Review & Rating
A Division of Masco Corporation
55 E. 111th Street
P.O. Box 40980
Indianapolis, IN 46280
Footnotes:1. For as long as the original buyer owns the dwelling in which the faucet is installed.2. Delta takes the sensible position that you are probably not going to be asking for parts for a faucet you don't currently own, and very rarely asks for proof of purchase.
This Company In Brief
If there is an 800 lb. gorilla in the world of kitchens and baths, it is Masco Corporation — one of the world's largest faucet manufacturers1, owner of faucet brands in the U.S. and Canada and Bristan Group, Ltd. in the U.k. The company is also a huge player in cabinets (Kraftmaid, Merillat, Mills Pride, Quality Cabinets, Moores Furniture UK), paints and coatings (Behr, Kilz, Hammerite), bathtubs and showers (Aqua Glass, Hüppe, Mirolin, Watkins Spas), water, gas and steam fittings and connectors (Brasstech, BrassCraft, Master Plumber and Plumbshop ), replacement windows (Milgard, Masco UK Window), decorative hardware (Liberty Hardware, Franklin Brass), and even staplers (Arrow).
Founded in 1929 as Masco Screw Products Company by Alex Manoogian, an Armenian from Smyrna, Turkey, who immigrated to the U.S. at age 18 as a refugee from the Armenian Genocide (1915-1918). The company was renamed Masco Corporation in 1961.
Manoogian organized Delta faucet in 1954. The company history states that Alex Manoogian invented the company's signature ball valve. He didn't. It was invented by Landis H. Perry, a professional inventor, who started tinkering with the design after his discharge from the military in 1945. In 1952 he patented it and started shopping for a company to make it. Manoogian realized its possibilities, and after refining the design to eliminate some defects and make it more easily manufactured, founded Delta Faucet, initially as a separate company, later as a division of Masco, to make single handle faucets using the new valve.
At first, the company made only kitchen faucets. Bath faucets were added in 1960. By 1958, just four years after the product was launched, Delta's sales topped $1 million for the first time. Delta is still one of the best selling faucets2 in North America, and one of the faucets most preferred by plumbers.
Masco is an American faucet manufacturer that has resisted exporting all of its manufacturing to China. Delta makes faucets in Greensburg, Indiana and Jackson, Tennessee. It owns two more plants in Ontario: one in London and another in Cambridge, that mostly serve the Canadian market. Delta claims that over 4,500 of its products (not just faucets) comply with the Buy American Act (BAA), including its new Diamond Seal Technology ceramic disk cartridges (see below). (Download a list of Delta products that are BAA qualified as Made in U.S.A.) Delta employs over 1,300 Americans in the U.S. and nearly the same number of Canadians in its various subsidiaries in that country.
Delta's Diamond Seal Technology® Cartridge
Delta's new Diamond Seal Technology® cartridge features a coating of diamond powder on the rotating disk to continuously polish the fixed disk and scrub away any minerals that may insinuate themselves between the disks.
Delta tested this new technology to 5 million on/off cycles without a failure — ten times the current standard for cartridge durability and equivalent to about 700 years of normal use in a kitchen.
But, not all Delta faucets are made in North America. Delta closed one of its factories, in Chickasha, Oklahoma, laying off 600 American workers, soon after its new plant in Panyu, China became operational in 2001. The China plant makes Delta products for the growing Asian market, but also provides faucet parts to Delta's U.S. and Canadian factories. And, Delta contracts some faucet manufacturing to other manufacturers. Customs records show that Delta imports faucets, fully assembled, in the box, and ready to sell from,
Stream Tapware Corp., one of the oldest Chinese brass fitting manufacturers;
So, you cannot assume that a particular Delta faucet was made in the U.S. In fact, there are indications from plumbers that the same model faucet may be made in more than one factory, some in the U.S., some not. So always check the "Made in...." label.
Some of Delta's ceramic cartridges are from Fluehs Drehtechnik in Germany, manufacturer of some of the world's best ceramic cartridges. These are being phased out, however, in favor of the new proprietary DST cartridge which is giving the Germans a run for "best in show" honors (see more, below).
are really the low, middle and high ends of the same Masco faucet line, and they overlap quite a lot. faucets are made by another Masco company, Brasstech, Inc. and are at the high end of American faucets. the upscale faucet manufacturer in Germany, is the last player in Masco's faucet roll call of famous faucets, also at the high end of the Masco lineup.
Among plumbers, the Delta line of faucets is a perennial favorite. In every plumber poll, we have ever read, Delta is almost always the first or second choice as the go-to faucet. Plumbers like faucets that don't cause trouble — which pretty well describes Delta faucets to a "T". And, if it does break, Delta gets the plumbers' vote as the easiest faucet to fix, even easier than Moen. Delta also ranks well in our homeowner "top of mind" survey. Consistently between 25-28% of the readers taking the survey identify delta as the first brand to come to mind when they think "faucet".
Delta was one of the early faucet innovators. The pioneering Delta ball washerless cartridge has been widely copied and sometimes outright counterfeited. It is on its way to a justly-earned retirement after a 60-year career. Its replacement is a proprietary ceramic disk cartridge invented by Delta. The company claims that this Diamond Seal Technology cartridge is a quantum leap in cartridge design. We think it a major improvement — "quantum leap", however, remains to be seen. Check back in 20 or 30 years. We'll have more information then.
One disk in the two-disk set is diamond coated, a feature that Delta says helps keeps the disks absolutely smooth since the diamond-coated disk continuously scrubs and polishes the other disk so they always mesh perfectly. It also continuously grinds away any mineral deposits that may insinuate themselves between the disks. The more you use it, the smoother it gets.
Delta has had this cartridge tested through 5 million cycles3 — about 10 times the lifespan of a typical ceramic cartridge and equivalent to about 700 years of daily use in your kitchen. But, if it does break and you ever need to change the cartridge, it's very easy to do, and the new cartridge is free to the original owner of the faucet for as long as he or she owns the faucet. Delta even has a video showing how easy it is to change a DST cartridge, which you can view here. The DST technology is already available in many better Delta and Brizo faucets, and will eventually be the only cartridge used in Delta sink faucets.
Delta's second innovation in faucet technology is its patented process of moving water through a faucet without any contact with metal. The company uses a cross-linked polyethylene tube threaded through the faucet all the way to the tip of the spout through which water is channeled. Because water never touches a brass component in the faucet, it cannot pick up any lead or other harmful material from the faucet's brass body or spout.
Cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, is so strong that it IS now the preferred material for residential supply piping, replacing copper in most installations. (For more detail on the materials used in manufacturing faucets, see Faucet Basics: What Are Faucets Made Of?.)
Most Delta faucets are available with the company's patented Brilliance® PVD finishes developed by Vapor Technologies Inc., another Masco company that was one of the early pioneers of PVD technologies. Twelve PVD finishes are available, three of them All Delta finishes are guaranteed never to corrode, tarnish or discolor for as long as you own your Delta Faucet.
Delta faucets have historically been long on solid engineering and precise manufacturing, but more than a little short on style. But, things they are a-changing. Delta has borrowed a few designers from Brizo and Hansgrohe to lend a little pizzaz to its collection as a complement to its introduction of its new faucet technologies, and we are starting to see Delta faucets that, while certainly not avant gard, are a giant step up in the style department. The collection is still skewed toward traditional and transitional faucets, Delta's meat and potatoes market, but some crisp contemporary designs are starting to show themselves, and we expect more will come. For a true designer faucet from Masco, However, you might have to step up to its higher-end Brizo or Newport Brass faucet lines. Same first-class warranty and customer service, same precise engineering and quality manufacturing, just more style.
Our opinion of Delta is that it is a good, solid, reliable, durable, dependable, and increasingly stylish lifetime faucet. It has been the most popular faucet in America for over 50 years for good reason. It is, overall, a very good faucet, and reasonably priced with some of the best warranty and post-sale customer service in America.
Our rating of the company's products has improved one point due to the widespread adoption by Delta of the Diamond Seal cartridge and InnoFlex waterways in its faucets. The new cartridge is proving to be something of a phenomenon, with very few reported problems since its introduction. As more faucets in the Delta lineup are converted to the new technologies, we expect the company's rating will continue to improve.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Delta faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.
1. Masco was the largest faucet manufacturer in the world for most of the last 30 years, but it may have been overtaken by LIXIL Group Corporation, a Japanese building products conglomerate that has since 2013 purchased the U.S.-based faucet line. Masco and LIXIL are now head-to-head competitors in the North American and European faucet markets and it is a toss-up which company sells more faucets worldwide. It's not a toss-up in North America, however, where Masco is the hands-down winner.2. Delta sold more faucets in North America for more than 50 years than any other faucet company, but recently is in a distant third place with about 15% of the market.3. A lab robotic arm moves the faucet handle from off to full on, then all the way to the cold side, then all the way to the hot side, then off; and it repeats this cycle 5 million times. The whole test takes about 60 days to complete. If the cartridge fails at any time, the faucet flunks the test. The standard protocol set by ASME A112.18.1/b125.1, which all faucets sold in North America are required to pass, calls for (a mere) 500,000 cycles. The European/Asian test is 60,000 cycles.
For a video showing the operation of the type of machine that puts faucets through life-cycle testing, go here. (Warning: it's very noisy.)