|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Graff Faucets Co., Inc.
3701 W. Burnham St.
Milwaukee, WI 53215
(Meets North American Standard)
Graff Faucets, founded in 1922 as KZA Company, was reorganized and incorporated in Wisconsin under its present name in 2002 after being acquired by Milwaukee-based Meridian International Group, Inc., a family of related companies involved in the casting, machining and finishing of metal products, including American Metalcast Technologies, Inc. a manufacturer of low pressure brass casting machinery and Polco Metal Finishing, one of the largest independent metal finishing companies in the U.S.
A quiet company, Graff rarely advertises, but simply sells exceptional products and waits for the world to notice. That the world has noticed is indicated by Graff's reputation for very high quality faucets.
All Graff faucets are brass and/or stainless1 fixtures with ceramic disk valves; manufactured in Poland by another Meridian subsidiary, Valvex, S.A. Valvex faucets are not sold under the Valvex name in North America, but are sold in Poland and other parts of Europe.
The faucets are gathered into two broad collections. The traditional and transitional faucets are stylish but fairly conservative. These are typically designed and engineered by Valvex staff with a little help from Graff-USA engineers to ensure they fit North American standards. The Contemporary collection, however, is designed by actual industrial and product designers. The Italian design studio Angeletti Ruzza Design and Davide Oppizzi's DCUBE studio in Confignon, Switzerland design Graff's Contemporary faucets. Oppizzi's Ametis line of bath fixtures won the 2014 Interior design Best of Year Award. They are sold in most parts of the world and in most venues, including an extensive presence on the internet.
The company offers four standard finishes for its faucets, and warranties every one for the lifetime of the faucet. The standard is polished chrome, of course, but most faucets are also available in polished nickel, Steelnox (a satin nickel or stainless steel look-alike — the two finishes are similar) and something called olive bronze, which looks to us like the standard "oil rubbed bronze" finish, but Graff also offers an oil-rubbed bronze as a special-order finish which is a little darker. Other special-order finishes include 18k gold, antique brass, antique copper, architectural black, brass, brushed nickel and pewter. Special order finishes may take up to 8 weeks to deliver.
Graff warrants its faucets to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, including cartridges and all finishes, for the "lifetime of the product". Graff may require the faucet be returned for evaluation, but in practice rarely does. The warranty seems to indicate that a faucet with a defective finish must be returned for refinishing. In fact, Graff will usually just replace the faucet unless it was made with an unusual or special finish.
We rate Graff customer service as good to very good. It scored well on our customer service tests. The company generates very few complaints from consumers and seems to handle those that do occur with dispatch. The most common complaint has to do with a problem with a faucet finish rather than the mechanicals of the faucet. Based on the very few number of complaints received by the Better Business Bureau and the company's response to those few complaints, Graff is rated "A+" on a scale of "A+" to "F" by the BBB. Graff's service department was selected by the Decorative Plumbing & Hardware Association as the customer service department of the year for 2015.
The Graff web site is very artistic: full of very beautiful, well staged photographs. It used to be very slow due to overuse of Adobe® Flash, and very hard to actually use. But, it has been redesigned and is now very functional. Faucets can be displayed individually or as an item in the collection of matching showers and accessories. It's very useful to see all of the pieces of a collection before deciding on a faucet. You may love the faucet, but hate the towel rack or soap dish, which may be a factor in your buying decision. The collections are so complete that they even include components that you will never see, and are of interest only to plumbers, such as valve extension kits, and vessel rings. Whoever put all this together did a really good job.
The information provided about each faucet is extensive, including its available finishes, critical dimensions and options. Downloadable .pdf files include a dimensioned drawing, exploded parts diagram, parts list, installation instructions, and detailed specifications. However, in our exploration of the site we found a lot of these did not display properly. There are some deficiencies, however. Only one view of most faucets is provided. There should be several, displaying the sides and back of the faucet, or better yet, a 360° view the user can rotate such as is provided by faucets. There is no identification of the type of valve used. We presume ceramic cartridges are used in all faucets, but don't see an explicit statement to that effect. We would also like to see the valve manufacturer identified.
The upscale faucets are intended to compete with European designer companies such as among others, and they do compare very well. We think of Graff as the American version of the up-scale European faucet. Comparable American-made or assembled faucets include
These are serious faucets: heavy, solid and substantial. We are very impressed with their quality and with the very low number of consumer or plumber complaints over a nine year period. The prices are competitive. They are a good to very good value and well worth a look for anyone in the market for a designer faucet. Graff is one of the only imported faucets that StarCraft Custom Builders will support with a labor warranty. If a Graff faucet fails during the StarCraft warranty period, the StarCraft will pay for the plumber to fix it while Graff supplies the parts, all at no cost to you.
If you have had an experience with a Graff faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please contact us or leave a comment below.
1 We have recently begun seeing Graff faucets with the pullout head of pull-out and pull-down faucet made of plastic. We don't like this trend because we don't believe plastic has any place in a faucet. Look for a plastic head, and if you find it, consider another faucet. You will not be happy with it for the long run.