Paini: La Toscana & Fortis Faucets
Review & Rating
1571 Main Rd
Newfield, NJ 09344
Paini S.p.A. Rubinetterie
Via Cremosina 43
R.E.A. NO 110073
Footnotes:1. "[A] Limited Lifetime Warranty to all mechanical parts to be free from all manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for as long as the original purchaser owns their (sic) home."
Read/print the 2017 Best Faucet Value Report.
This Company In Brief
Paini (pie-EE-ni) S.p.A. Rubinetterie is an Italian manufacturer of very good to excellent faucets that sells some, but not all, of its multiple lines of faucets in North America.
Founded in 1954 as a small craft shop, it is today one of the largest manufacturers of faucets and other plumbing products in Northern Italy. It sells a broad spectrum of faucets under its own brands, but also makes faucets and faucet components for other companies as an
Paini also has a long history of association with the
Paini USA is the company's venture into selling faucets under its own name in the U.S. and Canada. It initially distributed La Toscana through Home Depot's World Imports, Inc., but has now opened its own distribution and support facility outside of the Home Depot archipelago. It's Newfield, New Jersey center is also the home of its warranty and parts support operation. The Fortis brand, sold through Spectrum Brands is an even more recent addition to Paini's brand lineup in North America. Spectrum also owns and sells faucets and has grouped Fortis with Pfister in its hardware division. Once the sale is made, however, Spectrum's role is done. All warehousing, shipping and post-sale support is handled by Paini, and calling the Fortis customer support number gets your a Paini representative.
Paini Rubinetterie designs its own faucets, employing in-house designers for that purpose. It builds striking brass faucets in every style from traditional to contemporary, in a number of finishes, some , but most plated. It's highly automated factory in Pogno, Italy is, according to the company, one of the most modern in Europe.
All of Paini's faucets include ceramic disc cartridges from a variety of manufacturers including Hydroplast, S.r.l.s an Italian manufacturer that also supplies cartridges to
Paini is the of Italy, manufacturing faucets at every price point from discount to grand design. La Toscana and Fortis are just a small part of the 30 or so collections that Paini offers to its European customers. For example, the Hego line of high-design (and high priced) ultra contemporary faucets is not sold in North America, nor are faucets from Argo Rubinetterie s.r.l., a Paini subsidiary that specializes in easy-to-install DIY faucets. Having faucets tested and certified for the North American market can be an expensive proposition, so Paini has wisely limited the faucets it sells here to just those it feels will be price- and style-competitive.
Both La Toscana and Fortis faucet brands are stylish, but we have to give Fortis a slight edge for design. We can see a lot of influence that has migrated from the Hego line. Fortunately Hego prices have not also migrated, leaving Fortis faucets on the high side, but still well within the mid-priced range of faucets sold in North America with the exception of the unique glass and chrome Uffizi collection which is a little pricey.
Paini's websites are well designed and easy to navigate. Both the Fortis and La Toscana sites provide ample information about their faucets, but are missing one essential bit of information about each faucet: its cartridge manufacturer. Installation instructions, and exploded parts diagram can be downloaded in .pdf format. The .pdf specification sheet identifies the faucet's certifications and certifying organization and available finishes. The Fortis site has one defect. It's .pdf documents will not download unless "in new tab" or "in new window" is selected as a download option.
Paini's "lifetime" faucet warranty meets the standard for North American faucet warranties pioneered in the 1960's by The original laToscana warranty period was just 10 years. Paini increased it to 20 years after it had had a few years of experience selling faucets in North America under its belt and felt more comfortable moving away from the standard European warranty of just 3-5 years. We criticised both of these warranties, suggesting that the company could do a much better job supporting its good quality faucets.
It did — recently revising its warranty once again to offer a "lifetime" term. The limited lifetime warranty applies to both La Toscana and Fortis faucets. However, its definition of "lifetime" — "for as long as the original purchaser owns their (sic) home." — needs some work. It can produce some very odd results, for example:
These results are probably not what Paini intends, but, according to our lawyers, that's how the definition in the Paini warranty would be interpreted by most U.S. courts.
Fortunately, Paini is not particularly fussy about minor issues of who gets warranty and parts support. If you own a Paini faucet, you will get help from customer service on the sensible basis that you would not be asking for help with a Paini faucet if you did not actually own one.
In our tests of customer service, the company scored well. Service representatives are intimately familiar with the details of Paini products, and able to answer even the most arcane questions. Our (purely imaginary) installation problems were handled with dispatch. The Better Business Bureau grades Paini's product support A+ on a scale of A+ to F. It's not easy to earn an A+ rating, so kudos to Paini's excellent customer service organization. We scored it 4.5 out of 5.0 in our tests. Any score above 4.0 is acceptable, 4.5 and above is very good.
Italian made faucets comparable to Paini include
Most of these faucets are pricier than La Toscana, and most do not offer a lifetime warranty of the exceptional Paini customer service.
Our panel of consumers and industry professionals has recognized Paini's La Toscana faucets as the best value in mid-priced European-manufactured imports for 2017. (Fortis faucets are not included in the recognition.)
Fortis and La Toscana faucets are well designed featuring a broad range of styles that should fit any decor, and are very well made. They are robust enough to use in even a busy kitchen or main bath with confidence that they will give many years of reliable, trouble-free service. But, if they do break, Paini's customer and warranty service is some of the best. You will be well taken care of by very friendly, very competent agents who know their products and usually take the extra steps necessary to be helpful.
We are continuing to research Paini and its products. If you have experience with Paini faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.