Review & Rating
3600 Westview Drive
Naples, FL 34104
Herbeau Creations, SARL
584 Avenue de Dunkerque
59461 Lomme, France
Footnotes:1. Herbeau "warrants the quality of its products to be free of defects in material and workmanship, except for finishes, for a period of five years from the date of purchase…"2. See the finish warranty table in the body of the report, below.
This Company In Brief
Herbeau (air-BOW) Creations of America, Inc. is the North American distributor of faucets, sinks, tubs and accessories designed and, for the most part, manufactured by Herbeau Creations, S.A.R.L. in the French Art Nouveau style that reflects the Art Nouveau visual styles of the Bel Epoque period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries during the Arts & Crafts Renaissance in Western Europe.
Herbeau Creations, SARL was founded in 1857 in Lille by Louis Herbeau, a plumber and pipefitter, to manufacture the advanced sanitary ware he had studied in England. Herbeau is now in its fifth generation of Herbeau family ownership and management. It still manufactures in Lille on the Deûle River in the Pas-de-Calais region of France near the Belgian border. In addition to its main factory, the company also has stoneware and porcelain facilities in nearby Bailleul and Desvres. It maintains its only French showroom on Boulevard de la Liberté in Lille.
Herbeau products got little attention in the U.S. until Helger Baron, a Florida-based investor and in-law of the Herbeau family decided that they would do well in America among certain upscale buyers looking for unique heritage bath wares that departed from the usual English Victorian and Edwardian styles. He formed Herbeau Creations of America in 1992, selling primarily through studios and interior decorators and some internet retailers. An early e-tail seller was Clawfoot Supply, now doing business as But, this relationship appears to have ended some years ago. Signature Hardware now sells nothing but Chinese and Taiwanese faucets.
Around 2002, Baron decided to accelerate marketing and product recognition by selling through less exclusive mass market retail channels. Herbeau products began showing up at more ordinary e-tail plumbing venues such as e-faucets and at discounters like Wayfair and Wayfair's upscale Joss & Main store. The marketing plan was aggressive and successful, growing retail sales in North America over 500% within six years.
The products are far more popular among Americans than they are among the French. North American sales account for about 80% of the French manufacturer's output. Herbeau Design has now retreated from mass merchandising sites like Wayfair and is once again concentrating on selling through brick and mortar showrooms and select on-line decorative plumbing suppliers. A showroom locator on the Herbeau website identifies local retail sources.
The Herbeau designs — a great many of them original with various members of the Herbeau family, past and present, and some in production for over 100 years — are unquestionably French. Although similar to the Victorian/Edwardian era faucets produced by companies with an English lineage such as the French Art Nouveau influence is apparent in design elements throughout the collection such as the unique pump-handle kitchen faucets, available nowhere else.
Art Nouveau, for those of you not familiar with the term, was the French interpretation of the Arts & Crafts movement that affected all aspects of illustration, architecture and industrial design at the end of the 19th century. In the U.S. it influenced design for about a decade in the early 1900s, but had little lasting effect on American Arts & Crafts motifs. It was more or less swallowed up by the Art Deco movement beginning in the 1910s and blossoming in the 1920s and into the 1930s, giving period movie theaters their iconic look.
Herbeau's offerings in the U.S. are not limited to just faucets. It sells the entire spectrum of decorative sanitary ware including sinks and toilets, accessories and even ceramic tile.
Herbeau faucets are very well made using high-quality castings and fittings — all made in France — and ceramic cartridges from Flühs Drehtechnik, GmbH in Germany, generally considered one of the world's best cartridges. These very high quality components are, of course, costly. Herbeau is in hot competition with another major French faucet company, the House of Tetard, Haudiquez and Grisoni ( of Picardy, France for the honor of selling Europe's most expensive faucet. A basic Herbeau starts at about $500.00 USD and climbs rapidly to $3,000.00 and more.
The Herbeau warranty is far below the standard North American limited lifetime warranty. Faucets are guaranteed free of defects in material and workmanship for just 5 years. Finishes, however, are warranted for varying terms as shown in the table below. Only the Solibrass PVD finish is guaranteed for a lifetime, and the term "lifetime" is oddly defined for "as long as the original consumer/purchaser owns their [sic] home". Technically, if the faucet is not installed in my home, but was bought as a gift, the warranty expires when I sell my home, even though the person who owns the faucet still has his and the Herbeau faucet installed within.
For what these faucets cost, it would seem that a much more robust warranty would be in order. So would some modern PVD finishes other than Solibrass. PVD finishes last nearly forever, plated, living and painted finishes do not. (What is PVD finishing? Go here to find out.)
|(49) Solibrass (PVD)||Limited
|(48) Polished Chrome|
(56) Polished Nickel
(65) Hammered Polished Nickel
(57) Brushed Nickel
(77) Hammered Brushed Nickel
|(52) Old Gold (Unlacquered)|
(53) Old Silver (Unlacquered)2
(60) Satin Nickel
(66) Hammered Satin Nickel
|(55) Polished Brass (Unlacquered)|
(58) Polished Copper
(59) Weathered Copper or Brass (Unlacquered)
(61) Hammered Weathered Copper
(70) Weathered Brass
1. As long as the original consumer/purchaser owns his or her home.
2. The warranty applies to plating only.
3. Living finishes are unique in that over time exposure to climate, touch and moisture will cause the metal to oxidize and the finish to change. These variations in color and tone are part of a naturally occurring oxidation process.
But, if you absolutely must have that certain fin de siècle look, then Herbeau may be your sole source for the perfect faucet to complement your heritage kitchen or bath, notwithstanding its skimpy warranty.
The Herbeau website is well organized, artful, colorful and easy to navigate. Faucets are depicted in two or three images in a natural setting rather than against a bland white background. The information about each faucet is adequate, including finishes available and any options. But, ceramic cartridges are not identified as made by Flühs, an omission that is hard to fathom considering the high regard in which the German cartridge manufacturer is held.
The downloadable .pdf specification sheet for each faucets contains a dimensioned drawing and a parts list, but, unaccountably, the parts list is not keyed to the drawing. Unless you are a faucet engineer you are unlikely to know where on the faucet a "02 - Finished Metal Washer" is located or what it does, so an exploded parts diagram with a parts list keyed to the diagram is essential information for most consumers.
The search function is more than adequate, easily passing our standard "search and find" tests.
We have found Herbeau customer support to be responsive and friendly, but not always in a rush to agree that a warranty claim is the responsibility of the company. The Better Business Bureau has no file on the company, which generally means it has never received a complaint in the twenty-six years the company has been in business — a record to be envied.
In the past Herbeau has been casual about complying with the standards governing the sale and installation of faucets in North America. In March, 2016 the company paid a civil penalty after the Department of Energy determined that it had not complied with the requirement to certify its faucets and showerheads as conforming to the energy conservation standards of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (Herbeau: Order (2015-CE-28005)).
At present, however, Herbeau fully complies with all federal laws and code standards and its faucets may be legally installed in any State or Territory of the U.S. or any Canadian Province unless restricted by State or Provincial laws or regulations. See more information below.
Companies offering faucet designs from about the same era in Victorian, Edwardian and Art Nouveau styles, often including coordinating showers, tub fillers, porcelain ware, trim and accessories, include:
In the end, however, the unique look of an Herbeau faucet is not really available from any company other than Herbeau, and if this is the look you want, Herbeau is where you will, in all likelihood, have to get it.
We judge the faucets to be a reasonable value. Expensive, yes. But, high style is usually expensive. Herbeau faucets are no more costly than most of the products available from the comparable luxury faucet companies identified above. If you are building a luxury bath in an old world style, or just want that one luxury touch for an otherwise modest bathroom re-do, take a look at Herbeau. The quality is impressive, and the styling is not available elsewhere.
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Herbeau faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.