Kraus Sinks & Faucets: A Tell-All from a Long Island, NY Dealer
Before I get into the "tell-all", you first need to know how DirectSinks started....
Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry, from our parent company ADirect Cabinet Distributor Corp. At ADirect we work with the builder, renovator, house flipper and others from the construction trade. We measure the existing kitchen or new build, lay out a kitchen or bathroom, and supply the cabinetry. We also supply counter tops and supply sinks to many of the fabricators on Long Island.
Years ago we found that we can benefit our clients by developing a website to sell our sinks and faucets. At first we only carried a few brands. Smaller brands with less variety of product. These brands are still in our line up, but are very different from Kraus.
We started our partnership with Kraus back in 2012. We immediately recognized the brand as a premium line. Their company headquarters, research and development team, product testing, and main laboratory is actually located only about 40 mins from our office. We visited their facilities before launching the brand on our site. First before anything further, we experienced Kraus' culture. Their employees were all knowledgeable. Everyone had respect for one another. The place just had a happy positive vibe. We felt welcomed. As we walked with top group, we saw that their employees were happy to see them. I personally was looking to see if the staff seemed to change their behavior when their managers were approaching. What I did see was that every employee was genuinely happy to say "Hi" to us and their bosses.
Ok ok - Why is this important? Happy employees work more efficiently. They care about their work, and they want to do well. They want the company to do well.
Think about this for a minute. If you have a team working for you, and you need them to develop, invent, improve, and innovate something, do you want them to be clear minded? Happy? Motivated? or a team that comes in to work and does "just enough" to maintain their employment. These observations that we made back in 2012, still held true every year and every time we are at their headquarters.
To me, this means that the quality of the product that we admired in 2012 should at least maintain it's standard. However, as of this writing, Kraus's product has actually improved, exponentially.
1. Quality. The Kraus stainless sinks are produced from high quality stainless steel. 99% of these sinks are 16 gauge stainless, which is thicker than 18 gauge steel.
2. Value. Price and Value are not the same. Price is simple.. what something cost. Value is what you get for your money. With Kraus you get a lot for your money. Most of their kitchen sinks come with a bottom grid and strainer. The grid is a higher quality and stronger compared to many other brands.. and it's included! The strainer is well made, stays in place, and when you want the sink to hold water, the strainer's stopper actually seals the drain and does not slowly let water through like some other brands I know of.....
3. Availability. I know. I know. The availability of what seems to be everything has declined. Under more normal circumstances, Kraus has never been a brand that we would be concerned about inventory. However the people able to work the import facilities has been reduced. Shipments being transported within our country are taking far longer. Container ships are literally waiting to dock to unload shipments for weeks. Kraus is run like a well oiled machine. Until Covid, when Kraus rarely ran out of inventory it was replenished in days. Currently, they still have done better in keeping stock compared to other companies in their industry.
4. Innovation. Remember when I mentioned they have a research and development team? These highly trained professionals are not just a "think tank", but are engineers and trained designers. I have seen several brands copy Kraus. Here is an example: Kraus Workstation Sinks.
These sinks have a built in ledge to utilize the space of the sink for cooking, prep, clean up and hosting. Workstation sinks have been around before Kraus introduced them, but they improved it with simple changes that make this type of product work better for someone who is interested in it. How? A workstation sink is designed around utility and efficiently for a person who enjoys cooking and cooks often. These sinks come with a cutting board and drain mat. You can prepare vegetables and meats while rinsing.... Kraus stepped this up by understanding the same person who cooks often will be more likely to have a garbage disposal. In these workstation sinks design, the drain is to the rear right corner. This allows a garbage disposal unit to be less intrusive and take up less space under the sink compared to a sink with a center drain!
- Many of Kraus faucets have a "forward only" handle. This is great for a sink and faucet that is in front of a window with a window ledge. You can use the faucet's handle without worrying about not having space.
Even More Innovation
"Quick Dock". Many Kraus faucets can be installed from the top. I have installed faucets with this feature about 10 times in our showroom. It really does make installation easier and faster.
I can't think of really many negatives for you, the buyer. Any negative issues are not exclusive to Kraus.
Drainage: Kraus has a lot of large basin single bowl sinks with the "Chef Style X" in the bottom. These sinks are available up to 32" wide. The larger the sink, the lower the drainage pitch. We have been told that the larger models do not drain as well... which perhaps actually means do not drain as fast. Keep in mind, a modern or commercial style sink will have a flatter bottom, but it still does pitch to the drain. These sinks can't actually have too much slope. If they did, you would not have an even surface for the grid to sit on, and your grid would wobble, rock, or shift around.
"Too Large": Sink sizing is typically spoke and written as the overall size. This means sink is measured to include the mounting flanges. This goes Kitchen and Bath Sinks for top mount, Undermount, and the full overall sizes of Apron sinks as well. The "Typical" or "Common" kitchen sink measures 18" front to back, with a 16" bowl. Some of Kraus's models, like the KHU29, measure nearly 19", and offer a larger bowl that is 17" front to back.
This sizing however is also common amongst workstation sinks across many brands.. not just exclusive to Kraus. This new Workstation Sink from Ruvati is also "too large"
What makes a sink too large? - A standard sinkbase cabinet is 24" front to back overall. (Finished counter top will be 25.5") This has around 22.5" inside the cabinet. This leaves 3.5" of available room within the counter top and cabinet for a faucet. Typical faucet hole sizes are about 1 3/8" .... now we are down to 23 7/8" inside the cabinet. Wait - are you confused? Didn't I just mention the cabinets typically have 22.5" inside.. how can you put nearly 24" inside of 22.5"? It's done by having the front mounting flange rests on the front of the cabinet box. This now allows room for the faucet drilling.
This may not always work.. what about a window sill behind the sink with a ledge? A protruding ledge will take up space that the faucet might need to operate. mmmmm ..... That just might be the reason why Kraus created faucets that have a handle that only moves toward you, away from a window sill..
Regardless that the "too large" issue can often (not always) be worked out, some fabrication shops do not want to install a sink with such tight clearance. Secondly, if the sink base cabinet has a tilt out front tray, the sink may not be able to be brought to the very front of the cabinet. If you are considering one of these types of sinks, please consult your counter top installer.
Too Inexpensive? This one is a stretch. Something one person feels is expensive, another might think is easily affordable. Compared to the industry, Kraus is on the affordable side of the field. We have seen that cause some clients to hesitate from buying the product. They feel that if a Julian or Kohler sink is over $1000, then it must be better, and If a Rohl faucet is $1200, it should last forever. This idea could not be further from from the truth. None, I repeat, NONE, of these brands are "better" than the other. I personally know someone that has a Rohl faucet in his kitchen , and, he hates it because he can't keep it clean... that's not the faucet's fault! The faucet does not go and play in the mud. What he was trying to express is that the faucet is difficult to keep looking new. I have seen and handled Julian sinks. They are nice, seriously nothing special. The price does not make them better. Most of Julian sinks are made to order from Canada. That can get very expensive... but if you feel cost equals quality then go for it. (Ever notice how many older BMWs, or Benz' are on the road? Try to find one that is over 8-10 years old. They are expensive new... but where do they go after 100k miles?)
What's the point of all of this?
|Kraus Small Radius Sinks||
|Kraus Faucets (Bathroom and Kitchen||
|Kraus Workstation Sinks||
|Kraus Bathroom Sinks||