Best New Kitchen and Bath Products 2009
The editors of This Old House pick our favorite affordable luxuries, handy helpers, and problem solvers from the 2009 Kitchen and Bath Show
Sure, times are tough—all the more reason to give the most-used rooms in your house (and yourself!) a little lift. Happily, this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show featured a number of well-priced pick-me-ups. Here, 14 standouts.
Multispray showers, jewel-like hardware, counters and floors that are something special—get these luxe features for less.
Turn Your Shower Into a Spa
Simply pivot the head of Kohler's Flipside handshower to luxuriate in one of its four different spray options, including a massaging stream and a soothing springlike rain. You gotta love the cool design—and the nice price.
About $107; Kohler
Polished- and brushed-nickel hardware never go out of style—but they can cost you. Amerock's new Allison Value and Highland Ridge collections offer 72 elegant designs for not a lot of cash.
From about $3.20; Amerock
Light-reflecting granules give Dal-Tile's Metal Effects porcelain floor tile a mineral-rich but subtle shimmer.
About $7 to $29 per square foot; Dal-Tile
High-end butcher block can bust your budget at over $100 per square foot. Get a similarly chunky look and decorative edge with Teragren's strand bamboo counters. They're engineered to be stronger than red oak and are naturally bacteria-resistant.
About $36 to $44 per square foot; Teragren
These clever products make tackling everyday chores—from feeding the family to streamlining laundry time—just a little easier.
Get More Cooking Capacity
When a crowd's coming over, Fagor's portable double-burner induction cooktop gives you more space to whip up a meal. Plug it into a standard outlet and the appliance's speedy heating will get dinner to the table in record time.
About $300; Fagor
Satisfy any guest's hot-drink request with Bosch's Tassimo beverage system, which has over 40 single-cup coffee, tea, and cocoa "pod" options. The newest model's LCD display tracks brewing time and signals when the machine needs more wateror cleaning.
About $200; Bosch
Come party time, decant your preferred pour into the removable, dishwasher-safe beverage reservoir in Amana's Quick Tap fridge, and people can serve themselves from the in-door dispenser.
About $800; Amana
The door opens from either side of Kenmore Elite's 30-inch built-in microwave, so it suits righties, lefties, and any kitchen configuration. How's that for convenience?
About $800 to $900; Kenmore
Say good-bye to heaps of lights and darks strewn on the floor. Armstrong cabinets' new LaundryCenter option offers sorting bins, hanger inserts, and other organizers to keep pre- and post-wash piles tucked away.
About $95 to $200 each; Armstrong
With grime-busting features and DIY-friendly designs, these innovative products help polish up your place as never before.
Like its name says, Affluence's stainless-steel Seamless Sink does away with the crud-trapping seam around the drain hole, making cleanup a snap.
From about $495; Affluence
Eighteen minutes: That's how little time it takes to wash (or dry) a load with Electrolux's new front-loaders, so you can start your folding in front of the tube well before the end of Desperate Housewives.
In three colors, from about $1,300 each; Electrolux
Need to tackle tough pots and pans? Just press a button on Delta's Linden pull-out faucet to turn its resource-saving stream of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) into a forceful 2 gpm flow.
Available in November, from about $230; Delta
Putting in protection for the wall behind your cooktop doesn't have to take your kitchen out of commission. ACP's Aspect peel-and-stick metallic tiles don't need grouting—put them up in an afternoon, make dinner when you're done.
In three colors, about $20 per square foot; Aspect
Forget juggling spray bottles and wipes as you scrub room after room. Rev-a-Shelf's undersink cleaning caddy organizes them all in one easy-to-lug, easy-to-store tote.
About $84; Rev-A-Shelf