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Construction Marketplace 3 5 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 Does Your Toilet Pass the Test? When you think about home remodeling or renovations, how often does the toilet come to mind? Better yet, how often does water consumption from your toilet come to mind? The truth is that toilets are key water consumers within the home, and outdated fixtures can waste excessive amounts of water with every flush. According to the EPA, before the late 1970s, toilets could use up to 7 gal- lons per flush. That means homes built prior to 1980 may have old or broken toilet models that flush excessive amounts of water. Between the 1980s and early 1990s, updates in plumbing technology allowed toilets to flush at 3.5 GPF, reducing water consumption by about 50 percent. However, models that flush at those rates are vastly outdated and inefficient compared to current toi- lets. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 mandated that toilets manufactured in the U.S. must flush at 1.6 GPF, and since then the 1.6 GPF toilet has become the industry standard. Today, new and innovative technology allows toilets to flush at under 1.0 GPF, while some ultra-high-efficiency models, like the Original with Stealth Technology™ from Niagara, flush at even 0.8 GPF. A common misconception is that all low flow toilets just don't get the job done when it comes to performance. With increased testing, technology and regulations, water-conserving toilets not only perform better than leading products on the market, they save households thousands over the lifespan of the toilet. Regulations sug- gest a level of perform- ance testing called MaP ® . These tests, adopted by the plumb- ing industry, allow engineers, builders and architects to better understand flush per- formance when speci- fying a project. In 2003, MaP Testing was implemented as a voluntary measurement to help deter- mine toilet flush capability. When determining scores, MaP testing meas- ures a toilet on how many grams of solid waste can be pushed down the trapway with a single flush. For those looking for efficiency and performance in their toilet, MaP Premium rated prod- ucts must undergo more strenuous test- ing, toilet flush rate must be under 1.06 GPF and must move at least 600 grams of waste through the trapway. Although the program is not mandatory, over 4,000 products nationwide have been MaP tested and labeled. MaP testing has challenged manufacturers to increase flush performance, bringing about the innovative and pow- erful products that exist today. Whether your project is new con- struction or a repair and remodel, consid- er performance when selecting the right toilet for the job and let the MaP score help guide you. Visit Niagara at KBIS booth #N2975. For more information, go to www.niagara corp.com, call 800.831.8383 or email info@niagaracorp.com. Kiss the Cook in Wimberley, Texas By Lorrie Baumann Bren Isgitt opened her Kiss the Cook kitchenware store in Wimberley, Texas, in 2001 in a building that had been an old house. Owner Bren Isgitt and a friend who was a business partner at the time bought the house on a handshake deal on the square in Wimberley and started ren- ovations. "It had been an old house with lots of low ceilings and little rooms," Isgitt said. "We raised the ceiling by vaulting it to the roof, adding beautiful massive structural beams." With the renovations complete, Isgitt and her partner stocked the new store with the inventory they'd moved over from the 800 square-foot shop in Abilene, Texas, that they'd been operat- ing together since 1998. "We grew the store in three and a half years to where it was bursting at the seams," Isgitt said. "Since we were renting, we decided we could move it to somewhere we wanted to live, instead of west Texas." They held their closing sale in Abilene in June of 2001 and were moved out by the end of July. The grand opening for the new store in Wimberley was held on October 1 of 2001. "It was market day, when 20,000 people come to town," Isgitt said. "We opened that weekend, and at the end of the first day – boy, we knew we made the right move." In Wimberley, the two friends found a Texas Hill Country community of home cooks who had Food Network on their cable television, access to culinary schools in Austin and San Antonio and the incomes they could generate in city careers to support their culinary aspira- tions. Some of their new customers were Houstonians with second homes in Wimberley where they came to relax for family weekends, and many of them were tourists who came to swim in Wimberley's famous Blue Hole, to kayak on the Blanco River and to shop in Wimberley's downtown boutiques. "It's both a weekend and a vacation place.... There are lots of good restaurants and boutiques," Isgitt said. "We found a real niche." Some of them wander into Kiss the Cook thinking it might be a restaurant. They're likely to laugh and tell Isgitt that they're going to need to go with the fam- ily to eat, but they'll be back afterwards to shop," Isgitt said. "Their favorite say- ing – besides, 'I love this place' – is, 'If you don't have it, I don't need it.'" Inside the 1,800 square-foot store, they find an interior remodeled in 2017 by Isgitt and HTI Buying Group President, KC Lapiana. They repainted the store, which hadn't been touched since it had opened in 2001, put in new laminate flooring and replaced the old grid system for gadgets with a slat wall. They also replaced some of the fixtures that had been donated by manufacturers along the way with new units that matched. That opened up the aisles so they were accessible for wheelchairs. "It was hard to get a wheelchair around [before the remodel], and now it's not hard at all," Isgitt said. "The slat wall allowed hanging products that had maybe been in bins. KC really did help organize my store." A central island displays best sellers, including the Chic Wrap plastic wrap dis- penser and Bee's Wrap and silicone and stainless steel reusable straws. "People from Austin want sustainable products," Isgitt said. "They don't want products that go into the trash.... The customers are really conscious of wanting products that they can reuse, that don't hurt the environment." Lekue's silicone bowl covers, FreshPaper and Green Savers from OXO that help produce stay fresh longer appeal to the same customers, she added. Against the wall, a 40-foot slat wall is packed with gadgets like the Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor that appeals to Texans who make their own salsa fre- quently, and OXO's Mini Mandolin that helps Isgitt herself keep her fingers safe when she's making her favorite Brussels sprout salads. "Our goal is to encourage people to cook more at home and to make cooking fun," she said. "I like Chef'n's Brussels Sprouts Corer also." The Chop Combo, a cutting board with magnets on the back designed by an Austin architect is another favorite prod- uct. It pairs with a magnetic bar designed to be adhered to the kitchen backsplash with a strip of Velcro hook and loop fas- tener. "The cutting board coordinates so it clamps to the knife bar and covers the knives when you're not using it," Isgitt said. "He invented that, and he markets it here at our store." When she's cooking at home, Isgitt enjoys making lasagna that she bakes in her Emile Henry baking dish. "I love that NexTrend Garlic Twist, and I'm using the Tramontina cookware now," she said. "Most of my customers have a favorite chef they follow, like Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. They love her and her recipe books. I'm a huge Tyler Florence fan. I love his receipes. That's me." For more information, visit www.kissthe cookwimberley.com. Trinseo Bio-Based and Recycled Materials Target Customers' Sustainability Goals A trip to most any technology event high- lights the leadership role that the consumer electronics industry has played in product innovation and also its influence on other industry sectors including automotive, medical devices and home appliances. Now it's being recognized as a true leader in sustainable solutions – supporting the growing need to protect the environment and preserve our scarce resources. Trinseo, a global manufacturer of plastics and sustainable solutions, is tak- ing a leadership role as well by not only providing bioplastic alternatives to petro- leum-based materials but offering a range of recycled content-containing resins. These materials are appropriate for a wide range of consumer electronic appli- cations ranging from portable device housings to connected home appliances to fitness wristband trackers to acces- sories and parts. Trinseo and Bioplastics With more than 60 years of experience in customized thermoplastic compounds and elastomers, Trinseo's bio-based ther- moplastic product families APILON™ 52 BIO and APIGO™ BIO can be found in a wide range of applications and can contribute to a reduction in CO 2 and other greenhouse gas emissions com- pared to fossil-based plastics. Traditional plastics are derived from petroleum or natural gas while bio-based plastics are, to a varying degree, derived from renewable biomass sources such as cornstarch, sugarcane, sugar beet, cellu- lose or vegetable oils. The company's portfolio includes soft and rigid grades. The broad range of properties available make these polymers and compounds ideal for a variety of applications needing various degrees of hardness, resistance to oil, grease, chem- icals and temperatures, as well as col- orability and recyclability. Trinseo and Recycled Materials Since its start with post-consumer recy- cled (PCR) materials nearly a decade ago, Trinseo has overcome numerous challenges such as PCR feedstock avail- ability, reliable sourcing and ways to bal- ance material performance properties to ensure the integrity of end-use applica- tions. These materials – Trinseo's ECO grades – combine virgin content and PCR (plastic scrap or waste from consumer applications that is reclaimed, reprocessed and used again in new appli- cations) to achieve the exact properties needed for an application. In fact, the company is able to create a material with up to 95 percent recycled content. This includes ultra-bright white and transparent options – both difficult to achieve with material other than virgin content. Over the years, Trinseo has seen that some applications are appropriate for recycled content and some are not. For example, industries that are highly regu- lated or have strict requirements have lim- itations due to the variability in recycled resin content and the potential impact on material performance properties. Trinseo, with its unique blend of tra- ditional rigid and soft touch, its sustain- able materials platforms and solution ori- entation, is positioned to offer creative solutions to help customers achieve their sustainability objectives. For more information, go to www .trinseo.com.

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