|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Cifial S.G.P.S., S.A.
Av. De Santiago, 184
(Below North American Standard)
Cifial has withdrawn from the North American market as of July, 2017. The faucets are no longer available. We are in the process of finding out out what arrangements have been made to provide continuing parts and warrnty service.
This Company In Brief
Cifial USA, LLC is the North American distributor of faucets made in Portugal by Cifial S.G.P.S., S.A. since 1904. The faucets are of very good quality, and for the price, an excellent value. The designs are primarily traditional and transitional with a few more contemporary designs in the Techo collections.
Cifial USA is the U.S. distributor for Cifial S.G.P.S., S.A., a Portuguese manufacturer of mid-priced designer faucets with ceramic valves. It is one of the better European designer faucet companies that sell in the U.S. and canada, but also one of the least well known. It is one European faucet company that should be getting more attention from North American buyers than it is getting.
Founded in Portugal in 1904, Cifial has over a century of plumbing and hardware manufacturing experience, and has a solid reputation in Europe for quality products. In addition to plumbing fixtures it makes door and cabinet hardware through its subsidiary Centro Industrial de Ferragens, S.A. Its collections are intended to be coordinated. You can buy a Cifial doorknob to match your Cifial faucet. The company is expanding its market in the U.S. by opening a distribution and customer service center in Georgia to support its over 2,000 retail sellers.
The dominant domestic faucet brand in Portugal, Cifial designs and manufacturers its own faucets in its state-of-the-art facility in Portugal. It also manufactures faucet components for other companies such as Its talented in-house design staff has led the company to a number of prestigious European design awards since 1994, including the coveted Red Dot award for design excellence.
The faucets are of very good quality, and for the price, an excellent value. The designs are traditional and transitional and fit well in most kitchens and baths. The company is moving into more contemporary designs with its Techo collection, but even these modern styles are a bit conservative — far from pushing the envelope. For cutting edge, contemporary designs, you may have to go elsewhere, and pay a lot more money. The number of different designs available in North America is also limited to less than a dozen different series. A much large selection is available in Europe. As the cost of certifying faucets for the North American market can be substantial, Cifial is smart to limit its selections to just those faucets that it feels will sell well in this market.
According to company sources, the ceramic cartridges used in both its two handle and single handle faucets are from Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH, a German firm located in Ludenscheid, Germany since 1926. Flühs (sometimes spelled Fluehs for English speakers) valves do not require lubricant, which can wear or wash away, making thee faucet operation stiffer over time. Flühs has a well-established reputation for leak-free reliability.
However, as much as we would like to believe our source at Cifial, it is pretty clear that the cartridges used in Cifial single handle mixing faucets are not made by Flühs. We don't know who makes them as they do not carry identifying marks. But, there are at least a dozen different models. There have been few reported issues with Cifial mixing cartridges, so presumably they are reliable, but we would be more comfortable knowing where they come from. We have asked the company and are waiting for an answer.
For those of you who already own a Cifial faucet, there is a very useful brochure entitled Which Cartridge Do I Need published by the Cifial's UK branch that identifies the cartridge used in each Cifial faucet. We cannot find a similar brochure published by Cifial USA.
The company offers a wide range of faucet finishes including Chrome, uncoated brass, nickel, "French bronze", polished brass, distressed bronze, distressed nickel rough bronze, rough nickel, aged brass, PVD brass (actually zirconium — very tough stuff), and "weathered". Almost certainly there is a finish to match any decor.
are available including nickel with gold, nickel with brass and chrome with brass.
Cifial makes faucets for other faucet companies. a private brand faucet sold by Ferguson Enterprises through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Build.com and FaucetsDirect.com, offers four faucets manufactured by Cifial: Alledonia, Argonia, Bradenton, and Castellon.
The company website is stylish and reasonably easy to navigate and makes good use of graphics. But it does contain a lot of Flash-y media that slows navigation considerably, and makes frequent use of rotating images which do very little to entertain, but do annoy the viewer. We found a few links broken, and more than a few that have a very small "hot spot". You have to click around a bit to find it. Some pages displayed immediately and some had to be refreshed before they would display. We checked this problem in three different browsers (Firefox, Opera, IE) to see if it was browser-specific. It wasn't.
The information provided about each faucet is very basic, leaving you to download installation instructions to find the specifics, and these are often lacking. Most have a measured drawing and an exploded parts list, but only a few have any actual instructions for installing the faucet, and these, if provided, are rudimentary — a strange omission for a document labeled "installation instructions". Some faucet listings do not provide any link to installation instructions at all while others display two links to the same instructions. There no indication of a faucet's certifications or whether it is ADA or Watersense® qualified — information that would be useful to a potential buyer.
We rate Cifial's customer service good to very good. In our tests it scored 4.4 on a 5 point scale. Any score above 3.5 is acceptable. Customer service agents were knowledgeable, and went the extra mile to be helpful. Our installation tests, involving a purely imaginary problems with a faucet installation, were passed with ease. The installation instructions were clear and well illustrated. The company has no record with the Better Business Bureau, which generally means that the BBB has never received a complaint about the company.
We believe the faucets to be a very good to excellent value. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of the faucets. The cartridges used in the faucets are of excellent quality and should give a lifetime of trouble-free, reliable service. If they don't Cifial will replace them free of charge. The company has a solid reputation and U.S. based parts support and warranty service. We like Cifial better than most other European designer faucets both because the faucets generally costs much less for the same quality, and because they are actually made in Portugal — not in China, Taiwan or Viet Name, then branded with the name of a European faucet company like
Our rating panel has upgraded the company's rating by one point over last year in recognition of the consistent quality of the company's products over the past five years; the helpful and informed customer support, and the company's sterling reputation for quickly honoring its warranty. There was a little disruption in 2014 with some personal changes at the U.S. facility, but this had no long term effect.
This makes the second year in a row in which the company's rating has been upgraded, That may be a record. We don't actually keep track of such things, but no one here remembers it ever happening before.
Our panel of consumers and industry professionals has voted Cifial faucets as the best value in European-manufactured faucets sold in North America. Read and print the 2015 Best Faucet Value Report.
The only concern about the company that we heard from our testers is that delivery can be fairly slow, particularly if a finish is not in stock in the U.S. and has to be sent from Portugal. Allow 4-5 weeks for in-stock faucets, 6-8 weeks for out-of-stock faucets purchased directly from the company web site.
Imported faucets comparable to Cifial include Expect, however, faucets of similar quality from other companies to be slightly more to a lot more expensive.
For an comparable American-made faucet, look at
If you have experience with Cifial faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or leave a comment below.