What’s New in Kitchen and Bath Remodeling?

We need new appliances for our kitchen remodel. We are a busy family that really uses our kitchen, and we want to save on our energy bill. What should we look for?
• Look for a four-door refrigerator! This is similar to the French-door style with three doors, but incorporates a fourth “drawer” to house your most-used items. It could be for all the kids’ snacks and drinks. Or use it for all your fruits and veggies. The most-used items are easily accessible without opening the main refrigerator, thus saving on the cooling aspect of the unit. Some are Energy Star rated—proven to be energy-efficient.

• Consider an electric induction cook top. They are 90 percent energy-efficient and use a magnetic field to conduct electricity to the cookware. They do not put off additional heat as you cook, thus offering further savings on your cooling costs.

• Ask for a “Water Sense” kitchen faucet when you make your selection. They are available in a wide variety of styles, finishes and price ranges. The kitchen faucet is the most used faucet in the home—on average used seven times more than any other faucet. These low-flow faucets offer a 30 percent reduction in water usage, and you don’t compromise functionality or style to help you save on your water bill.

I’m ready to remodel my home, and projects will include a bath renovation. What’s new and current but not too trendy?
We see many projects returning to the clean, crisp sparkle of polished chrome fittings, faucets and lighting for baths. Many manufacturers are expanding their choices of this classic metal finish to include simple lines that are a more modern look without being too contemporary. This is also a more economical choice for homeowners trying to stretch their remodeling budget. You simply can’t go wrong with this look. It will never go out of style.

I want to change the lighting in my home to take advantage of energy saving fluorescent or LED lighting. There are so many choices. How do I know what is right for my application?
With CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs, look for a color temperature of 2700K on the package if you want the same color tone you achieve with a standard incandescent bulb. If your fixture is on a dimmer, be certain the packaging indicates that the CFL is dimmable. LED lighting can be costly upfront but requires a fraction of the electricity to operate. It also has a very long lifespan, some up to 10 years. It’s best to consult a lighting specialist to assist you with this type of lighting.

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