Product Preview

New product reviews from K/BIS plus a review of countertops and doors

May 31, 2007


The minimalist Euroaktiv series from Hansgrohe includes three different faucets: Metris, Talis and Focus. The Metris has a lavatory mixer as well as tub configurations. The Talis has a spout that points its water stream in a perfect 45-degree angle into the sink and the Focus features a smaller handle.

For more information, visit Hansgrohe


Crystal Cabinetry

The Lyptus-Masculus cabinet line from Crystal Cabinetry is made from the company's Blackstone stain on Lyptus wood. The cabinet doors have perforated metal insert panels and a quiet-close base. The framed upper cabinets have brushed iron laminate interiors.

For more information, visit Crystal Cabinetry


The latest addition to Symmons' Elements bathroom fixture line is the Carrington Suite, which includes a bathroom faucet, showerhead, tub/shower valve and roman tub faucet. Finishes include polished chrome, Radiance satin nickel or Radiance polished brass finish. The faucet has a 2.2 gallon-per-minute flow rate with ceramic control components, aerator, lever handles, lift-rod and pop-up drain assembly.

For more information, visit Symmons



Expanding on its DTV thermostatic control line, Kohler's DTV II offers chromatherapy and a fully personalized steam component, with music as a new feature. The unit's media module can either stream music or Internet radio from a PC or be directly connected to an MP3 docking station wirelessly or through a network connection.

For more information, visit Kohler


Capital Cooking

Featuring a motorized rotisserie system built into the oven cell, Capital Cooking's Precision Series also sports 19,000 BTU burners and the company's Flex-Roll roller racks. The Power Flow burner system, according to the company, is cleaner and more efficient than past models. Model sizes include 30, 36, 48 and 60 inches.

For more information, visit Capital Cooking


American Standard

Playing to what the company calls an upcoming trend and bridging the gap between oil-rubbed bronze and wrought iron, American Standard's Blackened Bronze finish has dark, warm colors that are less glossy than the company's other offerings. The finish is available on most of the company's faucets.

For more information, visit American Standard 


Forged from solid brass and hand finished, the Columnar shower fittings from Ginger include shower columns, pressure-balanced systems, hand showers (shown), pivoting shower heads and ceiling-mounted rainfall showerheads with a 9½-inch projection and pivoting body sprays. Hand showers feature a button on the handle to lock in temperature settings and can be finished in chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, satin nickel and polished nickel.

For more information, visit Ginger



Part of a complete powder room collection, the Essence Vanity from Xylem features a large lower shelf and optional round or square green-tinted glass or grey marble vessels. Finishes include walnut or striped zebra wood. A 24- or 20-inch version is available and a 20-inch mirror is offered.

For more information, visit Xylem



The Harmony Thermostat for radiant flooring and other applications from Nuheat comes in 110- or 220-volt versions. The Energy Star-rated controller has a backlit display and buttons with programmable temperature settings. The unit is flush mounted and can be mounted behind any double-gang decorative faceplate.

For more information, visit Nuheat



The BO 250 and BO 280 24-inch and 30-inch ovens from Gaggenau features a minimalist design with clear black text on a backlit LCD control panel on the oven's all-glass door. The side-opening door opens a full 180 degrees, and the oven cavity is covered in easy-to-clean blue enamel. The interiors have flat cavity side walls for more cooking space. Eighteen heating modes and optional accessories are available.

For more information, visit Gaggenau


The HD Series dishwashers from Thermador include the HD94, which features a sensor touch control panel and only creates 44 decibels of noise during operation. The series also includes the HD64 and HD43, both of which are available as fully integrated models for custom panels or in stainless steel versions.

For more information, visit Thermador

A Concrete Opportunity

Concrete is one of the fastest growing material choices for countertops as homeowners continue to look for unique ways to upgrade their kitchens.

"When people remodel, they're also upgrading and customizing," says Jeff Girard, president of the Concrete Countertop Institute. "A concrete countertop is the most customized countertop you can build."

Concrete countertops can be shaped, colored, stamped, embedded with materials and modified in a variety of ways. Concrete countertops can either be precast (built in a shop off-site) or cast in place (poured on-site). To properly build a concrete countertop takes practice and training, so remodelers thinking of offering this service need to consider taking classes to learn the intricacies of countertop construction. Even someone with extensive experience in concrete flatwork might need training.

"There are a lot of misunderstandings about how concrete countertops are constructed," Girard says. "These are more like structural beams than slabs on ground because of the engineering involved."

CCI offers classes in both precast and cast-in-place countertops, with a full schedule available at Other sources for training include the Decorative Concrete Institute (, as well as several manufacturers that offer training with their products.

If remodelers are only installing one or two countertops, they might be better off hiring a specialist rather than going to the expense of training, Girard says. The Concrete Network ( is a good source for finding decorative concrete professionals.

Syndecrete/Eldorado Stone

Featuring 13 trademarked colors and 12 aggregates, Syndecrete's countertops are composed of natural minerals, recycled materials and concrete. At half the weight of ordinary concrete, the slabs are shipped in 8-feet by 30-inch slabs that are 2½-inches thick and weigh 360 pounds. Customized edge details can be ordered.

For more information, visit Syndecrete


The LG Eden countertops were developed using at least 12 percent pre-consumer recycled materials. The countertops are available in six natural colors: cocoa, honeysuckle, ivy (shown), jasmine, juniper and lemongrass. The Eden line is non-porous, anti-microbial and stain-resistant and backed by a 15-year warranty. LG Eden is certified for its recycled content by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

For more information, visit LG


Coverings etc

Made from 100 percent recycled glass with no added resins, Bio Glass from Coverings Etc are made in white and light green; dark green, brown and blue colors will be available later in the year. The slabs allow light sources to shine through. Natural finish slabs come 110 by 40 by 34 inches, and polished versions are slightly smaller.

For more information, visit Coverings etc


The Antique Heart Pine countertop by Craft-Art is derived from reclaimed wood. According to the company, the custom wood countertop has a yellow-brown straw color with reddish brown accent rings. A quarter-sawn technique creates a vertical tight-grain wood texture. Tops are available in plank and edge-grain style using full-length boards, or end-grain style for a checkerboard-type pattern. The company will also use other non-endangered domestic and exotic species upon request.

For more information, visit Craft-Art

Totally Bamboo


Touted as 16-percent harder than maple, the Totally Bamboo countertops are made of solid bamboo in 1½- or 2-inch planks for kitchen countertops or islands. The line is constructed with the company's Multilam cross-band, which resists warping. Grain patterns include caramelized flat grain, vertical grain and natural parquet end grain. Planks arrive unfinished and sanded to 180-grit.

For more information, visit Totally Bamboo


The Everyday Plus Countertops by Swanstone are constructed as a single piece with seamless front and side edges. According to Swanstone, this limited construction also reduces fabrication costs. The line is made in standard sizes, and custom fabrication is also available. The company also offers drop-in and undermount solid surface sinks to correspond with the countertops. A 10-year warranty is provided.

For more information, visit Swanstone



Made for both horizontal and vertical surfaces, UltraGlas can be made into small tiles to slabs, clad walls and flooring. The company claims the surfaces are non-porous, sanitary and low-maintenance. Size, shape, thickness, color, edge treatment, texture, design, finish and hardware accommodations may all be specified. Custom sizes may be created to coordinate with other site-specific elements.

For more information, visit Ultraglas



The North Hatley by Garaga is a carriage house door style with durable polyurethane-insulated sectional doors. The door thickness is 1¾-inch and carries an insulation factor of R-16. Multiple heights and widths can be accommodated, along with window and hardware upgrades.

For more information, visit Garaga


Amarr Garage Doors

Inspired by popular entry door window designs, six window designs by Amarr Garage Doors will be featured in the company's DecraGlass line: allegro (shown), harvest, heartland, metro, tempo and Wichita. The garage door windows are all available in both short and long panel styles. A variety of finishes and colors are available.

For more information, visit Amarr Garage Doors

Wayne Dalton

Featuring steel construction and a two-coat, baked-on polyester paint finish, the 9700 series garage doors from Wayne Dalton come in six styles with decorative hardware and trim options available. The doors also have a pinch-resistant design to protect fingers and also feature the company's idrive computer-driven door opener.

For more information, visit Wayne Dalton



The latest Prairie French by Simpson Door Co. includes eight colors and multiple wood species in insulated or single glazing. Sizes include 1 3/8- and 1¾-inch thicknesses and can be specified in widths ranging from 2½- to 3½-feet and in heights of 6 2/3, 7 and 8 feet.

For more information, visit Simpson Door Co.


Although they have been around for 400 years, Dutch doors are making a comeback, according to Jeld-Wen. The company's IWP Dutch Doors feature a fiberglass construction that mimics species such as mahogany, walnut, oak, hemlock, poplar, hickory, maple, pine, alder, cherry and fir. Shelves can be added to any door style.

For more information, visit Jeld-Wen


Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co.

Able to be specified as aluminum or wood interiors and exteriors — or as a combination of both — the Lift & Slide Doors by Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. can be in pocketed or nested configurations. Nine standard factory finishes and a variety of wood species and accommodations for supplier-sourced woods are available.

For more information, visit Kolbe & Kolbe

L.E. Johnson Products

The Multi-Pass Sliding Door Hardware from L.E. Johnson Products is, according to the firm, a multi-panel door in the wall that requires little space. It is configured for three-door applications with three tracks or for multi-pass sliding door systems with individual track lengths and different parts. The hardware requires a 2-foot-wide, 10-foot-long wall space to house the doors.

For more information, visit L.E. Johnson

Mirage Screen Systems

The Retractable Screens from Mirage Screen Systems can be made to fit most doors or windows, including in-swing or out-swing designs; patio doors; entrance doors; and French double doors. Door heights up to 110 inches and door or window widths up to 55 inches are available. A solar-powered design (shown) is also offered.

For more information, visit Mirage

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