Grohe at Lowes

eleenaMarch 10, 2013

Thanks to a tip from a GW-er, I went to Lowes yesterday and they still had some Grohe faucets on clearance. I can return them within 30 days, so purchased two (just in case) but I am not entirely sure whether or not to keep one.

I have heard/read time and again that the brand name does not mean much when sold at big box stores and that the faucet may look the same but not built the same as the one sold at specialized stores.

Do you know if it applies to Grohe?

What should I check?

It is a full kitchen remodel so the cost will be enormous. I am trying to keep the cost down as much as I can but within reason. I know too well that the a few pennies saved are not worth compromising the quality.

BTW, I got a Kraus faucet for the clean-up sink in the butler's pantry as I was willing to take my chances. I really doubt that it would be any "worse" that the old inexpensive Delta faucet I had there - which was very satisfactory. I would have kept it but I want a single hole faucet. The old Delta faucets in my main sink worked just fine for 20+ years. I did not like the looks and, again, I want a single hole faucet, but that is the only complaint.

I am not really sure about all the fuss about high-end-faucets. For example, I have two $450 Kohler faucets in the master bath and (considerably) less expensive ones (another Kohler and Delta) in the other two bathrooms. Guess which ones I am not happy with...

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

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Search the exact model number. If you can find it for sale at other plumbing sellers, then it's the same quality. If you can't find it 100% exact, then it may be a model made for them only which will contain lesser quality parts in order to achieve a certain price point that they set.

As far as the others, if you are talking a name brand like Kohler, the main difference is styling and whether or not the particular color is a stocked color or special order. The actual finish material sometimes can also contribute to the costs.

I do not care for Chinese sourced products like the Kraus because there is not good quality control for many Chinese products. Some will counter that "everything" is made in China these days, but that's not the case. And even though some American manufacturers have opened their own plants there, they remain under the American manufacturer's control. Those Chinese products produced from "name" firms under their own constructed factories and supervision have many fewer problems than those fully Chinese companies that are subsidized by the Chinese government. There have been too many instances of adulteration of end products with dangerous chemicals or substances and this passed all of the inspections and was only discovered on the US end by some poor consumer having health problems from it.

A faucet is something that gets hard use. Every day. It isn't worth skimping on something questionable that could flood your home or make you sick if it's defective.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 2:26PM
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I would never, and I mean "never", knowingly buy a "fully Chinese" product for reasons you listed. But so many people here reported good experiences with Kraus that I decided it was taking the risk. :-) Plus, Kraus claims "no lead" in their faucets.

FWIW, all other faucets/ shower fixtures in the house are Grohe, Kohler, or Delta (and only b/c that shower had fully functioning Delta valve and I was not willing to open the wall to replace it) from a specialized appliance store.

OK, I'll search by the model # but the sales person said it was a "real" Grohe...

Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If it's the same model #, it's the same faucet. If it's off by one letter or one number even, it's NOT and is probably built to spec for cheap.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 3:29PM
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It can still be a "real" Grohe and made with cheaper parts for a big box store. As everyone has been saying check the exact model number of the item you bought and then go to the Grohe website and check the exact model number there or go to other places that sell Grohe and check the model number there. If there is any difference, e.g. an extra letter or digit, then yours was made specifically for the store you bought it from and MAY contain different parts.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Was told by my Moen rep that even the same model number is still a different faucet when sold at big box stores. Not sure about Grohe.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:40PM
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You can call Grohe customer service to be sure.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:49PM
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A few years ago I got Grohe bathroom faucets, the same as I'd seen elsewhere for more. I like them and have had no problems with them. They were installed in three sinks. The plumber thought they were a good deal.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:12PM
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A few years ago I got Grohe bathroom faucets, the same as I'd seen elsewhere for more. I like them and have had no problems with them. They were installed in three sinks. The plumber thought they were a good deal.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:13PM
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I called Grohe and was told that they do not make different models for other stores. IT just recently installed the bathroom faucets and they are very nice, I had to buy one from amazon and it is the same as the one from Lowe's. Very heavy. I hope it lasts a long time. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Here is another thought, too... regarding Moen, which I was told is different.... you still have the same Moen lifetime guarantee no matter where you bought it. So, if it breaks a year or two earlier than a "better made" Moen, you still call, they still send you parts and or a new faucet. You can't lose, really.

Glad you found out about Grohe... that's good to know!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Grohe website has no model numbers for those I purchased b/c they have been discontinued.

The faucets have quite a few plastic parts. I have no idea how they compare to other brands or other Grohe models.

Even if I asked other Grohe owners about their faucets, would they even remember? Two of my shower fixtures are Grohe and I have no idea what they looked like inside.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:53PM
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The label on the box says "Product of Germany". On the back of the box, it says "German engineered and designed".

I have found (surprise-suprise) another thread from 2011 with almost exact same name as this thread (see link below) and folks seemed very skeptical.

FWIW, I - finally - have been able to reach Grohe CS by phone (an almost impossible task) and was told that yes, it was different from a similar faucet sold through a dealer but only in terms of the dimensions. *Structurally*, it is made the same, so I was told.

I am inclined to keep it.


ETA: edited to add (forgotten) link

Here is a link that might be useful: Another thread

This post was edited by eleena on Thu, Mar 21, 13 at 13:03

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Still unsure whether or not to keep it.

It turns out that the spray"button" does not lock. Is it a deal-breaker?

Not many reviews are available and some say it broke after a year or two. I don't really have time to look for another faucet but I will (look) if I have to.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:42PM
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This is off-topic, but I just came across a short article on German customs controlling the stands for three days at the "The worldâÂÂs leading trade fair on bathroom technology...." in Frankfurt and finding fake high-end bathroom faucets, shower heads, etc. at 42 of the 720 stands (52 products) as well as over a thousand fake products in catalogs and databases that retailers could order from. 90% of the pirated products came from China, Two years ago, they confiscated 224 products. The Frankfurt Fair is becoming less popular among producers of counterfeit products because of increased controls. (see below)
Other brands were Grohe and Dornbracht.

Here is a link that might be useful: counterfeit bathroom faucets etc

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 5:25PM
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My GC says that most all of the sinks at the big box stores have had parts that would be brass (the standard in plumbing) replaced with plastic. Thus, it might not be something you can see. But, I know it applies to even Kohler faucets. The things that have no moving parts (e.g. a tub) are usually fine, but they can still be the same model number and have different parts on the inside. I would be wary, especially with a faucet!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:22PM
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This is an interesting question. I sent Grohe an email and asked this question. Their vague answer "The ones you see in Lowes are made specifically for Lowes." This was my answer.

I ordered one online at Lowes about 2 weeks ago and called just today to be sure that it was going to be delivered when the email stated. I found out they were back ordered for over 3 weeks, after customer service got back on the phone with me after waiting awhile. The Lowe's customer service rep was rude and said we have no way of knowing unless manufacturer tells us. That is another story but through this conversation I found out Trumbull makes them for Lowes.

I was really not happy that Lowes is selling items they don't have available online. I called another place that had the faucet in stock and asked about price matching and she stated that the ones made at Lowes do have some down graded parts and that is why they sell for a lower price.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:07PM
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