High End kitchen faucets are all the rage these days. After all, the kitchen faucet is the most used appliance in the home, and with all the renovations happening in recent years, homeowners want to make sure they make a sound investment that will last.
But before you go splurge on your next kitchen faucet, it’s important to understand what a luxury kitchen is and its important characteristics. Some of these features are pure vanity, while others ensure that you have something that will last and cause you a lot less headaches than the alternatives.
Below is a list of 7 characteristics that Luxury Kitchen Faucet brands have. The best brands will check the majority of the boxes, but definitely not all.
Kitchen faucets can be made of a from a variety of metals, but the most luxurious brands tend to go with the highest quality materials, namely Stainless Steel & Solid Brass construction.
This is not to say that all top tier brands follow this format. Some brands have decided not to disclose the materials used to make the faucet bodies. We can only assume that these specific brands do not adhere to the highest quality standards.
Solid brass construction used to be the norm among mid tier brands before tighter regulations on lead content. Since brass contain a higher amount of lead than recommended for “lead free” certification, many companies used this as an opportunity to used cheaper and lighter materials in their faucets. Zinc for example is much more affordable and has a miniscule amount of lead. It is widely used for kitchen faucets of all price points. Some manufacturers used the term “Brass construction” to denote that their faucet is brass plated zinc or steel. This is different than “Solid Brass” which is supposed to be brass throughout the body of the faucet.
It’s important to note that even some high end faucets that are technically not “solid brass construction” can still feel much more hefty than their mid tier counterparts. Checking the “solid brass” box is not the end all to premium construction but it’s a step in the right direction. With that being said, we’ve researched data from countless Luxury brands and the following brands meet these standards for virtually of their faucets
- Waterstone : Either Solid Brass or Stainless Steel Construction
- Kallista : Solid Brass Construction for everything except their Semi-Pro Faucet
- Newport Brass: Solid Brass Construction throughout their line.
Attention to detail
Another characteristic that sets high end kitchen faucets apart is the attention to detail. Some of these differences are obvious, while others are subtle.
Some examples are the very intricate details of ornate pieces, especially in tight spaces, seamless one piece design as a opposed to multiple piece being joined together.
The quality control is something the average consumer doesn’t notice but that is more common with high end brands. Newport Brass for example vigorously tests their kitchen faucets before they ship them out. This added layer of testing reduces the potential for a high end consumer to be dissapointed. After all, luxury brands of any kid always focus on a seamless experience.
Another example of top tier craftmanship is in the finishing process. It’s not easy to be reflected in pictures but a high end finish pops when you hold it in your hand. Top tier brands tend to place more emphasis on the finishing process, this is the step that happens before the application of the surface finish.
Strong Warranty Program
Thanks to companies like Grohe & Moen in the later 90’s and early 2000’s, most contractor grade kitchen faucet come with a lifetime warranty. This lifetime warranty is typically a no hassle, no questions asked backing of the quality of their products, you simply explain the issues you have with your faucet, and you get a replacement part free of charge sent to your home. However, not all warranty are created the same and even if they are, warranties are handled differently from one company to the next.
One of the recent crackdowns amongst a lot of the second tier brands is the insistence on providing an original receipt of the original purchase in order to get a free replacement part. Others have not been so strict for replacing parts, but have definitely upped their standards if the defect requires a full replacement of the faucet.
Luxury brands, for the most part have been better at backing their products. Many of these brands have a strong relationship with their wholesale partners and have encouraged these partners to take care of the problem quickly swiftly for a smooth customer service experience. These wholesalers, have an allowance specifically for defective products and have no incentive to make the customer go through hoops for a warranty claim.
An important aspect of luxury products, is the insistence that a consumer should have a first rate experience whenever they come in contact with said product or service. For a Kitchen faucet, this starts from the buying experience, to the user experience and everything in between.
One key way that these top brands set themselves apart is by delivering a premium “unboxing” experience. The upscale consumer wants to feel that the company paid attention to every detail including the packaging.
High end kitchen faucets are typically delivered in a sturdier box than normal, with extra foam protection and some premium cloth coverings for the faucets and its smaller components.
There is also a practical reason for this, as this superior packaging greatly reduces the potential for scratches and defects in the shipping stages. After all, high end products tend to have longer lead times, and a defect to the kitchen faucet, might cause delays on the job which could cost thousands in losses.
When shopping for a new kitchen faucet, you may find many products that fit your style but are not available in the specific finish you’re looking for. Most kitchen faucet lines have a limited amount of finishes available.
However, some high end brands focus specifically on offering a variety of finishes throughout the entirety of their collections. These brands also have the ability to offer natural finishes that require more maintenance but offer the high end consumer a unique finish that can age a variety of ways depending on its environment. There are three well known brands who fall in this category
Newport Brass offer a total of 25 finishes available in all of the kitchen faucet lines. Three of their custom finishes are living finishes and carry no warranty.
California Faucet carries a total of 28 finishes available in all of their kitchen faucet collections. Five of which are living finishes and carry no warranty.
Waterstone Faucets also carries a total of 28 finishes, 7 of which are living finishes and carry no warranty. Waterstone also offers two tone finishes which combines two of their custom or standard finishes.
Let’s face it, a luxury product that can be purchased by anyone can lose its luster over time and faucet manufacturers are well aware of that fact. This is why most high end faucets are not readily available at your local home improvement store.
In fact, most of them are only available at select showrooms, which meet specific requirements laid out by the faucet company itself. All of the following are potential requirements that must be met in order to carry a specific brand.
- A certain amount of showroom space dedicated exclusively to the brand
- Amount of stock that should be carried by the wholesaler
- Having specific products in the showroom for display
- Not selling a specific competitor’s products
All these requirements decrease the amount of stores that are able to carry these brands which only add to its aura of exclusivity. An obvious example of this is Kallista which is an exclusive faucet brand owned by Kohler. Although, many showrooms across the country carry Kohler, not all are allowed to sell Kallista. Kallista must be purchased in a showroom that has their products on display. Unfortunately, not all Plumbing showrooms have space available to meet Kallista’s requirements.
Let’s face it, if a company hopes to succeed in a specific market, it needs to garner the respect of the its users, installers and retailers. The building & remodeling industry is very much a “word of mouth” business and high end manufacturers have made it so that their products garner respect from people involved with every facets of the industry.
They heavily market at trade shows, where professionals from different sectors of business gather in one place. Instead of focusing on the general public, with expensive commercials, they have a team of representative who offer one on one service to architects, designers, & wholesalers. After all, the customer service of high end manufacturers is probably what sets them apart. By being proactive, they get ahead of a problem and prevent the bad news to spread, keeping their reputations intact.
Before purchasing high end products for your home, be sure to talk to buidlers, plumbers & designers to have them explain their experience with the brands you’re interested in.
Best High End Kitchen Faucet Manufacturers.
Now that we’ve laid the ground work for what you should expect from the top brands in the industry, it’s time to lay out a list of these companies. This is a list of recognizable brands that are well respected throughout the industry, from all sides.
The term high end can mean different things to different people but our list is reserved for the very top end. There are many “premium” faucet brands out there that we have omitted because they don’t quite make it in the top tier: think Brizo, DXV, Kohler, Grohe & Hansgrohe. While these brands have some high end products, the majority of their items would fall in the upper mid tier category.
We have also elected to exclude boutique brands. While these brands would definitely check off the “Exclusivity” criteria of our 7 factors, they are niche brands that serve specific regions or smaller market segments.
Here is our list of top high end ktichen faucet brands in no particular order.
Axor is the high end arm of Hansgrohe. It sets itself apart by bringing world renowned designers to collaborate with on both bathroom and Kitchen products. While both Hansgrohe & Axor are mostly known for their bathroom products, their kitchen products offer unique design focused on minimalism & forward thinking styles and configurations.
As it names suggest, the California Faucet brands hails from the Golden state. Its mission is to offer high quality products that can be custom finished in their factory in Huntington, CA. They offer a variety of finishes, 28 in total, that can be applied to each and every one of the kitchen products they offer.
Dornbracht is a german company focused on the high end contemporary market. Their kitchen faucets are for the most part sleek looking and mostly available in Chrome & Platinum Matte, which is their version of stainless steel.
Like most manufacturers, Dornbracht has decided to expand their stock finishes to include Brushed Brass, & Matte Black. However, it’s important to note that they have always had unique finishes available as a “made to order” option.
Kallista is a luxury faucet brand acquired by Kohler company in the late 1980’s when Kohler wanted to expand into the high end furniture market. The brand sets itself apart by offering higher quality faucets with superior crafstmanship. The finishes offered are limited to 8 for their kitchen products.
Other than their limited finish options, Kallista checks all the boxes to qualify as a high end luxury kitchen faucet brand.
Newport Brass is a faucet manufacturer out of California focused on offering custom finishes in a variety of styles. They offer kitchen faucets with solid brass construction throughout their line. The starting list price for their kitchen faucets is in the $800 range which is on the low end of the manufacturers on our list.
One downside with this company is that their design can feel a little recycled. The same parts are used in a variety of collections which takes away from the uniqueness of each style.
Rohl is a brand focusing on bringing the best plumbing fixtures from around the world to the US market. They partner with smaller artisans throughout countries like Italy, New Zealand & the UK. All their faucets are sold under the Rohl brand but each boutique shop is highlighted on their packaging.
Rohl checks the boxes for all the characteristics on the list except for custom finishes and exclusivity. While they can’t be found in your big box retail store, you should be able to find them in most plumbing showrooms.
Waterstone is a faucet company out of California offering kitchen products proudly “Made in the USA”. Their kitchen faucets are either made of Stainless Steel or Solid Brass construction. More important, their products feel much heftier than any other kitchen faucets out in the market.
Waterstone offers over 20+ finishes available for every single collection in their line. Their styles tend to lean traditional but like most manufacturers they have one or two collections that will work in a contemporary setting: The PLP & the Parch collections.