As you may or may not know, the 2011 International Builders’ Show took place last week in Orlando, Fla. This is the home building industry’s Fashion Week, so to speak, and it’s where many manufacturers release their newest stuff. (The other big event for products is the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.) Because I have many sources, I was able to corral some cool (and relatively cool) new products that companies showed. These are five that we think you might like.
Delta Faucet Co.
First up, Delta and its Touch2Oxt Technology, which allows a user to turn or turn off a faucet by proximity or by touch. A faucet with the technology features a 4-inch sensing field around the entire unit that responds when the user approaches. A homeowner can use the faucet in three ways: wave a hand, tap anywhere on the spout or handle, or manually use the handle. The technology is used on the Lahara and Addison lavatory faucets. www.deltafaucet.com.
GE Appliances & Lighting
This GE laundry pair was actually introduced at the 2010 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, but we decided to write about it anyway because they represent a trend in laundry appliances: steam. The Profile front-loading steam washer “cleans clothes and gets them ready to wear by morning—right out of the washer!” the company declares in its press material. An “Overnight Ready” cycle washes clothes and, supposedly, removes “so much moisture that clothes are comfortable to wear without transferring to the dryer.” Truthfully speaking, this seems unnecessary to us. Consumer Reports has said that machines with steam functions clean clothes well but cleaned well even without steam. Plus, steam washers tend to cost more than standard front loaders. www.geappliances.com.
Leave it up to Kohler make life easier for consumers. The company’s new Evandale vanity set allows you to go to the store and get three pieces for one price. The three components include an Evandale Vanity, a Caxton Undercounter Lavatory, and a stone top with a backsplash. The set is easy to install and comes in a single box. It comes in two wood finishes, Lily and Sapele, as well as white. It’s priced from $1,142.00 to $1,313.40. www.kohler.com.
Now that more car companies are getting their acts together and offering all-electric automobiles (see the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla), it’s time for manufacturers to make it easy for people to charge them. Electronics manufacturer Leviton has done just that, introducing the new Evr-Green line of residential charging stations for electric vehicles. The line includes Level 1 and Level 2 residential charging stations, including the industry’s first plug-in prewired system. The Evr-Green Level 1 portable cord set empowers consumers to charge their EV anywhere a standard outlet is available. Connectors are compatible with all North American plug-in vehicles. www.leviton.com.
Do you really need a whole-house alarm system? Perhaps, but this little number can give you some added assurances. The Schlage Alarmed Lock detects a range of actions and alerts homeowners to activity around their doors. Unlike traditional alarms that trigger only when the door is opened, the lock activates if someone is kicking the door or tampering with the lock. It also can alert homeowners if a child is trying to leave the house. The unit is battery operated and requires no wiring. Shown here on the Camelot, it’s also available in the contemporary Century in a variety of finishes. www.schlage.com.