In Las Vegas this week, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the biggest event of its kind, has more than 900 companies exhibiting the very latest products for those key areas of the home.
And The Early Show's home improvement guru, Danny Lipford, host of "Today's Homeowner," is taking it all in.
Lipford says three trends are unmistakable: Products are more high-tech, multi-functional and environmentally friendly.
He chose several items to showcase Wednesday:
Editor's note: The vendors wrote all or portions of the following descriptions.
LG Pull-Up Over-the-Range Microwave Oven
An innovative, industry-first model that provides easy access to the oven cavity through a unique, pull-up door design, delivering added convenience without compromising capacity and stylish design. Extra-large 2.2 cubic foot capacity accommodates larger dishes. Also, incorporates LG's "Glide and Cook Plus" system, a unique sliding and turning system that maximizes cooking and promotes even heat distribution. Available late summer 2007 in a stainless steel finish.
Gaggenau Lift Oven
Gaggenau introduces a 24-inch oven with an automatic lift function for unique loading and unloading. With the push of a button, the Lift Oven's glass ceramic base lowers directly from the oven to the countertop, where food dishes can be easily loaded and then raised into the cooking cavity. Since heat rises, the heat remains in the oven cavity, resulting in minimal energy loss during the lift operation. The oven also increases safety, since the need to reach into the hot oven to remove food has been eliminated. Features 11 heating methods, including convention. Available August 2007.
Clean Chute is a "through the wall" disposal chute allowing homeowners to conveniently remove trash from the kitchen wall or back splash. The 45 degree chute system quickly slides all waste to its proper containers in the adjacent garage, laundry room, or other specified area. Available in single or dual units with dual models ideal for recycling. Chute door selection includes stainless steel, copper, brass, white, black or appliance color match. Made from reclaimed materials.
Sweep-Away Cabinet Vacuum
The sweep-away is a fully contained vacuum cleaner that functions as an automatic dustpan. Mounts easily into most kitchen and bathroom cabinets with a space-saving metal shelf. The automatic dustpan mounts flush to the kickboard of the cabinet and is connected to the sweep-away with a flex-hose. Plug in an optional 30-foot hose and the sweep-away also functions as a central vacuum cleaner. Dust and debris are contained in a one-gallon filter bag located in the front of the unit. Faceplates for dustpans come in white, black, ivory or stainless steel. Units available for either right- or left-mounting applications. Size: 9.5"H x 11.5"W x 18"D.
$299; With additional accessories, including 30' hose, $499; Galaxie-Vac.com
Natural pebble stones arranged by hand and glued to mesh backings create easy-to-install 12" x12" tile sheets for use on a variety of surfaces, especially in the kitchen and bath. The dimension and texture add a natural organic element to the design of any space. Available in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes.
$10 per square foot; WellmadeCorp.com
Alsons In2ition 2-in-1Shower
The new In2ition shower system combines a four-spray or five spray/massage hand-held shower and a fixed shower head with extra-wide spray, giving consumers the option to use separately or together. The hand shower simply slips into position, and is easily removed. Features an integral three-way diverter with easy-turn lever redirecting water from the fixed shower head to the hand-held, or both at the same time.
For much more on kitchen and home improvements, visit Lipford's Web site's page on them by clicking here.