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Everyone is spending more time at home these days due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are relying on our kitchens and bathrooms like never before. Kitchens are getting high-volume workouts as families prepare every meal at home, and there are prodigious amounts of dishes and laundry to contend with.
Proper hygiene and germ prevention have become key concerns, while bathrooms are in peak demand as households hunker down and make use of every room to maximize efficiency. Our plumbing and fixtures have never been so essential.
With this massive demand, many people are taking a closer look at their homes and noting some sorely needed remodeling and improvement projects. They are shifting priorities to focus on cleanliness and wellness, the importance of self-care rituals, and the needs of multigenerational families.
Many manufacturers in our industry have responded with products addressing these concerns and go a step beyond when it comes to hygiene, functionality and relaxation.
Reducing the spread of germs is at the top of everyone’s mind these days, particularly when it comes to a hands-on environment such as the kitchen. Lenova (www.lenovasinks.com) makes it easy to maintain a more healthful kitchen with the Aqualogic ozone faucet and its impressive germ-killing technology.
Aqualogic is the first conventional faucet to use ozonated water to effectively clean surfaces without any chemicals. Germs don’t stand a chance against the power of ozonated water, which is 100 times stronger than chlorine and kills 99.9 percent of common viruses, bacteria and germs. As an added benefit, ozonated water also kills common food pathogens — which removes odors, increases food’s shelf life and reduces the risk of food-borne illnesses.
Crafted from stainless steel and premium brass, the faucet is a beautiful addition to the kitchen with its elegant swan neck silhouette and brushed nickel finish. State-of-the-art engineering includes a small ozone generator that runs on regular house current and a patented ozone mixing chamber to deliver powerful ozonated water for a more sanitary kitchen experience.
The Best Time
With toilet paper continuing to be scarce in some areas, the iWash bidet seat by Icera (www.icerabath.com) is generating a lot of attention. This easy-to-install design fits most standard elongated toilets and has a minimalist vibe that is a welcome addition to any bathroom.
The bidet seat has a separate instant water heating system for an unlimited supply of warm water. The fully customizable unit can be programmed with two user presets for preferred spray options (rear, front, oscillating and power wash) and settings for water temperature and pressure, as well as the heated seat and warm air dryer.
The Icera design team included several thoughtful details with the iWash system, such as a built-in deodorizer, an LED in-bowl nightlight, a silent-close lid, and a wall-mounted remote control with LED-backlit buttons.
Soak Away the Stress
Personal stress levels naturally run high during times of uncertainty, which can have a negative impact on our health and emotional well-being. That is why it is vital to set aside time each day for self-care rituals promoting relaxation and mindfulness. A nice long soak in the tub is a great option that MTI Baths (www.mtibaths.com) makes even better with its Microbubbles technology.
This amazing system transforms an ordinary bath into an extraordinary sensory experience by saturating the bathwater with up to 50 percent more dissolved oxygen. Billions of oxygen-rich bubbles turn the water a milky white as they gently polish the body, to stimulate and deep-clean pores, and exfoliate and super-hydrate the skin.
The Microbubbles hydrotherapy option is available on most of MTI’s Designer series tubs or Andrea soaking or air baths.
With a lockdown in place, the family kitchen has been a nonstop hive of activity. People are cooking 3-plus meals a day in their kitchens and doing things such as baking bread and experimenting with new recipes. Not to mention all those dirty dishes!
Ruvati (www.ruvati.com) created a serious workspace for the seriously busy kitchen with its 45-inch Workstation sink with an expanded array of helpful accessories that slide on double-tiered tracks. We particularly love the new five-quart mixing bowl and colander set, which is great for so many uses.
Two included cutting boards can double as trays and provide extra counter space when placed side-by-side. Both are crafted of beautiful African mahogany, a luxurious hardwood that is incredibly durable and water-resistant. Other helpful accessories include a stainless-steel roll-up rack (perfect as a drying rack), two sizes of colanders and two rinse grids to protect the sinks and provide a space to dry large pots.
The sink itself is made of premium-grade stainless steel with a 10-inch-deep basin. The Workstation sink makes it easy for multiple home chefs to work together seamlessly and also helps to make clean-up tasks as efficient as possible.
Speaking of efficiency, bathrooms are also in high demand these days with so many people in the house. One creative solution may be to install an outdoor shower. It’s a great way to alleviate overcrowding in the bathroom and add a unique option to enhance outdoor living. With the appropriate screening materials and landscaping, an outdoor shower can form a true backyard oasis.
Danish plumbing designer and manufacturer QTOO (www.qtoobath.com) offers a marine-grade, stainless-steel shower system that is exceptionally durable and easily withstands environmental demands. Each QTOO outdoor shower system features a volume control diverter with a two-way function for precise control over water flow and temperature. The system includes a head shower and baton hand sprayer and comes in an elegant brushed or polished finish.
As multigenerational families share space during the pandemic, it may be time for remodeling projects to enhance accessibility. This is especially true in showers where low barriers or uneven surfaces can create a hazard. QM Drain (www.qmdrain.com) makes it easy to install a linear drain without relocating existing plumbing lines when the water outlet is located a few inches off-center.
The innovative Supreme Delmar drain has an independent base and internal rail system. Installers can easily position the grate and center the drain without moving pipe. The grate can be cut to custom lengths, and multiple drains can be aligned to accommodate multiple outlets. The sleek and stylish drain is made of marine-grade stainless steel and is available in satin, polished, satin gold and black.
Another fresh option for a shower upgrade is the Coraline XL-Class Frameless Sliding Shower Collection from Aston (www.astonbath.com). The clean, minimalist look is versatile enough to complement a wide variety of bathroom décors, while the various components work together to fit nearly any space requirements.
The Coraline XL series features a double-sided vertical door handle that makes it easy to get in and out of the shower. The slimline wall channel provides a watertight fit, reducing the potential for slippery floor conditions. The showers are comprised of thick 3/8-inch tempered premium glass and coated with StarCast clear coating for easy maintenance and hygienic benefits. The XL Class sliding doors offer generous access to the shower and have an extended 80-inch height for taller-clearance bathrooms.
As families adjust to the challenges of our current times, the home continues to be the focal point of daily living. Kitchen, bathrooms and all their fixtures and appliances will become ever more vital.
Our industry is fortunate to have so many manufacturers creating thoughtful products to make life at home a little easier, more sanitary and more serene. We appreciate their efforts and look forward to seeing future innovations and designs.