Monday, March 12

Technology Spotlight: Shower Valves and Controls

Most people don't see how technology can enter the bathroom, aside from a tv, or fun lighting tricks.  How about that silly lever that controls the water flow and temperature in your shower?  Yes, that too is technology.  While it's a simple lever now, doesn't mean it has to be.  It can be a computer, that with the push of a button can create a custom showering experience for you and anyone else in the home.  Here are some of the options, and the price tags:

Kohler DTV in Portrait, also available in Landscape. 
Meet, the Kohler Digital Interface (DTV) for your showering experience. This little puppy can save up to six custom shower experiences, so one for you, one for your spouse, and so on.  It can remember temperature, pressure, as well as shower head and body spray preferences.  It is also compatible with Kohler's line of  Steam, Audio, lighting, and chromatherapy products. The trim starts at about $1700, however that's just the trim.  You will also need to get the valve, the brains that go behind the wall and hook up to the plumbing, or the media module, should you want to hook it up to some of those other fun and fancy add on's.

Moen ioDigital in Chrome
Next, we have the Moen ioDIGITAL unit, which is a much less expensive option, but doesn't do as much either.  Some of the benefits of this unit, the optional remote control allows you to turn on the shower, or bath, before getting out of bed, while the tub is filling, or the shower is getting to temperature.  For the most part, this will control the shower or tub temperature and pressure, and save settings, it isn't set up to work with chromatherapy, audio, or steam.  So if you aren't looking to get those products, it's a great money saving alternative to the Kohler version.   Another similar option to the Moen ioDigital, is the new ilux shower experience by Aqualisa.

Is this too much technology for you?  And a little deeper into the pocket book than you would like?  Well, your in luck, there are other options that are out there that are less confusing, and a lot less expensive, with less of a remodel as well.  
Digital Fixed Showerhead by LevAqua
The digital shower head by LevAqua comes in a fixed or hand held version, and requires almost no plumbing.  Just take off your existing shower head and replace it with this one.  With this handy shower head, you can easily control different spray types including a water saving spray, which can save about 20%.  There is also a pulsating massage, pause, timer, full body spray, massage and full body spray combination, and preset spa inspired programs, all with the push of a button.  You can get these great shower heads at Home Depot for around $70, and there are three finishes to choose from.  
Hand Held Digital Showerhead by LevAqua