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Today I spoke to a highly reputable bathroom faucet company, and they claimed that their all metal faucets and plastic faucets (internal parts) are generally the same when it comes to quality and how often they break.

And when they do break, they generally have the same issues.

Is this true? From my understanding, all metal faucets cost more because they are of higher quality.

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  • From what I've heard on the grape vine metal ones are more expensive because people think they are better. Over the past few years some plastics created out perform more traditional materials and cost less. This is only from talking to people in the trade though, so I can't really cite any sources, so I haven't posted this as an answer. – Terry Mar 2 '16 at 23:04
  • Metal costs more because metal is more expensive to produce and work with than plastic. Your logic is backwards. – isherwood Jun 1 '16 at 17:47
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It's cheaper for a company to use in-house "off-the-shelf" parts instead of having multiple, specifically tooled assembly lines for each and every model of faucet. The "internal parts" are all likely to be the same.

The extra manufacturing cost (we have to ignore whatever marketing says, and the effect of supply and demand*) comes from the fact that plastic can be cheaply injection molded (once you have the die), and that metal casting still requires numerous additional steps in the casting and finishing processes.

Every piece of cast metal you've ever held has been made from a (single use) mold, which was made off of a pattern (which can also be quite expensive).

Any casting with internal passages also requires the use of cores; an additional expense. Again, each of these are a single use item and it's quite probable that it requires more than one per casting.

All-metal faucets cost more because they... cost more; in materials and labor.

*I'm unqualified to provide any type of market analysis on this matter.

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The washerless faucets usually have a plastic disk with rubber seats and most are spring loaded but not all. The last part is the pivot this is usually plastic also in both metal and plastic faucets. The rubber is the part that fails and is the same in both plastic and metal framed faucets. The seats are easy to replace and many are color coded for size. I have not seen much difference with the exception of hard water deposits. With hard water the plastic frames break much easier than the metal.

  • Do you have any references to back this up? I can't find anything anywhere. – Sickest Mar 6 '16 at 4:22
  • No references but many years of maintenance and repair experience and observation of failures. – Ed Beal Mar 6 '16 at 10:30

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