help! brizo came today - it's plastic! suggestions please asap

jacqueline5September 20, 2013


I'm at my wits end with shoddy, expensive fixtures!

We are doing a forced remodel thanks to Newport Brass aka the outrageously expensive, piece of garbage, customer no-service, lousy warrantee, fixture duds - every single fixture except two lav faucets have failed!. (For my long sad story, see previous post entitled Newport Brass = Expensive Garbage...)

This time around I decided to focus on quality, reputation and warranty when selecting the fixtures for our shower. I was told that good old reliable Kohler, Moen, and Delta do not make the valves I need and the closest I can get is Brizo, Delta's high end line. The showroom didn't have Brizo for me to touch and see so I made my selections from their catalog.

The Brizo stuff arrived today. Imagine my horror to pick up the boxes and find them light as air! The rain shower head RP52090PC and the two in one shower head/hand held 86200-PC are almost 100% chrome colored plastic! Even some of the parts to the temp valve and the volume controls that go inside the walls are PLASTIC. They cost a small fortune - I'm shocked!

I need advice and I need it quick! Our shower has three heads. A rain shower coming directly from the ceiling (reusing our old one) a traditional shower head on the wall for the husband and a hand held on a mount for me (I love the idea of the two-in-one but its not a deal breaker). I have to have a temperature valve and three volume controls. I want to be able to run any combination of the shower heads, one at a time a couple at a time or all at once. Everything is set up as far as water supply and drain to handle the volume. I like traditional styling, cross hatch handles preferred (claw foot tub and lav faucets are cross hatch). Who makes a quality product that I can rely upon? I never want to wake up to water flooding down my chandelier through my dining room ceiling again. I'd like bomb-proof fixtures that are also pretty - is that too much to ask?

I hope you don't mind but I'm cross posting to the bathroom forum. I need to return these fixtures and order something else tomorrow!

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Sophie Wheeler

Have you considered Huntingdon Brass? They certainly aren't plastic. The handheld can double as a medieval weapon if need be, and you might actually hurt yourself pretty badly if you dropped it on a toe. Solid doesn't even begin to describe it. If your pipes aren't well secured, you can have issues with them pulling loose from the weight. Which is probably why some manufacturers use the plastic.

Kohler is also good. I've never liked Danze. It's no "upgrade" to regular Delta at all.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:42AM
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we just had Brizo installed yesterday in our master bath...the Siderna line. It was super heavy, and the weight of the faucet handles surprised me. I like the chrome finish, and didn't think it looks "plastic". Plumber who installed felt they were nice, heavy fixtures. Of course they are the same guts as Delta, I'm sure, just more expensive and maybe prettied up on the outside! I haven't used them yet, but upon install, all seemed ok to myself and the plumber?? I hope you find something you are happy with!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:52AM
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I have had good sucess and quality with Grohe. Bought them from

I'd return the Brizo.

This post was edited by Geoffrey_B on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 12:11

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Hi thank you for your replies!

I called Huntington Brass. Super nice fellow on the phone and willing to help me choose fixtures, valves, etc. However, he didnt have warranty information and couldn't direct me to a site that has it. He said they will replace a handle if it breaks in a few years and sometimes they will mail cartridges if they leak but otherwise they don't really cover replacement or repairs.

The volume handles on the Brizo are nice and heavy, the shower heads and quite a lot of the bits that go in the walls are plastic. Which make me very nervous.

I feel like I'm looking for a husband again! I'm not just looking for a pretty face, I want strength and brains that will endure for the long haul!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:14PM
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I do not have the Brizo shower head---I bought a Grohe! I did buy the shower valve and bath faucet

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Thanks for letting us know about Brizo and Newport Brass. I saw them in a showroom and thought they had a nice look and feel but after reading so many negative comments I don't think I will even bother looking at them. I have Kohler in our small bathroom and not a problem in 12 years.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:43PM
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handhelds will almost all be plastic--that is to protect you from (what you'd like to be metal) heating up as the hot water flows through the HH.

I can't say for the showerhead though. I will say, it is likely you got the builder chrome edition... Chrome in any line is more likely to be the "plastic" one with other metal finishes being actual metal.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:08PM
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I got sick of mold forming on the plastic rubbery holes on shower and hand-held heads. Looking at hardware stores, I could not find any hand-helds that were not plastic. What I tried, and what worked for me, was to get the smallest solid brass shower head, which has an on-off valve, and attach that to a metal hose. I needed a brass fitting to attach it to the hose, since it is threaded for the shower arm. Click the linky below to see it, it is quite small.

It makes it so that the hanging hose sprays downward, not outward. This works well for me, since I have a fixed shower head at the top. I use the handheld for aiming at specific places, and find that this small hose-end spray is better for directing water than a traditional hand-held. I also use it when shaving my legs, when I turn the water at the nozzle on and off as needed, right there, as I am bent over, without having to stand up again to do so. This hand-held set-up works best, however, at washing the dog. The spray is directed downward, toward the dog, and there is less juggling and dropping involved in getting the dog soaped and rinsed.

I still am using a tub-shower combo. I was a little concerned that the heavy brass fitting might chip the tub if I dropped it and it swung too hard against the porcelain. It has not done so. I love the set-up.

I know that it is unconventional, and that it is not going to work as a hand-held on one of those adjustable-height poles. But if you find a fixture that you like - except that the hand-held head is plastic - keep this idea in mind. For $23 at Ace, you can get a different fixture to put at the end of that hose that is solid brass. Do you really need it to spray at you from the wall, or do you need to use it as a hand-held? If you want to use it in your hand, this is a good solution.

I suppose if you are at a good plumbing store, you might even be able to find plumbing parts to give you a 90 degree turn. Then if you had the right diameter pieces, you might be able to hang it on the height-adjustable wall bracket.

I am sorry that you home suffered damage from plastic parts in your high-end plumbing fixtures. It is almost like nothing matters today, as long as it LOOKS good! I will remember your story as I go about my buying for our bath remodel that we expect to do in a year or so.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small showerhead

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:06PM
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You might want to look at California Faucets. Not a bit of apparent plastic in mine. I don't have their handheld although those almost always have plastic for heat and potential injury reasons. Lots of styles to choose from and I thought their prices were reasonable for the quality.

California Faucets customer service was friendly and helpful when I called with questions. Then I purchased from for the best prices, calling in my order to include a piece not in their online site.

Here is a link that might be useful: California Faucets site

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 1:35AM
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Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions! I love this community!

I went back to the showroom today to return all the Brizo parts. I was hopping mad after a phone call in which I was told I would have to pay a 25% restocking fee. However, once I arrived the rep said she spoke to Brizo and they were going to waive the fee (good thing because there was no way in the hot place I was going to pay it). Anyhoo... She showed me that the plastic I was seeing on the valve bodies is to protect the cartridges during installation and will come off after tile is complete. Even she was surprised at the poor quality of the shower heads. They really are dreadful - I've seen nicer on the shelf at Walmart - seriously! I decided to keep the valves and handles which are nicely made, heavy metal and do what I need them to do. I returned the plastic shower heads. We searched the showroom for non-plastic shower heads. Even most of Grohe's heads are plastic now! I was able to find two that will work. The shower head is a Jado Hatteras shower head 842/083 and the hand held is Brizo Vesi wall mount hand shower RP41202. I was not able to see either in person in the chrome finish but I have been assured they will be all metal. I understand the theory of saving me from the heavy hot shower head but I've had sold metal fixtures for over 50 years now and have yet to injure myself with one. I think it's a BS sales pitch by the marketers to save money.

Next up - marble slab shopping tomorrow wheeee! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 2:16AM
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