More in Bathroom

New Kitchen and Bath Products and Technologies

Convertible refrigerators, cooktops that don't get hot, way-out cabinet finishes, and much more

Induction heating
1 ×

 

We've done a lot of legwork to pack our annual Kitchen and Bath Product Preview with as much stuff as you pack into your dishwasher. Our magazine editors, television producers, and, of course, tradesmen, visited factories, thumbed through a bathtub's worth of wholesale catalogs, and (somehow) stayed away from slot machines for four whole days while in Las Vegas to prowl the aisles of the K/BIS 2005 expo — the kitchen and bath industry's largest trade show and source for the luxuries that fill our necessary rooms.

Along the way we found handsome vanities, convertible refrigerators, cooktops that don't get hot, and tub fillers so clean of line that they'll look as good in a century-old farmhouse as they do in a modern apartment or the '60s-era suburban ranch many of us call home. Some of the goods on the pages that follow cost plenty and some are reasonable, but whether you're doing a six-figure remodel or a simple faucet swap-out, you'll find the kinds of new and noteworthy fixtures and fittings, innovative technologies, and just plain great-looking finish products that'll turn your house into a place you're proud to call home.
We've done a lot of legwork to pack our annual Kitchen and Bath Product Preview with as much stuff as you pack into your dishwasher. Our magazine editors, television producers, and, of course, tradesmen, visited factories, thumbed through a bathtub's worth of wholesale catalogs, and (somehow) stayed away from slot machines for four whole days while in Las Vegas to prowl the aisles of the K/BIS 2005 expo — the kitchen and bath industry's largest trade show and source for the luxuries that fill our necessary rooms.

Along the way we found handsome vanities, convertible refrigerators, cooktops that don't get hot, and tub fillers so clean of line that they'll look as good in a century-old farmhouse as they do in a modern apartment or the '60s-era suburban ranch many of us call home. Some of the goods on the pages that follow cost plenty and some are reasonable, but whether you're doing a six-figure remodel or a simple faucet swap-out, you'll find the kinds of new and noteworthy fixtures and fittings, innovative technologies, and just plain great-looking finish products that'll turn your house into a place you're proud to call home.
2 ×

Welcome Aboard the Starship Enterprise

 

Welcome Aboard the Starship Enterprise

induction heating
Light Tiles from Villeroy & Boch


Over the top? Perhaps, but have you seen anything underfoot that looks so cool? Light Tiles from Villeroy & Boch ($62 each, sizes vary) eliminate the fumbling for the lights on a middle-of-the-night fridge or bathroom run. LED components embedded in wear-resistant ceramic tiles provide 100,000 hours of illumination (that's about 11 years) that you can leave glowing or rig to a switch. Select from white, blue, or amber. Best of all, no need to call the electrician — they're easy DIY. villeroy-boch.com
3 ×

Textured Kitchen Flooring

 

Textured Kitchen Flooring

Gaggenau's V1 411 ($3,299) Cooktop with Induction Heating
Textured industrial-style flooring looks great with pro-grade stainless steel appliances, but it takes a restaurant cleanup crew to hose it down every night. Get a similar high-tech look for less hassle with Amtico International's Color Zone vinyl floor tiles, made with a magnetic embossing technology that offers a 3-D, slightly futuristic look with a smooth surface feel. In nine colors like Putty and Mortar, they're a smart and sturdy backdrop for all those metallic-cloaked cookers and fridges. Available in 12-by-12 tiles (from $8.50). amtico.com
4 ×

Where To Find It

 

Where To Find It

Welcome Aboard the Starship Enterprise:
Light Tiles, Villeroy & Boch
Monroe Township, NJ
877-505-5350
www.villeroy-boch.com

Minimalist Showerhead:
Water Tiles, Kohler Co.
Kohler, WI
800-456-4537
www.kohler.com

The Residential Urinal:
Lloyd Residential Urinal, Toto USA Inc.
Morrow, GA
888-295-8134
www.totousa.com

Mini Wine Fridge:
15-inch-wide Wine Storage Unit
Sub-Zero Freezer Co.
Madison, WI
800-336-8040
www.subzero.com

Creative Cabinetry:
Quality Custom Cabinetry
New Holland, PA
800-909-6006
www.qcc.com

Wellborn Cabinet Inc.
Ashland, AL
800-336-8040
www.wellborn.com

Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry
Schaefferstown, PA
800-447-9006
www.plainfancycabinetry.com

A Smarter Dishwasher:
SmartDispense dishwasher technology
General Electric
800-626-200
www.geappliances.com

New Fridge Has 4 Cooling Zones:
Four-Door Convertible Refrigerator
Samsung USA
800-726-7864
www.samsung.com

Cook With Induction Heating:
The VK 411 induction cooktop
Gaggenau USA, BSH Home Applliances Corp.
Huntington Beach, CA
800-828-9165
www.gaggenau-usa.com

Elite Induction Cooktop by Kenmore
Sears Brands LLC
Hoffman Estates, IL
800-349-4358
www.kenmore.com

See-Through Appliance Doors:
Floating Glass suite of appliances
Jenn-Air, Maytag Corp.
Cleveland, TN
800-688-1100
www.jennair.com

Textured Kitchen Flooring:
Color Zone vinyl floor tiles
Amtico International Inc.
New York, NY
212-545-1127
www.amtico.com
5 ×

Minimalist Showerhead

 

Minimalist Showerhead

LED components embedded in wear-resistant ceramic tiles, Villeroy & Boch
When we first walked by the booth at the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas, we thought they must be giving something away. What else could attract those crowds, all huddled around, just standing, staring? When we finally had a look at Kohler's WaterTiles (from $119), well, we, too, were transfixed — there was a shower like we'd never seen before. Flush with ceiling and walls, the tiles pour water while uncluttering the stall space. Available as 54-or 22-nozzle watersprays, as a wall-mount showerhead (below), or as corner tiles. kohler.com
6 ×

The Residential Urinal

 

The Residential Urinal

Minimalist showerhead
Those leaving-the-seat-up arguments? Here's one way to banish them forever. Urinals are turning up in more and more high-end bathroom renovations. Toto's Lloyd Residential Urinal ($1,100) uses almost half the water of even a low-flow toilet per flush, making it good for your environment as well as your relationship. totousa.com
7 ×

Mini Wine Fridge

 

Mini Wine Fridge

Minimalist showerheads
Nice to know that you don't need a cellar, a trust fund, or a whole new kitchen addition to be able to keep a few bottles of vino properly chilled. The folks at Sub-Zero understand, and have unveiled a 15-inch-wide Wine Storage Unit ($1,790) that holds 26 of your favorite pours. Not only does this little fella fit under countertops or into tight corners, it was designed to slide right into that space where your circa-1982 trash compactor still lounges. That's our kind of trading spaces. subzero.com
8 ×

Creative Cabinetry

 

Creative Cabinetry

Residential Urinal
Nothing transforms a space like new cabinetry, and if you're into reinvention, you've got more options every day. Check it out: From Quality Custom Cabinetry (left), glazed, vibrant color that looks like fresh paint. Wellborn (center) debuts new finishes and, later this year, coordinating wainscoting, hoods, and islands. Plain & Fancy (right) offers classic looks as well as a new color series. qcc.com; wellborn.com;
9 ×

A Smarter Dishwasher

 

A Smarter Dishwasher

Mini Wine Fridge
GE's SmartDispense Dishwasher (from $1,029) is such a genius it will help save money on dishwashing detergent and your water bill. Equipped with particle sensors that can tell just how dirty those dishes are (who really wants to rinse them first?), the SmartDispense regulates the amount of soap and water needed for each individual load. All of this is easy math after you've poured a 45-ounce bottle of dishwashing liquid into the soap receptacle and programmed the hardness of your home's water into the control panel (a water-hardness testing kit comes with the machine). Talk about intellectual freedom. ge.com
10 ×

New Fridge Has 4 Cooling Zones

 

New Fridge Has 4 Cooling Zones

Creative Cabinetry
Photo by Gregor Halenda
Imagine never again having to run out to the store for ice in the middle of one of your parties. Yes, the idea pleased us too, and that's what we thought of when we heard about Samsung's Four-Door Convertible Refrigerator ($2,999). Four zones allow four temperature settings, so when it's party time, flip the two lower drawers of this 25-cubic-foot wonder into freeze mode to store a trunkload of ice. Vegetarians? Lower the temp and the drawers become crispers. Need to chill the Chardonnay on date night? The convertible drawers can quick-cool wine at a steady 50 degrees. Of course, that setting also works wonders icing six-packs on game day. samsung.com
11 ×

Cook With Induction Heating

 

Cook With Induction Heating

A Smarter Dishwasher
Cooking demos at kitchen and bath shows are a dime a dozen. But this one had higher stakes. We watched as a chef melting chocolate placed a $50 bill between the cooktop and the pan. When he removed the bill, it was barely warm. Magic? No, magnets. For 30 years, manufacturers have been perfecting induction cooking, which uses electromagnetic technology to heat a pan's surface directly — meaning precise cooking and a safer kitchen. That's Gaggenau's V1 411 ($3,299) at right. Wallet-watchers, note Kenmore's Elite Induction Cooktop ($1,499), not shown, available only at Sears. gaggenau-usa.com; kenmore.com
12 ×

See-Through Appliance Doors

 

See-Through Appliance Doors

Samsung's Four-Door Convertible Refrigerator ($2,999)
Stainless is too industrial. Trim-kit cabinetry panels, too traditional. And you can't bear the thought of living with a flashback fridge that looks like the one you grew up raiding or a dated dishwasher that resembles the one that Mom forced you to unload. It's time to consider an unlikely finish — glass. Quickly becoming a choice for stylish kitchen renovators, Jenn-Air's Floating Glass suite of appliances blends into almost any home cooking space. Everything from a warming drawer or cooktop to a side-by-side or double wall oven now can be ordered with a durable, high-gloss glass finish in white or black (from $700). jennair.com
 
 

TV Listings

Find TV Listing for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.