The Kitchen & Bath/Builder's Show was a huge hit last week in Las Vegas. Manufacturers were talking about the packed aisles during all hours of the show, and attendees were talking about the new, innovative and stylist products showcased.
After seeing so many great products, I decided to come up with a list of my favorites and share it with you. If you were at the show please, e-mail me at [email protected], and let me know what your favorite Kitchen & Bath/Builder's products are.
For starters, Kohler had many new and innovative kitchen products at KBIS. The one that stands out for me is the new Undertone Preserve sinks.
"This new scratch-resistant surface is unlike anything on the market today," said Michael Marbach, marketing manager for Kohler kitchen products. "Kohler sinks that are treated with Preserve maintain their sheen throughout years of hard use."
The sinks are engineered to create a scratch barrier, protecting stainless steel and maintaining its pristine look. At the booth, there was a knife next to this sink. Kohler reps told attendees to scratch away to see the scratch barrier at work. Preserve is a factory-applied surface treatment that has the added benefit of scratch resistance while still wiping clean just as easily as any stainless steel sink.
Preserve is available in two sizes and styles of Kohler's popular Undertone sink family, including an extra-large/medium double bowl and a double equal bowl. These sinks are constructed of highly durable 18-gauge stainless steel, and feature the Kohler SilentShield sound-absorption system to sharply reduce unwanted noise from running water and disposals. The sink features a bottom bowl rack to provide a flat work surface in the sink basin. Optional accessories include a hardwood cutting board and countertop drainboard for added kitchen functionality.
Another one of my favorite products is the new Moen Brookshire kitchen faucet. It is one of the first pullout faucets to feature Moen’s innovative Reflex system, which offers self-retraction of the spray wand, as well as an exceptional range of motion, generous reach and secure docking retraction, helping to improve the user’s overall experience.
“Pullout faucets continue to grow in popularity,” said Andrea Conroy, director of wholesale marketing, Moen. “With Brookshire, consumers now have an option of a traditionally styled, lower profile pullout faucet that offers the right height, for both looks and functionality in the kitchen, as well as peace of mind of never having to worry about a dangling spray wand because of Reflex.”
The Brookshire has a teardrop-shaped handle and elegant rings on both the faucet spout and neck. Its lower profile spout not only enhances the faucet’s aesthetics, but offers just the right height to help fill large pots, reduce splashing and improve rinsing in and around the sink. Brookshire utilizes the Moen 1255 Duralast cartridge, which provides a consistently smooth handle feel and the highest levels of quality and durability for the life of the faucet. Flexible supply lines also allow for quick and easy installation.
Scotsman Ice Systems, the innovator of residential ice machines, showcased a new stainless steel residential gourmet ice machine, the DCE33. This new model replaces the previous DCE33 which had a black finish. This residential ice machine is 15-in. wide, produces 30 pounds of gourmet ice in 24 hours, and conveniently fits under the counter to complement any kitchen or home entertainment area. The sleek stainless steel appearance fits beautifully into any décor or can be installed with a custom wood front to match surrounding cabinetry.
Scotsman’s gourmet ice is crystal-clear, taste-free and odorless. We were able to sample the ice at the booth and it really is taste-free and crystal-clear. The large, slow-melting unique cubes won’t dilute the flavor of drinks when compared to standard refrigerator ice, making it the perfect ice for every occasion. With high capacity output and automatic shut-off, the DCE33 ensures parties and events are “kept on ice.” The DCE33 has a field reversible door and is available with a built-in drain pump to allow installation flexibility.
Favorite bath products, and more
Bootz Industries had a variety of its bathtubs on display. The Mapleleaf (Aloha AFR) has a modern functional recess design with straight front and straight tiling edges. It is a one piece construction of heavy gauge seamless steel with acid resistant porcelain enamel finish with a free-standing on full-length noise-absorbing/support pad, and is available in left or right hand with slip resistant bottom.
Easy to clean and maintain, the Bootz Aloha bathtub has a durable porcelain surface. Porcelain on steel bathtubs have a non-porous glass surface that resists scratching, chemicals, heat and bacteria growth. Plus, it is totally inorganic and environmentally friendly, fade proof, sanitary, flame proof, abrasion resistant, and corrosion resistant.
Another really neat product launched at the Kohler booth is its Tailored Vanity collection, a compilation of products that afford homeowners the ability to personalize their entire grooming space. Five vanity design styles with customizable options including drawer/door configurations, hardware, organizational accessories, color, finish, as well as countertops and sinks, are available.
"The goal of our new collection is to guide homeowners, whether on their own or with the assistance of a design professional, through the customization of their entire vanity space," said Jeff Mayerl, Kohler furniture product manager. "The program simplifies the process but still gets them what they want – a bathroom that reflects their own unique personal style."
Another favorite product at the Moen booth was a new collection of freestanding tub-filler faucets. Available in two of Moen’s most popular collections, freestanding tub-filler faucets will be offered in the traditionally styled Weymouth suite in both a wall-mount and floor-mount option. A floor-mount option will also be available in the modern Arris suite.
“Gone are the days of oversized whirlpool tubs,” said Michael Poloha, wholesale bath product manager, Moen. “Instead, today’s master bathrooms tend to feature freestanding tubs, often as a showpiece or focal point of the room. Our collection of freestanding tub-filler faucets adds the perfect finishing touch to a beautiful bath suite.”
The Weymouth tub filler features a hand shower with an antique design. The faucet is available with cross handles with porcelain inlays. For a more modern look, the Arris tub filler has distinctive styling and crisp, cylindrical, geometric shapes. Both are available in Chrome and LifeShine Brushed Nickel and offer an optimum flow rate for quick tub filling. For a coordinated and finished design, complete, perfectly matched bath faucet, shower and accessory collections are available with both the Weymouth and Arris suites.
It's not a stylish kithen and bath product, but on the Builders side of the convention center, Noritz America showcased a handful of new tankless water heaters. The company has expanded its ecoTOUGH and ValueSolutions tankless water heater series with three new models, offering several performance-enhancing advantages: a new, 12-year heat exchanger three times more durable in its ability to resist scale buildup; new scale-detection software that minimizes leaks by indicating when it’s time to de-scale (flush) the system; and a compact design with an integral readout window, permitting basic servicing without the need for a remote device. Located at the lower right of the front panel, the small display indicates flow rates, temperature and common error codes.
The neat thing about this product is the scale detection software alerts homeowners and service contractors of scale buildup. Thus, the units do not have to be flushed as often, only when there is scale builup, which increases the lifespan of these units.