Review & Rating
579 Boulevard Ste-Madeleine
Trois-Rivières, QC G8T 9J8
Warranty Footnotes:1. For the lifetime of the original owner "against all defective materials and/or manufacturing defects on all parts and chrome finish as long as it is under standard conditions of use and maintenance".
This Company In Brief
Founded in 1986 by Jacques Baril and Louise Thibeault, Baril Manufacturier, Inc. (formerly: Les Distributions J.L. Baril Inc.) is a privately held Canadian designer, importer and distributor of faucets. The company is managed by Marie-Ève Baril from an office/warehouse in Trois-Rivières Québec, about 90 miles from Montreal.
Baril sells under two brands, both of which are available only in Canada at the moment although the company has announced its intention to expand into the U.S. in the near future.
• Baril, which is a brand reserved for its designer faucets sold through decorative plumbing showrooms throughout Canada, and
• Jalo, a lower quality line sold through discount venues such as RONA hardware stores and Home Depot (Canada). Jalo faucets tend to contain more plastic and zinc (or ZAMAC, a zinc-aluminum alloy), and contain a less-admired ceramic cartridge. Still, our examination showed them to be well made for discount faucets, and supported by a lifetime warranty against mechanical defects.
The trademarks, "Jalo Faucet" and "Robinets Jalo", are owned by Baril, and Les Robinetteries Jalo Inc. is a wholly owned Baril subsidiary
Baril and Jalo faucets are not sold in the United States just yet, although they are certified to comply with most U.S. standards and regulations, and could be lawfully sold and installed in the U.S. once the company files certifications with the Department of Energy required by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act certifying that the faucets comply with U.S. water conservation regulations. They are sold only in Canada. Even RONA, which sells through a website available in the U.S., will not ship Jalo faucets to any non-Canadian address. The announced intention of the company is to begin selling in the U.S. as early as 2016 on a limited basis, but 2016 has come and gone without significant movement.
Baril products are organized into three collections: Classic, Traditional and Modern. Within each collection are groups of products coordinated for style and finish. Baril calls these "sections" in some parts of its website, and "collections" in others. We'll use "series" to follow standard industry terminology. A series may be composed of just one faucet, which is the case with many of the Baril kitchen series, but most bath series contain sink faucets, bidet faucets, tub fillers, and shower components — everything you need to put together a well-coordinated bathroom.
Although the company's name translates to "Baril Manufacturing" and the company frequently describes itself as a fabricant des robinets (manufacturer of faucets), there is no evidence that it manufactures faucets, or owns a Canadian facility capable of manufacturing faucets. It does some limited assembly in its Trois-Rivières warehouse, primarily swapping out handles, cartridges and aerators, but no actual manufacturing or finishing that would result in a "substantial transformation" sufficient to qualify the company as an Assembler or Manufacturer.
It is a Specifier — a company that designs faucets, but contracts actual manufacturing to outside companies. (See Faucet Basics: Understanding Faucet Companies for more information about types of faucet companies.)
Baril has selected the following companies to manufacture its Baril and Jalo faucets:
• The Sources (3G) Co., Ltd., an manufacturer of faucets and other sanitary wares located in China. It appears to be Baril's primary manufacturer. It also manufactures private brand Tassili faucets for Canac, a 135-year old Quebec-based chain of home improvement centers, and Nautika, a decorative plumbing hardware distributor also based in Quebec.• Toya Valves & Metals Co., Ltd. located in central Taiwan which seems to be fading as a Baril manufacturer. In our latest survey, only two faucets still in the Baril catalog are manufactured by Toya: The B71-4050-00 Eva and the B72-4050-00 Tradition centerset lavatory faucets. Toya also manufactures two faucets for• Ningbo Fudy International Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of contemporary bathwares of all types from which Baril imports some Jalo faucets and faucet parts
The current Baril line is more conservative than the distinctive and sometimes fanciful faucets created for Baril by noted industrial designers in the not-so-distant past. At one time the company's designers included:
• Michel Robichaud, perhaps French Canada's most famous fashion designer (now retired), who created the company's first designer collection in 1989;• Piet Billekens, a noted Dutch designer who worked for the Italian faucet maker, Carlo Nobili Rubinetterie, where he created the Utopia series for Baril;• Alessandro Mendini, one of the deans of contemporary Italian design and the creator of the distinctive Grazie series of bath faucets that included a choice among five distinctive and fanciful handle designs; and• M&Z Rubinetterie, an Italian manufacturer that designed the Fluo series of faucets that incorporated different colors of trim rings that glowed in the dark.
Other faucets created for Baril during this extraordinary period in the company's history included the Form which was available with handles in chrome or any of three exotic wood species; and the Fur faucet that featured a body inlaid with strips of one of three varieties real leather or fur.
Of these faucets, only the Utopi is still available from Baril. All association with Italian designers and manufacturing seems to have ended. There is no faucet in Baril's current catalog that is made in Italy or anywhere else in Europe. Even faucets that were originally designed by Italian companies, such as the Utopia, are now manufactured in China.
The current Baril collection, although not nearly as quirky as some prior offerings, sill includes stylish and distinctive faucets, now being designed by Alto Design, an industrial design firm in Montreal that created the new B50, B51, B52 and B53 collections for Baril. These Baril designs won an International Design Excellence award in 2013 and a Grand Prix Du Design in 2012.
The current Baril collection, although not nearly as quirky as some prior offerings, sill includes stylish and distinctive faucets, now being designed by Alto Design, an industrial design firm in Montreal that created the new B50, B51, B52 and B53 collections for Baril. These Baril designs won an International Design Excellence award in 1013 and a Grands Prix Du Design in 2012.
Jalo offers polished chrome as a finish on all of its faucets. A few are also available in nickel, stainless steel and other finishes from time to time, but the range of finishes depends on the faucet. The guarantee on a chrome finish is the "lifetime" of the original buyer. Other finishes, according to the plain text of the warranty document, have no warranty.
The aerators used in Baril faucets are from Neoperl®, considered some of the world's best. Faucet aerators used to be simple devices that merely added a little air to soften the water stream so it would not splash out of the sink. Today, however, they are also used to limit water volume to the lower flows required by federal and state water conservation laws, and in some cases, to prevent back-flow that can result in the contamination of household drinking water. It is important, therefore, that this little device, often smaller than a nickel, be the best available. And that, almost by definition, is the Neoperl® aerator.
When you order a Baril faucet, you can order a flow rate that complies with the any flow limitation that may apply to faucets in your home town and Baril will outfit the faucet with an aerator that limits the faucet to your specified flow rate. Many faucet companies are scrambling to meet the new California maximum flow rate on lavatory and kitchen faucets by the July 1, 2016 deadline, but Baril is already able to deliver these super low-flow faucets just by installing the appropriate aerators and, sometimes, a flow-limiting cartridge.
The Baril website is in places a little hard to follow for English-speakers. A lot of the language seems to have been translated literally from the French, and often does not make a lot of sense in English. For example the company claims to have over 25,000 "representations". Although we are sure that this is quite commend able, we have no idea what "representation" means in this context. It may make very good sense in the patois of French Canada, but not in North American English.
Otherwise, the site is crisp and well-designed. Navigation is intuitive. The site's search facility is capable, but has limits. We had no problem finding individual faucets, but some obvious search terms as "finishes" produced no results. The faucet descriptions are adequate, and all are accompanied by specification sheets and installation guides in the universal Portable Document Format (.pdf). But, the information provided is incomplete.
There is no indication in the specifications whether or not or by which organizations the faucets are certified as safe, reliable and lead-free. Nor is there an identification of the cartridges used in the faucets, which is odd as Baril faucets use excellent cartridges from the Hungarian firm, Kerox, Kft in its single-handle faucets and stem cartridges from the German company, Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH in its two-handle faucets. Both are considered among the best made. Even the less expensive Jalo faucets are equipped with a solid cartridge from Sedal S.L.U., not a world class cartridge, but more than adequate. Sedal is chartered in Spain, but manufactures in two large factories in China. It is the preferred cartridge of Chinese manufacturers that make faucets for the North American and European markets.
Installation instructions on Baril faucets are clearly written (in two languages) and well-illustrated. Our plumbers had no problems at all with installing our test faucets. The instructions include a exploded parts drawing with all parts numbered, but there is no corresponding legend that identifies the parts that correspond to the numbers. A strange omission. Installation instructions for Jalo faucets are general and do not detail the installation of a particular faucet.
We did find a few broken internal links on the site resulting in a "404 - Page Not Found" error.
The company warrants the mechanics of its Baril and Jalo faucets, the cartridges and chrome finishes against manufacturing defects for life to the original owner, but its other Baril finishes for just five years. On Jalo finishes other than Chrome, there is no stated warranty.
The lifetime warranty may not be for the actual lifetime of the faucet as the warranty suggests. Baril makes it clear in its literature that it expects most mechanical defects to manifest themselves within the first year of ownership. A defect after five years or so would likely viewed by the company as due to normal wear and tear, and Baril would not help with the problem. Kudos to Baril for making clear what other faucet companies merely hint at. But, we don't think a five year warranty on finishes expected by most buyers to last for a lifetime is adequate protection, and we scored down for it. If the company actually thinks its finishes, other than chrome, will last just five years, it should find a manufacturer that can provide a better finish. On the other hand, we like the fact that the warranty follows the faucet which may, therefore, be moved from house to house as long as it remains owned by the original buyer.
Imported faucets comparable to Baril that are sold in both the U.S. and Canada include
Comparable North American-made faucets include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Baril faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.