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76 years of Kohler Triton bathroom faucets — introduced in 1941 and still going strong

Kohler Triton bathroom sink faucets have been around a long time. How long? I asked Kohler. They researched the topic and replied: Since 1941 — an amazing 76 years! And yes, Kohler Triton faucets are still around, for both four-inch- and eight-inch spreads and with a variety of handles to choose from. The thing is: You don’t see all of the Triton options on Kohler’s regular website — as is often the case for we Retro Renovators, you need to head to the commercial site.

Kohler also sent me some glamour shots of the Triton. The first photo — the black-and-white — is straight from a 1941 Kohler catalog, when the new line was introduced. The two pastel bathrooms above, including Triton fixtures, are from 1956. Yummy 1950s pastel bathrooms!

The Triton designs today don’t seem to be identical to the original Tritons — but I say: Close enough. See the original above: See how the base of the faucet looks like it has curves to it — the shapes of the current models appear to have changed over time.

Current Kohler Triton

Right now, there seem to be two Triton designs available for four-inch centersets — which is often we see on original wall-hung china sinks and drop-in cast iron sinks.

Triton #1  — Above: The “current” Kohler Triton base — and the lever handles to go with. I am spotlighting the lever handles because that’s what we see in the 1941 and 1956 catalogs. This is not to say there were not other handles available at the time. 

Today, there seem to be at least four handles to choose from: Lever, cross, knob, and ADA-compliant.

 

New Kohler Triton Bowe

Triton #2 — Above: The new Triton “Bowe” faucet. Ooooh, lookie those hex-curves on the faucet base and the escutcheons. I might like this one even better than today’s regular Triton, although I would prefer the straight lever handles if they could be switched to go onto the hex escutcheons.

Where to buy Kohler Triton faucets:

The new Kohler Triton Bowe: I can’t easily find it online, but I see that Kohler has a store locator on the product page. (Links below).

Amazon has the current basic Tritons in 4″ (I’m checking on difference between K-7401 and K-7404 and will add that info), 8″, and even shelf-back — (there are also matching tub and shower fixtures); of course, these are also widely available on other online sites and surely your local plumbing retailer:









Link love:

 

 

CategoriesFaucets Tubs
  1. Lynne says:

    Sorry, I forgot to mention before I sent the last comment…I just received my new sink basin from Cheviot for our upcoming second bathroom remodel. I was quite impressed with the quality.

  2. Heidi Swank says:

    10 years ago we put the Triton with the knobs in both of our bathrooms. It took me a while to find something that looked right. Had no idea they’ve been around so long!

    I would add that we had a bit of difficulty getting these to fit into the holes in one of our 1956 sinks. For two days, I used a Dremmel to slowly grind away some of the shaft that goes into the sink holes. It was painstaking work, but 10 years later the faucet is no worse for the grinding. It still works just fine!

    1. Mary Elizabeth says:

      Heidi, you are absolutely clever to do this adjustment so you would have the right fit! Mad devotion to the retroreno cause.

  3. Laurie says:

    While we are on the subject of Kohler, the factory tour in Kohler,Wisconsin is simply fascinating. Most of the guides are former employees and a wealth of knowledge. You get up close to see how many of their products are made. It was well worth the trip!

    1. Carolyn says:

      Laurie, The Great Wall of China! HA-HA! Since you’ve already gotten to Kohler, you may as well drive west 5 minutes to Sheboygan Falls, home of Bemis and check out THEIR wall of toilet seats that are made in conjunction with Kohler toilets.

  4. Rebecca says:

    We are in the process (almost finished) of restoring 2 of the 3 bathrooms in our 1960 MCM. We purchased the Kohler Triton faucets for the sinks and the showers. We found them at Build.com – they seemed to have the best price.

  5. CarolK says:

    I love those kind of lavatories on chrome legs! Thats what I want when I reno our bathroom a few years.

  6. Pam – Usually the different models denote whether they have a pop-up drain assembly or not. The 7401 has a drain and the 7404 is just the faucet.

    Here’s the spec sheets:
    7401: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/K-7401-2A_spec.pdf

    7404: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/pdf/K-7404-5A_spec.pdf

    Thanks for posting – been keeping my eyes open for a faucet to replace the one in my downstairs half-bath. Pretty sure this will fit the bill!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I thank the retrorenovation nation for alerting us newbies to not take everything at face value. Contractors who say “it can’t be done” only means that they’ve never done it and/or don’t know anyone who could. Although I’m speaking more to flooring options (industrial/institutional linoleum tiles), if y’all hadn’t said to research a little farther, all we’d have to go on is a big-box online catalog. That’s pretty much all store personnel have to go on also, and it’s getting worser and worser with stores not able to find long-term employees with real-world experiences and little to no imagination. When I wanted bamboo laminate for my vanity, I was told that “was for kitchens” – it’s still a counter!
    Anywhoosis…thanks for allowing a little creative jury-rigging to get the look we’d like even if it isn’t authentic. Now let’s hope that Kohler got a bug in its ear and will bring back colors and the pendulum swings back our way. Because, you know, we’re cutting edge!

  8. ineffablespace says:

    Kohler Triton is my favorite bath faucet, and I have used Kohler Triton sink and shower/bath faucets in two different houses.

    I grew up in a house that had Triton fixtures in all the bathrooms. The center set is slightly different in that the spout sits on top of the block with the handles as a separate piece whereas now that is all one piece (which is preferable, I think).

    The house was built in the 1960s so at that time they made a handle that was kind of like a three pronged starburst with the lever part slightly longer than the other two prongs. If I can find a picture I will send it to you.

    In this house I used Triton in one bath, but since I wanted a valve in the other showers that controlled volume and temperature separately I had to go with something different and then used Kohler Taboret, another old design, for the sinks. This has been discontinued. 🙁 I am glad to see they have not discontinued Triton and have actually added to the lineup a bit.

    One configuration you don’t mention is the Triton Shelf-back faucet, which is one of those super short faucets that mounts on the vertical back of a sink and has vertically mounted handles.

    http://www.us.kohler.com/us/trition-lav-fct-grid-drn-cross-0.5-gpm/productDetail/faucets/1264068.htm?skuId=1264016&brandId=432134

      1. ineffablespace says:

        Oh, I am sorry, I saw the Amazon box around the shelf back pictures and thought it was an advertisement. 🙁

        I really wish they still made the three pronged handle. These faucets weigh a ton, they are very well made. I will look for a picture of the three pronged handle in place.

      2. la573 says:

        I was wondering what those vertically-mounted faucets were called. I have one in one of my bathrooms with a 1950 pink wall-mounted sink, although the sink is by American Standard and the faucet is unlabeled but looks to me like Price Pfister.

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