Originally Posted by idfnl
Thanks, this helps quite a lot. I know the Grohe brand, but those Dornbracht products are very nice.
How do you rate the Waterworks products versus these?
Sorry for the rambling:
I have almost no experience with Waterworks. They are well regarded but they don't make very modern looking faucets so I cannot comment.
I just remolded my place and I have Dornbracht in the kitchen and all the bathroom sink faucets are Vola stainless steel and the showers and baths are all Hansgrohe.
Dornbracht in general is regarded as the best (and if California didn't have such strict laws on GPM I would have done all my showers with them) but it is a brand name and you pay for that. Their factory (100% made in Germany) only makes a few products at one time so if you order something that they don't have in stock and isn't currently in production you can wait a long time. They are just coming out with a lot of electronic controls for kitchens and showers. I saw the Porsche Kitchen by Poggenpohl in New York recently and they use Dornbracht faucets with electronic controls for the drain and water temperature.
Vola basically only has Arne Jacobsen designs from the 1950s (that everyone has now copied...inducing Dornbracht)...Vola is as expensive as Dornbracht and can be more expensive if you go stainless steel. Quality-wise I think they are equal (everything is made in their factory in Denmark) BUT their collections are incomplete in my opinion. If you want a towel bar for instance they pretty much just have one ugly design for their entire range of products.
Hansgrohe (not to be confused with Grohe) is a monster...I suspect they are the largest in the business. They make a lot of their products in China, Canada, and Turkey now in addition to Germany. The Axor line is all made in Germany except for the iBox rough-ins which are made in China. The Axor line products are a step down from Dornbracht though I am sure the function is the same and they have a lot of Philippe Starck designs. For showers the iBox rough is amazing because it can be used with any Hansgrohe trim...so it's one rough for their entire line. It has also been on the market for 10 years so it's been extensively tested.