Ultra Faucets Review & Rating Updated: 06/07/21

Summary
Imported
China Flag
China
Markimex, Inc.
2712 McGaw Ave.
Irvine, CA 92614
(888) 658-5872
Rating
Business Type
Product Range
Kitchen, Bath, Prep and Bar Faucets
Certifications
Brands
Ultra
Street Price
$15.00 - $250.00
Warranty Score
Cartridge
lifetime1
Finishes
Lifetime
Mechanical Parts
Lifetime
Proof of Purchase
Required2
Transferable
No
Meets U.S. Warranty
Law Requirements
No
Footnotes:
1. "Ultra Faucets warrants to the original purchaser that its products will be free from defects in workmanship and materials. All Ultra Faucets are provided with a life time limited warranty...." The term "lifetime" is not defined.

Download/Print the Ultra faucet warranty.


Learn more about faucet warranties.

This Company In Brief

Markimex, Inc., is a distributor of plumbing and heating products that sells its private brand Ultra faucets, primarily through its associated dealers. The faucets are made in China by several well-regarded factories. These are basic faucets of good quality with Chinese ceramic cartridges.

The styling is unremarkable. The designs are typical of Chinese-made faucets, available from dozens of other importers of Chinese faucets (see list below). For the price, however, Ultra faucets are a reasonable value.

Ultra is the brand name under which Markimex, Inc. sells faucets, vanities and decorative bathroom accessories. The company, founded in 1994 by Chin-Fan Tang, is a distributor of plumbing and heating products, operating out of 40,000 square foot warehouse/distribution center in Irvine, California

Markimex is a distributor and only a distributor. It has no interest in any form of retailing and does not in any manner cater to the retail customer or do-it-yourselfer. It does not even grant access to its company website to any but its wholesale customers with a password.

The Ultra faucet line is a little unusual in that it includes faucets for recreational vehicles and motorhomes. These are made for Markimex by Chi Liu Enterprises Co. of Chung Ko Village, Taiwan.

It also includes plastic faucets (always identified as "non-metallic" faucets). Plastic faucets have their place. They work anywhere a temporary faucet is needed, or where the presence of any metal in a faucet might cause a problem, as in a laboratory. But, as a general rule, plastic faucets are not permanent faucets and should be avoided for home use.

Neither plastic faucets nor faucets designed for motor homes or recreational vehicles are included in this review or our rating. The rating applies only to faucets made of metal and installed in houses that do not have wheels or move around.

Markimex's faucets are made in China. The faucets are faucets designed in the Chinese factories that make them. They are not exclusive to Markimex. Known manufacturers of Ultra faucets as over our look-back period of five years are

There may be others. Markimex changes suppliers from time to time, so by the time you read this, the list of suppliers may have changed.

All of these companies are well regarded suppliers of reasonable quality but inexpensive plumbing and sanitary products. Seagull's customers, for example, encompass almost the entire who's-who of faucet companies selling in the U.S. and Canada including

Markimex not only sells its Ultra faucets at retail sites across the internet. It also supplies faucets to other faucet companies that sell the faucets under their own brand names across the internet. The company keeps the identity of its wholesale customers a secret, but we know of three: Avant Styles, LLC which sells

Many of the faucets sold by these companies the very same faucets sold by Markimex as Ultra faucets.

These are basic Chinese faucets of average quality with Chinese ceramic cartridges. The styling is nothing to write home about. In fact, the "Classic" collection has styling that reminds us of Delta/Moen faucets of the 1960s and 70s — perfect if you are recreating a period kitchen or bath but otherwise not very interesting.

Chinese faucets rarely display design originality. 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.

Few design adventures take place in China. Designs are often adopted from Europe and North America. A design that sells well in these major markets will often 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.

A retail customer can buy an Ultra faucet only online from general merchandisers such as Amazon or Wayfair, from big lumber stores like Home Depot and from specialized plumbing stores like Build.com and Faucet.com. Ultra has its own website but it is for information only. Faucets are not sold through the site.

The Ultra faucet warranty is much better than we would expect for a discount faucet and meets the North American lifetime warranty standard pioneered by in the 1960s.

Our major objection in the past was the requirement that any defective part be returned to Markimex for inspection before it will be replaced under warranty. This provision no longer appears in the updated Ultra warranty — and to be fair, as far as we know, was never actually enforced by Markimex.

The warranty, however, does not meet the minimum content requirements of the federal Mag­nu­son-Moss War­ranty Act (15 U.S.C. §2301). In consequence, it is not a legal consumer product warranty and its restrictions and limitations on labor costs and other charges for removal, repair, and reinstallation of a defective faucet would not be enforceable in any court.

The company's website is well laid out and easy to use. There are no promotional graphics to slow things down and get in the way, and the logic of the site is simple to follow. Navigation is a breeze. The site easily among the cleanest, easiest-to-use faucet websites we have seen. If you get lost on the site, it means you must be trying to get lost.

The website provides reasonably adequate information about its faucets. Each faucet listing is linked to a .pdf page of specifications which lists the certifications that apply to the faucet and the finishes in which it is available. There is also a link to the installation instructions, also in the universal .pdf format, often in three languages (English, French, and Spanish). An exploded parts diagram and a dimensioned drawing of the faucet are usually contained in one or the other of the downloads. Where they appear and how much information they contain clearly depends on which manufacturer made the faucet and the graphics that the manufacturer provides.

We would like to see better imaging. Faucets are depicted in one 3/4 view — not adequate for fully visualizing the faucet. Several views, including images of an installed faucet, would be better. Even more useful would a 360° view the user can rotate such as is provided by faucets. There is no identification on either website of the identities of faucet cartridges. We would like to see the cartridge manufacturer identified.

The faucets are available in just a few basic finishes. All can be found in chrome, most in brushed nickel, and a few in oil-rubbed bronze or stainless steel. The finishes available depend to a great extent on which finishes the actual manufacturer of a faucet has to offer. All finishes carry a lifetime warranty.

Ultra faucets have lots of competition from other Chinese and Taiwanese faucets, most of which are supported by strong warranties. These faucets include:

For the price, the faucets are a reasonable value. We can see them installed in a little-used powder room or even a laundry but we would probably not consider one for a busy kitchen or family bathroom. Many of the designs are intended primarily for apartments and for purchase in gross lots by builders — discount pricing for full-pallet orders is available.

Stay away from the company's (or any company's) plastic faucets unless it is to be installed in an RV or an exceptionally corrosive environment such as a chemical laboratory. With the wide availability of inexpensive all-metal faucets, we see no need to ever consider a plastic faucet for residential use.

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