The Cost of Quality
Part 1- Quality Products
$$$ vs. $
Author: Byron Thomson
“Is this worth the price? What is the difference between these options? Should I spend more to get the better one, or is it not really that much better?”
These are questions we often ask ourselves. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut answer that you can always apply to any situation and know you are making the right choice. The following blog posts provide some guidelines that we will go over to help point you in the right direction when it comes to plumbing, both with products and with services.
When it comes to plumbing products there are a huge variety of available options. You can get a sink faucet for $20 or over $2,000. What is the difference and where is the perfect match for your budget and home?
The following are general guidelines and while there are some exceptions, it is generally true.
Most of the manufacturers of faucets offer lifetime warranties to the original owners. The details of those warranties can be different, but most do offer some variation of the same thing. What I have found in my experience is that Moen is the easiest to work with when it comes to warranties.
All products will fail one day, and so it is important to know how the company behind the brand you choose will work with you when it does. Consider these questions
Will they still be in business?
Will they even make the part anymore?
How much work will it be to get the part in the future?
$-Low Price Options
Most plumbing faucets that are very cheap have a lot of cheap plastic in them. This plastic can get brittle and will not hold up to wear and tear like one that has more brass in it. If you are able to hold the cheap one and then hold the more expensive one you are often able to easily tell the difference in weight due to the face that so much more brass in the faucet makes it heavier.
The ultra cheap faucets are usually a good idea to stay away from if you want it to last very long, or be able to be fixed, or find parts for it. Who knows, they may not even be in business when the time comes to want to repair it.
If you purchase the ultra cheap faucet, look at it as a short term disposable faucet and that will help you to have the right expectations. If this is your choice, don’t expect it to last more than a year or maybe two. When it breaks, plan to replace it entirely. Finding a part for a really cheap faucet doesn’t make sense as repairing it will often cost more than replacing it.
$-$$ Low to Middle Price Options
If you would like to purchase a decent faucet without breaking the bank, I recommend picking a Moen, Delta, or Kohler faucet. They all make a budget line variety of choices which still have decent parts in them, and include their lifetime warranty.
I have personally found that Moen is the easiest to work warranty issues with, and so they are at the top of my recommendations list.
These brand name budget faucets are a good way to get something a little better. They are still not as good as the original brand, but at least they still have the same warranty, and an increased odds of being able to get parts quickly.
The next step from there is a mid range option. I would still tend to stick with those three mentioned because the parts are usually more readily available, and they usually warranty them. (I have been having a little issue with Delta recently, I hope they can change the way they work warranties.)
These mid range options have more brass, they feel better when you operate them, are more reliable, and will last longer then the entry level faucets.
$$-$$$ Middle to High Price Options
After this we start to get into European brands. These are often a bit more money, but they are excellent faucets. They usually are very solid brass, and feel amazing. They operate silky smooth, and look fantastic. They are not cheap, and the parts often have to be ordered, but they feel like great quality, they usually last well, and they look great.
While there is plenty more to add, that is a basic intro to what you are looking at in faucets.
Toilets are going to be similar.
The cheapest toilets will have parts in them that usually do not last very long, so expect repairs sooner than later with the cheapest toilet. The cheaper toilets often don’t flush as well either. I’m really not a fan of cheap toilets because as soon as you have to put more money into repairing them, or clearing a stoppage in them, you have used all the money you saved by going with the cheap toilet.
I end up replacing a lot of new cheap toilets with much better ones for people who found that the cheap toilets were just not worth it.
As with faucets, there are cheaper versions that are still brand name. Kohler, Gerber, and Toto all make really good faucets.
I would stay away from Gerber’s entry level toilet called the Maxwell, but after that they have a very good lineup.
There are two things at this point that drive the price up form here.
One is style, and that is completely up to you, it rarely has a bearing on function.
The second factor is engineering. Toilets are designed to flush solids, how much solids they flush, and how they do it is what separates the toilets. Generally, the more solids the toilet can flush, the more expensive it is.
Hopefully these plumbing product tips from byron will help you understand, and be better prepared to choose when You need to! Tune in next week for more discussion on the quality you want and deserve- this time the focus is on the plumbing service & businesses themselves! Don’t miss out on this informative read!
Until next time, thanks for joining us and reading these helpful tips! Never hesitate to call or text with any questions or to schedule a job with us! You can reach us by phone, email, or through our website!