Next Generation Shower Drain Systems

The shower is no longer conceived of as a wet cell, but has become an inherent part of a whole room approach to bathroom design – showering is thus defined more and more by curb-less designs that do without shower trays. This style of showers require a new generation of floor drains to help maintain the boundary between wet and dry zones in your bathroom.

There are many advantages to using a linear slot drain in your bathroom shower. The most obvious is the sleek continuous look your shower floor will have.  Removing the shower curb and letting your floor tile cover the the whole area will make your bathroom appear larger.

Quick Drain USA’s high-quality, stainless steel linear slot drains come in various sizes from 32″ to 60″ making it an easy choice for your next project.  These 1 1/2″ wide drains have the lowest profile in the industry and are available with both side and bottom drain outlets. This  linear channel drain is also very easy to clean. Everything is removable (including the shower linear drain cover and strainer).


For curved shower applications ACO Haustechnik has linked up with Glamu to create a free-standing shower enclosure.  The shower drain system holds the curved glass element firmly in place with only one side fixed to a wall.  ACO offers designer grates for their drains with 5 pattern choices that can optionally be lit with colored LEDs.

aco curved shower drain

The Poresta Slot Floor Drain by Illbruck is well suited for the most minimalist bathrooms.  The grateless 7mm drain positioned directly against the wall gives the shower the appearance of having no drain. Water disappears into a barely noticeable shadow gap.

illbruck porta


Flo Sink and Dune Tile by DEX

dex flow sink

This double trough sink by Dex Studiosis named the Flo.  It is 66″ by 17.5″ deep with a 6.5″ apron.  The sink shown is made from DexTerra which is a terrazzo product available in 65 color combinations. 

The Flo sink can be customized up to 9 feet in length.  A smaller single basin Flo Vanity is also available.

The Dune wall tile was also made by Dex.  It is shown in St. Simon’s Tan, one of their 25 standard solid colors. Other tiles designs should be on their website soon.

Dex products are ideal for use in projects obtaining LEED qualification. Recycled content of DEX concrete and terrazzo can be specified from 10% to 70% of total content.


Cash for Clunker Appliances

recycle that fridgeThe Cash-For-Clunkers program has been so popular, despite it’s lack of real green benefits, there has been talk of proposals for “Cash for Homes” or “Cash for Computer Servers” and whatnot.

In Michigan, the states largest power company wants your energy-gulping, landfill-clogging refrigerators and it’s willing to pay $50 for them and haul them away for free.  The programs is a small part of the utility company’s plan to meet its state-mandated goal of reducing energy consumption 5.5 percent by 2012.  DTE Energy, so far, has collected more than 1,000 old refrigerators and freezers, and is partnering with Washington-based JACO Environmentalto recycle them for parts used in making computers, cell phones and steel rebar.

Similar programs can be found in  New Jersey and Vermont where  statewide programs offers residents a $30 rebate and free appliance pick-up.  If your state does not have similar plans in place check with your local utility provider to see if they offer an appliance recycling rebate.

Utilities companies estimate that homeowners can save up to $150 a year on their electricity bill by replacing their old refrigerator or freezer with a new Energy-star rated model. Old refrigerators, made prior to 1990, use three times as much electricity as new ones and emit ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Click for Appliance recycling slide showAccording to Sam Sirkin, the program development manager of Jaco Environmental, “Avoiding the release of the C.F.C.’s in fridges captures five tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per fridge, and just removing the old refrigerator or freezer from the grid saves another two to five tons of carbon dioxide due to energy savings.”

An Appliance recycling plan is far superior to the hijacked CARS program because the car rebates, which run as high as $4,500 per purchase, ultimately cost taxpayers around $160 per ton of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.  An appliance recycling rebate between $25 and $50  removes about five tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  According to Elana Schor , that works out to a cost of $10 per ton for the richest refrigerator rebate program — more than 10 times cheaper than “cash for clunkers.”

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Kitchen Critique

colombini cucineThere are many things about this picture that I like and there are some I dislike.

I like the open feel and the contemporary hood. 

I like the deep chocolate color on the walls although I think I might like it more as an accent color on the right wall with a different color on the back wall.

I like the tall pantry cabinets for their ample storage and sleek, hardware-free fronts.

I don’t like the low wall cabinets.  As you can see by the picture only a few books will fit under them.  I also dislike the white end panels on the base cabinets.  I’d rather see the wall cabinets either hung higher or sitting all the countertop.  I’d remove the white end panels and run the countertop over the sides to the floor.  If the wall cabinets are to sit on the countertop prefer the countertop not to match the cabinets so closely.  I think a white marble would look better. 

The sole beam across the ceiling also bothers me.  I don’t mind the white on white but I think the ceiling would be more interesting if faux beams were added to create a nice visual rhythm. 

This kitchen would also probably be very dark at night.  Additional lighting should be added at the sink and at least one prep area.

What do you think on the T-shape kitchen?  I think it might make more sense if there were a table and chairs located on the right side to create an eat-in kitchen.  They might have been removed for the photograph to show off the cabinetry.  The corner of the sofa may have been moved into the frame to keep the space from looking too empty.

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