+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Recently a plumber told me not to buy my kitchen remodel; sink, faucet, etc. from HD, because the name brand manufactures (Kohler, Blanco, ect.) make 2 different grades of the same product. One for big box stores and a higher grade for Plumbing Supply (bath-kitchen show rooms)same exact item/skew #. I will admit that there is quite a difference in price so it does seem plausible, and clothing designers/manufacturers routinely do this, but I want to be sure the information is accurate before I shell out hundreds of $$$$ more for the this expensive renovation. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Such seems to be the case, which is a point of frustration. HL, Lowes etc have a hundred faucets in stock and displayed and you can see the price ****** before you go there. The plumbing supply? Not so much, they cater toward the professional.
    One big difference seen over and over again is the quality of the "mid grade" product. It's now a plastic shell with plastic cartridges and a little bit of brass. When plastic starts to get calcium deposits or corrode, it is done and cannot be brought back to original condition. The products at HD and Lowes? Those are the plastic ones.
    What you do have to consider is, just how nice will your kitchen/bathroom be? I know I have the habit of wanting everything I do to be the best, but when I go to replace the facuet in my downstairs bathroom, I have to consider that I will likely replace the floor, the sing and maybe even the tub in that bathroom in 8 years. I don't need a $200 faucet.
    Are you doing a 10k full kitchen renovation, or a 90k kitchen renovation? I know it stinks to have to judge your home/life/work that way, but do you really need a $400 faucet with formica countertops and a basic sink?
    Bottom line is, stores will carry what sells. If the best quality products sold, they would be carried.
    Should you decide you want the stuff only the plumbing supply carries, you plumber might get a trade discount. Ask your plumber to pass some of the savings on to you(remembering you have to pay your plumber for the effort of purchasing the product, driving to the supply etc).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    I don't know about retail vs. wholesale product lines, but there may be something else at play.

    First, there is a lot of conflict-of-interest in the home & real estate businesses. Perhaps, I'm jaded, but I found that most of the time, sales people sell what they have, not what you need, and only when both interests are compatible do you'll have a satisfactory transaction.

    We worked with a designer on a kitchen several years ago who had fantastic testimonials, and we ended up buying a lot of product from her as a "dealer". Basically, she got a designer fee, and a mark-up on the products she sold us, and we had an uneasy feeling about her objectivity.

    Most contractors want to optimize its gross profit through vertical integration, and many say it's more than fair. I agree, but then you must act in your own interest because the person you thought to be "trusted" has a conflict because he's not being totally objective. (That's why for many years the law prohibited Doctors from owning labs & service companies that provided care they prescribed as your physician -- see the potential professional abuse ?).

    Last week in the TOH main page, there was an article with a headline something like "15 Things Your Realtor Won't Tell You" and the realtors went bonkers in the comments section. I witnessed many of these concealed "truths" in successful realtors and nodded my head to every point, but the realtors denied the reality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Thanks for the prompt responses! Fortunately... or not... my remodel is in the mid-range, not 10K but certainly not 90K, which means I'm probably more susceptible to the switch. I am looking to save some $ but still not sacrifice quality on the sink and faucet. I assumed that if I stayed with a higher end manufacturer (Kohler, Blanco, etc.) I could get the same product at HD but now I'll probably go with the Bath-Showroom. I have been waiting for 20 years for this remodel (and will not be doing it again) so I'll just bite the bullet and shell out the $$$. Now I just need to justify the price differential to my Accountant husband!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New London County, CT
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    My $.02. I have spent 20 years doing handyman work and if there is one thing I think important it is parts availability. It does not matter where you buy the product if parts cannot be gotten down the road.

    I have had to replace a faucet because parts could not be gotten at the big box store or the plumbing supply house. This most often happens with box box store brands. I have accounts at the major plumbing stores and industrial suppliers in the area. They sell to me at much higher prices because of my low volume.

    Last summer we did an addition and we found what we wanted at the big box store and bought using our builder at a competitive price for the same product. Not a similar product but the very same.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    There may be differences in quality, but there will also be a difference in the part number or model number. Many times it will be a letter in the first or last digit, but it can be a completely different part/model number. The manufacturer has to have some way of telling the difference in their stock rooms and shipping departments.

    It might also have something on the package like "Made exclusively for Home Depot" or something like that. An example, my neighbor bought a riding lawn mower at a discount warehouse (name ends in "Club") and a few years later one of the blade bearings gave out. He called a local small engine shop to order the part but only gave them the name of the mower, something like "Cadet 4200" or something like that.

    The bearing was too big so he loaded up the trailer and went to the small engine shop. Turned out that the model number had an additional letter on the nameplate, something like "4200W" which meant is was a discount model and had a smaller bearing.

    Bear in mind that this riding mower was about 7 years old when the bearing gave out which is pretty typical, so bigger is not always better.

    For serviceability, the faucets at Home Depot may work just as well as the ones from the designer showroom. But the designer showroom may have a wider selection. I have never had a problem with their products.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,084

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Amanda HD,

    When it comes to faucets, stay with Delta and Moen, the companies which back up their products for life, no questions asked. Never buy Kohler faucets, expensive imports or any of the ridiculously high priced faucets out there, no matter how sexy they look. That includes the house brands (like glacier bay).

    When it comes to tubs, sinks and toilets, you can consider Kohler.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    That includes the house brands (like glacier bay).
    Could not agree more with this. My house has a house brand faucet that probably came with the sink and while the faucet still works, the chrome plate is worn to nothing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    I just purchased 7 new faucets. I knew i wanted a quality product. ceramic disc valves, all brass construction etc. I found my faucets for a great price by researching vendors who carried faucets that were going to be discontinued. I dont know how friendly your plumbing supply house is, but we were lucky and our guy helped us out with this. hope this helps! also search the internet for deals on faucets you like! You never know you may find a great deal on something you love!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Plumbing supply store vs. big box store.. HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltop View Post
    I just purchased 7 new faucets. I knew i wanted a quality product. ceramic disc valves, all brass construction etc. I found my faucets for a great price by researching vendors who carried faucets that were going to be discontinued. I dont know how friendly your plumbing supply house is, but we were lucky and our guy helped us out with this. hope this helps! also search the internet for deals on faucets you like! You never know you may find a great deal on something you love!
    They may be a great deal when you buy them but you will pay when it comes time to repair them. dj1 has given good advice.

    John

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •