Kohler in showroom v.s. Home Depot?
Hi – Does anyone know if there is a huge difference in quality between buying a Kohler product in a plumbing showroom vs Home Depot?
I have fallen in love with the basic Tea for Two tub (5.5 feet in length and a lovely whopping 24″ in depth!) Home Depot sells it for about $1,100 and I am waiting on a quote from the plumbing showroom. Kohler has it listed at $1,700 on their site.
I've heard all kinds of urban myths, but especially on items that are undoutbtedly special order I think it's all just that... myths.
If the cat numbers are the same, they're the same item in my experience.
I have ordered a number of Kohler items from HD - tubs and a shower (Sterling series) - and found the quality to be great. I have been very happy with the material and ease of installation.
A lot of times it is the sheer volume that the box stores purchase. Simple economics, I buy a lot, you give me a break on price, I promote your product, you sell a lot, You and I make money, etc, etc,.
Above poster is right, about same cat # BUT! Sometimes there are extra letters or #'s in that model # which can mean significant differences, i.e. place of manufacture, size of motor, and bunches of other differences.
Generally because "box store" and "mfg." compromise for an suitable product at a pofitable price for both.
My 2 1/2 cents! Normal volume pricing can get you the same model/tool for a few bucks less, never hurts to get a good deal!
Thanks much! If the plumbing showroom can't give me a good deal for my 2 1/2 baths I need to kit out then I will go to HD.
I had an experience with HD and Kohler several years ago when I was redoing a bath for my parents house.
They had bought the Kohler K-138 Antique faucet for thier vanity. It had a escutcheon to cover the 4" centers that we didn't need because it was a solid surface top.
In the instructions there was a section that described how to remove this escutcheon and make it a single hole faucet, but when you looked at the faucet, it didn't match. The escutcheon was not removeable.
When I called Kohler's 800 # to ask how to take it off, after I read the model number to them, I was told, "that's the HD model. It isn't removeable."
Went to a plumbing supply the next day, bought the correct faucet for about the same price as HD's version. When I got it home, noticed the other difference was that the below deck parts, (trap, pop up assembly) was all chrome plated brass. HD model was all ABS.
Interesting. So the guts are cheaper at HD. But perhaps with just my Tea for Two tub it would be fine. Doesn't really have guts!!thanks very much-
I had a similar problem with a Kohler faucet last year. One of my close friends is a plumber and we were both doing the work on my grandmothers rebuild after a fire. I bought an American Standard faucet that I liked and a kohler that I liked. The AS was a very good faucet, all brass guts, bolted down to the vanity top on both the cold and hot water sides, etc. The Kohler had plastic guts and only one bolt to attach to the vanity top, that was in the center. With only one, within a short period of time the faucet would loosen and rock when you turned one side on.
When you buy something like that from a box store, take it out of the box and look at it before you buy it. If there is any way that you can check to see if the number of jets are the same, motor, any other options, etc. Some things are just better pricing but other times there is a reason. The actual material the tub is made of will be the same.
For almost every company, list price is a meaningless number. An hitachi nailer lists for $700, you'll buy it for $310.
After you get the pricing from the supply house, talk to them about a trade discount or what they can do for you, they will be flexible. Most supply houses have a trade (plumber) discount of 5% on small things and up to 30% to 35% on tubs, faucets, etc. My friends trade price on the whirlpool tub we just bought took the price from $4k to $3k, about 30%.
Kohler tubs are nice, the best are probably aquatic http://www.aquaticwhirlpools.com/. They are a company in Texas. They have expensive tubs, $6,000 but they also have regular soaking tubs and basic jet tubs that are more reasonable that compete against the kohler, AS, etc.
Edited 6/17/2006 8:36 pm ET by DDay
Check http://www.build.com. Ordered whole homes (ligfht fixtures and plumbing fixtures) from them with good results, no taxes and free shipping.
Interesting about the HD version of a Kohler product.
I'm doing my home in Kohler and special-ordered everything through Lowe's - nothing off the shelf - drains, lavs, fixtures, everything all the way up to and including the shower units. It all came from a plumbing supply house and is top-line, first rate Kohler stuff. Maybe special-ordering vs. some off-the-shelf items is the difference.
I think you are right - I have special ordered Kohler from Lowes / HD and obtained high quality stuff.
It can get a little "iffy" buying name brand items at a big box. Some of the big box pricing can be attributed to the sheer volume they buy. They buy in trainloads v.s. truckloads.
A few months ago, I had a problem with some replacement windows I had bought at Home Depot. When I called the manufacturer (Pella??), they told me that the HD prices were lower because those windows were manufactured separately from their "normal" lines and the quality wasn't the same because of HD's pressure to keep costs down.
If I were in your situation, I would ask Kohler and the showroom about the price differential.
I don't know about Kohler products but HD carries American Standard which are specifically made for HD. I needed some parts for a toilet and American Standard said the model was only available at HD. Caveat emptor.
Beat it to fit / Paint it to match
I bought a Kohler faucet. When the plumber opened it he would not install it. He couldn't believe what parts were used-he was disappointed that Kohler would make such an inferior product just to have Home Depot have a better price point. I had to go to a plumbing supply store to buy the same model and the parts inside were different.