I don’t know about you, but ever since the pandemic, I’m now much more conscious of germs—especially in the bathroom. What better way to slow down the spread of germs than to not have to touch something before and after you wash your hands?
Touchless faucets can cost an average of $400-$700 plus $150 installation in a bathroom or $250 installation in a kitchen. They can also save 700 gallons of water per year over standard faucets. You will save on your water bill, plus reduce germs and help the environment, so a touchless faucet can be well worth the upfront investment.
Of course, touchless faucets aren’t all fun and games. They do have their own little quirks, some of which have probably kept them from becoming a mainstream commodity in every home.
For other smart bathroom ideas that can transform your life, don’t miss my post on the 9 Coolest Smart Bathroom Ideas of the Year.
Touch vs Touchless Faucets
Touchless faucets rely on an infrared sensor—some faucets use ultrasonic field sensors—that detects when their field of view has been interrupted by your hands. This automatically opens the valve, letting water flow freely.
Once your hands leave that field, the faucet automatically shuts the valve again, shutting off the water supply.
When we talk about touch faucets, we are not talking about faucets with a swivel handle that you move or knobs that you turn. We can refer to these as “standard” faucets.
Touch faucets are loaded with tiny sensors under the surface of the faucet neck. A simple touch from your hand activates and opens the valve and a second touch closes it.
Those sensors are primed to pick up a static electric charge, meaning that you essentially shock your faucet awake—without actually shocking it of course.
|Touchless Faucets||Touch Faucets|
|Price Range||$300 to $400 USD||$400 to $700 USD|
|Activation||Infrared and Ultrasonic Field||Touch with Hand|
|Savings||Up to 700 Gallons Per Year||300-400 Gallons Per Year|
|Ease of Installation||Moderate/Possibly DIY||Easy/DIY|
|Power||Battery Pack||Battery Pack/AC|
Due to the sheer volume of capacitive touch sensors built into touch faucets, they tend to be a little more on the expensive side. Infrared sensors are nothing new, so that feature doesn’t drive the price up on the touchless variety.
Ultrasonic fields are a little more high-tech and you may find that those are more expensive than the infrared alternatives. Ultrasonic fields are typically more accurate than infrared as well.
When it comes to the most glaring deficiency in touchless faucets—that is, when they stop interacting with the presence of your hand—the ultrasonic field is the one that’s far more accurate and far more reliable, and should be your focus if you’re looking for a touchless faucet.
Touchless Faucets: Pros and Cons
As with everything, especially when it comes to high-end technology, there are always some cons to go along with the pros. The best devices on the market are the best because their pros far outweigh their cons.
The first and most obvious issue with touchless faucets is the very same thing you run into when in a restaurant bathroom. You’ve probably had to deal with it a hundred times.
The faucet won’t react to the presence of your hand, it will turn off while your hands are still in front of it, or it skips by turning on and off repeatedly as you’re trying to rinse your hands off.
Touchless faucets manufacturers are trying to change that and ultrasonic field versions are part of the solution. Mostly, however, it boils down to keeping that sensor clean.
|Savings on water and $$$||You have to change the batteries periodically|
|Easy to operate||Pricier than standard faucets|
|Easy to install||With some models, the sensor can get buggy over time|
|Doesn’t spread germs|
To be fair, the technology—even with the infrared sensors—has improved over time, and issues with the glitchy interface have all but disappeared. The best way to avoid a glitchy sensor is to keep it clean.
You would think that with a touchless faucet, keeping it clean wouldn’t be a major issue, however, hard water leaves residue over time, and splashing on the sensor can cause a bit of build-up that needs to be cleaned off periodically.
Considering the times that we live in, the best feature of a touchless faucet is the fact that it’s much cleaner than a standard or touch faucet. It’s hard to spread germs when you’re not touching anything!
Average Cost of Touch Faucets for Bathrooms
Touch faucets can cost thousands of dollars, however, the average cost is anywhere between $400 to $700. When you get a truly expensive touch faucet, you’re mostly paying for the name embossed on the base of the faucet.
Smart touch faucets are also more expensive than typical touch faucets because of their smart home connectivity.
Bathroom touch faucets are not as expensive as kitchen faucets, since you’re usually not dealing with extra plumbing tie-ins such as the dishwasher and—in some cases—the washer drainage.
The average cost to have a faucet professionally installed, touch or standard, is usually around $150. Installing a touch faucet in the kitchen will generally cost about $100 more than in a bathroom.
Average Cost of Touchless Faucets for the Bathroom
There’s not much that needs to be added outside of installing the battery pack on a touchless faucet. The average cost for installing a faucet in the bathroom is around $150. The average cost of a touchless faucet is $300 to $400
Unless you decide to get really creative with your touchless faucet design choice, the cost and installation of a bathroom, touchless faucet, should be between $450 to $550.
There are touchless faucets that require AC power, however, the vast majority come with a battery pack that’s fairly simple to install along with the faucet.
Of course, with either the touch or touchless faucets, existing plumbing issues may become a concern during installation. This is common when you’re trying to connect an older plumbing system with a brand new type of technology and plumbing apparatus.
Best Touchless Faucets for Bathroom and Kitchen
When it comes to the best touchless faucets, there are limits to the number of choices you can go with. What you want to pay the most attention to are the reviews and the reliability of the sensors.
Any faucet can facilitate the passage of water once a valve is opened up. In fact, you can get an extremely cheap turn-knob faucet and it will most likely work effectively for years.
However, if you don’t have a decent infrared sensor, you’re going to find yourself highly aggravated with it over time. If you can find a touchless faucet with an ultrasonic field sensor, go for it, as they’re definitely better than the infrared sensors.
That’s not to say infrared sensors are bad, quite the opposite. They just aren’t as advanced as their ultrasonic cousins.
Touchless Faucets – Top Picks
Despite its standard appearance, the Charmingwater is everything you would want or need in a touchless water faucet. The temperature regulator is an intuitive addition as well, letting you set it however you choose.
The IR sensor on this faucet is highly rated, so keep it clean and it will last.
Temperature is regulated with a mixing valve beneath the faucet, along with four, AA batteries to power the touchless feature. It has a multi-layer, chrome-finished, stainless steel design and is corrosion, stain, and tarnish resistant.
It’s also rated as highly easy to install, with a detachable base plate and a simple, intuitive connection for the battery pack.
- Small and economical
- Easy installation process
- Temperature regulator
- Resistant to abrasion, stains, tarnish, and corrosion
This unique-looking, waterfall touchless faucet is constructed out of high-quality, H59 brass. The IR sensor has a built-in, color-changing LED that alternates according to how hot or cold the water is. The LED is powered by the flow rate of the water, so it’s a truly innovative design.
- LED indicator that lights up the water as it flows
- Lead-free brass construction
- Brush nickel, fingerprint-free finish
- Sleek design
Not every faucet gets to light up the water flow and if you have a contemporary bathroom, this could be a great addition.
The Moen MotionSense is elegant without approaching the realm of ludicrously fashionable. It resembles a high-end standard faucet but with two sensors; one on the nozzle and one at the base.
It has “PowerClean Spray Technology which increases the water pressure by 50% without needing extra water to do it. The nozzle detaches and is designed to auto-retract.
It is designed to respond to simple hand movements. You don’t have to hold your hand in front of it for a delayed moment before the water kicks in. It’s also simpler to install with either three-hole or one-hole setups.
- PowerClean Spray Technology
- Retractable hose
- Dual sensors
- Multi-installation options
- 3-function spray wand
The three-function spray wand is always a good addition to any retractable hose and is a welcome addition here. It makes sense that if you’re going to have the finest technology, you should include the most valuable features of last-gen technology as well.
And if you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to faucet finishes, read THIS Is the Easiest Faucet Finish to Maintain.
So Are Touchless Faucets Really Worth It?
There are a lot of things to like about touchless water faucets and the technology—especially in terms of the IR or ultrasonic sensors. They’re not as expensive as you’d think either, especially as the tech continues to improve and materials become cheaper.
Also, in the times we live in, it’s nice to have a few alternatives here and there that can help stop the spread of germs.
And if you want to further modernize your bathroom, consider other smart bathroom technology like a smart bathroom fan. Read my posts on smart toilets, smart bathroom fans, smart bathroom lights and smart showers.