Hansgrohe A freestanding tub in a master bath is derivative these days, unless you specify something as dramatic as the Axor Urquiola. Designed by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, the tub is made from cast marble that has a gel-coated finish. It even has an integrated towel holder. But you’ll have to pony up $8,800 if you want one. www.hansgrohe.com.
Coverings Etc. Picture your buyers’ reaction when they see these Bio-Luminum 100% recycled aluminum tiles lining a kitchen backsplash or on an accent wall. You can picture it because these tiles are awesome—and, at $60 per square foot, costly. Made with high-quality aluminum alloy from old airplanes, they come in 6- and 12-inch sizes. www.coveringsetc.com.
Diamond Spas Yes, a copper tub seems extravagant for these frugal times. But boy does it look good. This one, Atocha, is a Japanese-style soaking tub made from 4-inch copper strips that have been welded and polished. It’s listed at a very decadent $23,545. www.diamondspas.com.
Kallista Products don’t have to be overly wrought to be pricey. This luxury bridge faucet from Michael Smith’s For Town collection is made from solid brass so it feels substantial and features ceramic disk cartridges so it’s unlikely to leak. Classically styled but with modern updating, it ranges from $2,804 to $3,367. www.kallista.com.
Mutina Patricia Urquiola is one of the hottest designers at the moment, and for good reason. Check out the Dechirer collection she’s created for Italian ceramic tile manufacturer Mutina. The unglazed porcelain tile collection is inspired by the nature of cement and has a very tactile surface of reliefs and textures. Installed on a wall, it will grab all the attention. It costs from $30 to $73 per square foot. www.mutina.it.
Kaldewei The Conoflat shower tray draws attention to itself, but not in a bad way. Made from steel enamel, the tray speaks to the trend of linear shower drains and sleek showers with no thresholds. With a starting price of $1,361, trays are available in 17 sizes and three colors. www.kaldewei.com.
Grothouse Lumber Wood may not seem as sexy as the latest alternative surfacing material, but in the right hands nothing beats it. The company fabricates wood countertops and islands in any shape and design and does so in 20 stock species or more than 40 special order selections. This island by Artisan Kitchen and Bath in New Orleans is made from 2 1/4-inch-thick, edge-grain walnut with a medium Roman ogee treatment. Consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $90 to $455 per square foot. www.glumber.com.
Toto USA The Neorest II Luminist lavatory was possibly the coolest product to come out of the 2009 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. It’s made from a hybrid epoxy resin that is commonly found in airplane wings, so it’s durable and scratch-resistant. Plus, the sink’s translucent quality is perfect for the optional embedded LED lighting, which glows blue, light purple, dark purple, and red. Prices range from $3,980 to $4,900. www.totousa.com.
Dana Innovations You can install wall switches and outlets the old way, or you can add a measure of cool with Trufig custom installation kits that allow typical wall panels to be installed flush-mounted for a clean look. The system is available for a variety of devices and comes in white, brown, and almond. Sophistication doesn’t come cheap: $300 to $3,000. www.trufig.com.
Wetstyle Inspired by Japanese design, the M Collection of modular bath products includes wall-hung vanities, linen cabinets, and storage cubes. Pieces are made with concealed hinges, solid dovetailed maple soft-close drawers, and fully finished interiors. The line comes in various sizes, three materials, and nine finishes. A 60-inch walnut vanity (similar to the one shown here) costs about $3,495. www.wetstyle.ca.