Blog - Kitchen
Buyer Beware in Trends and Technology
Planning a kitchen remodel? Make it high tech, and you’ll be able to turn on a faucet with a wave of your hand, boil water in 90 seconds, and change out your light bulbs every 22 years (55,000 hours). However, as cool as new trends and technology can be, it’s important that you think twice before attempting to integrate the latest “must have” du jour into your space plan. If the current trend doesn’t stand up to the test of time you may be left with an outmoded gadget and an odd sized recessed wall or cabinet opening that will not easily fit a replacement fixture without incurring considerable cost to modify your newly renovated room. Instead, think about how you live, how you use your space and what you want to achieve with the changes you are making.
If a clear vision of your project is difficult to imagine, a little help may be in order. Hiring a Designer or Project Manager to assist with your remodel may not be what you had in mind, however, the insight you could gain from a Single Consultation with a Professional Design/Build Specialist might surprise you. An Experienced Professional can help you find a connection in your disjointed thoughts and with every piece of information collected, a more defined plan for you to follow will begin to take shape, encapsulating all that you have in mind. The value of information obtained from that meeting will most likely be all that you require to point you in the right direction, it should aid in saving you time and hopefully by walking through your project with an experienced consultant beforehand, you may be able to have identified any potential pitfalls that so many first time renovators stumble into.
It’s important to note, that not all home improvement “trends” come with a relatively short shelf life to be aware of. There are quite a few products and technological upgrades that have been introduced over the past few years, that have made quick work of replacing quite a few of our standard “go-to” products, and have continued to increase their market share exponentially as word of mouth has spread and the mainstream consumer market is made aware of their features and benefits.
Trends and Technology to consider over other traditionally specified products
I’ve provided below, a few examples of some of the products that have been introduced into the market as “New Trends” over the past several years, but due to either the technological advancement and/or the personal/environmental benefits they provide to the consumer, these products should be considered for purchase along side other traditionally specified products, as the value added to your project using “smart” products could result in a significant return on your investment and a positive impact to your home environment.
LED lighting is bright, extremely energy efficient and doesn’t create a lot of heat in the kitchen, which is why LED lighting was an extremely popular “trend” when it was first introduced on the market, but it wasn’t until recent advances to this technology, making these lights available in warmer, consumer pleasing tones that LED lighting became the primary lighting choice for all of our clients renovation projects.
LED lighting is now being used for all types of kitchen illumination, including overhead, recessed, under-cabinet, and now the latest type of LED lighting, self-sticking LED strips, can be used to light up the inside of a drawer or cabinet for better visibility, or they can be run along a toe kick to light up the floor at night, or under the counter-top edge of a bar top to create an interesting light feature or light up your work surface.
At first glance, a “touch” or “touch-free” faucet screams “trendy” gimmick, which was my initial thought when I first read about Delta Faucets New Touch 2-0 technology. This upgrade allows Consumers the convenience of tapping anywhere on the spout or handle of their Kitchen faucet with their hand, wrist or forearm, to start and stop the flow of water.
This unique feature intrigued me, but I was extremely skeptical about the long-term performance of it because in my experience this type of upgrade is primarily offered for marketing purposes as an attention grabber and after only a few months of use, the item will prove to be heavily flawed until eventually it will stop working all together.
Well, it’s been 10 years since the Delta Faucet Company introduced its initial Touch 2-0 Technology and approximately 6 years and 20+ clients after I first recommended it and to date, this Touch technology has consistently proven itself to be a reliable and beneficial option for my clients who have chosen this upgraded feature for an additional $100.00 – $130.00 over and above any of their standard model Kitchen faucets. Delta has continued to improve this technology over the years and it is now available on bath, beverage, and soap dispensing products. Delta has also introduced a Hands-Free Technology option, as well. Touch2O.xt™ Technology faucets act as a sensor so the water starts flowing instantly and effortlessly. It senses your presence within 4” and automatically shuts off within seconds once you remove your hands. It not only helps conserve water, it’s perfect for repetitive tasks like washing your hands.
The latest addition is the integration of Delta’s TempSense ™Technology. Delta has taken the guess work out of trying to figure out just how hot or cold the water coming out of your faucet is with a built in LED light that changes color in accordance with the temperature. Blue means cold. Red means hot. Shades of pink are for the range in between. The TempSense indicator LED light is built into the base of the faucet and will make adjusting the water temperature easier. This technology is currently available on touch faucets only.
Be sure to ask us about these products, that can be purchased directly from our plumbing supplier as a courtesy and cost effective option for our lie to. to our clients. Also, if you like the idea of TempSense ™, you can look for Delta bath and shower products labeled with Temp20™for the same technology!
Induction Cooking has probably been the most revolutionary advancement in cooking technology in the last 30 years. It’s actually been around for decades, but U.S. Manufacturers have only recently started making more induction cooktop and range options to provide consumers with more choices in design, function, and price point.
Thermador, for example, has been Manufacturing Appliances in the U.S. since 1932 and stands out among other top Manufacturers, like Viking and Miele for taking this technology to the next level by introducing the Freedom Induction Cooktop. Induction Cooktops use powerful electromagnets that interact with iron or steel pans to heat the cookware, which then cooks the food. The Freedom is the first and only Induction Cooktop with the largest, fully usable cooking surface, allowing you to cook 4 pans at once that can be placed in anybody configuration on the cooktop surface.
It has more responsiveness, more flexibility and the first full-color touch-screeninterface, (control panel), on the market. The Freedom Collection also features Thermadors Power Boost technology, bringing your food to the desired temperature in the shortest possible time (50% faster than traditional cooktops) and delivers a maximum power output from 3,600 W to 4,600 W.
One of the most popular features of Induction Cooking is that the surface of the cooktop stays cool to the touch while in use, and if small metal objects, utensils, or over flow liquid from your pot is detected on the surface, the cooktop automatically shuts down and sounds an alarm, making it a safer option for families with small children than traditional cooking elements.
Engineered Quartz Countertops have grown in popularity exponentially since they were introduced to the American Market approximately 10 years ago. For a contemporary, upscale look with very low maintenance required, quartz countertops are definitely worth considering. As of late, they are requested by clients 10 to 1 over the previously “must have”, unique beauty of natural stone.
Quartz countertops are manufactured from crushed quartz that is mixed with pigment for coloration and resin as a binder. The quartz content is typically 92% to 94%. Made from one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz countertops are arguably the most durable option for kitchens and with its nonporous nature, it makes it more difficult for bacteria, mold and mildew to grow, which makes it an ideal choice for both the kitchen and bath. The clean factor doesn’t just stop there.
Silestone, one of the leading manufacturers of Quartz countertops, also has something called Microban built into the surface of the countertop. Microban is a trademarked antimicrobial compound that’s mixed into the quartz and resin goop, actually making it part of the structure. Microban helps to fight the buildup of tiny pathogenic microorganisms, like bacteria.
It won’t protect you from a food-borne illness and you still have to clean it, but it does provide an extra measure of protection and makes the surface easier to clean and keep it that way. It is important to note that this built-in antimicrobial protection remains active throughout the life of the Silestone and will provide continuous antimicrobial cleaning action without any additional maintenance required.
Consumers gearing up for a remodel should research any technologies they’re considering and take plenty of time to plan the whole space. Planning will pay off in so many ways and will also help to insure that a critical component was not overlooked prior to the start of your project, when changes to your plan may be limited or costly to make.
There will never be a shortage of high-tech products, appliances, and gadgets to choose from, but determining the product or feature best suited for you may prove to be a far more daunting task than anticipated. Unfortunately, the Internet is peppered with biased consumer reports and paid reviewers, so it can require additional research on your part just to insure that the reviews you find online are coming from an unbiased, legitimate source.
If at any point the choices available and contradictory reviews become overwhelming, you are more than welcome to contact Our Showroom, at PDC Interiors 714.399.0986, and we will be more than happy to provide you with some quick feedback on our experience with a particular Manufacturer or “New” Technology based product and may also have a related product or brand to recommend that has proven reliable for Us, and our clients over the years.
Good Luck and Enjoy!