Tubs/Fixtures, etc From Big Box Stores EXACT Same as

monicakm_gwAugust 12, 2014

...what the manufacturer sells? Back in 2002 and then again in 2007 we did some major remodeling. I learned back then that often times manufacturers made products specifically for that store (say Lowes or Home Depot). The quality suffered as the products were made with cheaper components for the discount savings those stores offer. I learned that the manufacturer number may be just one number or one letter difference but that was the way to tell if the product was made for the store. Does this still hold true for today? Can I assume that if a product I find in Lowes has the exact manufacture number as the product's website, that I don't have a cheaper version made for Lowes?

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If the numbers match exactly, then my understanding is that the products match exactly.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Kohler says that their products at the Big Box stores are different. Daltile makes a different product for Home Depot than what is sold in their showrooms.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:15PM
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jelly, even with the exact same numbers?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:59PM
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Shoot, linelle, I can't remember now! But when I was shopping, I called Kohler and they explained it to me. I also discovered at that time that information about certain models on their website was inaccurate ... models were said to be of brass construction when they actually were not. They verified this and said the website would be updated, but I never checked back to see if it was. Just something to be aware of when shopping.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:02PM
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Like numbered items are the same whether you get them at the BORG , the local mom & pop, or of the internet ! This is true even of Kohler. Honestly , you think the $5000 kohler numi toilet I get at Park Ave.Plumbing is different than the one I get from Home Depot ? Are either different than what I'd get at iPlumbing dot com ?

Now, what happens a lot is that the BORGs will contract for items that are only sold at their stores and those can be of lesser quality because they are ordered to a price point and the manuf. makes it to sell at that price and adjusts the design, materials and features to meet those goals.

Another thing that happens is that the BORGS will only carry the manuf. entry level product which is lower spec'd and cheaper to begin with. The Moen or Kohler tub shower combo set you run down to the warehouse store tonite and pickup is not the same quality (or price) as the iODigital shower or MasterShower valve from those companies. But, those cost in the $1000 range while the kit to go retails for $149 !

The stores, nor the manufs. are trying to flim flam you. They are simply giving you what you want. Cheap, readily accessible products available in every town. That's not conducive to uber quality and why you see a lot of these manuf. moving once domestic production to foreign cheap labor centers.

Wanna change this ???

Buy (really, order) domestic made products from a local store and stop whining about the price. Pay the freight like your parents and grandparents did and stop losing sleep over whether or not you got a "deal".

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:49PM
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xedos, I basically knew all that but was just wondering if it's still a common practice. Unfortunately I always seem to never find anything I like at the big box stores or it's a special order item but mostly my materials are not items that are found at Lowes and Home Depot. Having said that, DH's bathroom remodel is on a little tighter shoestring than normal. We're just gathering material when we can buy it. He doesn't want to borrow money nor does he want a lot of money spent on it...he says he's doing this for me. As far as he's concerned, the bathroom is fine (LOL)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:26PM
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Those deep American Standard whirlpool tubs that HD displays with the horizontal overflow drains at the top are sold elsewhere under a different name, but as far as I can tell the same product. I've seen this with faucets too. But oftentimes the big brands that sell at HD or Lowes will have a unique model just for the big box store to avoid direct competition between retailers.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:29AM
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I found two bathroom sink faucets from Delta that I like. I have had Delta in the kitchen for 12 years with no issues. The model #s on the Delta website are exactly the same was the ones on the Lowes website. This means they are the same in every way, right?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 12:42AM
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This means they are the same in every way, right?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 6:57PM
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I believe DELTA products carry a lifetime warranty. I had a DELTA faucet in my kitchen which I ordered online about 5 years ago..... had a water heater replaced and the change in pressure damaged the faucet ... I called DELTA to see about a replacement part and was told that the faucet itself was discontinued so I should look at their offerings and select a NEW faucet. (we received it in about 3 days).
I would not hesitate to purchase Delta anything. ( I am assuming that the warranty is the same no matter where you purchase...)
Stellar customer service-DELTA

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:17AM
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They do carry a lifetime warranty and I've had no trouble at all out of my Delta kitchen faucet that was installed 12 years ago. I would have used Delta in my bathroom 7 years ago if I'd found what I was looking for. Since the models I'm looking at at Lowes are the exact model #s as Delta, I feel confident I'm getting a quality product.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:38PM
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I would call the manufacturers about any significant differences.

Just because a local store is more expensive does not mean their products are better. They don't have the purchasing power and volume pricing larger companies can offer. They have to compete somehow, so I would be just as wary of what they are trimming to survive. That said, I often find they are quite competitive with pricing.

There is plenty of cheap junk to go around anywhere, imo. And you can still pay a lot of money for it. Buyers must always beware, unfortunately.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:14AM
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When I was looking for 3 toilets to replace in house we were remodeling, the first toilet we bought from local HD would not fit together (two piece Cadet 3 I think)...the contractor took it back twice and couldn't get a good fit either time.
I went to plumbing supply place cause I needed a specific part for Roman tub not available at Lowes or HD and talked to guy there...
He said that what often happens is that big box stores sell "seconds" basically--products like a two piece toilet which came separately are much more difficult to find good matches/fits than the ones sold through his company where the two pieces came in one box...I ordered 3 of same toilets from him and cntractor didn't have any issues with installation at all...
He said that plumbers would not waste the time homeowners would taking stuff back that didn't work right...
I know that often times, faucets sold at HD and Lowes come sans handles so you have to buy those and often times both prices are more $ than when ordered as one unit from a plumbing supply place...
I ordered almost every bathroom and kitchen fixture on line from company I can't remember now--cheaper, no sales tax, and better quality...

I wonder if the tile like DalTile sold at the Big Boxes are maybe border line seconds as well--where the color isn't quite fired right or the edges are not quite as even/smooth...

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 8:22PM
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I had always heard there was a difference between the same products from either the big boxes or plumbing supply places and just this week I learned it is true. I ordered a Delta tub faucet with hand sprayer from Lowe's and when it arrived the hand shower, which was plastic, was cracked. My plumber told me this was typical (the plastic parts) and advised I go to a plumbing supply place and pick up another set. Same set, same manufacturer, identical model number, but this time the hand shower was brass. A bit more expensive but at least there is no plastic.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 6:38AM
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Hummm, I know there is a difference between SOME big box store vs plumbing warehouse items but I was told if the model number was the same, there was no difference. My Delta Addison vanity faucet came from faucetdirect dot com and has the same model number as the Delta website. I hope it's not full of plastic parts!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 12:29PM
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Seriously, the model number was identical. Even my husband didn't believe me until he double checked. It is the Delta Dryden and the model number on the Delta website is the same as the model numbers on the faucets from both Lowe's and Ferguson.

The cheap plastic hand shower was very obvious. The scary part was what I couldn't see.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 7:12AM
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