Plumbing Fixtures: Plumbing Supply Companies vs. Big Box Stores
Friday, June 23, 2017
When renovating a kitchen or bath space, one must consider where they will purchase their plumbing fixtures. Faucets, shower systems, toilets, and other plumbing products are often found at a lower price at big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot, as opposed to a plumbing supply company. There is an important reason as to why plumbing fixtures are more expensive when being purchased through a plumbing supply company. Many manufacturers release lower quality products that can only be found at retail stores to meet certain price points. These manufacturers are interested in meeting the needs of any consumer. This means they must cater to those consumers who refuse to pay for top quality plumbing fixtures. The result: a cheaper version of the real fixture.
Although the products may look identical, the quality of the product found at Home Depot is inferior to those bought from plumbing supply companies or plumbers. Big box store fixtures have a plastic shell and contain plastic fittings and cartridges. When plastic starts to build up calcium or starts to corrode, it cannot be brought back to its original condition. Plumbing supply companies sell the same product, but it has an actual metal finish, ceramic cartridges, and brass fittings. These products perform much better and are more reliable than the cheaper versions.
The poor quality of plumbing fixtures found at retail stores results in the homeowner having to replace the products every couple of years. Buying a faucet through a plumbing supply company may be more expensive at first, but this product will outlast its inferior counterpart and eventually pay itself off. Plumbers and homeowners can bring defective or bad fixtures back to a plumbing supply company and swap it out and/or easily find replacement parts. Plastic fixtures from big box stores must be completely replaced once it starts to wear down or break.
Many plumbers will refuse to install fixtures from retail stores because they know they will likely fail within a few years. Perhaps the greatest reason to purchase a fixture from a plumber or supply company is the peace of mind it will give you.