Elegant and Practical Seen at KBIS, Part 2

July 1, 2008
Part 2 of Contractor Magazine's coverage of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show held in April

Chicago — The annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show held here in April filled three halls at McCormick Place for the first time, so we needed to divide our coverage of KBIS products into two parts, starting in June and in this issue.

General Pipe Cleaners unveiled its Gen-Eye Spectra video inspection system. The system features a DVD recorder and a high-resolution 15-in. LCD monitor that offers a large, crisp, clear picture of the pipeline. With the system, the operator records the video of the inspection directly onto a DVD-R disc in real-time or on the built-in hard drive. The 160 GB hard drive can record up to 290 hours of inspection. The system also has a VIK keyboard for typing on-screen text, an on-screen distance counter, AC/DC power capabilities, a built-in microphone for voice recording and a variable light intensity control. The control unit comes in a rugged case.

E.L. Mustee and Sons unveiled its new Topaz premium fiberglass bathtubs. The tub features an apron supported by two molded fiberglass brackets and a structural ribbed bottom and sides to prevent sagging. The one-piece molded tub with matched metal molds fits a standard 30-in by 60-in. alcove and is available with an 8½ by 14¼ drain offset. The tubs also install to stud walls for either new construction or remodeling projects. The company also displayed its new Vector multi-task sink, which it says is ideal for bars, hobby, work or utility rooms. The sink features a recessed shelf, optional utility rack, compression molded deep gloss finish and a 13-in. depth.

Grohe introduced its new Ondus collection, the centerpiece of which is the AquaFountain, a shower system with wall-mounted and hand-held shower options. The AquaFountain combines spray with a waterfall cascade. Other faucets in the collection include the floor-mounted bath filler, deck-mounted five-hole tub filler and a three-hole basin mixer. Adding to the collection's visual differentiation are its original finish options, including VelvetBlack and high-gloss MoonWhite, which are two newly-designed, non-metallic finishes. The Grohe Rainshower and Jumbo Rainshower showerheads will also be available in the two new finishes.

Hansgrohe presented its new Skyline showerpanel, the height of minimalist design. The “vertical spa” features dual fold-away showerheads and footrest, flush-mounted body sprays and a cylindrical handshower. The Raindance showerhead uses the firm's proprietary air-injection technology that draws surrounding air into the showerhead and produces a spray with the sound and feel of rain. The shower panel incorporates a thermostatic mixing valve and two volume controls for diverting from the showerhead to the body sprays to the handshower. The anodized aluminum shower panel is shipped pre-plumbed for easy installation.

Runtal North America displayed its line of electric and hydronic towel warmer radiators. The European-style towel radiators are available in either self-contained electric models or hydronic models that integrate into a closed-loop forced hot water heating system. Model types and sizes allow for variations in heat outputs that enable a towel radiator to be a supplemental heater or to provide the sole source of heat for an entire room.

Myson Inc. brought along its bench radiator with a two-part laminated beech seat, specially designed feet and supports to hide all pipework and a thermostatic radiator valve. The radiator is available in 10 sizes up to 93-in. and features an output of up to 10,383 Btuh.

Portuguese fitting manufacturer Cifial introduced its Brookhaven L-Spout Series, which the company aptly describes as “statuesque.” The slender lavatory faucet has won design awards. The series is available in eight finishes ranging from polished chrome and aged brass, to distressed bronze and features a variety of lavatory faucets including the three-hole widespread, wall-mount and vessel bowl filler.

Mr. Steam introduced a new steamhead that features cooler surface temperatures, improved steam flow and quieter steam infusion. The rounded organic shape of the new steamhead allows for seamless integration into a bath or shower. The company supplies matching Mr.Steam in-shower controls and an Aromasteam aromatic oils system. The steamhead is available in a variety of finishes including polished chrome, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze and antique brass.

PF WaterWorks showed its PermaFLOW drain, which generates flow turbulence to self-clean the fixture. The system continually moves sediment downstream to prevent routine buildup. The drain clears clogs by means of a rotating paddle, while leaving the drain in-line. Unlike traditional P-traps, the drain is transparent for easy inspection. The drain also has a “green” alternative. Designed to operate with high-efficiency faucets to provide low water flow and smaller water volumes, PermaFLOW has five active functions to improve water conservation while removing debris to maintain flow.

Steam Radiators showed its Steamview Series of radiators made for both one-pipe and two-pipe systems. The Steamview features single-piece construction, continuous mounting and uniform fittings that allow the radiators to be piped six ways. The radiators have a 2½-in. profile and are available in two heights and five lengths.

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