|Source • Brands||
Price • Origin
220, Chemin du Tremblay
Boucherville, QC J4B 8H7
Parts & Warranty:
(Meets North American Standard)
This Company In Brief
Uberhaus and Facto are in-store brand names under which a line of private label faucets, fixtures and bath accessories are sold by RONA, Inc., a Canadian corporation that has recently been acquired by the giant U.S. home improvement chain, Lowe's Companies, Inc.
RONA sells faucets in stores only in Canada. It also sells over the internet, but ships only to Canadian addresses. There is no known source of Uberhaus or Facto products for buyers in the U.S.
Uberhaus and Facto are in-store brand names under which a line of private label faucets, fixtures and bath accessories are sold by RONA, Inc., a Canadian corporation. Neither name is reserved solely for faucets, or even plumbing products. You can buy everything from window blinds to appliances, power tools to dishwashing detergent under these brand names. For faucets, there seems to be no differentiation of quality, price or style. Substantially the same quality and style of faucets are available under either brand, for about the same price.
FONA sells only in Canada. If you live in the U.S., you cannot buy a RONA faucet. RONA sells over the internet, but ships only to Canadian addresses. If you have it shipped to your Canadian cousin, you can slip a RONA faucet across the border duty free as a "gift", but you will not get after-sale warranty support. RONA's warranty applies only in Canada.
RONA is Canada's largest hardware and home improvement retailer, operating more than 500 stores across Canada. It is a cross between the big box chains like Lowes and Home Depot, and the buying cooperatives that supply independently owned Ace and True Value hardware stores. It supplies its own company-owned stores, but also provides its products to franchises and independently-owned affiliated stores.
The company began in 1939 as a buying cooperative organized by independent hardware stores to pool their buying power for better prices, and continued as a cooperative until going public in 2002. Its chief competitor in Canada is U.S.-based a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores that competes with Home Depot in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The merged Lowe's/RONA operation, with 539 combined store locations, is now the largest home improvement retailer in Canada.
RONA's company-owned big box stores have avoided that quintessential warehouse look favored by U.S. box stores like Lowe's with arrangements that create stores within the store, making the shopping experience much more pleasant. Whether Lowe's will change that successful format is unknown at this time.
RONA, Inc. like the does not design or manufacture its own faucets, but buys them ready-made and already in the box from large outside manufacturers, then sells them under the Uberhaus and Facto names.
From import and certification records it appears that the manufacturers of RONA faucets include:
• The giant•
• Guangdong Huayi Plumbing Fittings Industry, Co., Ltd. (China) used to be RONA's primary supplier of sink faucets, a position it seems to have lost to
• Taizhou Fenghua Brassworks Co. Ltd. (China), which manufactures about 18 bath and kitchen faucets for RONA as well as some faucets for Westover, Inc., and sells faucets under its own Flova brand in Asia.There may be other RONA faucet suppliers, but if so, we are unable to identify them. RONA changes suppliers frequently, so by the time you read this review, the manufacturers providing RONA faucets will probably have changed. For example, Xiamen Delmei Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. which used to manufacture some RONA faucets no longer appears to do so
The company advertises its faucets as being all brass. In fact, most are brass with less expensive zinc or ZAMAK (a zinc/aluminum alloy) used in non-critical parts such as handles and base plates. Only a few of the higher end Uberhaus faucets (sometimes identified as "Uberhaus Design" faucets) are actually all brass, and not all of these.
Some RONA faucets we examined had ceramic cartridges. We could identify them only as generic Chinese in origin, without being able to narrow it down to a specific manufacturer. This is not unusual. Many cartridges made in China and Taiwan are not marked for origin except for cryptic lot and batch number, and are very similar in appearance. And we suspect that each of RONA's suppliers probably uses a different cartridge.
Some lower priced RONA faucets featured the older technology ball valve — a good valve, but not as robust or long-lasting as most ceramic cartridges. The type of value used is clearly indicated on RONA'S internet entry for each faucet. Both types of cartridges are guaranteed for the lifetime of the buyer, so RONA must have considerable faith in its ball valves. If either ever goes bad, it takes about 10 minutes and basic household tools to replace it.
The finishes available on RONA faucets are limited. All are available in chrome. A few offer other finishes such as nickel or bronze. The available finish depends on the particular manufacturer of the faucet. Designs are primarily traditional and transitional. A few more contemporary faucets are offered at the high end of the faucet's price range.
RONA offers a lifetime warranty on its faucets that protects against manufacturing defects and leaking cartridges. Warranty service is handled by Mecanair, a third party service center located near Montreal that provides parts and services warranty claims. You will need your model number to make a claim or order a part. Other than parts backup, there is no actual technical support for these faucets. Mechanair's job is to warehouse and provide parts, not expertise and advice.
The term "lifetime" in the written warranty is not clearly defined, but it appears to mean "for as long as the faucet is in domestic use", which implies that the warranty is transferable to a subsequent owner, and even another house, as long as that owner has the original receipt.
Chinese and Taiwanese faucets comparable to Uberhaus and Facto faucets include If you live in Canada, we think RONA is worth a long look if you are in the market for an economy faucet. We like these faucets for what they are — decent quality, inexpensive, Chinese faucets. That's the way RONA sells them, and does not pretend they are anything else. For a little used guest bath or laundry sink, we would have no hesitation installing an Uberhaus or Facto faucet. We are impressed with the no-nonsense, transferable, lifetime warranty, and with the smart handling of warranty claims and parts requests by RONA's outside warranty service, Mecanair.
Just use common sense in making your selection. Make sure the faucet includes a ceramic cartridge and not an older technology like a ball or compression valve. These were fine in their day, but outdated now. With RONA quality is reflected in price, so unless you are shopping at some sort of Super Sale, avoid faucets priced below $100 CAD.
If you have had an experience with a RONA faucet, — good, bad or indifferent — that you would like to share, please contact us or leave a comment below. Your experience could be a big help to someone else.