Kohler acrylic bathtubs- are they the same from HD vs. plumbing store?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by JulieAP, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. JulieAP

    JulieAP New Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    I see I can get the same Kohler bathtub at home depot for about $75 cheaper than the plumbing store that is an official Kohler distributor. The more expensive plumbing store told me that they have different grades of acrylic and the same tub from HD will not be the same quality.

    I though HD was just cheaper because they buy in bulk?

    We are trying to buy the Kohler Bancroft acrylic tub in white... just the tub and no air or whirlpool.

    is it the exact same tub.... or is the HD one lesser quality?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Kohler ( or any other manufacturer ) would tell you they are the same thing. Anecdotal testimony seems to belie that. For 75 bucks, you get a distributor who will stand behind you, and help intervene with the manufacturer should that be necessary. You decide
  3. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Seattle. WA
    I know of several "plumbing stores" with a fair fraction of their stock coming straight from
    the well-known big box home improvement stores.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    We installed a big box Kohler faucet that had been supplied by the customer.
    When the new valve leaked, I took it apart and found that the cartridge and been replaced with a very old one.

    New valves have a date stamped on the brass body and come with a matching date on the cartridge.
    Someone had "exchanged" their old cartridge and then returned it.

    I don't know if Kohler cheapens their product for big box, but I know that Moen does.
    I won't buy lumber there.
    And I've heard that the grade of wood flooring is different.
    Personally, I won't buy lav or toilet supplies there. I don't know what mystery material they make them from, but it doesn't feel as heavy as the stuff my supplier brings in for me.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is probably the same "material" as the supply house one, but the difference, in my experience, is that it has a higher probability of having defects. My experience has been that HD, and similar, products are not subjected to the same degree of inspection, so more defective items are shipped and sold by the "big box" stores.
  6. Mad

    Mad New Member

    charlottesville virginia
    I bought a fawcet from Lowes for what I thought was a good price. When I went to install it I found the trap was plastic. The store display had a metal trap. I called Kohler and they told me the metal trap was supplied only with fawcets from plumbing distributors, I talked them into sending me a metal trap,told them it was bait and switch etc. I have bought lots of fixtures from Lowes and I have been told that they get 2nds, they are not marked but who would you sell a number 1 grade to?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    The plumbers need to charge for their time. We don't get seconds.
    We just don't have the time for them.

    You will notice that some manufacturer web sites list two part numbers for the same faucet.
    The one sold at the home center will even weigh less in the box. We've know this for years.

    The advantage of purchasing at a plumbing supply is that they don't allow people to swap and steal parts out of them and then return them for store credit.
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