Review & Rating
6630 W. Wrightwood Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60707
Footnotes:1. "For as long as the original consumer purchaser owns their (sic) home."
This Company In Brief
If Lacava proves nothing else, it is proof that a very striking collection can be created by a discerning eye without the need for custom-designed faucets. You just have to be able to identify the best of the existing designs and coordinate them well with furnishings, fixtures, and accessories. This is something that Lacava does very well. Lacava also sells some kitchen faucets, but its concentration is clearly focused on the bathroom.
Founded by Carmine Lacava in 1997, the company is small as fixture companies go, with only $5 million in gross sales, and tries to be very exclusive. Based in the Windy City, it identifies itself as the American heir to the Italian design tradition.
The company literature claims that Lacava collaborates "with designers from around the world" to "enrich American private homes and lifestyles..." All true, but the designers do not actually work for Lacava. They work for the manufacturers that make the faucets.
Lacava buys faucets from Italian and Chinese manufacturers. Designers that work for these manufacturers create the designs. Lacava just buys them, rebrands them with the Lacava nameplate, and, usually, a new model name.
For example, the distinctive Embrace lavatory faucet shown at left was designed and produced by Rubinetterie Ritmonio Srl, and is sold throughout Europe as the Ritmonio Paolo e Francesca. Other Lacava faucets were designed by Davide Vercelli, a Ritmonio contract designer. All appear in Ritmonio's general faucet catalog and are sold by Ritmonio outside the U.S.
The Lacava Cigno 1586 lavatory faucet is designed and manufactured by Goldiden Industrial Co., a Chinese manufacturer of faucets, sanitary ware and bath accessories as the Goldiden Taron JT105101P11.
So, while we cannot say for certain that none of Lacava's faucets are in-house designs, we can say with some certainty that the vast majority are not.
Lacava's approach to building its faucet collections is similar to that used by and other faucet collections assembled by Marketeers. It enters into agreements with foreign faucet manufacturers to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of the manufacturer's faucets. Most of the faucets it agrees to distribute are the manufacturer's existing faucets with minor modifications needed for the U.S. market (which is usually little more than adapting the faucets to U.S. rather than metric fittings).
There are hundreds of boutique faucet manufacturers in Europe and Asia, and all of them are looking for a low-cost entry into the giant U.S. market. Lacava provides that entry with a minimal investment by the manufacturer. In return, Lacava gets the exclusive right to sell some very stylish, high-quality, foreign faucets in the U.S.
Lacava's striking and distinctive contempory bath furniture is all designed in house and manufactured in Chicago by Lacava Industries, LLC. But, everything else it sells is imported. The majority of its faucets seem to be from Italy. Customs records show substantial faucet purchases from Ritmonio and Ponsi of Tuscany (Rubinetterie Toscane Ponsi SpA), but also faucets acquired from Goldiden, and Foshan Textiles Import Import & Export Co., a broker that represents Chinese manufacturers, mostly in heavy industry.
All faucets are available in polished chrome. Some are available in nickel and other finishes, lbut it depends on the faucet.
Sold primarily through the company web-site, by bath design showrooms and select contractors, it has very limited availability. The faucets are almost never discounted, and are piced about 30% higher than the equivalent faucets sold in Europe. For example, the Lacava Spiro 8010, list priced at $1,250.00 is actually the Ritmonio Nastro which lists for $790.00 (590.00€) in Europe.
Lacava indicates on its web-site that it will not support on-line retailers that are not licensed to sell Lacava products. Many of what appear to be Lacava products on e-Bay and similar venues are actually the European versions that have not been certified to U.S. plumbing standards, and will not be given warranty or parts support by Lacava, so buyer beware for that reason and because you cannot know if an uncertified faucet is safe or reliable or has been modified to fit North American plumbing fittings.
Italian-made faucets comparable to Lacava include:
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Lacava faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.