Hanley Wood product editors combed the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show, held last week in Chicago, in search of innovative and interesting introductions for you and your clients. Here are a few of the best introductions that were on display.
Uponor. Radiant floor heating is the latest home system to get a high-tech control with Uponor’s Climate Control – Multifunction. The hydronic controller offers a streamlined, less time-intensive approach to installing controls for radiant heating and cooling systems, according to the manufacturer. Instead of creating specific individual controls for domestic hot water, mixing, snowmelt, boiler staging, and zone pumping, the programmable control can handle each of the functions. A separate network controller, set to hit the market in July, also will give homeowners access to thermostats and will allow them to access the control from the Web. 800-321-4739. www.uponor-usa.com. –Jeffrey Lee
GE. Monogram Professional rangetops use dual-flame stacked burners that provide a range of cooking performance, from a variable low simmer of 140-195 degrees F to a high output of 18,000 BTUs. A stainless steel and aluminum-clad griddle offers 18,000 BTUs (natural gas) of cooking power, and an adjustable-output 14,000-BTU ceramic infrared grill is also available. Beneath the gas rangetop are two self-cleaning ovens. A large caterers’ oven can accommodate a full-size 18-inch-by-26-inch caterer's sheet pan. A smaller everyday oven can handle 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dishes. Each oven also includes full-extension racks that are designed to stay in during the self-clean cycle. LED task lights illuminate the control knobs for a theatrical and helpful touch. 800-626-2005. www.monogram.com. –J.L.
Gaggenau. The manufacturer’s newest vent hood was influenced by an unlikely source: European aviation pioneer Henri Coanda. His discovery of the “Coanda Effect”—that a stream of air emerging from a nozzle tends to follow a nearby curved surface rather than a straight line—is put to use in the AI 280-720 48-inch island hood. Fans in the ventilation system blow air around cylinders. The air adheres to the cylindrical surfaces on either side of the hood, creating a curtain of air that traps vapors and transports them up and out through the center exhaust, according to the manufacturer, resulting in an energy-efficient and quiet vent hood. It is also available in 36-inch and 48-inch wall hoods. 877-442-4436. www.gaggenau-usa.com. –J.L.
Delta. The Pilar pull-down kitchen faucet uses Touch2O technology that allows users to start and stop the flow of water with a tap anywhere on the spout or handle. While the technology was previously available in the Brizo brand, Pilar incorporates the functionality in a transitional style that coordinates with a variety of decors, according to the company. A separate handle adjusts flow rate and temperature. A blue LED light indicates when the technology is engaged, and turns red when the batteries need to be replaced. 800-345-3358. www.deltafaucet.com. –J.L.
Kohler. Sound and vibration integrate in the VibroAcoustic bath to promote relaxation. During four preset programs, bathers hear music and feel music streaming in sound waves through the water. This helps users achieve slow, deep breathing as the body attempts to harmonize with the vibrations, the maker says. A new addition to the Fountainhead line, the tub also includes a DTV Bath control, which allows users to play music from an MP3 player, radio station, or home computer. Lights can create eight different colors and sweep through various color combinations and patterns. The acrylic bath comes in two sizes. 800-456-4537. www.kohler.com. –Vicky Markovitz
Jacuzzi. Teaming up with an Italian designer known for his work with Ferrari, Jacuzzi introduces Omega, a pre-packaged shower and sauna. Omega includes a cascading showerhead, rainfall ceiling tile, handheld shower, steam generator, aromatherapy outlet, recessed interior lighting, and four body sprays. These are housed in natural surfaces, including black stone. The shower also features a teak seat and tempered glass roof. 800-288-4002. www.jacuzzi.com. –V.M.
Caroma. The company’s newest toilet, the Sydney Smart, offers WaterSense-recognized performance. The toilet offers flush volumes of 0.8 and 1.28 gpf, with an average flush of 0.89 gpf, and it can save more than 30,000 gallons of water a year, says the firm. The product comes in two models and two colors. 800-605-4218. www.caromausa.com. –V.M.