|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
Toto Americas Holdings, Inc.
1155 Southern Road
Morrow, GA 30260
1-1 Nakashima Nichome
(Meets North American Standard)
Toto Americas Holdings is the American branch of the premier Japanese bathroom fixture manufacturer, famous for its automatic toilets (See "The Japanese Toilet" at Selecting Bathroom Fixtures: Toilets). Its principal business is the manufacture of enamel and porcelain sanitary ware. The company was founded in 1917 as Toyo Toki K.K. The name was later contracted to Toto.
The company specialty is product suites: matched sets of toilets, basins, tubs, showers, faucets and accessories.
Toto manufactures in Japan, primarily for the home market, and in nine other countries, including the U.S.
It has expanded rapidly in China, acquiring eight manufacturing facilities since 2001, and has plants in Mexico, Thailand, Viet Nam, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Germany and Georgia (our Georgia, not the other one), where it manufactures the majority of the sanitary wares it sells in the Western Hemisphere.
About 1,000 of its sanitary-ware and accessory products qualify as "Made in U.S.A." under Federal Trade Commission rules. We feel very weird slapping a "Made in U.S.A." sticker on a Japanese toilet, but there it is. Toto makes more products in the U.S. than do "American" companies like In fact, American Standard — now owned by the giant Japanese building products company, LIXIL — manufactures fewer than a dozen of its sanitary ware products in its sole remaining U.S. factory. Most are imported from factories in Mexico. It's a strange new global economy, folks.
None of Toto's faucets, however, are made in North America. All are imported from China. The majority are made by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Toto Dalian Co., Ltd., but a few are manufactured by an outside contractor: the giant Chinese manufacturing company, Globe Union Industrial Corp.. Globe Union manufactures and distributes its own lines of faucets in North America.
Toto makes faucets only for the bathroom, nothing for the kitchen, bar or laundry. Its styles are mostly modern. — transitional to very contemporary. The collection includes just two faucets that we would identify as traditional faucet styles. The styling is crisp, but unremarkable. Similar designs can be found in a number of faucet lines.
Finishes are limited: polished chrome, polished nickel and brushed nickel. Choosing any finish but chrome can really boost the price of the faucet. We priced the Lloyd lavatory faucet on internet sites and found prices of around $350.00 for chrome rising to about $550.00 for brushed nickel. We found some Toto faucets being offered in polished brass on the internet, although this is not a finish shown as available on the Toto web site.
Toto uses a proprietary ceramic cartridge that it has been refining since the 1970s. It is an excellent valve and should give many years of flawless service. If it ever oes fail, however, Toto will generally replace it under warranty free of charge.
The standard flow rate for sink faucets in the U.S. and Canada is a maximum of 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm). Watersense® qualified faucets are allowed a maximum flow of 1.5 gpm. Almost all Toto sink faucets are Watersense® qualified. Some Toto faucets intended for commercial use have a flow rate of 0.5 gpm, which is little more than a trickle, but the maximum flow rate allowed in the U.S. for commercial sink faucets. Most homeowners would find this flow rate to be very unsatisfactory.
Toto's lifetime faucet warranty is standard for faucets sold in the U.S. and Canada. The only remarkable thing about the warranty is the convoluted process the warranty prescribes for making claims. Below is the exact wording from the Toto warranty:
"[y]ou must take the Product or deliver it prepaid to a TOTO service facility together with proof of purchase (original sales receipt) and a letter stating the problem, or contact a TOTO distributor or products service contractor, or write directly to TOTO U.S.A., INC., 1155 Southern Road, Morrow, GA 30260, if outside the U.S.A. If, because of the size of the Product or nature of the defect, the Product cannot be returned to TOTO, receipt by TOTO of written notice of the defect together with proof of purchase (original sales receipt) shall constitute delivery. In such case, TOTO may choose to repair the Product at the purchaserís location or pay to transport the Product to a service facility."The process treats faucets, which are fixtures, like toasters. Its fairly simple to send a toaster to a repair facility. It does not have to first be detached from the house (other than unplugging the cord). Sending a toilet or faucet is a lot more complicated. By the way, does any one know what a "products service contractor" is? Toto never defines the term or provides any information about product service contractors on its web site. We tried searching the web site for the terms and got a list of commercial hand dryers, toilet seats and a urinal mat. Anyway, good luck sending your faucet to a product service contractor, whatever that is.
In actual practice, however, most of the time Toto just mails the replacement part unless the problem is serious enough that only a repair shop can handle it, and then its usual solution is just to send you a new faucet. Warranty and customer service, handled from Morrow, Georgia, is very good, easily passing all of our customer service tests.
We do not judge these faucets to be a particularly good value. They are expensive for what your get — a well-made Chinese faucet. We don't think the Toto name adds enough cachet to justify the higher price. Equally well-made faucets are available from any number of companies that import Chinese faucets, usually at a substantially lower price. Globe Union, for example, charges about 1/3rd Toto's price for similar faucets in its well-regarded line of mid-priced faucets. We judge Danze to be substantially equal in quality to Toto faucets.
Faucets comparable to Toto products include
If you have had an experience with a Toto faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please contactus or leave a comment below.