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Best 10 Bathroom Products for 2012

By Lauren Busser, The House Designers Contributing Writer

Last week, we told you about the amazing kitchen technology exhibited at the KBIS and Greenbuild industry shows. The kitchens had us excited, but there was also plenty of new bathroom technology on the market to take interest in. Everything from beautiful heated towel bars, to smart fans with motion sensing technology have come onto the market with a vengeance and serve to help you save money while living in luxury. The emphasis on being green is alive and well with WaterSense® approved faucets and the industry's first one gallon-per-flush toilet.

After you've previewed our favorite home building products, we'd love for you to vote for your favorite products on our Facebook page. Everyone that votes will be entered to win a $250 gift card. From now until December 29th you can enter each week to vote for your favorite kitchen, bath, interior and exterior products.

Here is a sampling of the best in bathroom products, including smart ventilation fans, water efficient faucets and showerheads, and much more from 2012. Next week we'll showcase our favorite exterior products.
1 - Smart Ventilation for Steamy Bathrooms
1 - Smart Ventilation for Steamy Bathrooms

Known for their best-in-class ventilation products, Broan-NuTone® expanded its line of Broan® and NuTone® ULTRA™ series fans and fan/lights with an additional sixteen models. The new line of fans provides humidity and motion sensing technology while still featuring easy installation for contractors. These fans aren't only best-in-class but also feature quiet operation and energy-efficiency that allows customers to enjoy a humidity-free, comfortable environment more quickly when taking a bath or shower.

The secret behind these fans is the ULTRA Sense™ H Humidity Sensing Technology. All fans in this line can detect a rapid rise in humidity and are programmed to respond by turning single-speed fans on, and multi-speed fans from low to high. These fans also come with an easily accessible humidity sensitivity adjustment that will ensure a healthy, comfortable environment based on the climate.

Model: Broan and NuTone ULTRA™ Ventilation Fans
2 - A Classic Faucet with Green Sensibility

If tradition and simplicity are what you desire in a bathroom faucet, then look no further than Moen's® Caldwell™ Bath Collection. The collection features soft curves and rich details that make it the perfect choice for a homeowner who wants to create a cohesive design. The Caldwell™ Bath Collection includes matching showerheads too, but we love the faucet for its elegance and its thoughtful craftsmanship.

The faucet features two handles for ease of use, and a high-arc spout to provide additional clearance. The Caldwell™ faucet is also compliant with WaterSense® criteria, making it a green product that will help you save water without sacrificing performance. Not only is this faucet beautiful to look at, but for contractors, a 4" centerset design allows for easy installation. This faucet is just as stylish as Moen's® motto: "Buy it for looks. Buy it for life."®

Model: Moen® Caldwell Collection™ Chrome Two-Handle High Arc Bathroom Faucet | MSRP $126.80
2 - A Classic Faucet with Green Sensibility
3 - A Darling Vanity Named Larissa
3 - A Darling Vanity Named Larissa

One of the cornerstones of a bathroom is the vanity. It provides storage and gives the bathroom a much more finished look than a pedestal sink. Most bathrooms can be modified to fit a vanity, like the Larissa Designer Suite from Wellborn Cabinet's® Elegant Bath Collection™. This suite was one of the centerpieces at Wellborn Cabinet's® KBIS booth this past year.

This suite offers elegant styling and storage. It comes in a variety of colors as well and gives homeowners the option of inset or overlay doors. The suite can be completed with a complimenting mirror and vanity linen cabinet. Be sure to decorate around the vanity with a tile backsplash. This is your opportunity to get creative with complimentary tiles and colors.

Model: Wellborn® Larissa Designer Suite
4 - An Easy Toilet Makeover

A bidet is a good addition to a kid's bathroom, the elderly, or someone with limited mobility. Before you change your plumbing to suit a bidet in addition to your toilet, consider one of these convenient bidet toilet seats from Brondell®. Our pick is the Swash® 900. This bidet toilet seat features a convenient wireless remote, an intelligent body sensor, and self-cleaning nozzles.

Not only is this toilet seat easy to operate, it is also easy to clean. The seat features a Quick Release for easy removal and cleaning. The seat also features an automatic power save to keep your electric bill under control and an eco-friendly instant ceramic heating system for unlimited warm water. Add to that the benefit of the Swash® being made in America, and you have the perfect addition to your bathroom.

Model: Brondell® Swash® 900 Bidet Seat | MSRP $695
4 - An Easy Toilet Makeover
5 - Standing in the Rain
5 - Standing in the Rain

There is nothing like standing in a warm rain. Except, maybe experiencing rain without the threat of lightening. Rain showers are all the rage right now and the Delta® Dryden Raincan shower is perfect for your bathroom. The square showerhead is reminiscent of the art deco period of the 1920's and '30s. This showerhead isn't just a pretty face; it also provides a drenching and invigorating shower experience.

The TempAssure® technology utilizes thermostat operation for precise temperature control with the help of valves that automatically adjust the water mix. In addition to providing a great shower experience, it also includes several smart features from Delta®, including their MultiChoice® Universal Valve, Volume Control, and TouchClean.

Model: Delta® Dryden TempAssure® 17T Series Shower Trim Kit | MSRP $424.95
6 - Just Like the Spa

It's always nice to wrap yourself in a warm blanket or dry off your hands with a warm towel. Now you can get that feeling at home with a heated towel bar. Wesaunard® is a company that manufactures top quality heating products with over thirty-five years of experience. Among their offerings is a line of creative towel racks. There are several lines but the line we like the best is the Builder line for it's gentle, sleek silhouettes.

The Builder series is a line of towel racks for people that prefer the elegance of simplicity or practical utility. Wesaunard® makes quality products, but these models are affordable because the intricacies are minimized. The result is a product of exceptional quality with a moderate price.

Model: Wesaunard® 5Z-Chrome | MSRP $1568.00
6 - Just Like the Spa
7 - A Sweater for Your Feet
7 - A Sweater for Your Feet

Tile floors can get cold fast, but there is a solution. Like a sub-ceiling, companies like Nuheat® have created a sub-flooring to keep your floors as warm as your bed. The Nuheat® Cable System provides soothing heat to any flooring without significantly raising floor heights. The Nuheat® Cable System can also be synced with any other Nuheat® mats or thermostats.

This product is also easy for contractors to use because it allows them to make quick on-site adjustments to the floor heating coverage for every room. The Cable System can also be used in wet areas including shower floors and saunas. For comfortable luxury and an easy to use product, Nuheat®; can suit all your home building needs. Check out their sites for tips on how to measure your home for a product and request a quote.

Model: Nuheat® Cable System
8 - Contemporary Lighting

Lighting is the most important component when designing your bathroom. That's why we love George Kovac's Saber collection from LAMPSPLUS®. This contemporary wall sconce is sleek and stylish, featuring a brushed nickel finish. The sconce is then detailed by use of an etched opal glass top that gives it a contemporary look.

These sconces provide excellent lighting and have an average customer review of five stars. The product is described by users as adjustable, attractive, and easy to use. These sconces are beautiful, attractive, and easy to maintain. At under $150 this sconce offers style, functionality and exceptional value. Getting bang for your buck is definitely the phrase that describes these lights.

Model: LAMPSPLUS® George Kovacs 13 1/4" High ADA Compliant Nickel Wall Sconce | $136.99
8 - Contemporary Lighting
9 - Economically Friendly Toilet Seats
9 - Economically Friendly Toilets

When it comes to conserving water, it doesn't hurt to make sure the toilet is greener. TOTO® has developed the first ultra-efficient, one-gallon per flush toilet. TOTO®'s Drake II 1G close-coupled toilet marries high-efficiency with the companies Double Cyclone technology. This technology marries the power of water and gravity to create an engine that maximizes cleaning action while spinning away waste. This creates a green, clean flushing system that saves water and money.

There is nothing not to like about this toilet. It's environmentally friendly without sacrificing performance and it even comes with the approval of the EPA. This toilet is backed by the WaterSense program so you know you are getting a product that is going to save you some money on your water bill. Not to mention this toilet looks just like an ordinary toilet, allowing you to be green without having to go to the lengths of trying to adapt a composting toilet.

Model: TOTO® Drake II 1G Close Coupled Toilet | $580.00
10 - An Update on a Classic Bathtub

It's all about the bold lines and curves at Kohler® and that is exactly what their signature bath embodies. The Kohler® Expanse bathtub is not completely new to the market, but it just recently became available to a wider variety of homeowners. The bath bows out to 34" at the widest giving users more room to bathe or shower. This bath is also perfectly complimented by a complimentary shower rod that mimics the curve of the bath.

The design of this bath exudes simplicity with a modern twist. It also maximizes the space typically allotted for a standard bathing alcove. Discerning home owners will love the design and value of this bathtub. There's no question that 'The Bold Look of Kohler®' is embodied in this one elegant bathtub.

Model: Kohler Expanse Bath | MSRP $1,050.45
10 - An Update on a Classic Bathtub
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