faucet/sink quality

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I am preparing to renovate my kitchen and will be purchasing a new stainless sink and faucet. I was told by the salesperson in a local plumbing supply company that there are differences in the quality of faucets sold in plumbing stores vs. large chain stores (like Home Depot) and internet retailers. She noted that they look the same, but have different internal parts and there may also be warranty issues with the manufacturer with online purchases. There seems to be a large price difference as well. Does anyone know more about this issue? And, why, isn't this issue publicized more? For example, checked out the Consumer Reports (C.R.) website and they make no mention of this on their faucet ratings.
Also, C.R. does a feature on sinks and basically says that there is little difference among brands within each type of sink (stainless vs enamel, etc.). Does anyone have suggestions on a quality manufacturer for a stainless steel 1 1/2 bowl sink for 33 in sink base. Was looking at Blanco, Elkay, and Am Standard.
Thanks.
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I am preparing to renovate my kitchen and will be purchasing a new stainless sink and faucet. I was told by the salesperson in a local plumbing supply company that there are differences in the quality of faucets sold in plumbing stores vs. large chain stores (like Home Depot) and internet retailers. She noted that they look the same, but have different internal parts and there may also be warranty issues with the manufacturer with online purchases. There seems to be a large price difference as well. Does anyone know more about this issue? And, why, isn't this issue publicized more? For example, checked out the Consumer Reports (C.R.) website and they make no mention of this on their faucet ratings.
Also, C.R. does a feature on sinks and basically says that there is little difference among brands within each type of sink (stainless vs enamel, etc.). Does anyone have suggestions on a quality manufacturer for a stainless steel 1 1/2 bowl sink for 33 in sink base. Was looking at Blanco, Elkay, and Am Standard.
Thanks.
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I believe stainless sinks have various levels of thickness and/or quality.
I had a stainless sink once and paid the lowest price I could find. It was a low grade stainless and when I used the disposer it made a lot of noise.
I am preparing to renovate my kitchen and will be purchasing a new stainless sink and faucet. I was told by the salesperson in a local plumbing supply company that there are differences in the quality of faucets sold in plumbing stores vs. large chain stores (like Home Depot) and internet retailers. She noted that they look the same, but have different internal parts and there may also be warranty issues with the manufacturer with online purchases. There seems to be a large price difference as well. Does anyone know more about this issue? And, why, isn't this issue publicized more? For example, checked out the Consumer Reports (C.R.) website and they make no mention of this on their faucet ratings.
Also, C.R. does a feature on sinks and basically says that there is little difference among brands within each type of sink (stainless vs enamel, etc.). Does anyone have suggestions on a quality manufacturer for a stainless steel 1 1/2 bowl sink for 33 in sink base. Was looking at Blanco, Elkay, and Am Standard.
Thanks.
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I have heard this also but think it is urban legend. I have yet to see a concrete example of this practice.
Probably started by the the salesman, supply houses, and plumbers that all get a little $ off of the Delta you buy from them.
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wrote:

For whatever it's worth, the supply house where I got my last Moen faucet had a significantly lower price than Home Depot. I think HD has a price matching policy, but so what? Drive across town to get the same price as the place you just left? Duh.
It's always worth checking the specialty dealers. There's no logical reason for them to ALWAYS be more expensive.
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Warranty issues: You should address this question to the manufacturers, using a telephone, and ONLY a telephone. They will tell you whether the warranty is affected by where you purchase their products. What they CANNOT tell you is HOW each type of dealer will be able to help you if you need a product replaced. However, it should be obvious that an internet retailer is not going to make you happy when your faucet has problems on Friday night, you have to shut off the water to the kitchen, and you have guests coming for dinner on Saturday. At least in my house, there are certain products which cannot be out of commission for however many days it takes for someone to ship me a new one. The kitchen faucet is one of those things. I think you'd be crazy to NOT buy a thing like that from a local vendor, and preferably a plumbing supply house. If they have several in stock most of the time, I'd be surprised if they wouldn't swap a defect for a new one when you walked in the door.
As far as manufacturers making different products for different retailers, yes, it does happen. This is another issue you'll discuss on the phone with the manufacturers. But, what you're MORE likely to discover is that certain models aren't regularly stocked at Home Depot because maybe they don't think their "typical customer" is going to spend $350 for a fancy faucet. So, it'll be a special order item.
Sinks: Some are made of thicker metal than others. This matters because if the deck (where the faucet's mounted) flexes too much, the gasket can begin to leak and then you have a mess under your sink. This happened to me in an apartment. They finally saw the light and replaced the sinks. Thicker metal also makes for a quieter sink.
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Thanks for the imput everyone. I think I will stick with my local plumbing supplier on the faucet for the reasons mentioned. I was planning to go with one of the Grohe stainless models and the price difference between local supplier and internet is rather large: $100-200. It is tempting. Does anyone have thoughts about the Grohe faucets, good or bad?
For the sink, I am doing the 1 1/2 bowl, undermount sink, so no deck issue, and assume that I would be using one of the thicker gauges, I guess it is 18. Given that, any suggestions on manufacturer?
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You might try a test run for service. Cook up some sort of pre-installation question and call the company. If they sound like idiots now, they'll still sound like idiots when you really have a problem.
I can vouch for Moen's service being excellent. I called them once to find out the correct model number for the replacement cartridge in my shower faucet, which was ruined by debris in the water supply. It had nothing to do with the quality of their product, and I explained that, but they insisted on sending me the cartridge for free.
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I put the Moen fixtures (bought from the same plumbing supplier) in my recently redone bathrooms and like them very much. Haven't had a repair issue yet (knock wood), but glad to hear that the service is good. Good idea on the test run.
Perhaps I will check out Moen's kitchen faucets as well.
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The pullout hose on my Kohler kitchen faucet recently stated leaking.
Kohler just sent me another hose; said these faucets have lifetime warranty. Purchased from HD.

I put the Moen fixtures (bought from the same plumbing supplier) in my recently redone bathrooms and like them very much. Haven't had a repair issue yet (knock wood), but glad to hear that the service is good. Good idea on the test run.
Perhaps I will check out Moen's kitchen faucets as well.
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It is the type where the thing pulls out from the faucet neck itself, or from the deck?
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the one I have pulled out from faucet neck. it is chrome plated.

It is the type where the thing pulls out from the faucet neck itself, or from the deck?
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If you look at the web site, don't puke when you see some of the prices. My local plumbing place didn't charge anywhere near list price. Maybe some fancy shmancy place in Beverly Hills gets list price.
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Good point. I think they would take about 20% off list at this place, but perhaps it makes sense to check with other local plumbing supply company's for price.
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Moen is good, and you might want to look at faucets with ceramic disk valves. I have used American Standard and they have been excellent. I like the ceramic disk because they work really smooth, and in my bathroom where I put the first one 7 years ago I have had zero drips.
I would avoid the cheaper lines like Delta, Price Phister etc.
12 years ago I replaced the shower valve with a Price Phister, and have had to rebuild it completely twice now including the handles stems and seats.
Another thing I would suggest when you are going to all the work, swap out the supply valves. I really like the new 1/4 turn ball valve style.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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Thanks for those suggestions. I did have the plumber change out the valves in the baths (both for the sinks and behind the new tub durarock), but will also be sure to do that in the kitchen. I know that the shower/tub valves were Moen, but not sure what the plumber put in for the sinks....
BTW: Roger, I have to say that I really like your signature line. Amusing!
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I had a Grohe faucet (about 7 years old) on my old sink. When I replaced the sink last year, I removed the faucet and cleaned it up. Grohe sent me a new mounting kit for free which means I was able to reinstall it with new gaskets/seals. It looks and works as new.

Quality features to check for:
* Grade of steel * Thickness of steel * Sound deadening qualities
You probably can't go wrong with Kohler. That's what I have and I'm very happy with it.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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On Mar 6, 10:44 am, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

Thanks for the info. I am impressed with your service experience with Grohe. Will look into the Kohler sinks and keep those specific features in mind.
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I recently had a plumber tell me the same thing. Although the faucets look the same, they are not built the same. It makes sense. There would be a lot of plumbing distributors upset if Home Depot sold the exact same items for less.
It is the same for laminate flooring. The lines sold at Home Depot and Lowes cannot be found at your local flooring store. Consequently you cannot compare apples to apples when shopping for a good price.
And, why, isn't this issue publicized more? For example,

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a bit off subject- an electrician once told me that circuit breakers from Lowes/Hd are lower quality than what he provides.
I noticed, while in the store once, that they do have different sets of breakers; one set is higher priced and I assume higher quality.

I recently had a plumber tell me the same thing. Although the faucets look the same, they are not built the same. It makes sense. There would be a lot of plumbing distributors upset if Home Depot sold the exact same items for less.
It is the same for laminate flooring. The lines sold at Home Depot and Lowes cannot be found at your local flooring store. Consequently you cannot compare apples to apples when shopping for a good price.
And, why, isn't this issue publicized more? For example,

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