|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
127 Coulter Ave.
Ardmore PA 19003
1108 Dundas St
London, ON, N5W 3A7 Canada
(Meets North American Standard)
(Far Below North American Standard)
This Company In Brief
Luxart and Mainline are private brands of Hajoca Corporation, the largest privately owned distributor of plumbing and heating products in the U.S. It is also a major distributor in Canada through its wholly-owned subsidiary, EMCO corporation. Its Luxart and Mainline plumbing fittings and accessories are made in China. For the price they are a generally a good value. Luxart faucets are Watersense®, qualified. The products are well supported through Hajoca's network of plumbing supply stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Hajoca is the largest privately owned wholesale distributor of plumbing and heating products in the United States, including decorative plumbing fixtures and accessories. Founded in 1858 as Haines, Jones & Cadbury Co. in Philadelphia, PA, the company was already being referred to informally as "HaJoCa" by 1904. If you have never heard of it, it's because in your town it probably does not operate under its corporate name but under one of the 50 or so trade names it uses throughout the U.S. Hajoca expanded primarily by buying up local wholesalers and keeping the wholesaler's original name. The company operates over 350 stores in 32 states and throughout Canada as EMCO Corporation which operates 180 branches in that country.
Its chief competitors are Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. (Wolseley in Canada) which sells comparable lines of faucets under the brands, and WinWholesale Inc., a distributor of plumbing and heating supplies as Winnelson with 240 retail stores in the U.S.
The history of Hajoca is essentially the story of plumbing in the U.S. One of the first large scale plumbing and sanitary ware distributors, it played a large role in deciding which products and features would become the standards for North American plumbing by encouraging innovation and providing a ready outlet for new products through its catalog sales and local wholesalers.
The Hajoca catalog, now well into its second century, is an invaluable resource for tracing the evolution of the U.S. plumbing industry. For restorers it is an essential aid in determining the origin of fixtures and products no longer available, but which may need to be either located or duplicated for an historic renovation.
In Canada the faucets are sold by EMCO, Ltd. which was purchased by Hajoca in 2003 and operates as its wholly owned subsidiary. EMCO, based in London, Ontario, is a distributor of products for the construction industry including plumbing and heating, through its numerous locations across Canada.
Hajoca has assembled 10 collections under the Luxart name, that also include shower fixtures and accessories. The styles range from traditional to contemporary, meaning that there is probably at least one Luxart faucet to fit any style requirement. The contemporary Aerro collection is stylish, but not far divorced from what we think of as the basic contemporary Chinese faucet. But, other collections are striking. We especially like the Perpetua collection which features faucets that would be at home in any Arts & Crafts bathroom, and the Downtown collection which contains some striking widespread sink faucets.
The Mainline brand includes eight collections. These are more economy or builder models, but while not as stylish overall as the Luxart line, we found no substantial difference in quality.
Luxart faucets are made in China, boxed, labeled and ready to sell when delivered to Hajoca. The principal manufacturers are Seagull Kitchen and Bath Products Co., Ltd. All of these companies are ODM/OEM manufacturers that make faucets for export to North American and Europe. Globe Union and Lota are probably the two largest, providing finished faucets and/or faucet components to a wide variety of faucet companies in the U.S. and Canada.
Globe Union manufactures in-house brands for
Lota's lineup is almost as extensive. It makes faucets for
Seagull manufactures finished faucets and/or faucet components for
The collections, particularly the Luxart collections, have been assembled by someone with an eye to coordinating styles, but there is nothing unique or novel about the individual faucets themselves. The are generic Chinese designs that appear to be right out of the each manufacturer's They are neither designed by nor created expressly for Luxart. Chinese designs rarely are innovative. They tend to stick closely to the middle of the road and follow the pack rather than lead it. The goal of Chinese faucet manufacturers is to sell as many faucets as possible, which means keeping their designs well within the design mainstream to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Few design adventures take place in China.
The Luxart and mainline websites are well designed and simple to navigate. Faucets can be displayed by just about any feature you can think of including number of handles, finish, flow rate, height and style class (traditional, transitional and contemporary). The search feature is accurate and responsive. Information about each faucet is extensive, more than enough to make an informed buying decision, except the origin of the ceramic cartridges. Knowing the manufacturer of the cartridge is useful to determine where or not it is a good one.
Specification sheets are downloadable in .pdf format, and provide considerable information, including a dimensioned drawing. Installation instructions (also .pdf) are easy to follow and including an exploded parts diagram and warranty. Specifications and instructions are in three languages: English, Spanish and French.
Finish choices are limited. All faucets are available in polished chrome, some in brushed nickel, and a few in oil rubbed bronze. Some Luxart faucets are finished in polished nickel. Custom and specialty finishes are not available.
The product warranty on Luxart collections meets the standards of the industry in North America. The customer support provided by Hajoca is vastly superior to most. We have been Hajoca customers for many years), and our overall impression of the company is that it is well run and on top of things. Our testing of the service provided after faucet sales merely confirmed our earlier judgment.
The Mainline warranty is two years — far below the North American standard lifetime warranty.
Hajoca's replacement parts program has depth and is operated by a company that has vast experience at keeping track of small parts, so parts availability for the duration of the faucet warranty is virtually assured. What we do not like is that Hajoca does not publish a customer support telephone number (but we do, see above) on its web site, forcing potential customers to communicate by e-mail.
Taiwanese- and Chinese-made faucets comparable to Luxart include
Based on our knowledge of the company's suppliers, an examination of a sample of Luxart faucets acquired through normal retail outlets, and our conversations of plumbers who regularly use the products, we believe that the Luxart faucet line is of good quality overall that offers good to very good value for the price with top drawer Hajoca customer support. There is an adequate spread of designs and finishes, and the ceramic valves used in the faucets we examined were at least good with some being very good. The faucet lines started out strong and are getting better. We raised our score this year from 5-7 to 5-8, showing overall improvement to the faucets over the past five years. We would have no problem installing a Luxart faucet in a busy kitchen or family bath.
The Mainline collections are of substantially the same quality, but the two-year warranty is so far below the North American standard lifetime warranty that we cannot recommend these faucets to consumers. The modest price savings between Luxart and Mainline faucets does not justify the much skimpier warranty. This collection is designed for builders and multi-family dwellings. We suggest that this line of faucets be left to apartment owners and building professionals.
If you have had an experience with a Luxart or Mainline faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please drop us a note or leave a comment below.