WHERE TO SHOP
Bath faucets are sold at hardware stores, lumberyards, home centers and bath-remodeling showrooms. Plumbing wholesalers are another source to consider. "A reputable plumbing wholesaler can give you accurate information about the product you won't find on the packaging," says Jean Butler, showroom manager for APEX Supply Co., a wholesaler in Richardson, Texas. For example, wholesalers can tell you whether a fitting is brass or brass-plated. They know the manufacturers and how well they stand behind their products. They also know what local contractors are buying - a good indication of what works for local codes and water conditions. Best of all, a wholesaler can often give you the best price. A safe course no matter where you buy is to stick with name-brand products known for quality and reliability. Off-brand faucets often are poorly made, and it's difficult to get parts for them. Along with wholesalers, talk with plumbers, contractors and other pros who install bathroom fittings every day.
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