Just like any other product on the market, not all faucets are made the same. Some faucets boast high price points and fancy finishes while other brands offer low pricing and smart package design. How do you know if you are getting a quality product? Good question. Over the years we have heard many questions concerning the faucet quality and its price point.
When you think of quality faucets, what's the first image that comes to mind? Many of us tend to think of the big brand names we see and hear across digital media channels, Moen, Delta, Kohler...etc. If you were to walk into a showroom or home improvement store today, you will find these familiar brands while also discovering some brand names you haven't heard of before. We would say to not be wary of a brand you haven't heard of before.
So the main question remains - should you be wary of a less expensive faucet? Not necessarily, just be sure to do your homework on the brand and how the faucet was made.
These 3 checkpoints are a great place to start.
Material (how it's made)
Weight (is it lightweight?)
Cartridge (look for a ceramic disc cartridge)
One of the main responses we hear in the industry is people feel "you aren't getting the quality" for a faucet that is priced less than others. Understanding where and how the faucet is made is the best way to determine if this seemingly low price point is to be of concern for the overall quality and lifetime use of the faucet.
Let's dive into the first checkpoint, the faucet material.
1st Checkpoint = Material
There are many quality manufacturers around the globe. Some specialize in finishes, others produce quality solid brass craftsmanship and some make lightweight zinc material faucets.
- How the faucet is made is probably the most important point when it comes to the overall quality of the faucet. Cheaper faucets will use different metals in production, usually zinc. These faucets may warp, break or even snap over time. There's a reason brands use brass or stainless. Solid brass fixtures tend to be heavier and cost a bit more. Lighter-weight faucets tend to be less expensive. Stay away from zinc or plastic materials, these faucets will not stand up over time.
- Be on the lookout for "polished finish" wording used. You want the material to be solid brass and then a plated finish to get a true chrome, brushed nickel, or other finish. A polished steel finish will be yellower than an actual chrome finish.
- Try to find out the manufactures of the faucet. Make sure that it passes industry standards.
2nd Checkpoint = Weight
To pair along with what we just discussed about the material, a quality faucet will most likely be significantly heavier when held in your hand. This is due to solid brass or stainless steel manufacturing. Now it's not "weight for the sake of weight." Zinc or plastic faucets are lightweight in comparision.
3rd Checkpoint = Cartridge
Ok, so what is a cartridge? A cartridge is the working part of a faucet, controlling the quantity of water flowing through the faucet, adjusts the temperature, and turns the water on and off. Having a quality, reliable cartridge is key to extending the life of the faucet and ensuring its reliable use over many many years.
Okay, so what should I look for with a faucet's cartridge? For starters, check to see it's a ceramic disc cartridge, this can usually be found on the faucet's spec page or manufacturer's website. Some of the brand names to look for are:
- Kerox (made in Hungary)
- Fluhs (made in Germany)
- Sedal (made in Spain)
- Geann (made in Taiwan)
So should you be wary of a less expesive faucet? Not necessarily, just be sure to do your homework. Be sure to remember the three checkpoints:
As promised, here's your free download.