Watch this video to see some innovative products for your kitchen and bath from the 2009 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Atlanta. Products featured include:
- Countertops: Wood and solid surface countertops, as well as faux granite finish for old plastic laminate countertops.
- Sinks: Wood and engineered granite sinks for your kitchen or bath.
- Bathtubs: Translucent tubs with built-in lighting, art deco tubs in bright colors, two-person jetted tubs, safety tubs with a side access door and quick drain.
- Faucets: Digital shower controls and flippable handheld showerhead.
- Cabinet Accessories: Cleaning supply caddy, drawer vacuum system, and LED undercabinet lighting.
- Cabinet Hardware: Cabinet knobs and pulls in a wide range of styles and materials, include one of a kind designs made from natural sea stones.
- Appliances: Ovens with smart controls and tankless hot water heaters.
Danny Lipford: This week Today’s Homeowner is on the road in Atlanta to check out the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. The regulars call it KBIS; but whatever you call it, you don’t want to miss these great new products and ideas. So stay tuned.
I am so glad to have Jodi Marks with me to try to cover this big KBIS show. You’ve been here before, what do you like about it?
Jodi Marks: Oh, my goodness, what’s not to like? Besides I get to work with you this time!
Danny Lipford: Oh, there, that’s a big benefit, right.
Jodi Marks: That’s my favorite part! Now, I love seeing all the new things everyone’s coming out with. It’s a fun show.
Danny Lipford: Well, it is a lot of fun. Of course there are all kinds of different elements that they are introducing. There are usually some new products that are out there, and of course a lot of practical things because of the economic situation.
Jodi Marks: That’s true, that’s true.
Danny Lipford: But, there’s also some pretty cool things to look at.
Jodi Marks: That’s hilarious.
Danny Lipford: This display in the Maax booth for their Optik tub is just plain fun. But then there is a lot of eye candy at the show like this.
The folks at Toto have a beautiful exhibit for their new lines, including some that are hand painted pieces. But for real drama, check out the luminous tubs and vanities. Speaking of that, over at the Kohler booth, Jodi is getting a dramatic presentation about the water savings their toilet models offer over the vintage toilets of a few decades ago.
While Jodi is taking that tour, Allen Lyle and I are preparing to go on the air with a live radio broadcast in the Sterling exhibit for our new radio show, Homefront. This gives us a chance to get some pretty interesting feedback about how this industry is responding to consumers.
Kit Selzer: One of the things we see happening with people in this economy is that they still want to remodel, but they are having to pare back a little bit, and really focus on those changes that are most meaningful for their life and for their family.
So were seeing a real focus on smaller changes. One of the perfect examples at the kitchen and bath show is new showerheads. People really are interested in getting a full force invigorating kind of shower, but they’re also interested in water savings. So a showerhead that can do both is really practical and functional.
Storage is a really important aspect of homeownership for people; we just can’t get enough storage. And one of the really interesting products that is out now is a small bath vanity that incorporates storage inside.
So in the doors, there are shelves for toiletries. And in the base of the vanity are two trays that store your items when they are put away. But you can also pull them out and put them on the counter and have them available. So it’s a nice way to have plenty of room for everything you need in the bath, but it is also portable.
Sarah Fishburne: There’s a lot of alternative materials that were seeing at this show. We’re also seeing a lot of materials that take on characteristics and looks of higher end materials, but really not for the costs that we are seeing.
You know great things, like the new natural looking stones from Corian and Samsung, that are really, you know, seamless and affordable; but not the cost and maintenance of a natural stone.
The real wow with technology is definitely coming from Jenn-Air. Kind of taking that iPod, you know, when you really get into it it’s a touch screen. You can pick what you can cook for dinner. You can then pick the poultry that you want. It shows you picture of the poultry then you get to say how you want it cooked. Then it shows you pans, and if you’re like me, who is maybe not the best cook, it shows me a picture to make sure that I have picked the right roasting pan from a broiler and then you go through the whole thing, so it really takes out the guesswork.
Sterling came out with a vanity that is what I’ve been seeing across the board from Europe for a while. It’s washed oak in a white finish, so it’s really textural. Great look, very approachable, and it will fit into a lot of people’s homes.
So I look at that vanity, and that’s something that walking in these shows, there’s the dream and then there’s the stuff that I really feel that can come back into, you know, into our shelves at Home Depot.
Danny Lipford: Jodi found another of those practical ideas in the Sterling shower display. It’s a treatment for glass shower enclosures called CleanCoat technology. By repelling water, and the minerals and soap scum it carries, CleanCoat makes cleaning the shower door a piece of cake.
Jodi Marks: At this show I love to find solutions to typical homeowner problems, and who doesn’t hate a scratched or stained sink, and I’m in the Blanco booth with Christy Emens. Christy what did you have going on here?
Christy Emens: This is called Silgranit II. It is the most durable sink product on the market today; it won’t scratch, it won’t stain. It’s made of 80% natural granite and 20% acrylic.
Jodi Marks: Wow. This is neat. Now, it won’t burn either.
Christy Emens: That’s correct, it will not burn.
Jodi Marks: Ok now I’ve heard that you were letting everybody try their hand at scratching this sink, because I’ve done a pretty good job on mine, so let me see. I got a fork. Wow. Okay, so that’s going to come up?
Christy Emens: Now, all you need to do is take a wet sponge.
Jodi Marks: Now there’s nothing on there?
Christy Emens: No cleaners, no chemicals, just water.
Jodi Marks: Yeah!
Christy Emens: And you can see that wipes cleanly away, doesn’t scratch.
Jodi Marks: Wow, ok now what about this. Because we were talking about stains, this looks like beet juice or something?
Christy Emens: It’s beet juice. So, normally this would stain your sink, not with Silgranit II. All you need to do, again, a wet sponge. I’m not using any chemicals here. I’m just wiping it. Cleanly away, you can see it is perfectly clean. Nothing there.
Jodi Marks: Christy, this is a great solution. I think I am going to have to put my order in. Christy, thank you so much. Now let’s check in on Joe and seeing what he’s cooking up in the kitchen.
Joe Truini: The average dishwasher lasts six to eight years. But long before you have to buy a new one, you’ll probably have to repair the rollout rack, and here’s why.
The rack is made out of metal and has a thick vinyl coating on these tines. Well, what happens is over time, the rubber coating starts to break down, and the metal will rust.
In this case I took a pair of pliers and snipped off the rusted part, then used some sandpaper to just buff off the final bit of corrosion to get down to the bare metal. And then, I went out and I bought some dishwasher rack coat, which is a special material that you can get at an appliance store, for painting on to the bare metal. It has a little brush in the cap itself. So you just put a little on each of the metal parts. I may have to put two or three coats on. And, you let that dry. But here’s a really quick tip for when you have a lot of tines to repair, as I do here, about 24 that I need to fix.
Flip the rack upside down, take the cap off. Then, just dip the tines right into the bottle. What you end up with is a nice thick coating of the liquid vinyl on each tine. Let it set up for a couple of hours, and you can put it back in the dishwasher. But, don’t turn on the dishwasher for a good 24 hours, so it can fully cure.
Danny Lipford: This week we’re continuing our look at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show here in Atlanta, Georgia. You know, every year technology invades every aspect of our home. Now, it’s hit the bathroom with the ioDIGITAL valve from Moen. Now, here’s how it works. This is all you need to control all the body sprays, both the temperature as well as the flow of water. And it has four different setting for four different members of the family.
All you have to do is push your button that you are able to pre-design, and it will turn everything on. And it will tell you exactly when it hits the temperature that you like in your shower, and the exact flow of everything that you have.
And then once you get the shampoo in your hair and you want to cut it off for a second, it has a pause button that will allow it to cut off and save a lot of water over the course of a year. And, of course like everything else in the house, it comes with a remote control that will do the very same thing. Now this can make for a very nice sleek look to your shower, as well as your tub.
This new 1255 Duralast cartridge from Moen, also, makes a cleaner look possible on the vanity. It’s at the business end of Moen faucets, and it lets designers create stylish new models, like this one called the 90.
Now, here’s another example of a less-is-more design. The cabinet hardware from Atlas Homewares has a reputation for pushing boundaries with styles and materials. But this year, the company president says they are introducing subtle designs that will allow the cabinetry to grab the attention. Much like a woman might choose a simple pair of shoes to go with a new dress she wants to show off.
Speaking of shoes, check out this rotating corner shoe-tree from Rev-A-Shelf called the Lazy Shoesan. They also make a great solution for blind corners and cabinets, which should hit the U.S. market near the end of this year. For practicality, it’s hard to beat their under sink rollout cleaning caddie.
One of our goals while we are exploring these aisles is to find kitchen and bath solutions that will work on any budget, since that seems to be an issue for all of us these days.
Well, Jodi found an interesting one in the Thomas Kitchen Art booth. These folks introduced a stainless steal paint kit last year. And now, they are rolling out a faux painting kit to make almost any surface look like granite. Of course, Jodi had to try it out.
Tim Haas: We are doing about three-foot sections, because that way it can dry and allow you to mix in between to blend minerals. So instead of having three coats, you might have ten different shades in there.
Jodi Marks: Got it. Ok.
Tim Haas: Now, that looks really good. See how that’s very natural and it blends?
Jodi Marks: Yeah, as long as you can do a little bit of painting, there really is no method to the madness, because it is like a faux, and there is really no wrong, like you say.
Tim Haas: That’s right.
Jodi Marks: Tim, that’s great. I’m going to play a little more, can I?
Tim Haas: Yeah. Go ahead.
Jodi Marks: Okay, good.
Danny Lipford: Another big emphasis of this show is making products more green, and there are certainly plenty of examples. For instance, every toilet on display by this exhibitor is WaterSense certified.
To conserve paper, they have also introduced a residential hand dryer that is more effective and less messy than the commercial models you’ll find in public restrooms.
We also found a hardware manufacturer who has converted most of their product line to cast aluminum. This allows them to use almost 100% recycled material in their production process.
Efficient water heating is important for both the kitchen and bath. So I thought it was interesting that at least two of the manufacturers here, Rheem and GE, have both solar and tankless water heating options on display. In addition to more efficient versions of their traditional tank style water heaters.
On the lighter side, you can work on your tan while you enjoy that solar heated shower, with the ProSun, Sunshower tanning system. This prototype unit is self-contained, so it can be added to any existing shower.
But for self-contained fun, it’s hard to be the SpaBerry two-person spa. It’s small enough to fit anywhere or go anywhere, but big enough to enjoy.
Of course there’s a lot of neat kitchen gadgets, here at KBIS, and here’s one that will help you keep your countertops nice and clean. It’s called the DrawerVac. It looks like a slide out cutting board, but what it actually is, is a little area that you can rake those crumbs and they disappear. Real versatile because you can mount it in a drawer space situation like that.
And of course it works in the same way, and it can also be put right behind one of your cabinet doors like this. Now it works off of your central vac system in your home. Or, you can install one of the smaller units right under your cabinets, and it takes care of all your dirty countertops.
Hey that’s a pretty good idea. And speaking of good ideas, here’s our Best New Product of the week with Jodi.
Jodi Marks: When you think about spray painting, you probably think messy and drippy. But the makers of this new Universal all surface paint from Rust-Oleum, have really put some thought into the process of spray-painting.
As the name implies, you can literally paint just about any surface with this stuff. So that plastic chair, metal handrail, or piece of wicker furniture can all be painted with the same can of paint, as long as you like the color. And finding the color that you like is easy, because it’s got 16 different colors to choose from and a variety of finishes.
Universal dries to the touch in about 30 minutes, and it’s formulated to resist corrosion and rust. What I really like is the new 360-degree grip and trigger system. Your finger goes here, not here. Which reduces finger fatigue and it lets you spray at any angle, even upside down, without the loss of pressure.
And the unique drip guard and safety clip reduce the chances of accidents and messy dripping. You know what, I think they just reinvented the spray-painting experience.
Danny Lipford: This week we’re in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, and this place is just buzzing with activity. Now, we come to this show almost every year, and one thing that we found that has really become popular—side access tubs like this one.
And it really makes sense if you have someone in your home that has a little trouble getting in a regular tub. This side door opens right up, you walk in, you sit down, and you can really enjoy your tub experience. Now, to enhance that experience a little bit, you can also get these with whirlpool and also lights in there. Not bad.
But the problem that they found with this type of tub, is that you have to drain it completely in order to open the door. And that can take quite a while. Sometimes you need to get out of the tub, they have solved it with a special pump system that all you do is turn this, and you push that. And instead of the whirlpool action you have in this, it actually feeds the water into the drain. And this will drain completely down in less than 60 seconds.
As the water is pumped into the drain, it creates a siphoning action, which actually speeds up the normal gravity drain as well to empty the tub faster, so that you can get out.
While those safety tubs have a slick look, there’s also some more rustic looking designs here as well. These all-wood counter tops in the Grothouse Lumber booth are striking because of their natural beauty, but the wood sinks really blow me away. They use a permanent high wear finished, they call Durata, to make the walnut and teak sinks waterproof and stain resistant. The results are beautiful and durable.
If you are looking for some natural beauty in your kitchen hardware, what could be more natural than cabinet pulls made from real stones? But as usual, the category with the most diversity of materials is the bathroom sink, especially the vessel models. Some of my favorites are the ones made from brass on display by Linkasink.
On the other hand, enameled steel is not an uncommon material for the bathroom. But the way they do it at Kaldewei is very uncommon. At 3.5 millimeters, this stuff is about twice as thick as what most manufacturers use, and the company guarantees it for 30 years. Plus, it creates really cool tub and shower pan designs with it. But the coolest by far is the Luxxo Duo Oval in classic black.
Right next door at the Kichler booth, I found a great selection of lighting for the kitchen, including an LED system for under cabinet use that really solves a lot of problems because it’s so small and uses so little electricity.
Kichler representative: One-half-inch profile, along with disks that are three-eights-inch deep.
Danny Lipford: Hey, that’s great for remodeling applications, but these things are pretty efficient, too, right?
Kichler representative: We have the first Energy Star listed solid-state lighting in America, and we are now still the only Energy Star solid-state under cabinet lighting that is currently listed.
Now not all of the high-tech is so high toned. There is also a new take on the heated toilet seat, called the Toastie Tush, which uses a conductive heating pad on the toilet lid to heat the seat.
All in all it’s been a very busy few days, and we’ve walked more than a few miles on this floor, but Jodi may have found a cure for her ailing feet.
Jodi Marks: Well, I have saved the best for last, because I have been walking around this show all day, and now I am in the Häfele booth with Robb, who’s got a great product that’s called GelPro, and this is the most amazing surface for my feet.
Robb McMahan: Oh, well, thank you. What’s unique about the surface is actually it is a soft gel material. So if you have hard tile, wood, or concrete floors in your kitchen, it makes it comfortable to spend time standing in your kitchen.
Jodi Marks: I mean this is great! Now you and your wife came up with this, right?
Robb McMahan: Yeah, we did. Actually my wife is an avid cook, and she spent all day Thanksgiving one time cooking lunch for us. And by the time she got through, her legs and her back were killing her.
Jodi Marks: And she’s done.
Robb McMahan: Absolutely. So she said you know, what can I do to make the kitchen more comfortable? So, we looked on the market for mats that would be appropriate for our kitchen. We could not find anything that looked good in our kitchen. So, we decided to solve the problem ourselves and we came up with GelPro.
Jodi Marks: So we’ll make it ourselves. Now, it comes in different sizes and also in different styles, right?
Robb McMahan: Oh, absolutely, we have multiple sizes. They start at about three feet long and go all the way up to 12 feet long by three feet wide. So, we have a size to match any decor. And we have about 26 different fabric styles right now, including, you know, this crazy rattlesnake.
Jodi Marks: Rattlesnake. That’s my favorite! Robb, thank you so much. The best of luck to you. I tell you, this is a great idea for your kitchen, and talking about your kitchen, Danny is in one right now and he’s got a good segment on Thinking Green.
Danny Lipford: If I can go back in time and make just one single investment knowing what I know now, I would go straight for the mother load—bottled water.
You know last year alone, America spent nearly 16 billion dollars for bottled water. But, it may interest you to know that you may not be drinking the pure glacier water you think you are. Sometimes it’s just bottled tap water.
A smart investment is in a good quality water filter. Most of them are very easy to install, especially if it’s for a single source like the kitchen sink. Some even install directly to your faucet, and many cases you can have water as good as, if not better than, a bottled brand. You will also be cutting down on the carbon footprint on bottled water, which includes transportation to the stores and discarding all the plastic bottles.
Well, Jodi, I know you always have some project going on at your house.
Jodi Marks: Oh, yeah.
Danny Lipford: Have you gotten inspired a little bit here?
Jodi Marks: Oh, I’m so inspired by what I’ve seen, I’m ready to tear my house down and rebuild it with everything I’ve seen here.
Danny Lipford: Well that’s a little extreme, but it will kind of make you start thinking about really making some significant changes, especially to your kitchen and bath, and we hope that we were able to share with you some things that will help you make your home a little bit better. There is more information on our website dannylipford.com. Hey, I’ve had enough. Let’s go.
Jodi Marks: No, no. Come on, I want to go see this. No Danny!
Danny Lipford: Next week we’re doing our part to make sure you are safe at home.
While Jodi and I were exploring all of the booths at KBIS, Allen had an opportunity to make a special presentation.
Allen Lyle: If you’re with me, say yes! Someone, say yes.
Danny Lipford: 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.