Earlier on this year, I spoke about the importance of warranties on my blog, and I was again reminded on this topic recently while I was down visiting my sister in North Carolina! As I toured my sister’s beautiful kitchen, designed by yours truly, (you can catch the video tour here in my Facebook group) she reminded me of how she was grateful for my recommendation since the faucet had recently had a problem with it, and Brizo had sent her the necessary parts with no hassles. My “client” was very satisfied even years later!!
This is a huge part of the reason why I recommend investing in quality K&B fixtures.
You’re recommending MORE than just the product – you’re recommending the whole company, including the values of the company, and their vision for how they want their product to be perceived. When your client spends a bit more money they will get a great warranty and better service. It’s important to give your clients the proper products for their budget and know the pros & cons.
I have DECADES of experience dealing with different vendors, and have learned over the years who’s the best and truly in it for the long game. I’ve SEEN first-hand whose products have endured the test of time and who’ve broken down and given my clients problems within just a few years.
But I know not everyone is aware of these incredibly important differences between brands, so I wanted to create a post so you can be aware the next time you’re specifying K&B fixtures. Keep in mind: this is just a small snapshot of my full list!
Brizo is the luxury brand under the company, Delta Faucet. Delta has been around for decades and they’re a strong reputable company.
The key difference between the Delta brand and the Brizo brand is the quality of the valves. The cartridge valve in the Brizo faucet is much higher quality. For the most part, the Delta cartridge valves are made of plastic, whereas the Brizo valves are made of ceramic. (The cartridge is the part that goes into the faucet that controls the on and off control). When you get a leaky, drippy faucet, that is usually due to a problem with the cartridge.
Ceramic cartridges are going to wear less than plastic ones. The plastic Delta faucet will probably drip at least three times before your ceramic Brizo one does and the Delta faucet isn’t covered under warranty the same way the Brizo one is. When my Brizo cartridge breaks, all I have to do is call them and they’ll send a new one free of charge, no questions asked (along with a copy of my receipt). With the Delta one, you have to replace parts AND pay for labor, say at least 3-5 times.
At $20/piece per cartridge and needing to be replaced five times, we’re up to $100. So why not just recommend the more expensive faucet to your client to save all that headaches down the road?
Phylrich is a higher-end company and they offer a variety of different finishes in their metals.
Their faucets are one of my favorite brands because not only are they very luxury, high-quality, are quality craftsmanship and have some more ornate selections. With contemporary and farmhouse styles dominating the K&B landscape these days, it can be difficult to find more traditional pieces, and Phylrich definitely delivers.
For sinks, I happen to like Franke. They’ve been around for decades – I’ve had my Franke kitchen sink for 20 years. And on top of that, I have the original bottom strainer grid, which is the metal grid that goes on the bottom of the sink to keep the dishes from scratching the bottom of the sink. I got my grid from Franke at the same time as I got my sink – so they’re both 20 years old, and they’re both still in pretty good condition. If I were to really polish it up it would come out pretty darn good.
I hope that by sharing my favorite recommendations for vendors I’ve taught you something new! For more advanced designers, you may already be familiar with these vendors, while others may not. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Keep an eye out for my upcoming guide, Alison’s Go-To Vendors for kitchen & bathroom products, to get my full recommendations to you! Remember Knowledge is Power and I want you to be a Powerful Designer!!
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Also,if you have questions I am always here for you should you need some help with an ongoing or upcoming project. Just get on my calendar and schedule your 1:1 Mentoring session.