Each year companies display their latest innovations for your home at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Watch this video to find out about:

  • Recycled glass countertops by Vetrazzo.
  • Solid glass countertops from Renaissance Glass Works.
  • Circular cooktops with spill tray by Evo Affinity.
  • Ranges by GE, Siemens, Thermador, and Fisher & Paykel.
  • Deodorizing trash compactor from Broan-NuTone.
  • Drawers that open and close at a touch by Grass America.
  • Pull through drawers from Häfele.
  • Stainless steel wall mounted tracks and accessories by Franke.
  • Dual-flush toilets from Caroma.
  • Dual-flush toilet converter by Ecoflow.
  • Faucets that turn on with a touch from Delta.
  • Bamboo and glass sinks.
  • Liquid Stainless Steel finish for appliances.

Danny Lipford: This week Today’s Homeowner is in Chicago for the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. If it belongs in the kitchen and bath, you’ll find it here in the newest and coolest designs possible. We’re going to spend the next half hour showing you as much as we can, so stay with us.

You know, Allen, we’ve been to a lot of these kitchen and bath shows over the years but this thing is packed.

Allen Lyle: Listen navigating the floors here is going to be a real challenge because it’s going to be elbow to elbow.

Danny Lipford: Now the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show is produced every year by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and attending this show are a lot of different professionals that design, build, and renovate these areas of the house. And there’s almost a thousand exhibitors with just about everything you can imagine for the kitchen and bath.

Allen Lyle: But the moment of truth now we go to so many of these shows, do you really think we’re going to see something new every year?

Danny Lipford: Well I tell you there’s been a lot of innovation, particularly this year, with all the efforts to conserve water and maybe to change the look of the kitchen and bath, a pretty good bit so I know we’ll find some pretty interesting things.

Allen Lyle: Well, we’ve got three different halls to go by here and I’ve got an idea.

Danny Lipford: Uh oh.

Allen Lyle: There you go, see you in a couple of days.

Danny Lipford: OK.

One of the things that always strikes me about this show is the variety of unique designs. Bathrooms are a perfect showcase for many of these new ideas and this year solid surface seems to be the material of choice.

i.FORMZ molds their material and cuts it into grids with these cool designs, while Corian, the folks who made it all popular, have their examples backlit for some neat translucent effects.

I also found some glass countertop material from Vetrazzo, talk about colors. Plus this stuff is all made from recycled window glass so it’s always green no matter what color you choose.

Allen Lyle: Anytime I go to one of these trade shows, people always ask me afterwards, what did you see that was really cool, really exciting? All right, you like to entertain in your home, where does the party always end up? In the kitchen.

Check this out, one of my favorites, this is on my cool list. It’s a new social cooking center from Evo. You’ve got a 25-inch circular cooking center, dual cooking zone; and even if you’re a sloppy chef like I am a spill tray. Clean up is simple and the longer you use it the better your food tastes.

Now, let’s suppose you, I like entertaining indoors, but I like outdoors better. Even here look at this, we’ve got an outdoor center as well with a 30-inch surface, again so simple to use. It’s the place where the party will be. Now owning one of these is not going to make you a great hibachi chef but practicing will be a lot of fun.

Here’s another impressive appliance, the GE Profile single double wall oven combines two wall ovens into one 30-inch wide space that ordinarily would only contain one. You can cook a 22-pound turkey in the lower unit while side dishes are cooking at a different temperature in the upper oven. The glass touch controls make this possible because they’re built right into the door to free up space.

User-friendly controls are also the focus on this cook top from Siemens, they call it touch slide because you adjust the temperature with just a slide of your finger giving you more precise control.

On the other hand, the sensor dome feature on this Thermador electric cook top uses infrared light to constantly measure the pan temperature and shut off the heat before boil over. Then it cycles back on and off as needed to maintain an exact temperature.

If you like the look of glass but want to cook with gas, check out this cooktop from Fisher & Paykel, the burner and pan supports recessed right into the surface when not in use, so clean up is a breeze.

Danny Lipford: One kitchen appliance that’s been around for years and years is the trash compactor. Now some people think this is the greatest invention ever for the kitchen but others might be just a little skeptical. Well if you’re one of those folks you might just change your mind when you see what Broan-NuTone’s done in the redesign of this trash compactor.

We know one concern a lot of people have is the odor that you may have by using a trash compactor because you’re keeping the trash in your kitchen for a little longer. Well, you don’t have to worry about that with this system, it’s an odor control system and what it does is each one of these little sections of this wheel will last up to a month. So you have six of them here so after six months you take this out, throw it away, and put you another one in and that takes care of that problem. You even have a place to store your bags right in here.

But the real beauty of a trash compactor is the ability for it to compress the trash that you have in your house. Actually, in one container in a trash compactor you can put up to six large garbage bags worth of trash. Think about how nice that is in reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills.

Now another thing you’re able to do on this one is, you of course just close the door, push the button, and 3000 pounds of pressure will press down to compress all that trash you have in your house. Think about it if you’re taking trash out six times a week, now you’re only taking it out one time a week.

And to make sure that it blends in with the rest of your kitchen it’s available in stainless steel, black, white, any type of custom wood, and as you can see with the tile work here you can put just about anything on your trash compactor.

Hey, it’s time to check back in with Joe Truini with our Simple Solution of the week.

Joe Truini: One of the quickest ways to enhance the look of the bathroom is to replace the toilet seat. Now several years ago the manufacturers replaced the bolts that hold the seat to the toilet with plastic ones, used to be metal that would always corrode and rust.

But one place where they’re still using metal is on the screws that attach the hinge to the toilet seat itself. Now over time these screws can rust and cause corrosion spots on the toilet itself. So nowadays whenever I replace a toilet seat, I always fill these holes over the screw head with tub and tile caulk, this is just a tube of white tub and tile caulk.

You squeeze it into the holes, these are counter sunk screws so it holds quite a bit of caulk. Then smear it off, smear off the access with a putty knife, and once this, once this caulk cures it’ll form a watertight seal and prevent the screws from rusting.

Now, you can also fill these screw heads, these aren’t as susceptible to rusting because they’re not right over the water, but you can fill them and that will match it as well.

Danny Lipford: This week Today’s Homeowner is at the kitchen and bath industry show in Chicago and there are tons of people here checking out all kinds of new products and ideas for two of the most used areas of the home.

But no matter how cool a designer product is, it has to work for the people who live in the house. So the design idea center sponsored by the National Kitchen & Bath Association and Meredith Publishing includes several model kitchens and baths that demonstrate how to marry form and function.

Gayle Butler of Better Homes and Gardens magazine is giving me a tour of the kitchen her staff put together.

So, Gayle, what type of family would just love this type of kitchen?

Gayle Butler: You know we call this our organizer and cheap kitchen, because we designed it with a mom in mind who has so much going on in her life and she likes to keep things in control, organized, so she can relax and enjoy the time she’s at home with her family.

Danny Lipford: Sure that makes a lot of sense. Now, what kind of features will allow her to do that very thing?

Gayle Butler: Well, you know here’s an example. Just so simple, a pull out cabinet here with all your cooking utensils right by the cook top because having things exactly where you need them, that’s a key concept of organizing today.

Danny Lipford: And that’s a lot better than digging through a drawer somewhere.

Gayle Butler: Absolutely, never have to wonder where they are.

Danny Lipford: Now what’s going on here? This is a little bit unique.

Gayle Butler: Isn’t this fantastic? This backsplash material is actually made from recycled wine and beer bottles. So you get the great color, you get that great glisten of glass, and it really adds a pop to the kitchen.

Danny Lipford: It does, it adds a lot to it, a lot of interest. Now kind of a contemporary look to all of the cabinets here.

Gayle Butler: Yes. We wanted a modern but warm design. I love this cherry finish and also these great translucent glass cabinets.

Danny Lipford: Yeah.

Gayle Butler: So everything behind there doesn’t have to be in picture perfect order, but you get that great sense of light and color coming through your cabinetry, so it’s a very nice touch.

Danny Lipford: Boy, that’s neat, that’s really neat.

Gayle Butler: And here’s one of my favorite features in the kitchen, which is the great work sink. We have a bamboo chopping board right here, very convenient. But look at this, here’s a trick, it just slides away.

Danny Lipford: All right.

Gayle Butler: And we cut a notch in the countertop so you could just throw your trash right there and it goes into these bins in the cabinetry below. So convenient you don’t have to open the cabinet every time you want to throw something away.

Danny Lipford: That’s perfect. And you know if you make recycling easier you’re family’s going to get into it a lot more.

Gayle Butler: You’re right. You’ll do it everyday.

Danny Lipford: Hey, what a great space here. You know so many people have bar stools in their kitchen, but this is a lot more comfortable.

Gayle Butler: This is super comfortable. We took a note from restaurant design, with great bend kept seating. Who doesn’t like an upholstered bench? It’s got a decorative fabric, organic cotton by the way, and the nice thing is it brings your family together right here close to the kitchen action.

Danny Lipford: Well, that makes a lot of sense. Now, what about some of the other things that you have put in this kitchen to really organize it even more?

Gayle Butler: You know we have some fantastic features in the mud room, we have an over sized calendar for your family organizing center, keep track of everybody’s schedule.

We have some benches there with all your pet supplies organized in one place. We have a great pull out pantry where you can keep all the softballs, the ball gloves, the tennis racquets, all those things that we use but like to keep that clutter away from the kitchen proper.

Danny Lipford: Those kind of organizational features are a very important part of this show and one of my favorites is this pull through drawer from Häfele, perfect for an island or a peninsula. The same drawer can be accessed from both sides.

This drawer system from Grass America operates itself with a simple touch because each drawer is powered by a separate low voltage motor. To organize above the countertop, this rail system from Franke offers ultimate flexibility, you can move things anywhere you want to maximize the efficiency of your kitchen design.

Allen Lyle: I’ve seen a lot of contemporary designs this year at KBIS. And I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really care for contemporary, I’ve always been the traditional style. But I’ve found something here at the Renaissance Glass Works that really did catch my eye.

Now we’ve seen a lot of the glass lavatories, solid glass, beautiful designs, check this out. This is a kitchen countertop and you can see you’ve got the incorporation of color, the texture here, what really catches my eye was the light. Look at this from the light here shining down all the way through this just the property of the glass, this is beautiful and of course very clean, easy to clean.

Check this one out, the shower, solid glass and again you’ve got the texture in here, the bubbles that are part of the glass, and again light plays a big part of this. Look here in this channel, the lights, this is the only place where you see the light but it’s coming down traveling all the way, top to bottom. This is just beautiful. But if you think this is cool you’ve got to look at this one.

Everyone loves this, everyone loves this, you can look at this with me! This sink, solid glass and again you’ve got the texture in here. The plumbing is all inside the walls even to operate the waterfalls it’s in there, it’s on sensors, and again you’ve got the light channel above and below traveling up and down to give you that beautiful look. This is what it would look like if the Jetson’s remodeled your bathroom.

You know we’ve seen a lot here but right now I want to take a break from KBIS, let’s find out what Emilie’s got for us in today’s Best New Product.

Emilie Barta: Garbage disposals are a great item for any kitchen but in the past there have always been a couple of problems to contend with. Certain food items create clogs and jams, and the noise it often competes with a passing freight train. Well, InSinkErator has developed a new line that gets rid of all of these problems as easily as it gets rid of food waste.

They call it their Evolution Series, and this model here is the Excel. It has three separate grind stages, which means it can handle virtually any food waste including stringy celery, cornhusks, and heavy waste like potato peels. Hey, you know you can even tackle rib bones with no problems. It also has a jam sensor that will automatically increase the motor torque up to 500%, and those really tough items wind up down the drain.

The new Sound Seal Plus technology makes this at least 60% quieter than standard disposers and the quick lock sink mount makes installation a snap. You know they say that evolution is inevitable, and all I can say that for the kitchen disposer, it’s about time.

Danny Lipford: At a kitchen and bath show, like this one in Chicago, you’re bound to see a lot of plumbing fixtures. Now of course the trend over the last few years in plumbing fixtures is to make a fixture that’ll use as little water as possible.

And you know for years they’ve had dual-flush toilets that would allow you to use one setting on your toilet for liquid waste, which would use less water, and another setting, which would use a little more water for solid waste. Well, now you can convert any toilet that you may have, no matter how old it is, to a dual-flush toilet by using this device. It’s pretty cool.

It’s called an Ecoflow, and it has a little device here that attaches under your toilet and then you have the controls right on top for the two different settings. Now this is just for demonstration purposes here it really doesn’t look like this, this can actually go in and work with any toilet that you may have, and it only cost $130.

Just down the aisle, Leibfried has a more hygienic solution for the toilet seat. The just lift seat can be raised up off the porcelain for easy cleaning. And because the hinge is a one-piece design, there are fewer places for grime and germs to hide.

If hiding from the world in a nice hot bath is your idea of relaxation, there’s plenty of options and all kinds of styles from rustic to contemporary. Now these manufacturers are also using a variety of materials to get some pretty nice looks.

Convenience is a very important thing in any room in your house but especially the busiest one, the kitchen. Look at this great, very convenient faucet from Delta. Has the high arch that a lot of people like because you can fill up those big pans, and it has the single lever that makes it very, very easy to use.

And also, you’re able to pull this right down and with the touch of a button it will change from a steady stream to a spray. Just think how convenient that is to keep things nice and clean. But here’s something else that’s very unique that makes this really convenient. Think about having a large pot in your hand and you have to sit it down in order to turn it off.

Well, with this one you touch it with your arm and it goes right off. You need to turn it back on you can touch it and it comes right back on. And it knows the difference between grabbing it and moving it from side to side and actually touch it. Hey, this is a pretty smart faucet.

But as you might guess, there are an awful lot of faucets at a show like this, and I found another problem solver in the Price Pfister booth. To offer more control than a pull down spray faucet, they added a flow adjustment right on the head of the faucet. It also swivels to make clean up a lot easier.

Of course a faucet needs a sink, and there are tons of cool designs here for those as well. Some of my favorites include this vessel made completely from bamboo, and these glass models from Wells Sinkware. Talk about a striking look, nobody would forget about a room with one of these in it.

Now, on the more practical side, one of my favorite solutions is the PermaFLOW, which replaces the traditional p-trap. It’s clear, so that you can check for clogs without removing the trap. And the rotating paddle removes any build up you may have in the p-trap and makes retrieving dropped items an easy chore.

Allen Lyle: I know we’ve shown you a lot here today and some high end items but if big bucks are not in your budget believe me I feel your pain. A big upgrade for a lot of people is converting their kitchen to stainless steel.

Now let’s face it, that’s a little pricey. How would you like to convert your kitchen though for less than $75? Got your attention didn’t I? Liquid Stainless Steel, now I’m not talking about that spray paint you get at the hardware store, this is 100% stainless steel, so do-it-yourself friendly, and not just your appliances.

Look at this, bathroom accessories, plumbing fixtures, countertop appliances, we’ve got arts and crafts over here. Your appliances of course we mentioned that, no fingerprinting. Backsplash, this is a great idea you can actually convert your existing backsplash to 100% stainless steel, even your cabinet hardware.

Now, I did say less than $75, I’m not kidding you. Here you go, you’ve got a refrigerator kit here for $39, range dishwasher kit, brush on, or spray. This is the way to go if you ask me

Hey, speaking of asking, it’s time to Ask Danny.

Deb: Danny what kind of payback can I expect to get on a kitchen remodel?

Danny Lipford: Well, there’s really not a definite answer to that one, because it all depends on the current real estate market, local property values, and the extent of your remodel. It’s important to research all these factors first because you could wind up spending a lot of money on a project that you’ll never see a decent return on.

Now, you can actually get a higher return on your dollar by doing just a minor kitchen facelift – such as replacing a few appliances, flooring, countertops, and maybe your sink. Now, once you get into something like replacing all of your cabinets and moving walls, it becomes a major remodeling, and then you could get less return for your money.

Now, if you took all of the areas of the country and averaged them all out you’d see about an 83% return on a minor kitchen remodel. Now, on the West Coast you’ll see a lot higher returns, up to about 103% in places like California, Oregon, or Washington. Now you can check your own specific area by going online to costversusvalue.com.

This week we’ve been checking out all the great new products, designs, and ideas at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Chicago. We’ve seen some really unique new looks for the kitchen and bath as well as some great practical solutions to common household problems. In fact we’ve found so many I think Allen might be feeling just a little guilty for walking in here so skeptical.

Allen Lyle: All right, here’s a rare moment in history, something you will never hear me say again. Danny, you were right. There were some innovative products here.

Danny Lipford: I know it’s pretty painful for you to say, wasn’t it?

Allen Lyle: It hurts.

Danny Lipford: Hey, there was some great things to see here for the kitchen and bath and we were able to share a lot of them with you here on the show, but there’s even more that you can find out about at our website at dannylipford.com.

Hey, thanks for being with us, we’ll see you next week.

Next week we’ll look at a number of ways to make your backyard family friendly.

If you would like to purchase a DVD copy of this week’s show, visit our website at dannylipford.com, or call us at 1-800-946-4420.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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