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Hot new kitchen & bath products: thinking about a kitchen or bathroom remodel? These gorgeous, functional products will crank up your project from cool to hot!


It was only a matter of time before those slick motion sensor faucets you've seen in airports, stores and restaurants became available for the home market. Moen's new Arbor pull-down kitchen faucet with MotionSense has two sensors that let you activate the faucet without actually touching it.


The sensor on the top of the faucet allows you to start and stop the flow with a wave of your hand. The sensor near the base starts the flow of water when you hold a glass or pot under the spout. You use the side handle to control the force and temperature of the water. You can also use it to start the flow.

The Arbor MotionSense faucet can be powered by six "AA" batteries or plugged into a GFCI outlet. The faucet kit comes with push-fit hose connectors and a control box and battery compartment that fit easily under a standard sink. Available at kitchen showrooms for $625, it's not cheap, but it is very cool. Check it out at


I don't know how IKEA does it, but you'd be hard-pressed to find high-quality wood countertops available for less unless you milled them yourself. Available in beech, oak and birch in various lengths, thicknesses and depths, these countertops are quality slabs of solid wood that you can cut, sand and finish as you like. The Numerar beech countertop shown (73-1/4 in. x 25-5/8 in. x 1-1/2 in.) costs $129. (You could use one for an awesome workbench top, too!) Find out more at




Vinyl flooring is known for its ease of installation, durability and reasonable price tag. But it often looks rather plain Jane. Armstrong's new Alterna line of luxury vinyl tile is, frankly, beautiful. It's being pitched as an alternative ("Alterna," get it?) to ceramic or stone flooring, and it comes in a slew of slate-like looks with realistic variations in color and texture. You can even grout it to enhance the effect. It's $4 to $6 per sq. ft., depending on the type, at many home centers and flooring retailers. Visit



In an era of granite and stone countertops, can good ole laminate really compete? New decorative edge and color options make it a serious contender for high-style kitchens.

Formica's IdealEdge ogee and bullnose edge profiles, and Wilsonart's decorative beveled, cascade and crescent edge options, give laminate a sleek, new updated look. In addition to new edge options, Formica's 180fx Collection and Wilsonart's HD laminate offer colors and finishes that mimic the dappled highlights of granite and stone. New laminate coatings are so realistic that you can mistake these countertops for the real deal.

With mid-range granite in the neighborhood of $65 per sq. ft. and laminate options at $17 to $30 per sq. ft., laminate could be the perfect, or at least a more affordable, option for your new countertop. Visit and to find a dealer in your area.



In the appliance world, stainless steel has been the sign of cool for decades. But Whirlpool is hoping its new "White Ice" finish will make white hot again.

White appliances add the illusion of space to a kitchen, but most white finishes have a flat, dated took. The White Ice finish is actually metal, but the glossy white sheen has the richness of frosted glass. To find out more, search for "Ice Collection" at



You know how the seam around your sink drain always collects gunk and makes the basin harder to clean?

If you're considering a new stainless steel sink, check out the Seamless Sink. This 16-gauge stainless steel sink doesn't trap dirt because the basin is smooth all the way to the drain hole. It installs easily and includes matching stainless steel custom drain fittings and strainer baskets.

The sink is available in drop-in and under-mount versions at prices comparable to those of other high-quality stainless sinks--$300 to $500 depending on the style. Find out more at



If you're remodeling a bathroom for yourself or an elderly parent, check out the Invisia Collection of multifunctional grab bars. These stylish accessories hide in plain sight--they don't look at all like conventional grab bars. They're disguised as elegant and useful corner shelves, towel bars, soap dishes and toilet roll holders.

These gorgeous stainless steel handholds offer a discreet source of support--for a price. Available in polished chrome, powder-coated white and brushed finishes, they cost $190 to $220. See them all at



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Author:Bernick, Elisa
Publication:The Family Handyman
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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