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Old 01-19-2015, 11:53 AM   #1
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Affordable Freestanding Tub Fill - Chinese?

I just bought a solid stone freestanding tub as pictured (MTI Alissa, 71" x 37" x 22") off Craigslist. $800 from an interior designer. It was pulled out of a high-end remodel before the first soak, because the owner decided she needed jets. Since it retails for about $6500, it's an understatement to say this tub is out of my normal price league. It's intended to be the centerpiece of a total tear-out master bath remodel. I'm probably going to add a chandelier to make it a focal point (same source - $5000 new, for $500). Since this tub set up is a departure from the planned recycling of our surface-mount Jacuzzi tub, we're now headed $1500 over budget before passing go. But it should be worth every penny.

With that background in place, let me get to the point. We need a freestanding floor mounted tub filler. Not married to the idea of a hand shower too, but it seems to be the thing to do these days. The budget is already blown. $1000 and up is easy to throw at a name brand, much more getting into fancy designer series. Perusing eBay, I can only assume that the U.S.-shipped units that are $500-ish are probably Chinese. So I might as well go the source; ship from China set-ups are around $200 in many cases. The ones I'm looking at claim to be brass construction with a triple-plated finish (nickel is what we're leaning toward). They look nice.

Would this be a viable option for a cash-strapped remodel? At this point another $1000 or more will take away from something that's hard to change, like tile. If the "China Special" becomes advisable to replace in a couple of years, we could handle that. Am I na´ve to assume that it would be easy at that point to swap out for a name brand, or will I be looking at plumbing peculiarities?

I know all the arguments about long term parts availability and quality. But I have found some Chinese products to be pretty amazing, especially in a value context. I'm open for suggestions that either support my thought process or at least turn me in cost-savings direction compared to the mainstream retail, made in the USA. Of course I am scouring eBay and Craigslist for deals like the tub itself, but I'll have to pull the trigger before too long in order to lay everything out
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:22 PM   #2
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I'd say go for the cheap Chinese filler. If you are unhappy with it, you can always upgrade when your budget permits.
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