50 Most Innovative New Products: Interior Products

Innovative products for the remodeling and building industries

August 31, 2008

Karbon-ized

If you want distinct, you got it. Kohler's Karbon articulating faucet comes crafted from traditional brass and innovative carbon fiber composite tubing. The joints connecting the four sections of the faucet support the spout while allowing for smooth handling.

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Let it Flow

Chosen for its unique configuration as the first wall-mounted waterfall trough faucet, Price Pfister's Kenzo is available in a single-control center set, single control vessel and eight-inch widespread mounts. The faucet has a 1½-gallon-per-minute flow and a roman tub with other bath configurations.

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It's All Ondus

You can't beat the Space Age lines and iPod-style digital controls on Grohe's new Ondus faucet collection. The digital controls allow users to pre-set water temperature and flow. Each faucet in the line uses the company's SilkMove cartridges for smooth, precise movements. Eleven coordinating accessories are also available.

For more info, click here.





 

Simply Illuminating

The Illumi-Heat by Hunter Fan Co. is a stylishly-designed, semi-flush ceiling light that features a built-in heater option to provide some quick spot heating. According to Hunter, the patented Four-Seasons heating element is able to raise the temperature of a typical 215 square-foot room by five degrees in as little as an hour. Heat and light controls are kept separately via a remote control and wall switch.

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GEe-Whiz

You can't beat a washer/dryer combo that looks like it's from 10 years in the future. GE's new Profile with SmartDispense Frontload laundry pair features an intuitive system that automatically dispenses detergent and fabric softener based on each load's size, soil level, water hardness, fabrics used and cycle type.

For more info, click here.





 

Piece of Mind, Anytime

Remodelers who really want to impress their customers should look to Lagotek's Home Intelligence Platform. The latest version, 3.4, incorporates window controls. Also available is the PhoneView cell phone application, which works with most BlackBerries and Windows Mobile Smartphones. The system sends alerts and lets users execute modes, view live images and check the home's lighting and temperatures.

For more info, click here.





 

Did You Hear Me?

On-Q/Legrand's new Selective Call Intercom System includes a high-resolution color LCD interface with customizable room names and has the ability to support three separate conversations simultaneously. The “page-all” function communicates with the entire house and a “hands-free reply” setting allows users to respond without pressing a button.

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You'll Flip

This is something a bit different. For those installers up to the challenge, check out Auton's Plasma Ceiling Flip Down units. These conceal flat-panel TVs in the ceiling — perfect for homes where space is a premium. The flip-downs only need 11½ inches of overhead space and can accommodate up to 200 pounds.

For more info, click here.


 

The Heartbeat of Your Homes

You can take the weight off a concerned homeowner's mind with Eaton's Home Heartbeat System. The system monitors home circuits, entryways, windows and doors and alerts users via cell phone text message or e-mail if anything has been left on or open. The wireless system is easy to install and expand if necessary.

For more info click here.





 

Snug as a Bug

Installers looking for an innovative way to keep TV and home theater installations snug against the wall should pick up Pass & Seymour's recessed TV boxes. The recessed design saves space and simplifies external connections. All-inclusive kits with Cat-5e, F-connectors, old work and TVSS receptacles are available. Snap-on end caps hide the mounting screws.

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Sayonara to Structured

Uponor's new Climate Control Zoning System uses the latest in wireless technology for complete radiant heat control in every room of the house. The zoning system ships in a starter kit that includes a radio-controlled module as a base unit; the interface module; an external and removable antenna; connection cables; necessary mounting accessories; and instructions and a user manual.

For more info, click here.





 



Stains Begone

Your customers with expensive imported granite countertops can rest easier with Cosentino's latest SenSa with SenGuard stain protection. The sealer protects granite from staining while allowing the stone to breathe and preserve its natural color. The sealant is designed to maintain its properties and performance for up to 15 years.

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Green to the Core

Crystal Cabinetry has a slew of new storage options. One of these is the Green Core plywood storage solution. The wood is made with a patented soy-based resin with no nasty added urea formaldehyde. The line is available in the company's Crystal Quest or Inset box construction options.

For more info, click here.





 

Iridescent Echoes

Created by color forecaster Barbara Schirmeister, Crossville's new Echo glass tiles are made from 30 to 50 percent recycled materials. The tiles have a great luminescent quality and are available in 15 colors with clear, frosted and iridescent finishes. The tiles are made in five sizes and can be used for walls, countertops and floors.

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Espirit de Bathroom

Want to offer a great high-efficiency toilet with the name to back it up? Jacuzzi's Espree Toilet outperforms standard 1.6-gallons-per-flush toilets by a reported 20 percent. The Espree has a concealed trapway for a more streamlined look. The 17-inch chair height is great for customers concerned with universal design.

For more info, click here.





 

Inducted to the Kitchen

Made in 30- and 36-inch versions, the new Induction Hybrid Cooktops by Electrolux feature 10-inch main induction elements that can boil water in a reported 90 seconds. The elements automatically detect the presence of magnetic cookware and activate the induction field to match the exact size of the pan.

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Do You Feel a Draft?

Made for islands at least 36 inches deep, KitchenAid's Architect Series II Retractable Down-Draft Vents have a reversible motor box that tucks away the vent and frees up space. Made in 30- and 36-inch widths, the vents have a 14-inch downdraft with exhaust capabilities ranging between 600 and 900 cubic feet per minute.

For more info, click here.


 

Clear the Air Up There

Billed as “the most efficient whole-house air cleaner on the market today,” Luxaire's Acclimate Hybrid Electronic Air Cleaner traps airborne particles as small as .35 microns in size. The system creates an electrical field that ionizes particles, creating a stronger attraction to the company's patented air-cleaner media.

For more info, click here.


 

We Have Backup!

Generac's Guardian air-cooled standby residential power generators sport the company's proprietary and hardy overhead valve industrial (OHVI) engines, which feature improvements like enclosures made of galvanized steel or aluminum; an LCD digital control panel with an exterior signal light for simple maintenance messages; and an optional wireless remote monitor for performance readouts inside the house.

For more info, click here.


 

A Good Thing in a Small Package

Measuring barely over a foot wide and weighing 40 pounds, Takagi's new T-K3-SP has all the trademarks of the company's other tankless water heaters stuffed into a smaller footprint. Once the unit starts going, it can pump up to seven gallons of hot water per minute. It also has a thermal efficiency rating of 80 percent for natural gas or propane.

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A Steamy Affair

Anyone who suffers from asthma will tell you effective humidification and dehumidification systems are essential. Honeywell's new TrueSTEAM models provide efficient humidification separate from the air temperature. The line has three models, each with different control options. The units only require a 1¾-inch cut into ductwork and mount on a separate lightweight bracket.

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Made for both cPVC and PEX water pipes, FlowGuard's new MultiPort manifold system is available in 1-, 1¼-, 1½- and 2-inch sizes and can be installed vertically or horizontally. The fittings allow for any number of ports during installation and can easily accommodate more in the future when used as a central manifold system.

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Kohler Power Systems has released the first combination load center and transfer switch package available for residential standby power. Model RSB is a two-in-one load center (38-40 circuits) that uses electrically operated circuit breakers to disconnect selected loads prior to the transfer to generator power. It then retransfers the load when the utility power is restored.

For more info, click here.


 

If You Ever Need to Vent …

The advanced Eternal Hybrid water heater from Grand Hall now had a direct vent feature. Like previous models, the direct vent hybrid water heater works on the principle of counter flow, with cold water entering from the bottom of the tank and a top mounted turbo burner that forcing heat downward.

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Tool Cool for a Tank

Rinnai's new commercial-grade LS Dual-Use Tankless Water Heater sports a high efficiency rating and a quick heating element for on-demand hot water. The unit's EZConnect system allows two units to work in tandem, and an integrated condensate collector is included for interior models. The heaters are backed by a 12-year heat exchanger limited warranty.

For more info, click here.









 

A Different Kind of Arc

Like it or leave it, the latest NEC codes are in effect. These fire-guard combination type Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) by Cutler-Hammer and Eaton use electronic circuitry to detect and stop erratic currents typical in arcing faults. These AFCIs also protect against parallel and low-energy arcs.

For more info, click here.



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