We’ve all seen the commercial – someone with some weird, sticky, awful-looking stuff on his hands touches a faucet with his arm and, like magic, the faucet comes on and basically convinces us that we all need this technology <em>yesterday</em>.
Yes, it’s awesome. Yes, it’s convenient. And yes, it’s probably even <em>fun</em> and will impress your friends – not to mention completely blow the minds of the kiddies. But, does that make it worth it?
<strong>1. Price: Touchless vs. Conventional Faucets</strong>
There’s no question that touchless faucets cost more than the least expensive conventional faucet. But, looking at it another way, touchless faucets aren’t that much more expensive – and may sometimes be less – than high-end conventional faucets.
Price is always a subjective factor and it’s hard to nail down the “Is it worth it?” question by looking at price alone.
<strong>2. Touchless Faucet Type </strong>
There are a few different types of touchless (or hands-free) faucets and whether it’s worth it may depend on the aesthetic and functional properties of each. For example, if you’re excited about being able to touch the faucet to turn it on – <em>a la</em> the commercial – then a sensor-driven touchless faucet may not cut it for you.
Then again, the differences in these functions may steer you in the other direction, perhaps causing you to consider whether you want to have to touch your faucet at all, knobs or no knobs, to turn it on.
<strong>3. Touchless Faucet Design</strong>
This is one of the brightest lines that divide the two camps. Some people just really like knobs on a faucet. It <em>looks</em> like a faucet, whereas the other may come off more as something you’d find in an airport restroom.
The fact is, if you want to go the touchless route you’re necessarily limiting yourself to a certain design selection. That selection is wide, to be sure, but it’s not as wide as that of conventional faucets.
<strong>4. Electronic Components</strong>
When it comes to plumbing fixtures, not having electronic components can sometimes be an advantage. As with fancy new cars today, it’s just one less thing you have to worry about breaking.
Of course, that’s not to say a touchless faucet will break, or break before a conventional faucet normally would after enough use. It’s just one more thing to consider when deciding whether a faucet of that type is worth the investment.
<strong>5. Your Lifestyle</strong>
By far and away the most important question is whether you need it. If you don’t have any dirty hobbies (or kids) and hanging around washing things in the kitchen isn’t a common activity then it may be that you don’t even need a hands-free faucet.
At that point, it may be that you don’t need a faucet at all, but you never know when one will come in … ah … handy.