding "faucets", however, confuses the algorithm. "Titanium faucets" displays two pages of bathtubs and a couple of drain fittings – but not a single fau­cet.

Filters do a better job of drilling down to a specific faucet. First, click on "Collections" and select "faucets + showers." Then select any combination of function, installation type, finish, and price range. Selecting "deck mount" and "titanium" displayed all deck-mounted faucets in that finish.

Once you select a faucet, however, the information about the faucet is somewhat lacking. What we look for are the specifications that tell a potential buyer all that is needed to make an informed buying decision.

Each faucet listing displays an image of the faucet, most allow the user to display more images by clicking on a ">" symbol to scroll to the next image and "<" to display the prior image. It indicates the codes and standards to which the faucet complies, and whether it is ADA-compliant and/or WaterSense® listed.

Clicking the "Specs" icon downloads and displays a .pdf specifications sheet showing dimensioned drawing, fau­cet material (usually brass), flow rate[s], available finishes, and mounting hole size. Basic replacement parts are identified, usually just the cartridge and aerator.

A second icon displays the "Manual." The manual is a combination of an installation instructions, exploded parts diagram, and care and cleaning instructions. It also contains the offline version of the Lacava warranty.

Where to Buy

Lacava faucets are sold primarily through the company website, by bath design showrooms, and select contractors.

No matter where you buy, do not expect substantial discounts. La­ca­va enforces a Mini­mum Ad­vert­ised Price policy that prevents any authorized brick-and-mortar showroom from advertising a price that is more than 10% lower than the company's list price for sales to consumers and not more than 25% lower for sales to the trades.

For internet resellers, Lacava's pricing policy is more restrictive:

"All internet and catalog must sell Lacava products at the full manufacturer's suggested retail price, and may not offer any additional discounts or incentives which reduce the sale price below list price. All such resellers must charge their clients shipping & handling on sales for Lacava's products, and they may not offer free shipping on Lacava orders."

Additionally,

"Internet and catalog resellers may not use the name Lacava, any Lacava logo, photographs, or any other intellectual property belonging to Lacava in advertisements and/or promotions online. Specifically, they may not use the word "Lacava" as a keyword in any search-based advertisements."

Wow!

Testing & Certification

Lacava indicates on its website that it will not support online retailers that are not licensed to sell Lacava products. Many of what appear to be Lacava products on e-Bay and similar venues are actually the European or Chinese versions of Lacava faucets that have not been certified to U.S. plumbing standards, and will not be given warranty or parts support by Lacava, so buyer beware for that reason and because you cannot know if an uncertified faucet is safe or reliable or has been modified to fit North American plumbing fittings.

Comparable Faucets

Fully certified European-made faucets comparable to Lacava include:

Fully certified Asian-made faucets comparable to Lacava include:

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