My Bathroom Is Going To Be Smarter Than My Computer. Probably.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m well in the throes of picking the fixtures, flooring, and other materials for both of the bathrooms in the house we’re rebuilding. Which basically means I’ve got a semi-permanent twitch in my right eye.

So. Many. Decisions.

DSC_0217

Could I just get, like, one of each?

Somewhat unrelated side note: I mentioned earlier that making an ass out of myself during my recent visit to Delta Faucets headquarters was somewhat inevitable. And then at 8:30 in the morning I thought I’d take this “really artistic” shot of the Brizo line of faucets by climbing around some AV equipment and when I stood up I nearly knocked myself out as my head collided violently with a really expensive television hanging above me. In the front of the room. With a least a dozen other bloggers and media people looking right at me. Mission accomplished.

My severe lack of grace and coordination aside… my trip to Indianapolis might have provided me with an overwhelming number of aesthetic options to choose from (and I will definitely be discussing that later this week), but I also came away with one decision clearly made: When it comes to faucets, I’m going high-tech.

I’m a skeptic by nature, so believe me when I tell you I asked questions and physically tried to outsmart some of Delta’s new water science, and this is what I found.

Touch2O Technology


I think the most important thing to talk about with Delta’s Touch2O technology is the difference between something that makes our lives easier, and something that’s a gimmick.

However, being one of those people who has, at times, tried to lift my leg up over the counter turn the faucet on with my big toe because I’ve got paint/mud/chicken germs all over my hands, I’ll say that this technology made a lot of sense to me right off the bat. What was surprising to me was how much research they put in to this to make sure the technology stood on its own, instead of just being for show. Do you know how long the water will run when someone is working in the kitchen of an average family?

30 minutes.

I admit to leaving my faucet run as well, because I’ve got the temp finally set to hot-enough-it-should-disinfect-but-not-quite-hot-enough-to-scald-my-fingers-off, and I don’t want to bother with the adjustment just because I have to put something back in the fridge and, oh, I may need to fix myself a little snack while I’m in here. You’ve done it too, admit it.

So anyway, the faucets with Touch2O technology:

  • Turn on an off with a tap (its the same kind of technology used in smart-phones with touch-screens)
  • Know if you’re just adjusting the faucet position and don’t turn off at the wrong time
  • Let you set the water temp and keep it there
  • Can also be turned on and off manually (and will automatically turn off after 4 minutes of running)
  • Run on C batteries – no complicated wiring involved

You might think all of this newfangled technology is just too complicated to install in the kitchen, but Shelly (from Curbly and ModHomeEc) and I paired up to install one of these babies during a hands-on session and it was super easy. Took us 20 minutes to go from in-the-box to working perfectly! (Things possibly didn’t go as smoothly with the lav faucet I installed and then forgot to tighten the drain P-trap on before testing out.)

Here’s the long and short of Touch2O. There’s no gimmick here, and I’m having one.

Definitely related side note: Eric commented last week and asked why they don’t go with something decidedly more low-tech, like a foot- pedal used in hospitals. It’s a good question Eric, and here are the three main reasons why I think this is the preferred method:

  1. Like I said, installation was a snap. Installing a foot pedal seems like it would be decidedly harder. I suspect I’d have to drill under/behind the cabinetry to run the cord for a petal in front of the sink?
  2. Usually in front of the sink is a high-traffic area. While I’m in love with the idea of putting in a faucet that turns on when I touch it, I’d rather just do it the old fashioned way than have to manuever around any kind of petal in the sink area.
  3. One of the nice things about this technology is that it still works for people who aren’t familiar with it. They grab the handle to turn on the faucet the way they usually do, and the water still comes on. With a petal, you essentially have to re-train people how to use the sink. I think it would end up being a pain for not a whole lot of benefit.

Proximity Sensing

While touch technology is great for the kitchen, what about the bathroom? I got a sneak peek at the new lav sink Delta is coming out with what works with both a touch, and by sensing your hand anywhere within 4″ of the faucet. Unlike infra-red, there is no sensor, it literally has to do with proximity.

So a touch to turn the water on and let it warm up, or a wave over or under the faucet for hand washing or tooth brushing. You know what’s exciting? Not having to clean fingerprints off the faucet anymore.

This technology isn’t on the market yet, but it’s coming soon. And you can bet I’ll need one of these as well.

H2Okinetic Technology

Okay, so here’s where I make a confession. I read about this on Delta Faucets website a while ago. And in my head I sort of went “bigger droplets, more heat, blah, blah, blah”. I mean, it sounds nice, but how much of a difference could it make?

You can bet I was going to find a way under one of these shower heads to see if there really was a difference.

Thankfully Delta was willing to oblige without making me sneak off to one of their shower rooms.

Here’s the thing… I’m giving you my honest opinion about this technology, and I felt 3 gallon/minute coming out of a traditional showerhead and 1.5 gallon/minute coming out of these H2Okinetic showerheads, and they basically had to stop me from climbing in the tank to enjoy the spray full-body. Half the water, but the drops really were bigger and I don’t know how else to describe them without sounding like an idiot. They made a bigger impression… I think people in the know call it a “drenching effect.”

I really think they’re on to something here.

Now all of us with longer hair know the big test is whether or not it takes 35 minutes to rinse all the shampoo out, but I’m convinced enough to put these in both showers in the house, and I’ll follow-up to let you know how it goes.

With the technology piece out of the way, I spent the rest of the weekend getting down to business on settling on a look and feel, and picking out the colors and materials for both bathrooms. Those fun idea boards are coming up later this week.

8 Responses

  1. I totally need one of those touch faucets in my kitchen! I wasn’t sure if it was was good technology or just a gimmic as well. Like could it somehow turn on and not turn off if it malfunctions?

  2. Damn it all! Where was I when your head hit the television? No, you’re dead right about what you said. It really is a heck of a system, and I will install it in our kitchen as well. My first thought, as they told us it would be at Delta, is electricity and water can’t be a good combination. But, really, they have it figured out a fare-thee-well, and with it being run by batteries, it’s really not a problem at all.

  3. P.S. for Sara. At Delta they told us those batteries last for two years, then spend the next ninety days or so telling you they need to be replaced. Hell, that’ll work, right?

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