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Kitchen and Bath Home Remodeling
10 New, Exciting and Unusual Ideas for Your Home

Here are 10 exciting new features for your home remodeling. These are ten new appliances for the kitchen and for the bathroom to pamper you, to keep you safe, to make your life easier and to save energy resources.

#1. Built-In Coffee System

This home remodeling project is for the coffee lover in the house. Coffee beverages are a favorite drink everywhere. What’s your choice? Decaf triple grande five pump soy no whip Mocha? Double chocolate chip crème frappuccino? Coffee bars and cafes continue to brew your favorites on America’s main streets and shopping malls, so why not have a custom coffee system in your kitchen?

Built-in coffee systems allow you to have that café quality any time you want. They also become a gathering spot for guests and parties. They have programmable brewing software to control the mixing, the temperature, and settings for custom coffee cappuccino or espresso. They’ll even froth your soymilk for cappuccino, too. The units are high style design to match your other appliances. Typical size of the coffee system is about 24” wide, 18”high and 21” deep. Some units require no special plumbing or electrical connections. They can be installed into cabinets, hang from a cabinet or sit on a counter. Thermador, Meile, Dacor , Bosch and Lance Larkin are some of the manufacturers. Prices vary widely from $600 to $2000.

#2. ADA Height Toilet Remodel

Toilets come in a variety of heights from 10” to 19 1/8” measured from the bottom to the top of the rim, not including the seat. Most people find that the standard toilet, usually 14 ½” to 15 3/8” high, is too low to be comfortable. They are especially difficult for the handicapped, who find it hard to sit down without falling or to stand up without putting stress on the knees. The Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA, recommends that toilets be 16 ½” to 17 1/8” high. These higher toilets are more comfortable for everyone, handicapped or not. And seniors in your household will appreciate them, too. Manufacturers include Toto, Gerber and Kohler.

#3. A Steam Oven for the Kitchen

The steam oven is ideal for those who enjoy eating healthy and for those who simply value speed, convenience and great tasting results every time. Long considered a chef’s secret cooking tool, the steam oven is the perfect second oven. Whether you are cooking individual side dishes or a complete menu, there is virtually no limit to what can be cooked in a steam over. The only drawback to steam cooking is that cuts of meat do not get brown. Steam ovens cook much faster, and keep the food moist. Unlike traditional cooking methods, no extra oil or fat is required. Steaming is healthier than other cooking methods, too, because it retains more vitamins. Cooking a chicken in a steam oven set to 212 degrees Fahrenheit would take about 20 minutes to cook, compared to two hours in a traditional oven. The steam oven could become the next new must-have kitchen appliance.

The steam oven can be either a countertop stove, sized about the same as a mid-size microwave, or it can be installed in a kitchen. The steam oven comes equipped with a reservoir that is filled with water to begin the baking process. The steam oven can be hooked up to a water supply, like an ice-making refrigerator. It can also be used without a waterline connection in models where the reservoir is detachable or easily accessible. This is a home remodeling project that will endear you to the chef of the family. Prices are still high, but will become more affordable with time. Steam ovens range in price from about $1500 to over $5000 USD.

#4. Hot Water Recirculating Pump

We’re all used to waiting for the water to get hot before we can take a shower or a bath, wash dishes, or wash clothes. While we wait for the water to get hot, water and time are wasted. It’s not only tedious and frustrating, it’s extremely wasteful as well. With a recirculating pump, there’s no more waiting for hot water. A recirculating pump keeps the water hot so there’s no waiting and no waste. If you install one during new construction, it is easy to install and inexpensive. Hot water lines should be insulated when a recirculating pump is used. Recirculating pumps are also used for radiant heating systems, providing hot water for heating through zoning loops installed in the floor.

Gravity hot water recirculating loops that do not require a pump can sometimes be installed after a house is built, but they will only work when the water heater is below the water supply lines. This system requires that the hot water line return back to the heater after it services the farthest fixture. The return line connects to the bottom of the water heater at the drain valve. Natural convection drives the system. Energy loss is a minimum if you insulate the entire hot water loop except for the last 15 feet of pipe as it re-enters the water heater

#5. Microwave Drawer for the Kitchen Remodel

The microwave drawer takes the microwave off the counter and places it right at the most convenient height for superb accessibility. The convenient drawer opens automatically. There’s no need to remove the dish from the oven to check, stir, or turn the food, because the top is open, just like a drawer. It installs easily under a counter and is perfect for islands and open-plan kitchens, as well as wet bars, family rooms and home theaters.

#6. Dual Flush Toilet

The average person flushes the toilet 5 times a day. The traditional toilet uses 2.9 gallons in a single flush. That’s a lot of water being waster; 14.5 gallons per day, 435 gallons per month, 5292 gallons a year. Even with the new federally mandated 1.6 gallon per flush toilets, that’s a lot of water being wasted. The newest of the high-efficiency, water-conserving toilets are dual-flush, which allow you to select the amount of water that is used to flush the toilet. A “short flush” .8 to 1.1 gallons per flush, gpf, is used to flush liquid wastes, and a full flush 1.6 gallons per flush is used for solid waste. Although they use much less water, these toilets provide a very efficient flush. This innovation with its Half Flush and Full Flush technology can reduce water usage by up to 67% compared with the traditional toilet that uses 2.9 gallons in a single flush. The dual flush toilet is a home remodeling project that pays for itself over time.

#7. The Bathroom Towel Warming Drawer

Imagine stepping out of the tub and into the luxurious warmth of a heated bath towel, robe or velvet pajamas. Indoors or outdoors, wet or dry areas, the towel warming drawer is a master of many tasks. The heated towel bar has been an accessory in luxury bathrooms for some time. Now that function can be integrated into the bathroom cabinetry with a custom drawer front to match your other cabinets.. Installed into standard cabinets, the towel warming drawer has a custom, home spa feel. It can keep towels, slippers and robes toasty. Manufacturers are Jacuzzi and Kenmore, among others.

#8. Home Urinal.

There is only one bathroom fixture that is almost never mentioned in home design and decorating books. It is affordable and useful in every home, yet it is missing in most homes. Men are usually too intimidated to mention it by name. Women never consider it when planning a bathroom, but spend the rest of their married lives wishing they had it. That fixture is a urinal, a specialized toilet designed for urination only, which is used almost exclusively by a standing male. Early trend setters selected a urinal for the master bathroom. Now they are beginning to appear in other bathrooms in the home as well, especially where there are males in the household.

There are also water-free urinals that don’t connect to a water line and don't use any water. Instead, a replaceable, biodegradable cartridge at the base of the urinal acts as a funnel. It seals the waste, and eliminates odors. It is particularly useful in public restrooms.

#9. Induction Cooktop for the Kitchen Remodel

Induction cooktops combine the benefits of conventional gas and electric technology in a single unit, a smooth top cooking surface. Induction cooking is precise and temperature changes are instantaneous. The pan becomes the heating element while the cooktop remains cool. The induction cooktop uses the strength and controllability of electromagnets to give you superior to gas performance.

Put simply, an induction-cooker element, what on a gas stove we call the burner, is a powerful, high-frequency electromagnet. When a good-sized piece of magnetic material--such as, for example, a cast-iron skillet--is placed in the magnetic field that the element is generating, the magnetic field transfers energy into that metal skillet. That transferred energy causes the skillet to become hot. By controlling the strength of the electromagnetic field, you instantly control the amount of heat being generated in the skillet. An induction cooktop requires that the cooking pots be made of iron or steel. At present, you cannot use materials like aluminum, copper and pyrex on an induction cooker. Well-know manufacturers include KitchenAid, Thermador and Bosch.

#10. Bidet for the Bathroom Remodel

The bidet is widely used around the world, but only recently have Americans thought much about it. The bidet is a basin in the bathroom used for cleaning yourself after using the toilet. In other countries, it’s an invaluable aid to personal hygiene for a clean, healthy tush. It’s also thought that a bidet may help eliminate yeast infections. As germophobic as many people are, it’s surprising that the bidet is not seen in more bathrooms.

There are also toilets available with a built-in bidet. You can also buy an add-on bidet which fits to the toilet seat. Some add-ons require no battery or electricity.

There you have it, ten home remodeling ideas to pamper you, and upgrade your home to a new standard of living.

I hope life brings you much success. I wish you a very happy day.
-----     Surfer Sam  

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