Home Depot vs. Plumbing Supply: What’s The Difference?

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It’s not just hardware that Home Depot sells. If you’re in the market for new plumbing supplies, then you’ll want to know the difference between Home Depot and Plumbing Supply.

Even though there are similarities between the parts and supplies that you can get from Home Depot and plumbing supply stores, plumbing supply stores have superior parts even when they may come from the same brands. Meanwhile, Home Depot parts are usually cheaper than the ones in plumbing suppliers.

Pros & Cons of Plumbing Supply

When you are looking for supplies for your plumbing at home or if you are a beginner plumber who is looking for supplies for a certain plumbing job, smaller plumbing supplies stores that specifically cater to plumbing supplies and not simply any other home supplies tend to be great options that plumbers wear by.

Here are the different pros and cons that you should know about plumbing supply stores:


1. Plumbers and contractors themselves would rather trust plumbing supply stores despite the fact that you may get similar products from bigger retailers.

The brand and the product model might be the same but they differ in terms of their SKU number, which is what plumbers look at when determining the quality of a product.

You might get two warranties if you go with plumbing supply stores. The first warranty is from the contractor in case you are working with a plumbing company or a contractor for one of your home repairs.

Meanwhile, the second warranty comes from the plumbing supply store itself.

2. Plumbing supply stores specialize in plumbing supplies. That means that, if you go to one and you ask their expert opinion on certain plumbing supplies, you are most likely going to get a more informed answer that caters to your needs instead of an answer that benefits the supplier so that you will end up buying from them.

3. Plumbing supply stores carry only the best brands when it comes to plumbing supplies because they know how important brand is when it comes to the overall quality of certain plumbing supplies such as pipes.

4. You can get special orders from plumbing supply stores in the sense that they will give you exactly what you need in terms of the supplies you need for your plumbing. That means that you will be getting supplies that fit the exact specifications that you need for your plumbing.


1. Plumbing supply stores usually carry plumbing supplies that are more expensive than those you can find in retail giants such as Home Depot. This means that you will have to spend more money when you choose to buy from these stores.

2. You will only find plumbing supplies in plumbing supply stores as they specialize only in that field. While this might not be a really huge letdown, you will have to actually go to other stores if you need supplies that are still related to home improvement but aren’t necessarily related to plumbing.

3. If you want to go cheap (which isn’t recommended but can still be an option in case you really don’t have the budget), it’s going to be difficult to do so in plumbing supply stores because they don’t always carry cheap brands that come with inferior quality.

4. You aren’t really going to get the “shopping experience” in plumbing supply stores because they are smaller and much more specialized compared to larger retailers like Home Depot.

5. Some specialized parts that you can get from plumbing supply stores may take time to be delivered because the supplier needs to get a special order for some parts that you may need in a hurry.

Pros & Cons of Home Depot

In case you are looking for a quick way to get plumbing supplies, there are many different retail giants that offer you a wide range of plumbing supplies or even home improvement products. Probably the most notable name in the industry is Home Depot, which is the first company you may want to go to if you are looking for a retail giant that carries plumbing supplies as well. That said, here are the pros and cons of choosing Home Depot for your plumbing supplies.


1. You can practically find Home Depot anywhere because this is a retail giant that has stores all over the world. That means that it is going to be easier for you to be able to go to a Home Depot than to look for a plumbing supplier.

2. Shopping in Home Depot is easier because all you need to do is to search for the nearest Home Depot near you and then go inside to choose the parts and supplies you need for your plumbing. It’s as simple as buying your groceries from a grocery store.

3. Prices tend to be lower in Home Depot. That’s because Home Depot is a retail giant that also competes with other retailers in the market. As such, they can afford to keep their prices low so that they could actually compete with the prices that their competitors also have.

4. There are plenty of other options in Home Depot in case you want to choose the cheaper products. That’s because Home Depot carries a wide range of different brands for their plumbing supplies so that you can take the budget route or the more expensive road in terms of the plumbing supplies that you need for your home.

5. If you are not only after plumbing supplies but also other home improvement products in case you are fixing up your entire home, you will be able to shop for them in the other sections found in most Home Depot stores.

You will be able to essentially save more time in the process since you no longer have to go to other stores.


1. A lot of the plumbing supplies in Home Depot aren’t as durable and as high-quality as the ones found in plumbing supply stores.

While the brand and the model number might be the same when you compare them with the ones in plumbing supply stores, the SKU number should be different. As such, the ones in Home Depot tend to be cheaper and come with inferior parts made of plastic.

2. You are not going to get an informed opinion from Home Depot because their sales representatives aren’t always the most trusted in terms of their plumbing knowledge. And they are there to sell you their products instead of giving you a knowledgeable and informed opinion in plumbing matters.

3. Home Depot probably won’t carry out specialized orders for certain plumbing supplies that they don’t readily carry.

Most of the time, they will only sell you what is available. That means that, if you are looking for specific supplies that can be difficult to find, you probably won’t be able to get them from Home Depot.

4. There is a chance that you will end up buying an inferior product coming from an inferior brand when you take the Home Depot route. That’s because, again, their sales representatives might convince you to buy inferior products that might not be the best for your plumbing needs.

Why are faucets cheaper at Home Depot?

One of the things you might have noticed when you compare the prices of similar products you can find in Home Depot and in plumbing supply stores is that the faucets in Home Depot tend to be cheaper.

And this is true even though you are comparing faucets that come from the same brand and have the same model. So, why is that?

The first reason why this is usually the case is that, again, most plumbing products in Home Depot are inferior in comparison to the ones you find in plumbing supply stores. Their product numbers might be the same but you have to look at the SKU number, which is usually what determines the overall quality of the product.

So, if the SKU number is different, that means that the quality is not the same such as when the ones in Home Depot are made of parts that are cheaper.

Meanwhile, the second reason why faucets and most other products in Home Depot are more affordable is due to competition. Home Depot is not competing with plumbing supply stores but also other home improvement retailers.

As such, they have to keep their prices competitive and low so that they can compete with the low prices that other retail giants also have. On the other hand, plumbing supply stores don’t often have a lot of competitors in a market that is quite specialized.


In conclusion, there are different pros and cons that you can get from both plumbing supply stores and Home Depot.

You may be able to save more money when you take the Home Depot route but that isn’t exactly the best choice as far as quality is concerned.

On the other hand, choosing plumbing supply stores might give you the superior product but you may end up spending more.

All that said, it becomes a choice between budget/convenience and quality in this case. But, regardless of whichever of the two you choose, as long as you go for parts and supplies that are of high quality and are not on the lower end of the price spectrum, either will do just fine.