Designer Brand Faucets/Fixtures - Your *in the field* experience

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by chefwong, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Just curious how reliable or not so reliable are those designer line brand faucets/fixtures.
    Went shopping for bathroom stuff and came across alot of ~off brands~ I was not used to seeing.

    Not sure how fashion vs function plays out in these .

    Brands life Rohl, Fima, KWC, etc.

    Call me old school but when I shop for faucets, I look at Moen, Kohler, Chicago to see if any of the designs fit the bill 1st.

    Dornbracht, which I know is quite popular in the architectural world.

    Are there designer brands to avoid and are these some ~deeesigner~ brands that are okay to consider that would be okay from either a reliability standpoint if not from a post service/repair standpoint.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    These days it is hard to make a quality recommendation. The one thing about the designer brands is that you will have trouble finding parts support down the line.
  3. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Thanks Jim. What spurred this post was this post as well..
    Just replace a valve stem in my Kohler shower/tub diverter. Redesign replacement part looked like a slightly bigger O ring.

    With this post...I've yet to put much thought, but does a hodge-podge brass couple/converter, series of fitting exist that could in theory make it so it uses standard water supply hoses.
    If not, this propietary thing is just nuts. If a hose was to fail Friday afternoon, would that mean one would have till wait till business day Monday, order the part and then either pay a arms length fee for expedited shipping for such a non standard part

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...-faucet-convert-from-braided-hose-to-3-8-tube
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Designer stuff is almost always a PITA when it comes to parts...
    The worst situation for you may be being the proud owner of an $800 kitchen sink faucet that the maker goes out of business andhave no replacement parts available.

    Designer stuff is almost always a limited production so don't expect to find after market parts available...
  5. asktom

    asktom Member

    Messages:
    575
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Designer faucets are throwaway faucets for people with lots of money.
  6. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    So what brands would one focus on...

    I'm also looking at Grohe as we've had good luck with them in the kitchen.
    The hardware store I went has sooooo many off brands that looked *pretty* but I'm not sure about the guts of these beast

    Models aside, for all ya'll Drain Surgeons out there, what brands should I be looking at.....
    I sat down and jotte their shower lines while I was ther

    Altmans
    Andre
    Aquabrass
    Bluewater
    Brass Tech
    Cifial
    Dornbracht
    Fersa
    Gessi
    Gingers
    Grohe
    Hansgrohe
    Herbeau Creations
    Horus
    Jaclo
    Jado
    Justyna
    Mico
    Newport Brass
    Paul Decorative
    Perrin & Rowe
    Phylrich
    Rohl
    Rubinet
    Samuel Heath
    Santec
    Sigma
    St. Thomas
    THG
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Delta/Price Pfister/Moen

    For quality: Chicago
    T&S Brass
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Thanks for the nightmares... If your hellbent on Foo Foo designer crap Grohe is the least of all evils...
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Are you saying that a "hardware store" had ALL those brands? It must have been some store, because many of those brands are usually only sold by "specialty suppliers", and no one store has ALL of them. In many cases your "designer" faucet may be a Central, Kohler, Price Pfister, etc., faucet which the company adds their own "trim" to it, and then, to use your term, charges an "arm's length fee" for it. Companies are in business to make money, NOT to make it easier for you to get repair parts from some other source, which is why parts are proprietary.
  10. chefwong

    chefwong New Member

    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    it was not a ~hardware store~ per se but my wording as such. When I redid my other bathroom, I thought the general consensus was PF was pretty but junk.
    Thus I am revisitng the question now, to see if anything has changed and what to avoid ....
    Never knew SO MUCH designer brands existed out there, until I visited this store.

    While they did carry the Toto toiler, the Robern mirror, etc I like - I did not see nary a nil of any the latter brands like Moen, etc.

    Kinda threw me for a curveball on whether or not any of these brands stood their test of time.
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I always use PricePfister in my own houses, and recommend it to my customers, for everything other than the tub/shower valve.
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