Earlier this summer, we showed you Weber's "On the Grill" iPhone app, which gives users grilling recipes and tips. And now, among the ever-widening world of iPhone apps, there's a new option for homeowners: Hangrohe's PuraVida app, which allows users to virtually redesign their bathrooms and see what PuraVida products would look like in their own homes.
Here's how it works: you use the iPhone to snap a picture of your bathroom. You then select the part of the image that contains the fixture you want to replace. The iPhone crops out the old fixture in the photograph, and then replaces it with a new PuraVida faucet, hand shower, or overhead shower. The edited photograph can then be saved to your phone or emailed to friends and family.
I've never had an iPhone, and don't consider myself a great fan, so I was skeptical about how realistic the finished photograph would be. But I'll admit that the screenshots on the PuraVida website look fairly seamless. What do you thinkówill you download this app (keep in mind that it's free), or will you skip this one and keep the element of surprise in your home renovations?
The growing ranks of earth-friendly homeowners have one more product to celebrate. Fireclay Tile's "Debris Series Recycled Tile" contains more post-industrial and post-consumer waste than any other tile on the market. If you have a backsplash or bathroom tiling project coming up, this new series of ceramic tile is worth a look.
Fireclay's Debris Series product is made from waste glass (baghouse dust collected from glass recyclers), granite dust from a quarry near their manufacturing operation in Northern California, and spent abrasives from the water pipe cleaning process. Each tile contains over 62% recycled materials.
Choose fixtures certified to meet WaterSense criteria, which offer a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), compared to an industry standard of 2.2 gpm. WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that aims to decrease indoor and outdoor water use through water-efficient products and simple, water-saving practices. All of Moen's lavatory faucets are certified to meet WaterSense criteria.
Add faucet aerators (2.2 gpm rating is adequate) to existing kitchen faucets to conserve water without reducing pressure.
Use as little fertilizer as possible - it can increase plants' water consumption.
Take a peak at the extended list. Although it was made to educate Moen dealers and distributors, the tips are immediately applicable for the homeowner looking to conserve water around the home.
One of the booths I visited at KBIS was Coway, who had a pretty entertaining--if not graphic--presentation to educate us masses on the benefits of a Coway bidet. There's the self-cleaning bidet, the remote controlled bidet, and even the hydro-electric bidet, whose batteries are charged by the flushing of the toilet. The two presenters were as entertaining as they were frank, guiding us along an animated depiction of toilet and bidet usage. I left wondering if the only way they could outdo themselves next year would be to install private stalls for us booth visitors to tryout the product ourselves.
I was also taken by Linkasink's handmade sinks that were easily some of the most beautiful pieces on display at the event. Take a gander at some of their work, particularly the mosaic sinks. You can begin to see how just one fixture can transform the kitchen or bath space.
On the practical end of things I ran across the Korky booth and their dual shut-off fill valve for toilets that prevents water loss due to flapper leaks or stuck flappers. It reminded me of the Green Flush toilet valve, another toilet water saving device. Always good to see inventive minds coming up with earth-friendly products for our homes. Go Korky.
Great job to all those who were part of KBIS organization and execution. See you all next year in Las Vegas for KBIS 2011!
The 2010 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is underway! Filling the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, KBIS attracts kitchen and bath product manufacturers from all across the country and beyond. Nowhere else can you see so many faucets, bathtubs and cabinets on display under one roof. The reflection off all the chrome is almost blinding. Although not quite as massive as IBS, covering all the cool new products at KBIS is still a daunting task. I'm almost a full day in and I feel I've only scratched the surface, which is itself a respectable accomplishment, given all the scratch-resistant surfaces that are on display here.
Some head-turning products include Maax's new Purfect and Mechanix Series of shower doors, one of which features a sliding door on rollers that has the smoothest opening and closing operation you've ever experienced. The picture left is of a Maax shower enclosure with its jets running full blast. It makes my hotel shower look like lawn sprinkler.
I checked out some stunning handmade sinks at the Linkasink booth.
And I have to mention Rev-A-Shelf, whose booth was hopping. Their blind corner pull-out storage systems were very popular. It helped that they were installed into clear glass cabinets to enable booth visitors to fully appreciate the shelving operation. Look for images of those products later.
So it's back out to the floor for me. Check back on Twitter for more photos and updates.
Just when we thought the world was getting a little greener... In their quest to cement our nation at the top of the Most Wasteful Countries list, Kleenex has just introduced their latest disposable product, the Kleenex Hand Towel.
Who needs fluffy, color-coordinated cloth hand towels for the bathroom when you can pull a one-time use disposable bathroom hand towel from the dispenser to dry your wet hands? That's right: your bathroom is no longer your bathroom. It is a restroom.
What I loved most about the announcement of the product is that the Kleenex Hand Towel was called an "innovative solution." No, it's not innovative. You took something that existed already in public restrooms and re-packaged it for residential use.
Here's what really gets me: Kleenex is marketing this product to germ-concious moms who just can't be sure if the cotton hand towel is clean. How would the towel get dirty in the first place? Aren't the hands that dry themselves on the towel wet from being washed? Come on, Kleenex. Toilet paper and tissues are bad enough for our landfills. Must you complete the triumvirate?
The worst part is, people will buy it. In their preliminary testing, more than 90 percent of test consumers reacted favorably towards the product and two thirds said they would substitute the disposable hand towels over the more environmentally-friendly cotton alternative. So we are doomed.
The Kleenex Hand Towel will be available this month and will retail for $3.00 for a box of 60 towels.
Do you want a bathroom makeover but fear the high costs?
Sentrel's wall paneling may not be the answer for a whole-room remodel, but it can add sophistication and customization to the bathroom space. Essentially a printed paneling product, Sentrel's composite panels utilize high-resolution imagery sandwiched between a PVC backer-board and a polyester top cap.
Installation requires a jig saw, miter saw for miter cuts, a plane, and an assortment of hand tools and adhesives. The material can be installed over existing tile and the company claims the product is resistant to mold and mildew and is easy to clean.
Cost can range anywhere between $5.50 - 11.00 per square foot.
I'm intrigued by the Sentrel product, but I'm not yet sold. I'd have to see the finished article in real life--actually get my hands on it--before I can be convinced of its durability and installed integrity. I have this image of the panels falling from the wall after weeks of showering...
What are your thoughts on Sentrel? Would you use it to spruce up your bathroom space?