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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

NEVER Buy Plumbing Fixtures From The Big Box Stores

Is a kitchen or bathroom remodel part of your plans for 2017?  When it comes time to select the plumbing fixtures for your project, where should you go to do that? Go to your local plumbing supply store, not the big box stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot. You may be tempted to do go to one of those stores for various reasons.  

  1. It's more convenient.  You can go almost any time you want.  That's handy when you are busy with work and family.  
  2. Everything's displayed and priced so that you can easily see all of your choices.  
  3. The big box stores are less expensive.  That's obviously pretty appealing.  Aside from all of these appeals, don't do it.  

"But why not?", you say!  Have you ever heard, "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is?"  That applies in this situation.  Let me tell you why.

It really isn't less expensive.  Primarily because you're not comparing apples to apples.  What you see is not always what you get.  Please be aware that the product you're looking at on the shelf in those stores is not everything it appears to be.  Many manufacturers make a cheaper quality version of the same product for those stores.  The product may look the same.  The box may look the same.  They may even have the same model number, but it's not the same product.  The big box stores go to these manufacturers and tell them they want to sell a particular product, but they have a set price that they are willing to pay for it.  So the manufacturer's will alter the product to produce it cheaper for those companies.  That usually means there are plastic parts inside instead of brass.  The finish may be also be of a lower quality without the same warranty.  

Here's an actual story told to me by a plumbing showroom manager.  He sold multiple units of a particular toilet to a customer for a project. When the man got to the job with the plumber for the installation he realized that he had made a mistake on the quantity and he needed one more toilet.  The plumber was there.  There was no time to wait.  Lowe's or Home Depot had the same toilet (supposedly) on their shelf.  It looked the same.  The box was the same.  As the plumber began the installation, it became clear, however, that it was not the same product at all.  All of the parts inside were of cheaper quality.

So you see, it's not really less expensive.  You're going to install that product and it won't last. You'll be replacing it soon, therefore you've paid more than you would have by buying the plumbing showroom version in the first place.

It may seem that those stores are more convenient, but that's not necessarily so.  You are not going to get the personalized service that you will at your local plumbing showroom.  I recommend you call the showroom and make an appointment that fits with your schedule. Many will make special hours for you if need be.  And by making the appointment you are going to get personalized service.  The salesperson has set aside that time for you.  They will listen to your needs and preferences and make personalized recommendations.  And you're doing business locally.  As a small business company, let me tell you, that is much appreciated. If you need more help with your remodel, I'm here for you.

Jill OrnelasAmbiance