Expect to see an increasing number of new products in the residential faucet category in 2007. One manufacturer said it plans to introduce six to 10 collections at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show, a new record for that company, according to Christine E. Dillon, kitchen & bath merchandiser and showroom manager at Home Décor Products Inc., Edison, NJ.

In terms of style, since 9/11 fixture and faucet manufacturers have been recreating designs from a time when this country was safe and peaceful, and life was less stressful, Dillon says. “They are bringing back Old World designs, such as clawfoot tubs and floor-mounted spouts.”

In 2006, a key trend in residential faucets was minimalism. Among the most popular faucet finishes are satin nickel, which remains strong, and oil-rubbed bronze, which has risen to the top, Dillon notes. Polished brass died a quick death, she adds.

“The dark satiny finishes are growing because they complement the popular stones and metals used in sinks for the kitchen and bath,” Dillon says.

Home Décor Products sells residential faucets and other products for the home exclusively on the Internet. The company was founded by a couple of people who had high-end decorative showrooms in Brooklyn. Today it operates 10 Web sites, including www.AbsoluteHome.com, a more “mass market” site offering everyday brands that can be found at Home Depot or Lowe’s but in a much deeper assortment, and www.HomeClick.com, which attracts a more high-end buyer with showroom-only brands. Visitors to the AbsoluteHome.com Web site also can access interactive training and installation videos.

“On both the HomeClick and AbsoluteHome Web sites, 80% of the residential faucets we sell are going directly to the end consumer,” Dillon notes. “The other 20% of those sales are to architects, designers and builders.”

For both sites, the buyers tend to be female, particularly with decorative faucets. The average sale on AbsoluteHome.com is in the $400 to $500 range, while at HomeClick.com, the average sale is $800 and higher.

While plumbing wholesalers may view Internet retailers such as Home Décor as competition, that is not correct, Dillon asserts.

“Across all 10 of our Web sites we draw 1.5 million visitors, and out of those, only 2.5% convert into a transaction at that moment during the visit,” she says. “They are coming to our sites because of the tremendous amount of information we provide on a broad selection of products. The consumers who visit our sites know what they want. They have seen the product in a high-end showroom or in a magazine. In many cases they print a page from our site and take it to their local distributor to make a purchase. We are an asset to the plumbing wholesaler.”

Michael Golden, president and CEO of Home Décor, views his company as more of an online marketer, Dillon notes.

“We hope to get incremental sales of products, but we are doing a phenomenal job of bringing brand awareness to the brands we carry nationwide,” Dillon says. “We are now selling advertising on our sites to manufacturers so they can launch a new product or finish.”

Parent company Home Décor is seven years old and operates a 270,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Edison, NJ.

Featured Products Gallery

Matco-Norcaoffers the Napoli faucet line, with an elegant design and contemporary look. It features both ceramic and washerless cartridges with solid brass handles and brass waterways.

Danze’s Parma pull-out faucet features an uncluttered, minimalistic Euro style. The side-mount single-control design is ideal for today’s contemporary styled kitchens. Available in chrome and stainless steel finishes.

Showhouse by Moenoffers a pot filler faucet designed to be mounted on the wall above a cooktop or range. It folds against the wall when not in use and extends 24 inches via a double-jointed extendable arm. Dual shut offs are at the base of the filler and at the spout.

Kohler’s Pinstripe faucet features a linear and textural element on the spout and handles that create a tactile element. The faucets have quarter-turn ceramic discs for leak-free performance.

Deltaintroduces the Palo pull-out kitchen faucet with a two-function wand for spray or stream. Other features include an insulated waterway to keep the faucet cool even when running hot water and a quiet, non-metallic hose that will not catch on stainless steel sinks.

American Standard’s One™ faucet collection features contemporary minimalist styling. Choices include a single-control or two-handle widespread faucet for lavatories, and a monoblock and two wall-mount styles for vessel sinks. It is available in polished chrome or satin nickel finish protected by EverClean™, American Standard’s patented permanent protective finish.

Abigail™ faucets fromGerberfeature classic styling with a subtle contemporary influence. Available in chrome, brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze finishes, Abigail lavatory faucets are available in centerset, mini-widespread and widespread options for maximum flexibility. Single- and two-handle kitchen faucets also feature solid cast brass construction and 1/2-inch threaded connections.

The B-2710 lavatory single lever faucet with pop-up drain fromT&S Brasscomes with a tamper-resistant handle (removable only with a hex key), ceramic cartridge and adjustable temperature limit stops. Simply remove the handle and reposition stop to the left or right of original position for lower or higher maximum temperature.

Sloan Valveoffers QuickTop™ QT-Series manual faucets for kitchen and lavatory applications. Features include durable cast brass construction, a single ADA-compliant fingertip control lever and chrome finish. An available brochure includes step-by-step photos showing how to install or remove the faucets in just minutes.