Kitchen & Bath
Photography only hints
at the striking three-dimensional qualities of this tile.
Through a smooth undulating surface of clear glass, the
textured, hand-colored backside reflects light with an
iridescent effect. Vitrium glass tile is available in 2x2, 4x4,
6x6, and 3x6 sizes and costs around $40 to $60 per square foot,
priced by distributor.
How about a
bleacherful of adoring fans adorning the client's shower wall
surround? Images in Tile can permanently infuse any image into
the surface of a specially coated ceramic, porcelain, or
travertine tile. The artwork can occupy a single tile or an
entire wall of unlimited size. The tile can be used anywhere
ordinary ceramic tile lives, from a kitchen backsplash to a
pool bottom. Prices vary by application and the tile body used;
the cost for a project like the 4x6-foot shower wall shown is
around $1,500 to $2,500, with a typical production time of
about two weeks.
Images in Tile, 303/922-4007,
replace grout in the Metallismo line of brass and
stainless-steel mosaic tile. Each tile is rubber backed to
prevent conductivity, and the mosaics are mesh-mounted for easy
installation. Shapes include squares, mini bricks, rhomboids,
ovals, and more. Prices start at $36 per square foot.
Walker Zanger, 818/504-0235,
Better Grout Getter.
can last a long time, maybe forever. You probably can't say the
same for grout, but it can be tough to remove when it's time
for a touch-up. This Grout Saw has a comfortable, resilient
handle and a sculpted thumb rest positioned directly over the
maximum pressure point. The 2-inch tungsten carbide-coated
blade is designed to chew through joints 1/16 inch and wider.
Replacement blades are available. The saw costs $11.
POE and POU.
homeowner clients require a point-of-entry (POE) or
point-of-use (POU) water purification solution depends on
numerous factors. Chlorine’s not going to harm the
laundry, but it makes a lousy cup of tea. An undercounter POU
filter can take care of it. Iron in the water can corrupt the
entire plumbing system and calls for POE filtration at the
primary inlet. The Aquafer filter uses a proprietary
“KDF” filtering medium that’s
supposed to remove up to 99% of water-soluble lead, mercury,
nickel, chromium, and other dissolved metals. Significantly,
the system is said to require no wasteful backwashing or other
regular maintenance. The filters cost from $1,595 to $2,495,
depending on the required flow (gpm) capacity.
If you're well
hydrated, you drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
That's just fine with cryptosporidium and giardia, wee
parasitic protozoa that occur in municipal water supplies large
and small and thrive in the human intestinal tract. PureTouch
AquaSuite undercounter filtration systems claim to provide
99.99% parasite removal, along with chlorine, lead, mercury,
and other foul stuff, while delivering 1 gallon of water per
minute. No-sweat installation is managed by a single bolt clamp
for the faucet's deck mount, braided stainless-steel supply
hoses, and an included tee-adapter fitting. A battery-powered
light on the faucet base signals when the filter nears
replacement time. List prices start at $280 for the chrome
finish and top out at $420 for a copper finish.
No Pipe Left Behind.
in the sink and shower are a sure sign of copper corrosion from
aggressive (low pH, or acidic) water. Aggressive water shortens
appliance life spans, while progressive etching of copper
tubing leads to eventual pinholes and system failure. AWS
offers a comprehensive line of pH neutralizers (and many other
whole-house filtration systems) designed to address corrosive
water at the POE.
Advanced Water Systems, 831/476-0515,
Tasteful Waste Management.
organizer accommodates three 25-quart triangular plastic
containers and a canvas bag supported on a wire framework. The
canvas bag (shown stuffed with plastic shopping bags) is good
for stuffing with plastic shopping bags. The containers roll
out on bottom-mounted, full-extension slides in a 34-inch-wide
base cabinet. The drawer above is a natural location for twist
ties, rubber bands, twine, unidentified keys, a couple of chip
clips, and other never-used items that should probably just be
recycled instead of stashed. It happens in the best of homes.
Cabinets are independently priced by distributor.
Wood-Mode, Inc., 570/374-2711,
Here's a setup
that could make taking out the trash a thing of the past. The
Recyclit's stainless-steel chutes install through an exterior
kitchen wall and emerge outside into a permanently-installed
steel canopy that neatly tops a roll cart or a recycling bin.
The chutes are capped by stainless-steel, magnetic flip doors
that keep the wind from whistling in. Extension chutes are
available for two-story drops. A single-chute system lists for
$495, plus your installation cost.
Homeowners have to
think twice about their trash nowadays as more disposal
companies begin to enforce rigid curbside presentations
— all in the name of recycling, of course. Cans in one
container, glass in another, newspapers lovingly bundled and
tied, and pretty plastics all in a row. All this extra handling
is made easier at the point of disposal with a cluster of
organizing bins. The Roll Out Recycling Center installs
behind a hinged door or converts to a door mount unit with an
included bracket. Two- and four-bin configurations hold
27-quart-capacity plastic bins (below).
A nice thing about door mounting is that it allows the use of
a handy Toe-Kick Opener (below); after all, your hands
are probably full. Lift the catch with your foot, and the
spring-loaded unit slides forward automatically.
A Rotary Corner Recycling Center may be one of the
better applications for a 36-inch corner base cabinet (bottom
left). Three 32-quart-capacity bins hang on a rotating center
post behind pie-corner doors. The unit is also available for
door mounting (but without a foot-power option).
Knape & Vogt Manufacturing, 800/253-1561,