Hudson Reed Faucets - Good or Bad ?

dreamywhiteMarch 5, 2009

After admiring a recent finished bathroom photo on here by Sweeby (beautiful!) I came across a new product in my vocabulary "Hudson Reed" and after looking at their website I fell in love with their classic faucets. The price is very good but my husband is extremely picky about good faucets and leaking. So in everyone's opinion are these faucets worth the money? I am comparing them to standard Kohler, Moen and American Standard that don't leak. I LUV the look very much and must convince my husband that they won't leak. So please tell me your experience with them.

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That beautiful Hudson Reed faucet was one I picked up on eBay for $68 -- seriously! Actually, I got two of them for $68 because the first one that arrived had a small 'nick' in one of the handles, so I wrote to HR asking for a replacement handle. They sent me a replacement faucet with most gracious apologies for my trouble, insisting that I keep both as it wasn't fair to ask me to ship it back. (And the nick was small enough that I decided to use the second faucet anyway rather than buy another one...)

Though I hear they are probably made in China, they appear to be very well made -- heavy, nice surfaces, smooth turning action, no plastic parts. The 'made in China theory' certainly makes sense given the price, though I saw no evidence of that in the workmanship, and Hubby - who is also very picky - was favorably impressed. He did the plumbing, and agrees with those who say "You have to read the instructions, and the instructions are lousy" - but otherwise really likes the faucets.

Would I buy them again? For a lavatory faucet, absolutely! The risk simply isn't that great. You can put a drip pan in the vanity if you're nervous, and a lavatory faucet is easy to replace down the road if need be.

We also used one of their exposed valve shower fixtures and are very happy with it. Since we bought ours (which is also very nice and heavy - works great), the price has been cut nearly in half, so I can't see how it could be exactly the same item. For that reason alone, I'd have trouble recommending it. While I had some reservations before buying mine, for the price difference between the HR and the Rohl, I figured the chance was worth taking. PLUS, if it didn't work well, since the valve was surface mounted rather than inside a wall, again - the risk was lower.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 3:38PM
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Thank you for your quick response. Do you or does your husband know if they are made of the solid brass construction like Kohler? The website does not state much and I asked 2 questions on their website last evening with no response as of yet. I need to also know if the rough in valve comes with the wall mounted tub filler, again the website does not state unless I am missing something. We have a regular but extra large tub going in and then a walk in shower which I already purchased the Kohler faucets for. I just LUV the look of the HD Topaz faucets and want to get 2 to match the tub filler. I'm just scared cuz if they turn out to be like a generic brand like PP or something my hubby is not going to be happy. He just spent 2 hours fixing an old faucet last evening that was a generic brand. I'm glad to hear that your husband did the plumbing and mine will also. These are the prettiest ones for the money I must admit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hudson Reed Wall Mounted Tub Filler

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:12PM
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"Do you or does your husband know if they are made of the solid brass construction like Kohler?"

Sorry - I simply don't know...
They were pretty good about answering my emails, so I'd wait to hear from them.

Can't say about the valve on the tub filler either... I'd assume not sisnce it isn't shown. But you never know for sure...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 4:56PM
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I was glad to see this post because the Hudson Reed faucet in Sweeby's beautiful bathroom also caught my eye. Sweeby, I'm especially interested in your exposed shower system.I have been researching these and trying to find one that fits my budget. The Hudson Reed systems are at a price that also makes me concerned they are too good to be true. They state they are made of brass. I know that you expressed concern the quality has changed since you purchased yours, but can you tell me how you like the handshower of the one you currently have? Would the handshower be sufficient to use on it's own w/out the rainshower head? Mrs. Limestone has a Sign of the Crab shower system that she likes, except she said that the handshower does not have enough pressure. She said she is not sure whether that's due to the handshower itself or her plumbing. Is your system thermostatic? I have been swooning over your recent batrhoom pictures, and then I saw your recent post w/the exposed shower system. Absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Hi DW,

We have a HR shower set (not installed yet-plumbing inspector just left- so maybe soon? :>). DH says it is solid brass, and thinks that even the knobs etc, are chrome plated solid brass. Everything looks really well-made and it is very heavy.

I cannot find a 'made in ______' anywhere. ON none of the literature/boxes, etc. But one box did have a label that said NAmerican Shower Head.

So can't tell you anything yet about how it works- just excited that maybe soon...

Here's our HR shower set:

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 3:52PM
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Hi Sherri - The 'too good to be true' bit is exactly what my concern would be. Maybe read recent online reviews to see if their customer service feedback is still fabulous?

The handshower is amazing! Not just good, but amazing! The best I've ever experienced. I use the rain shower head for most of my shower, but switch to the handheld for rinsing shampoo out of my hair. It's a strong, powerful spray and the fixture itself also feels solid and heavy. Now we do have a good dedicated water supply, and I generally shower at odd hours, so that may be a factor. But the handheld itself is really nice. (I hate those little flimsy ones!)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 4:55PM
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Well I went ahead and purchased the tub filler and 2 matching faucets today, was nice to have the free shipping and I found a 5% off coupon online. So we'll wait and see - I hope it was worth the money - oh and the valve did come with the tub filler as their email to me stated today.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 7:30PM
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I would have ordered from them had I found them sooner. I had already placed my faucet order (when I found them) and spent a small fortune. I love Hudson Reed and would have saved a bundle. I have heard only good things about them.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Finally received the faucets - husband HATED them and said he will not install them no matter what. Something about compression fittings and total problems down the road. Said they were the construction of faucets when our grandparents were small. So at least they are letting me return them to NY at my shipping cost for a full refund. So dissapointed they are really nice looking in real life. But I think I'm going with Kohler bancroft now - I better stick to name brands :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:32PM
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I took a chance and ordered an exposed Hudson Reed thermostatic shower valve, similar to Sweeby's. It is the 3/4" version which has a slightly different look that is very similar to the Restoration Hardware version.

I have not installed it yet or taken it apart to see how it works, but I'm very impressed with the appearances. The valve is very heavy, solid brass and the chrome plating on all the parts is perfect. The other elbow fittings and couplings and shower rose are all also quite solidly made of brass/metal with a nice chrome finish. I'm impressed by the little details, like the lever handle on the valve and the hand grip on the shower handset are porcelain instead of plastic. The only exposed piece of plastic is a non-essential wall mounted hose organizer for the hand shower that I don't plan on using. The HR valve has an adjustable mount for the hand shower that installs on the exposed pipes, whereas the Restoration Hardware valve has a wall mount bracket.

The Restoration Hardware installation instructions are an excellent reference even for the Hudson Reed - I'm guessing this style of shower valve was invented ages ago and the basics haven't changed much. The Hudson Reed instructions are confusing on so many levels, and the RH instructions make it all instantly clear.

Other differences: the HR faucet has backflow/check valves and filters on the hot/cold supply going into the valve. There is no check valve/anti-siphon on the shower rose or hand shower. The Restoration Hardware has filters on the supply lines, and then check valves on the shower/hand shower.

Price was excellent, about 1/10th of Restoration Hardware.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 2:36AM
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So glad to hear that Jpmvan!

Mine's still working perfectly -- so no complaints about Hudson Reed from me.

On the installation of the shower fittings, the one key piece of information to remember is that the HR fittings use English/Metric sizes, which aren't the same as North American. Essentially, the 'inside the wall parts' will be North American sizes, but the fixture itself will be metric. When they sell to North American customers, HR sends 'transition pieces' where the US parts meet the metric -- so if you can keep in your head which sizing system each part is in - then it's easier.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 12:22PM
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I'm glad to hear others have had luck with their H-R products...mine were a disaster!! My kitchen faucet leaked and I had to replace it. I don't remember what the problem was with the lav faucet in my master, but I had to return that one as well (I think it was missing a piece). Unfortunately, I didn't follow my gut and installed the tub filler/spray combo. I shudder to think how it's working on the inside, but after initially working decently, nowadays, everytime I turn on the tub filler, water leaks out of the spray arm. Cheap pieces of junk (albethey nice looking cheap pieces of junk!) IMHO.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 2:15AM
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Bumping this back up in case someone else had something to say. Looks like it's a mixed bag of results.

I was wondering, since the valves need adapters to work, won't this be cause for concern over time (like potential leaks)?

I read the reviews on epinions and they are mostly horrific. I love their thermostatic offering though - absolutely gorgeous for about $300.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:39PM
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I have one lav faucet from them for about an year. Plan to buy more for the current remodel. No complaints. Actually, I had a moen from HD before that faucet and it leaked in 3 months. This one replaced it and so far, so good.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 3:24AM
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I never got around to following up after my install, so here it is:

The exposed 3/4" shower valve installed without a hitch with compression fittings that match US 3/4" copper pipe. Works well too, and looks amazing installed.

The installation instructions were more confusing than useful, although the diagrams did help. If you've done any plumbing at all, you'll be ok just using some common sense and the diagram, it also helps to fit it all together before installing. My kit came with a bunch of adapters and fittings I didn't need, which added to the puzzle.

Since it's an exposed valve and the spacing seems to be standard for these, I'm not too worried about repair/replacement. I haven't tried it, but it looks like it can be taken apart easily if needed.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:45PM
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BAD, JUNK, WASTED MONEY. My vessel sink faucet tried two different ones and both started leaking a lot in less than one year, replaced with American Standard. Whirlpool tub filler valves leaked in between walls down to first floor dining room and guest bath... staining ceiling of our new house... had to open wall to find source of leak. I was in the shower when I got scalded due to the failure of their lifetime guaranteed thermostatic valve... installed less than 2 years. They have promised a complete refund of the over $1000 I spent, but I have been waiting for over a year.
I had body jets with holes drilled in tile. Try to find another system to match up... going to a panel to cover up as much as possible. They look nice, they feel substantial, purchase price is inexpensive-- but underneath the chrome, they are junk and cheap -- period, it does not matter where they are manufactured. They had to pay fines to US EPA for flow control violations... stay away, it is only a matter of time. I've got documentation to prove every word.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 2:52PM
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I posted something longer on epinions. I love the shower I have had for over a year. Solid brass, great design, great flow. There was a problem with how it was assembled in the factory, but they were very gracious to send me the replacement cartridges for free a year after I bought it. Works great now. I would recommend them.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Just a quick update -- All three of my Hudson Reed faucets are still working flawlessly.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 7:20PM
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I also am updating. It's been almost 4 years, and after very heavy use, shower works great! Pressure from hand-held is awesome. All pieces looked substantial and well-made and DH had no problems installing everything himself. I definitely recommend HR to anyone, and will use them again in my next two BR renos.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:49PM
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I have the exposed thermostatic shower as well. I was wary about buying something from overseas at first, but I've since bought more bathroom faucets and bathroom hardware from Hudson Reed. Everything that I've come across is solid brass construction with chrome plating, and they ship with stainless steel mounting screws, so there isn't anything that will rust.

They use ceramic disc valves, which last much longer than gate valves. You're not going to find a lot of Hudson Reed products around here, but they are the equivalent of Kohler or American Standard in the UK. They have a 20 year warranty over there, and I think it's 10 years for US residents. Near as I can figure, that has more to do with our higher water pressures being harder on components. Nevertheless, that's a longer warranty than I'll get with Kohler (which is what I've used for pretty much everything else in my house).

I like to tinker, so some of the minor issues that came with mine were easily fixed, although most others would have returned them. My mixer on the shower had a slow drip. I followed the UK instructions (unlike the US website, theirs shows a full exploded diagram) and took the cover plate off, tightened the main assembly with a channel lock, and the leak was fixed. What can I say - it's British. I like it.

Those compression fittings freaked me out a little, since I've only ever used solder or threaded joints, and I had nightmares of them bursting loose. They have been perfect. I am confident that my hardware will outlast me. Compression fittings are foreign to most home owners in the US, but it's pretty commonplace elsewhere. It's natural to avoid them if you're not comfortable with them, but it doesn't make them junk. Just different. Kind of like diesel cars. If you're a DIYer, this might not be the right decision for you. If you're going to have them installed, check with your plumber. If you get a funny look, move on. They'll find every excuse to not install it or install it improperly.

So to reiterate, I respectfully disagree with the assessments that Hudson Reed products are junk. I believe that they're well built, although they might not always be properly assembled (I appreciate the irony of the statement, but what I'm saying is that once everything is assembled correctly, they are awesome).

Just my two cents.

This post was edited by NorthwoodsFox on Wed, Aug 28, 13 at 21:21

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:47PM
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have the exposed shower head as pictured above. has been a disaster from the start. replaced twice. falling apart-it's been gerry-rigged so that it will work, but have finally decided to replace it. I really wanted to like it but lack of function trumps looks

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 5:28PM
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My first post is the need to comment on the lack of customer service with this company. We have had the rainshower fixture with handheld for a few years now. One year in we had to replace the hose for the handheld as it began unraveling (around 30$) now it is unraveling again. I have emailed the company with photos and this is the reply I received.

Thank you for your email, I am sorry to hear you are not happy with the product, This will only happen if the Hose is pulled to(sic) much, maybe your handset is located to(sic) far so the hose is being stretched as this is most unusual.
Please follow the link below to order the hose.
Kind Regards
The Hudson Reed Team

My hose has more than a sufficient amount of slack. It is actually a rubber hose that is enveloped in a metal ribbon. The ribbon has become brittle and dislodged from the handset.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Just checking in again years later with another update -- All three of my Hudson Reed faucets are still working flawlessly and still look great.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I bought an expensive valve from Hudson Reed because I thought it was a higher quality product... WRONG. After 4 months of work and 25,000.00 building a spa bathroom with 2 shower heads I finally got to test out the showers. One is significantly cooler than the other. I called tech support to find out what I have to do to get them to be the same temp and the guy said to me, "oh no you can't run them at the same time" WHAT???? "If you do then one will be much cooler than the other" I AM FURIOUS, Why would I ever buy a dual shower valve and only run one device. Obv they know this valve will not supply consistent temps to both devices but on the product desc it says "if you run the both you may experience a loss in pressure" it does not say... you will have one hot shower head and one luke warm shower head. If it did, obv I would NOT have bought it. When I asked to speak to someone of authority I was told that nobody was available to speak to me. So hear I am with a beautiful bathroom with a huge walk in tiled shower and this piece of crap valve in my walls that does not work. I COULD NOT BE ANYMORE DISSATISFIED WITH THE PRODUCT OR THE COMPANY.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Hello Kkindop,

I work for HudsonReed and would like to help resolve your problem. It would appear the information our customer service rep gave you over the phone was wrong and I apologize for this.

Please email me and I will personally help you resolve your problem. I'm confident we can get your shower hot and working.

I hope the forum moderators don't mind me registering here in order to reach out.

Best Regards,
Dan Gillen
Hudson Reed

1 Like    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 5:15AM
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Hello HudsonReedDan,

I have a slight question and I hope you don't mind me asking you this on here? I live in the Czech Republic, though regularly go to England on a monthly basis. I would like to buy a traditional thermostatic shower for our home in the Cz.Rep, but I am scared that something might go wrong and I will have a whale of a time trying to get it fixed. All the companies in England, that supply Hudson Reed items, are online which means I can't get a chance to have a look at the products first... Would you have anything that could possibly encourage me to buy from you? (forgive my bluntness!). I am quite picky when it comes to quality because we have regularly replaced our showers here... not my fault! :)

Also, why are people talking about a cartridge?! I hope that doesn't apply to the showers?! With regards, J.G.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 12:55PM
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kkindopp, did you get your valve issue resolved?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2015 at 4:58PM
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Pohoda, have you thought of using
Hansgrohe products? Since they are made in Germany and have a good track record I thought maybe I would suggest that line for you. I live in the US and have this brand for all my faucets and showers. I have been happy.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 6:48AM
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John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.

I have a nice selection of Hudson Reed fixtures in my home. I have been doing extensive testing on the product and really like the way they are made and designed. I have followed Dan around and found him to be ever so helpful with people needing a little more guidance.

I put a good blog post together to help people install Hudson Reed's Body Jets. You can view that here: Installation Guide for Hudson Reed Body Jets

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 7:52AM
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Enduring, we have some Hansgrohe products. But they are far too german in the style aspect. I want a classic traditional bathroom, and Hudson Reed has a good selection of classically inspired items... especially the thermostatic shower! :) am looking at British companies now. fingers crossed there are some good prices..

1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 2:47AM
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We have the exposed thermostat shower with the classic shower head and handheld combo. Everything has been fine so far, except for the shower head. We have blown out 2 bottom plates at this point and I have concerns about installing this again. When this plate lets loose, it definitely has some force. Fortunately, it has missed my head but the next time, I might not be so lucky.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 2:15PM
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StarCraft Custom Builders

Hudson Reed is an international e-tailer that sells faucets, showers, tub fillers and bath accessories through web sites targeted to various countries. There is, for example, a U.S. site, a Canadian site and one for the U.K.

The company sells Fresca faucets, a brand made in China by Kaiping Yadanli Sanitary Ware Industry Co., Ltd.

We are researching but have not yet published a review or rating of Fresca faucets.

We do know:

  • The faucets are certified as complying with the joint Canadian/U.S. safety and reliability standards of ASME A-112.18.1/CSA B-125.1 and the joint lead-free requirements of ANSI/NSF 61/9. Certification to these standards is required by all model plumbing codes used in North America. Fresca faucets may be legally installed in all states, except Massachusetts where a separate state approval is required. This approval has not be issued.
  • The faucets comply with the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, and may therefore be "introduced into commerce" in the U.S.
  • They comply with the separate state lead free standards, and may be sold and installed in California, Maryland, Louisiana and Vermont.
  • The 10 year warranty offered on the faucets is below the U.S./Canadian standard for faucet warranties, which is "lifetime". The Hudson Reed written warranty does not come close to meeting either the formal or content requirements of the U.S. Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. Stainless steel finishes are guaranteed for 5 years. All other finishes 10 years unless otherwise stated in the product description.

For ratings and reviews of over seventy faucet companies, see StarCraft Faucet Ratings and Reviews.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2015 at 8:55AM
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