kohler DTV vs Moen Io Digital

doin-stuff-rightMay 7, 2012


I am really conflicted about the choice between a Kohler or Moen digital valve for my shower. The 1-person shower (42 x 72) will have a hand shower, 3 body sprays, a 4 tile rain head and 1 shower head. I've spoken in-depth with both companies. The big pluses for the Moen are the wireless remote and the cost. I want to believe that four 1/2" output ports will drive my shower nicely. I will feed the bath with 1" for both cold and hot. The hot will be on a continuous circulator.

The negatives for the Kohler are the price for the (wireline only) controllers - which are outrageous for a 5+ year old technology. All things considered the digital valves are about the same price. Kohler offers 6 output ports and higher overall flow rate. I could use the 2 extra ports on the Kohler to fill the tub (via a virtual spout).

I trust both companies will stand behind their products...

Anyone have any experience / insight they'd like to share?


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We looked at both and ultimately decided on the Moen. The deciding factors for us were that (#1) the Moen I/O Digital has a flow control and the Kohler does not (so you would need to buy flow control valve(s)) and (#2) the Moen has a larger display that we could easily read without our glasses.

I liked the look of the Kohler and its flush mount. I don't recall which finishes it comes in but I know that we had to go with brushed nickel on the Moen instead of our first choice, polished nickel. I was lukewarm about getting the I/O Digital when my husband first mentioned it. I had envisioned our shower with lots of shiny levers and knobs to match our Sigma faucets so a single rather contemporary panel was an adjustment for me. I got over that the first time I used our new shower. I absolutely LOVE our I/O Digital! The remote control is a very big reason. I hit the button for the showerhead that I want as I'm about to get in and by the time I open the door, it's up to temperature. I love that I can see exactly what temperature it is set for and it blinks as you're starting to run low on hot water (while the temperature is still maintained at its setting.)

We really couldn't be more pleased with our Moen I/O Digital and we've just ordered one for our guest bath reno.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:43PM
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Thanks for that invaluable insight. I too want the wireless remote control, to turn on the shower just as you do. Are you driving a body spray with the Moen, as I'm wondering whether it has enough oomph to drive three water tiles mounted on the wall? Currently I'm planning to use 3 Kohler water tiles for the body spray, and the similar 4 tile set up in the ceiling. Or, perhaps did you go with Moen flush mounts for body sprays?

I thought about all of the exposed plumbing controls for a 4 output system, which led me to digital, rather than a forest of handles - although Sigma has an elegant solution for such a multi-point analog set-up. I'm also planning to put the Moen on our back-up generator circuit panel, should we have a power fail.

Also, in designing my my wife's make-up table lighting I found a company that provides color temperature adjustable led light bars (from cool to warm light) that can be controlled by a counter top wireless remote. It's so, so cool.

If you're interested I'll point you to them. less than $500 for the whole set-up.

Again, thanks!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:09AM
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We are using 3 of the 4 valves on the Moen, having decided at the last minute not to go with any body sprays. It will push our regular showerhead, rainshower and handheld shower simultaneously... that is, until our 80 gallons of hot water runs out after about 5 minutes! Speaking for myself, I just run one showerhead at a time. I'm not sure what my husband and teenage son do! ;-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:06PM
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I hope you'll post some pictures of your room... it sounds like it will be great!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:08PM
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What I worry about is getting enough horizontal distance from the body sprays. I'm going with the Kohlers rather than the Moens. I think the 4 tile rain tile will be very neat. That and the body sprays together may max out the iodigital.

I love the Hansgrohe clubmaster as a shower head - especially after you pull the flow restrictor out ;-)


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:12PM
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