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Seeking faucet handles labeled in French
August 28, 2004 7:38 PM   Subscribe

I have been unable to locate a source for French-labeled faucet handles - ones labeled "chaud" and "froid" instead of "hot and "cold". My wife has plans to redecorate one of our bathrooms with a Parisian theme, and this little detail eludes us. More below.

Google has failed us, eBay has failed us.

I found a couple very high-dollar sets meant to be sold to the interior design trade for clients, but we're looking for something more basic and inexpensive (< $100)br>
Bathroom faucet sets are usually cheap. The hardware stores are full of every type you could imagine. Yet they all seem to be English-only. I looked at Amazon.ca, but the Canadian store doesn’t sell housewares. I looked at a couple of manufacturer’s sites, but there was no info. I would imagine these are sold in French Canada or France – and in their version of Lowes or Home Depot, they are probably just as cheap. We do not even really need a whole faucet set, just the handles or inserts. Can any AskMe’rs suggest anywhere to look short of scoping out some hardware stores or flea markets next time we’re in France?
posted by sixdifferentways to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
 
I know I have seen them at Waterworks -- their Etoile Low Profile set seems to have the requisite 'chaude et froid' but they are way too expensive (~$1500?!).

I also found some on the Rona website (used to be Lumberland, then Revy, now Rona - all in an attempt to stave off the Home Despots, but that's another story) that are much more affordable at CDN$78 in British Columbia. Here is one set - in case the link doesn't work, it's the FOREMOST Washbasin faucet (#14/52 options) under 'bathroom 2-handle facets'. It looks like the Foremost options might all come in French or English. If that's not really your style, call the Rona people and ask them -- they will definitely have others in their inventory. I'm not sure how you'll get to order them if you're in the US - maybe call them directly. They don't ship to the US, according to their website.
posted by fionab at 8:00 PM on August 28, 2004


Item #19 in that list also has French labels.
posted by fionab at 8:03 PM on August 28, 2004


Side note: don't buy any that just say "C" and "F". Kids will think C = cold rather than C = chaud and burn themselves. Bleh.
posted by bcwinters at 8:07 PM on August 28, 2004


Looks like these folks in France have some as well (browse through their selections - some of the labels can only be seen in the high resolution photos).

[On preview: the site won't let me direct link. Go to "E-Catalogue." Then under the blue "La Salle de Bains" menu, click on "Robinetterie." Then click on "Lavabo" - the models with "Retro" in the name seemed to have the Chaud/Froid labels.]
posted by fionab at 8:22 PM on August 28, 2004


Okay, I promise: this is my last post in here, but on Ebay.ca I found this great old brass sink with the faucet already installed! Also, it's in Illinois! I'd try ebay.ca instead of ebay.com - more of a chance to find something with French on it.
posted by fionab at 8:28 PM on August 28, 2004


You should be able to buy them from a store in Quebec. By law they'd have to have either French on them, or, if no French, no language at all.

Search for Quebec showrooms from here. Phone one and see what they can do for you. Most places in major cities like Quebec City or Montreal should have someone who is willing to talk with you in English. They'll be very happy to help when you tell them you want French labelled taps.
posted by shepd at 10:04 PM on August 28, 2004


Side note: don't buy any that just say "C" and "F". Kids will think C = cold rather than C = chaud and burn themselves. Bleh.

Yep - we thought of that - even adults could be misled by just a "C" - so we're going for the whole words.

These are great suggestions - thanks to all. I figured Quebec might be a good source. To be honest, I wasn't sure just how prevalent the French language was up there. I knew it was spoken, but wasn't sure if it went all the way to bathroom plumbing! Obviously one place we need to visit some day.

fionab:
That sink is fantastic! I am seriously thinking of putting in a bid on that! Not sure if I could get the fixture to fit in our bathroom or not - but even if we couldn't, that would be a great thing to keep for a future place.

My wife also had an idea that we could maybe buy a faucet with plain ceramic handles, and then go to a pottery studio, hand-label them with black paint in some nice script, and then get the studio to glaze and fire them for us. If feasible, I'd imagine it would be a cheap way to go.
posted by sixdifferentways at 11:25 PM on August 28, 2004


If the Rona ones work out for you, I'm sure one of the Canucks on MeFi would agree to receive the shipment and then re-mail it down to you if they won't mail it to you directly. But yeah - that sink looks great!
posted by fionab at 7:39 AM on August 29, 2004


If you're concerned about even adults misinterpreting "C" and "F" labels, please also make sure the labels are color coded even when you're using the whole word, and stick to mounting the handles using the hot-red-left cold-blue-right convention. I certainly wouldn't know what to make of a "chaud" label if faced with one, but I'd habitually follow the left-right convention or make the reasonable assumption that the red one was hot.
posted by majick at 8:29 PM on August 29, 2004


When I lived in Quebec, I had bilingual taps in one apartment. C for Chaud, and C for Cold.

If you are in the US, I think that Quebec would be the place to get them. If you call a Home Depot or a Revy in the West Island of Montreal, they'll definitely speak English, and could help you out.
posted by sauril at 11:32 AM on August 30, 2004


sixdifferentways if you find one at Rona you like and can't get it to the states I'd be happy to act as broker. I'm in Alberta so only the 7% Federal tax would be added to the purchase price. Email in my profile.
posted by Mitheral at 2:54 PM on August 30, 2004


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