Dear Ed: We’re planning a kitchen makeover and I’m including a cast-iron kitchen sink in the plans. My husband says he wants a new sink type because his grandmother had a cast-iron sink. Are cast-iron sinks considered trendy?

— Beth, Connecticut

Dear Beth: Cast-iron kitchen sinks are not only trendy; they’re also considered a green choice by many. Recycling is important to the green industry, and most of today’s new cast-iron sinks do contain recycled materials. Three more reasons why I like cast iron kitchen sinks are:

1. Strength. Cast iron handles the workload, even if you drop large items like a pot into the sink.

2. Finish. Cast iron is also scratch-resistant and available in rich colors.

3. Features. Some cast-iron sinks offer low bowl partitions so a pan can sit flat in the sink. This feature is called a “smart divide” and helps make cast iron a smart choice for any kitchen sink.

Hi Ed: My husband and I would like to install a rain-head shower in our existing tub area. We’re into saving water and want to know if they make water-saving rain-style showerheads? If so, what features should we look for?

— Jean, Massachusetts

Dear Jean: Combining good performance with water efficiency is an important goal for today’s plumbing industry.

Even though water flow standards are set for plumbing fixtures, some fixtures may even be more efficient than local standards require. So first look for a rain showerhead that meets or beats your local water use codes.

A nice performance feature you can look for in any style of showerhead is called air-induction technology. Air-induction mixes air and water together in the showerhead to produce a refreshing and efficient shower experience.

Finally, some rain showers even feature easy-to-clean spray nozzles to help avoid a storm of water flow issues.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit or write

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