|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Aquabrass International Corporation
2255 W. Desert Cove Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85029
9805 Clark Street
Montreal, QC H3L 2R5
Alt Progetto Aqua
(Below North American Standard)
This Company In Brief
Aquabrass sells good to very good quality faucets made by reputable manufacturers and fully certified to North American reliability and lead-free standards. There are two tiers of faucets, the top tier made in Italy and a second tier made in Taiwan. The styling and price differences between the tiers are evident, but there is no obvious difference in quality. The faucets are well-supported with a lifetime warranty and capable customer service. The company has not, however, filed the certifications with the Department of Energy required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and are, therefore, not legal for sale in the U.S. Canadian sales are not affected. We judge Aquabrass Italian-made faucets to be a good to very good value with a good price-to-value relationship and well worth consideration by Canadian buyers looking for a Italian-inspired design that is reasonably priced with North American warranty and parts support.
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. It distributes two lines of faucets, Aquabrass, its primary brand, and Alt Progetto Aqua, a budget-priced project brand intended for builders, contractors and multi-unit applications including condominium, apartment and hospitality projects.
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, only a very few are blah.
Its chief Italian faucet suppliers are:
• IB Rubineterie S.p.A. an established Italian manufacturer that sells a broad collection of faucets, fittings and accessories throughout Europe and most of the rest of the world. It also manufactures faucets for
• Rubineterie 3M S.r.l. generally known as Treemme. It also manufactures faucets distributed byThe company's 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).Both companies are well-regarded manufacturers of good quality faucets and bath wares. NCIP, for example, also manufacturers faucets for
All Alt Progetto faucets are made in Taiwan by NCIP.
According to the company, an increasing number of Aquabrass faucets are being designed in house by a staff of engineers and designers. Aquabrass has also, according to company sources
It is more likely that the company relies on the award-winning product designers and architects that work for its Italian manufacturers for most, if not all, of its designer faucets. These include such notables as 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 compare prices at Amazon Italy, keep in mind that these European faucets do not meet North American standards and will not work with North American fittings; and they are not certified lead-free to the strict Canadian/U.S. standard and, therefore, may not be lawfully installed in North America in any locality governed by a plumbing code. (And, prices with shipping are generally higher to much higher in the Euro Zone.)
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 a company spokesman
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 below standard for North America. The faucets, including cartridges, are warranted for the lifetime of the original owner, as are 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 is alive, no matter who owns the faucet at the time a warranty claim is made — probably not what the company has in mind. 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 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 warranty to reflect its actual practice, and to conform to U.S. as well as Canadian 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 record to have. 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, since our last evaluation of the company for a number of reasons, including:
We judge Aquabrass Italian-made faucets to be a good to very good value with a good price-to-value relationship and well worth consideration by Canadian buyers looking for a Italian-inspired design that is reasonably priced with North American warranty and parts support. In fact, Aquabrass compares well to the two other well-known North American companies that import Italian faucets: All offer at least as good a value on a well-designed faucet coupled with a good warranty. Some Italian companies such as that sell here, offer 5 and 10 year warranties, which are the standard in Europe, but substantially below the North American standard.
We judge Aquabrass Taiwanese-made faucets to be substantially equivalent to the made-in-Taiwan faucet sold by companies such as In fact, the three companies share largely the same Taiwanese manufacturers, so their faucets are very similar in quality if not in design.
Imported Italian faucets comparable to Aquabrass include However, in most instances, these importers offer something less than a lifetime faucet warranty on their faucets.
Chinese- and Taiwanese-made faucets comparable to Aquabrass made-in-Taiwan collections include
Comparable North American-made faucets include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Aquabrass or Alt Progetto Aqua faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.