Newport Brass Faucets
Review & Rating
2001 East Carnegie Av.
Santa Ana CA 92705-5531
Footnotes:1. "[A]s long as the original consumer purchaser owns their [sic] home."
This Company In Brief
Brasstech started out as an independent company founded in 1987 by father and son team, Ross and Geoff Escalette1, to manufacture high quality faucets and other plumbing fixtures. In the 1990s Brasstech was one of the first faucet companies to experiment with physical vapor disposition (PVD) finishes on faucets, and today the company offers thirty-three different finishes, many of them using advanced PVD processes. Brasstech introduced the Newport Brass faucet brand of all-brass faucets in 1989 and quickly established it as a minor national brand with a reputation for manufacturing quality faucets. It was purchased by Masco in 2002.
Ginger was founded in 1983 to produce high-quality bath accessories, cabinet hardware, mirrors and light sconces primarily for the hospitality industry. The Fort Mill, South Carolina company was acquired by Masco in 2000. Masco abandoned Ginger's U. S. facility, moving manufacturing offshore, and administration to the Brasstech offices in Santa Ana, California. Ginger was merged into Brasstech by Masco in 2004 and no longer has a separate existence. Is is merely one of the brand names under which Brasstech sells bath accessories.
The enlarged Brasstech, Inc. is in the same Masco "Group" as the German faucet maker also controlled by Masco.
Initially Brasstech offered a few bath faucets began under the Ginger nameplate. But, it made little sense for Brasstech to introduce a new line of luxury faucets to compete with its already well-established Newport Brass premium brand, and with the other Masco up-scale faucet lines:
We predicted several years ago that Ginger faucets would be phased out and that Ginger would return to its core business of selling bath accessories. And, in fact, that is precisely what has happened. Ginger is now out of the faucet business entirely although warranty and parts support continues to be available through Brasstech.
- Kaiping Weixiang Metals Products International, Ltd. is a well-established faucet manufacturer in Kaiping City, China. It designs and wholesales its own line of contemporary faucets and accessories in 19 collections, and manufacture's faucets for other faucet companies to sell under the other company's own brand.
- Guangdong Weixiang Sanitaryware Co. Ltd. also makes a line of faucets, sold in Asia under the Classic brand.
- Lota International Co. Ltd. seems to be a component supplier to half of the faucet companies in the world.
- Shenzhen Jinliyi Hardware Ltd. makes a few faucet components for Brasstech, but is also a major source for Brasstech's bath and kitchen accessories.
Brasstech's ceramic valves are also made outside of the U.S. Flühs Drehtechnik, a German company, supplies the 1-001 and 1-002 cartridges used in most Newport Brass two handle faucets. Flühs cartridges are generally regarded as some of the best in the world. Hydroplast S.r.l., an Italian company, supplies the mixer cartridges used in single handle faucets. At one time, the company bought mixer cartridges from Studio Tecnico Sviluppo e Ricerche (STSR) S.r.l., an Italian manufacturer of custom ceramic cartridges, diverters and flow arresters, but that relationship appears to have ended.
All these parts are then shipped to Santa Ana, California where most Brasstech faucets are assembled and finished.
The company designs and engineers most of its own faucets and provides full post-sale customer support, including a a customer service staff and replacement parts operation. The faucets are made, according to company sources, from solid "German brass" — a common name for tombak, an inexpensive brass alloy with a high copper content (72% to 88% ) typically used to make imitation gold jewelry and artillery shell casings. It is just one of many brass alloys used to manufacture faucets. It's chief advantage today is that it usually contains no lead, which after January 4, 2014 is virtually banned in drinking water faucets by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Its chief disadvantage is that it is softer than most other brass alloys.
The company has lost points in prior reports for its warranty and customer service. Nothing seems to have changed this year. The 10-year limited warranty on faucet parts other than ceramic cartridges and finishes other than finishes is out of step with most other American-based faucet companies, and with the lifetime warranties on other Masco faucet lines —
It is not possible to believe that Newport Brass, with access to all of Masco'a advance manufacturing and plating technologies, cannot manufacture a lifetime faucet with a lifetime finish.
While our experience with Brasstech customer service has been favorable overall, the Better Business Bureau until 2013 rated Brasstech customer service "F", the lowest rating possible, based on Brasstech's failure to respond satisfactorily to customer complaints. The BBB does not require that complaints be resolved to the satisfaction of a complaining customer, but does require that the company respond and make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter. In the opinion of the BBB, Brasstech has not meet this standard. Sometime in 2013, however, the BBB changed the rating from "F" to "No Rating" based on "insufficient information to issue a rating."
Newport Brass tends to traditional and transitional in styling, but it is slowly adding more angular, geometric and contemporary styles. The faucets are part of a collection of matching fixtures, lighting, towel bars, shower rods, grab bars, and so on, to create a coordinated look for your kitchen or bath. The faucets also coordinate well with various accessory collections sold by Brasstech under the Ginger brand.
In addition to designing and assembling its own line of Newport Brass faucets, Brasstech also designs and assembles faucets for . Although Restoration Hardware advertises its faucets as made in Germany, they are, in fact, assembled by Brasstech in California from mostly Chinese-made components, and, as far as we can tell, their only connection to Germany is their ceramic cartridge, which is made in Germany by Flühs Drehtechnik. Brasstech also provides technical and parts support for Restoration Hardware. Dialing Restoration Hardware's technical support telephone number puts you in touch with technical experts at Brasstech.
American-made or -assembled faucets of quality comparable to Newport Brass include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Newport Brass faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.