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Builders' Show: Kohler's hands-free faucet is a cook's friend

Builders’ Show: Kohler’s hands-free faucet is a cook’s friend

If you’re like most people, the idea of a hands-free faucet still conjures up frustrating visits to the airport bathroom. But Kohler says it has fine-tuned the technology, saving you time in the kitchen—plus preventing the potential spread of germs and bacteria. We tried it out at the International Builders’ Show.

Embedded in the Sensate faucet is a state-of-the-art sensor with a response time of 20 milliseconds. Put your hands or a dish under the spout, six inches or closer, and the water flows in a flash. Pull them away and the tap turns off instantly. The Sensate also has a manual lever, in case you want to get your water the old-fashioned way—or if a power failure cuts the hardwired fixture’s hands-free capability. Its sprayhead toggles between spray and stream, and a magnetic docking system securely locks the sprayhead in place.

Kohler’s Sensate faucet is available in polished chrome, for $675, or scratch-resistant stainless steel for $800. Whichever style you choose, this touchless faucet should add a touch of elegance–and plenty of convenience–to your kitchen.

For more on faucets, see Consumer Reports faucet buying guide. In our tests we found that better valves and tougher finishes are now common on all but the cheapest faucets.

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