Review & Rating
5350 Venice Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA 90019
800 655 2534
Zucchetti Rubinetteria, S.P.A.
Via Molini Dei Ressiga 29
Gozzano 28024 Italy
This Company In Brief
Zucchetti is an Italian faucet manufacturer established by Alfredo Zucchetti in 1929, and one of the oldest of the Italian kitchen and bath fittings designer companies still in operation in Italy. Zucchetti USA, Inc. is its North American distributor organized as a Delaware corporation in 2010 with its principal place of business in Los Angeles.
The company designs and manufactures uniquely styled faucets in Italy's Piedmont area, about 60 miles northeast of Turin, and ships them worldwide through a new 775,000 square foot logistics center in Gozzano. It uses components made either in house or purchased from European sources. We found no record of significant imports of faucet parts or components from Asia.
Zucchetti S.p.A. is a part of the Zucchetti Group of related businesses that also includes Zucchetti Mario S.p.A. (a foundry specializing in hot forging) and Omez S.p.A. (a plastics molding company). Zucchetti Group is owned by the Zucchetti family and managed by a third generation of Zucchettis.
The North American operation, Zucchetti USA, Inc. is managed by Jessica Kienzl and Chris Penna, both of whom also have an interest in another business located at the same address, Bradco Imports, Inc., a kitchen and bath design firm that sells just about everything needed for the kitchen and bath, including Zucchetti faucets. Bradco also does business under the unregistered trade name, Moda Collection.
Zucchetti is a true designer company. Its bathroom faucets are a part of collections that may include shower systems, bath fillers, tubs and sinks, furnishings, and accessories: all created by noted architects and product designers including Palomba Serafini Associati (featuring Ludovica & Roberto Palomba); Matteo Thun & Partners; Diego Grandi and Nespoli e Novara, all Italian designers from the Milan area.
The content of each collection varies widely. most do not include fixtures such as tubs or sinks, or furniture; but any deficiency in that area is made up by another Zucchetti Group company, KOS, which manufactures the spas, lavatories, bathtubs, show enclosures, accessories and bathroom furniture that Zucchetti does not make, using designs by Ludovica & Palomba that coordinate with Zucchetti bath faucets.
Founded in 1998 to manufacture whirlpool tubs and shower cabins, KOS was acquired by Zucchetti Group in 2007. The two companies are now so intertwined that they are often referred to as simply Zucchetti-KOS. A distributor or showroom that carries Zucchetti decorative fittings will also probably handle KOS fixtures.
Many of Zucchetti's faucet creations have won prestigious awards at juried design competitions. Zucchetti designs have earned a coveted Good Design award from the Chicago Athenaeum, several Red Dot design excellence awards, the Design Plus award sponsored by the German Design Council, and the Italian ADL Design Index prize.
Between 1992 and 2004, Zucchetti participated in a scheme among 17 European sanitary wares manufacturers to fix prices in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, France and Holland.
The conspiracy collapsed after then the new owner of Hansgrohe, discovered the scheme and immediately disclosed it to authorities.
In 2010 the European Commission fined Zucchetti $4.56 million for violating Article 101 of the European Union Treaty, finding that the company had been a willing participant in the illegal activities of the group.
The following companies were implicated in the conspiracy:
|Artweger GmbH & Co. KG||Austria||$3.2|
|Cisal Rubinetteria SpA||Italy||$1.4|
|Duscholux Holding AG||Switzerland||$1.9|
|Kludi GmbH & Co. KG||Germany||$6.4|
|RAF Rubinetterie SpA||Italy||$0.3|
|Roca Sanitario SA||Spain||$47.4|
|Villeroy & Bosch AC||Germany||$87.5|
Styling ranges from classic to ultra-modern with a look suited for just about any decor from Victorian to modern urban chic, but heavily weighted, as are most Italian faucet collections, toward the contemporary. The emphasis is on bathroom fittings, but the company also offers six kitchen faucet collections, including the striking ZP1265 Isy faucet shown above.
Prior to 2010 it appears that Zucchetti exported some faucets to North America, primarily to individual kitchen and bath studios and designers, a process that appears to have been coordinated through Bradco, Inc. The creation of Zucchetti USA, Inc. appears to be an effort to centralize distribution, provide a North-American-based customer service component and better coordinate sales and post sale support. It seems to have been successful based on the steadily increasing number of Zucchetti faucets being imported into North America since 2010.
The company sells through plumbing product distributors, showrooms and individual kitchen and bath designers. Some of these authorized sellers have an internet presence through which they sell basic Zucchetti faucets. But, for split and special finishes, a trip to the nearest showroom or consultation with an kitchen and bath designer is recommended.
Faucets are available in fourteen metallic or colored finishes, including one chrome/gold Some of these are the nearly indestructible finishes, but most are plated or powder coated.
The Savoir collection of modern faucets has its own palette. Four metallic finishes paired with six trim colors, making a total of 24 different possible combinations.
The Zucchetti website is colorful and artfully styled, but difficult at first to navigate until you figure out the navigation scheme. With a little practice it becomes easier, but never truly intuitive. Look for little arrows (?) that indicate an option to scroll for additional information.
The information provided about each faucet may include a dimensioned drawing of the faucet, installation instructions, a parts diagram, and the available finishes. But, not all of these sheets are provided for every faucet. The Him collection, for example, provides just the dimension drawing and finish sheets, no parts diagram and no installation instructions.
These are all .pdf files that have to be downloaded to be read. The faucet drawing is dimensioned in millimeters rather than inches and will require translating for U.S. viewers. The parts diagram includes the inventory number of each part of the faucet, but no description of the part in either Italian or English. You just have to somehow know, for example, that part number R98112 for the ZON594 faucet is a ceramic disc mixer cartridge.
There is usually no detailed specification sheet, so the information normally appearing in specifications is missing, including maximum flow rate, standards certifications, ADA compliance, WatersenseŽ qualification and the cartridge type and manufacturer. This is a major hole in the information available to a potential buyer, and one Zucchetti should plug. It makes it more difficult for specifiers like architects and designers as well as individual buyers to adequately assess the faucet. We suggest you telephone customer support and get this information before deciding on a Zucchetti faucet.
Installation instructions are "international": a series of drawings illustrating the installation steps with virtually no explanatory text. All measurements, water temperature ranges and other specifications are metric rather than in U.S. customary units. Admittedly the U.S. needs to get in step with the rest of the world and adopt the metric system. But, until that happens plumbers are not going to be happy with metric measurements.
For architects and designers there is sometimes, but not always, a 2D drawing and a 3D CAD model of a faucet, which makes it easier to incorporate into specifications and designs.
We found a few problems with the site. In many places white text is superimposed on a white or very light background, making it impossible to read. The English language version sometimes reverts unexpectedly to Italian. The site search function does not appear to work at all. No matter what we searched on, we got zip. We tried searching on collection names, faucet model numbers, and common faucet terms like "cartridge" and "chrome", but got nothing. We figured that the search engine might not understand English, so we tried common Italian faucet terms (cartuccia and cromo) and still got nothing. We're not sure what language the search engine speaks.
When using the web site, keep in mind that while you can find out useful information about Zucchetti and its products, you cannot buy a faucet through the site. You can buy only from an authorized dealer. Unfortunately, however, the website does not include a dealer directory, so finding the nearest dealer may require a bit of sleuthing.
Bucking the industry trend of reducing the number and type of ceramic cartridges used in a line of faucets, Zucchetti uses at least a dozen different ceramic cartridges in its various sink faucets. All appear to have been made in Italy. We have not, however, been able to identify specific manufacturers. We are frankly surprised that the cartridge manufacturer or manufacturers are not identified on the company website. Faucet manufacturers that use good cartridges are usually more than willing to identify the manufacturers that make them.
Zucchetti's faucet warranty is decidedly sub-standard for the North American market. The warranty term is just five years, even on finishes (which have been proven over and over again to be nearly indestructible). What Zucchetti's management is telling you with its warranty is that it is not willing to bet its own Euros that its faucets will last more than five years. If they do, great. But, if not, Zucchetti does not want to pay for it. So, if six years down the road your Zucchetti finish starts to flake or your cartridge starts to drip, the problem is yours and yours alone to deal with. Zucchetti will do no more than sell you the parts to fix it.
If management actually believes its faucets will last just five years, it needs to drastically improve its manufacturing. We suspect they will actually last much longer, but then Zucchetti management may know something about the faucets that we don't.
Italian faucet companies that sell in the U.S. such as Zucchetti, have evidently gotten the idea that they are competing only among themselves, so the standard 3-5 year European warranty is sufficient. It's not, and if they want to compete head to head with American faucet companies that offer lifetime warranties, they need to consider a much, much stronger warranty posture. One Italian company has gotten the message and has steadily improved its warranty over time. It started with a 5-year warranty, upgraded to ten years, and now guarantees its Italian-made faucets for a lifetime. There is no reason that Zucchetti cannot do the same.
Imported Italian faucets comparable to Zucchetti include
North American made or assembled faucets of similar quality with stronger warranties include
We are continuing to research the company. If you have experience with Zucchetti faucets, good, bad or indifferent, we would like to hear about it, so please contact us or post a comment below.