The kitchen as a system

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Today’s products are user-friendly and innovative

By Leah Den Hartogh

A kitchen is a system. It is made of staples like faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and soap dispensers, to name a few. Over the years, manufacturers have moved away from the typical design and have made their products more innovative. For faucets alone, the industry has seen dramatic changes. “Faucets have come a long way. There were just the normal two handle sprout sprays and then it came with the side spray and then it was the pull-out and then pull-down. It’s more for ease of function, making your life easier and giving you that experience within the kitchen,” said Eric Moore, interior design for Kohler.

Recent updates include features like smart technology that modify how the faucet operates based on the user’s needs. Following are some of the latest innovations:

Tap and fill

It’s as easy as just a tap on the spout or handle to activate the Pivotal single handle exposed hose kitchen faucet by Delta Faucet (Masco Canada, Mississauga, Ont.) with Touch2O technology. In addition, an LED light will signal blue when touch mode is active and will flash red when batteries are low. The Touch2O technology can determine the difference between a touch and a grab which reduces the chances of false activation.

“The design of this faucet encapsulates the latest technologies within a sleek, striking body for lasting looks and performance that depart from the ordinary. The exposed hose provides enhanced functionality while proving a modern design feature,” reported Brad Campeau, business development manager – showrooms, for Delta Faucet. He goes on to add that the faucet “embodies modern style, addressing the growing desire for minimal contemporary design, angular lines, and re-imagined water delivery in the kitchen.”

It features an automatic water flow-off after four minutes which will help conserve water. The faucet wand uses Delta’s MagnaTite docking systems that uses a magnet to snap the wand into place. It also includes Delta’s leak-free and durable Diamond Seal cartridge technology. Integrated InnoFlex PEX supply lines come in the box. It is available in a variety of finishes.

Hands-free magic

“Every kitchen should have a touchless kitchen faucet,” agrees Bryan Ferreira, product manager for Lixil Canada Inc., Mississauga, Ont. His top pick is American Standard’s Beale pull-down faucet with the company’s Selectronic hands-free technology. “It makes life in the kitchen easier, more efficient, and helps reduce the spread of unwanted bacteria.”

A sliding sensor door allows the user to select the manual mode when needed. It offers two task-driven spray patterns with a pause button to stop the flow temporarily.

The faucet uses the company’s Dock-Tite docking system and Re-Trax retraction system to allow the pull-down faucet to pull out and then lock back in when not being used. An integral check valve prevents backflow and crossflow, and a ceramic disc valve cartridge ensures a lifetime of drip-free performance.

The faucet is lead-free, has a safety shut-off that automatically turns off the water after five minutes of continuous use, and has a maximum flow rate of 5.7 LPM. It also includes a 39-inch integrated colour coded braided stainless-steel supply hose with three-eighth inch compression connections.

Innovative spray patterns

Kohler Canada’s (Woodbridge, Ont.) Eric Moore maintains that homeowners and customers aren’t interested in “normal” anymore; they want a product that can do everything. Kohler’s answer? Innovative spray patterns – the Sweep spray, BerrySoft spray, and aerated spray.

Kohler’s three-function spray head differentiates Kohler’s Artifacts Collection from any other faucet collections on the market reports Moore. The BerrySoft mode is an easy way to prep without bruising produce. It is also paired with a two-function side spray with both the BerrySoft and Sweep spray patterns. The Sweep spray is ideal for any cleaning needs.

This technology is available in seven kitchen models. It can also be configured to fit other “kitchen task areas” such as a primary sink, prep sink, bar/entertainment sinks and pot fillers.

A touchless feature will be added to the Artifacts Collection in June. “You won’t want to touch the faucet when you are doing common kitchen activities like cutting meat,” said Moore.

Spring-back action

The new collection of modern faucets from Riobel, Saint-Jerome, Que., features its Boomerang pull-down spray system. This new system allows the sprayer to return to its original position with ease. The hose is made out of braided nylon, which is a silent and durable material. The sprayer has an integrated swivel joint for easy handling to rinse vegetables, wash the sink, and fill a pot with water.

Collections with this technology include Azure, Solstice, Trattoria, and Ludik. Each offers a ceramic cartridge, silent braided nylon hose, and two-jet Boomerang hand spray system with integrated swivel. Riobel faucets have either a six litres per minute or 5.69 litres per minute flow rate.

Sturdy stylish sinks

Moving to the kitchen sink, Blanco offers over 300 products made from their patented Silgranit material. Developed in Germany in the early 1980s, Silgranit sinks are manufactured in Toronto.

“Why I would argue Silgranit is unique and every kitchen should have it is because silgranit is actually a really durable material and it’s really easy to clean,´ said Tiffany Hyodo, digital and content marketing manager for Blanco Canada, Brampton, Ont.

“Basically, the material is created of up to 80 per cent natural granite which is blended with some polymer to bond it together. It is extremely strong and resistant to scratches. Also, it handles extreme temperature fluctuations – so if you have cold water in your sink and then you’re putting in a really hot pot in the bottom you aren’t going to have any issues with that.” They are scratch and impact resistant, easy to clean and anti-bacterial, acid and stain resistant, and colour non-fading. Silgranit sink models are available in eight colours. Concrete grey is the newest, released at the beginning of 2019.

Franke Kindred

“Every kitchen is not complete without a kitchen sink,” explained Marc Pauze, customer service supervisor at Franke Kindred Canada, Midland, Ont. “This is the first step.” The company offers many styles and sizes of stainless-steel sinks.

The new Chef Center kitchen sink is available in 30, 36, and 42-inch sizes. Custom accessories, that can be packed with the sink, include colanders, cutting boards, glass boards, and roller drying mats.

Franke Kindred offers lines from across the world. A faucet could be from Italy or a sink could be manufactured in Germany – or Midland. “We pull the best from the world to offer to the Canadian market,” said Pauze. Franke Kindred sinks operate to a Swiss standard. There are hundreds of options for people to choose from within the high-end luxury brand, says Pauze. “All of which are designed to fit together.”

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