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Aquabrass International Corporation
2255 W. Desert Cove Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85029
9805 Clark Street
Montreal, QC H3L 2R5
Warranty Score: *****
Organized in 1986, Aguabrass, Inc. is a family-owned Canadian importer of faucets and kitchen and bath accessories for sale through authorized dealers in Canada and the U.S. Its U.S. distribution is managed by Aquabrass International Corporation located in Arizona.
The company imports good to very good faucets from well-established Italian and Taiwanese faucet manufacturers. The faucets are organized in two collections: Modern and Classic.
The Modern collection is very contemporary, showing faucets that are minimalist, stark and angular. Its Classic collection is more relaxed and traditional. The faucets are usually part of a broader body of faucets, showers, tub fillers, and accessories. In some cases coordinating architectural and cabinet hardware is available to finish off the look. Most of the faucets are stunning, none are blah.
Its chief Italian faucet suppliers are IB Rubineterie S.p.A. and Rubineterie 3M S.r.l. generally known as Treemme, and its Taiwanese suppliers include NCIP Inc. (Tapas, Pulmi, Circo, Riga, Misto, Primo Antipasto, Cantine, and Trattoria faucets) and Horng Lai Industrial Co., Ltd. (Geo, Teo and Zara faucets). These companies are well-regarded manufacturers of good quality faucets and bathwares. NCIP, for example, also manufacturers faucets for
According to company spokesman Rick Wickham, an increasing number of Aquabrass faucets are being designed in house by a staff of engineers and designers. In some cases this is little more than adding a new spout, handle design or trim to an existing faucet body, but some Aquabrass faucets are designed entirely in-house and are unique to Aquabrass. Aquabrass has also, according to Mr. Wickham, begun assembling some of its faucets in Canada.
However, its primary business model is still that of A Marketeer is a company that imports and sells faucets designed and manufactured by other companies under its own brand name.
Its business model is one used very successfully by other upscale Marketeer companies such as It enters into agreements with Italian faucet manufacturers to become the exclusive North American distributor of the manufacturer's faucets. There are hundreds of excellent boutique faucet manufacturers in Europe, and most of them are looking for a low-cost entry into the giant North American market. Aquabrass provides that entry with a minimal investment by the manufacturer. In return, Aquabrass gets the exclusive right to sell some very stylish, high-quality European faucets in the U.S. and Canada.
The company sill relies on the award-winning product designers and architects that work for its Italian manufacturers for most of its designer faucets. These include Maurizio Duranti, Giulio Iacchetti, and Andrea Galmarini for IB Rubineterie and Danilo Fedeli, Giancarlo Vegni, Gianluca Belli, Marco Pisati, Rémi Théberge and Oco Studio for Treemme.
Many of the Italian faucets sold by Aquabrass are also for sale outside of North America under other model names. For example, the distinctive Aquabrass Stilleto faucet (shown above), designed by Giancarlo Vegni for Treemme, sells in Europe as the Hedo faucet. The Bridge series of faucets, designed by Treemme designer Rémi Théberge, is sold to the rest of the world as the Bridge Mono collection. But, before you get tempted to price compare at Amazon Italy, keep in mind that these European faucets do not meet American standards and will not work with North American fittings without adaptation; and they are not certified and, therefore, may not be lawfully installed in North America in any locality governed by a plumbing code.
Aquabrass supplies many of the faucets offered by Canadian sink manufacturer which then sells the faucets under its own, completely different, model names.
In the past few years, according to company spokesman Rick Wickham, Aquabrass has re-engineered all of its faucets use cartridges manufactured by Flühs Drehtechnik. Flühs cartridges are widely recognized as one of the best make. So whether the faucet is made in Italy or Taiwan, it includes an excellent German cartridge.
Aquabrass offers all of its faucets in what it calls standard finishes which always includes polished chrome, and usually brushed nickel. The web site sometimes incorrectly identifies the standard finishes available for a faucet, so you will need to download and display the .pdf format "specs" page for each faucet to see the actual standard finishes — a somewhat cumbersome process. The available standard finish depends on which manufacturer makes the faucet. Some faucets offer black or white powder coating as a standard finish, most do not.
The company also offers nineteen custom finishes. There is, of course, not only an additional charge for custom finishes, but a longer lead time while the faucet is custom manufactured.
The Aquabrass warranty is slightly below standard for North America. The faucets, including cartridges, are warranted for the lifetime of the original owner, as are the the company's standard chrome and nickel finishes. But, custom finishes are warranted for just five years. We don't know what the problem is with custom finishes that makes Aquabrass uncomfortable enough that it felt it could offer only a five-year warranty, but, obviously, something.
The warranty is also poorly drafted. The way it is written, the warranty is in force so long as the original buyer lives no matter who owns the faucet at the time a warranty claim is made — probably not what the company intends. Also, it does not comply with some of the basic requirements for written warranties enforced in the United States, and many of its restrictive provisions and disclaimers would probably be found to be invalid by a U.S. court.
But, despite a warranty that appears to make warranty replacements and repairs inconvenient and cumbersome, the actual customer experience with Aquabrass appears to be very good. Most of the time the customer service agent just wants to know what model faucet you have so the correct parts can be sent. Although the warranty requires a defective faucet has to be boxed up and returned to Aquabrass "for inspection" at your expense, this never happens so far as we can tell. And, the original receipt, which the warranty requires "be made available" is actually almost never asked for. What Aquabrass needs to do now is rewrite its U.S. warranty to reflect its actual practice, and to conform to U.S. warranty law.
The Better Business Bureau has no file on Aquabrass, which typically means that it has received no adverse reports about the company, a very good thing. But, it also means that the company is not a business that has been accredited by the BBB, which is not so good. The company certainly qualifies for and should apply for accreditation.
We have upgraded our rating of Aquabrass faucets from 5-8 to 6-8, for a number of reasons, including:
Imported faucets comparable to Aquabrass include However, in most instances, these importers offer something less than a lifetime faucet warranty on the mechanics of their faucets.
Comparable North American-made faucets include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Aquabrass faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.