|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Lefroy Brooks, Inc.
1828 Troutman Street
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Lefroy Brooks Diffusion, Ltd.
Hertfordshire EN11 0QS
(Below North American Standard)
Lefroy Brooks is a line of English-style faucets, fixtures and accessories for the kitchen and bath. They were originally manufactured in the U.K., but today they are made in China.
The ownership of the product line is distributed amongst several companies organized and residing in the United Kingdom.
At one time there was a Lefroy Brooks, Ltd., but according to Companies House records in London, the corporation is now dissolved. Lefroy Brooks (Baths), Ltd., Lefroy Brooks (London), Ltd., Lefroy Brooks (Brass Foundries), Ltd. have likewise existed at one time or another but have met the same ultimate fate: disbanded or merged into other companies.
Only Lefroy Brooks Diffusion, Ltd. seems to have survived and is still active as a subsidiary of Davroc, Ltd a distributor of high-end European bathroom fixtures and accessories, including bath towel rails from Bard & Brazier, Ltd., also owned by Davroc, and the only company in the group that appears to actually manufacture its wares in the U.K.
Diffusion does not own the brand name "Lefroy Brooks", however. That is owned by yet another corporate entity: LBIP, Ltd., that owns all of the intellectual property associated with Lefroy Brooks, including all brochures and catalogs, the various web sites, and the trademarks associated with the Lefroy Brooks collections. It even owns the manuals and the installation instructions that accompany each faucet. (One could surmise that LBIP might be an acronym for "Lefroy Brooks Intellectual Properties" — but that's just a guess.)
These companies have two people in common: Pietro Corbisiero, a U.K. resident of Italian citizenship who is a director of all of them and, according to Companies House records, also a director of a dozen or so other U.K. companies — all seeming to have something to do with the distribution and sale of plumbing and sanitary wares and accessories; and Andrew Russell Christopher, a director and commonly the managing director, of most of these same companies.
So, then, who is Lefroy Brooks?
There is an actual person named Lefroy Brooks, or more accurately: Christopher Alan (Christo) Lefroy-Brooks formerly of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, who was the owner of record of the Lefroy Brooks brand name until 2007. He holds a number of design patents for faucet and bath accessory designs, but has applied for no new patents since 2002. He appears to have sold his interest in Lefroy Brooks in 2012 to Corbisiero et al., and moved to Italy. He does not appear to have any active involvement with Lefroy Brooks at this time. We can find no indication that he has designed for any company other than Lefroy Brooks, which is unusual for a person of his apparent talent. Nor has he designed for Lefroy Brooks in over a decade.
Lefroy Brooks faucets are manufactured on the Chinese mainland by founded in 1979 as a plumbing products and sanitary wares distributor. Globe Union has become one of the world’s largest and suppliers of plumbing and sanitary products to other companies. It sells its own faucets in North American under the
Many of Lefroy Brooks sinks and other porcelain wares are also manufactured by Globe Union through its subsidiary, Milim G & G Ceramics Co., Ltd. Milim is a former state-owned ceramics factory, purchased by Globe Union from the Chinese government in 2003. It now manufactures most of the sanitary wares sold in North America by Globe Union under the Gerber brand name.
For English faucets actually manufactured in the U.K., see:
Lefroy Brooks products are arranged in collections or "ranges" corresponding to historical design periods. In a world where one company's collection of faucets looks very much like any other company's collection of faucets, the Lefroy Brooks faucets are definitely different, incorporating, in addition to very good basic design, that little hard-to-define something that says these faucets are absolutely and unmistakably British in character and style.
The 1900 Classic and Classic Black collections are styled to remind one of the sanitary wares available in the very late Victorian period that the British refer to as the Edwardian era (1900-1910). The 1910 La Chapelle collection is, according to the company, inspired by the designs of the 1910-1920 period and do look very much in the style of the English Arts & Crafts Movement, as does the 1920 Connaught collection.
The 1930 Mackintosh collection moves past Arts & Crafts styles to Art Nouveau design as represented by the noted Scottish architect and textile designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This movement and its Art Deco cousin lasted well into the Global War period of the 1940s and is appropriate even into the post-war reconstruction period. The 1950 Belle Aire faucet was obviously inspired by the hood ornaments of 1950's American automobiles.
The XO and Kafka collections represent contemporary design since 2000. These are the least interesting, lacking as they do any distinctive qualities to set them apart from the contemporary faucets of half a dozen other upscale faucet companies. As for the post-modernist period of the 1960's through 1990s, it is completely ignored, although a lot of interesting design statements emerged from those years.
All of the collections are complete with faucets, sinks, showers, tub fillers, bathtubs, mirrors and other accessories. The collections include bath faucets, of course, but also kitchen faucets for the same era.
The Lefroy Brooks faucets we examined were well made and impeccably finished. Finishes include silver nickel, polished chrome, antique gold, satin nickel, and, in the XO collection, stainless steel. Even a quick look at a Lefron Brooks faucet ought to put to rest any mistaken notion that the Chinese cannot manufacture a world-class faucet.
All of this premium quality is, of course, pricey. Be prepared to fork over a handsome contribution to the Lefroy Brooks' exchequer. These are the world's most expensive Chinese faucets, and some of the world's most expensive production faucets from any country (with the possible exception of Most faucets in this price category are artisan faucets, hand-made one at a time as ordered, e.g. not faucets from an assembly line.
The Lefroy Brooks web site is very visual and very well designed. Navigation is intuitive and very simple. Each faucet in each collection is described in detail, and technical specifications, installation instructions and an owner's manual in .pdf format are linked to each faucet. The certifications for each faucet are clearly indicated.
The company's faucet warranty, however, is hidden away under "Terms and Conditions". Not where we would expect to find it. In fact, we did not find it until a helpful customer service agent told us where to look. It is a strange place for a warranty.
The Lefroy Brooks faucet warranty is average for the European Union, but below par for the North American market. The skimpy 5-year warranty puts it in the same warranty class as most of the discount faucet sellers that import from China or Taiwan. The actual faucet manufacturer, offers a lifetime warranty on the faucets it manufactures for sale under its own brands, From our examination of Lefroy Brooks faucets, we can find no obvious reason that the same lifetime warranty could not be offered on the faucets it manufactures for Lefroy Brooks. As always, however, we defer to management, assuming that the company's management knows something about its faucets that we don't know, and based on its more intimate knowledge of its faucets and finishes has concluded that they are unlikely to last beyond five years. If the company does not have enough faith in the longevity of its faucets to offer a lifetime warranty, then we should take the company at its word and also have little faith in the durability and longevity of its products over the long term.
Of course, the sparse warranty may have nothing to do with quality issues with the faucets. It may just be that management is extraordinarily timid.
What we do like about the warranty is that it does not attempt to disclaim warranties implied at law such as the usual warranties of merchantability and fitness. The company states that its written warranty is intended to supplement these basic warranties. We know of no other faucet company that takes this approach, and we like it enough to add one star to the company's warranty rating, raising it to two stars overall. If company management ever gets smart enough to offer a lifetime warranty on the same basis, then it will probably end up one of our highest scoring warranties ever, four stars or possible even five.
Customer service in North America is limited. More often than not, an e-mail sent to Lefroy Brooks (US) will be answered by someone from Lefroy Brooks (U.K.). It is also difficult to get in contact with customer service in the U.S. Our experience leads us to believe that the New York headquarters of Lefroy Brooks in North America is very thinly staffed. However, once you do get a person on the telephone, service is quick and knowledgable.
Imported faucets comparable to Lefroy Brooks include
Comparable American-made faucets include
If you have had an experience with a Lefroy Brooks faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please let us know by leaving a comment below.