From the looks of the packed aisles today, the Kitchen & Bath/Builder's Show is a success. Attendance numbers for the first day have not come out yet, but word has it that there are 80,000 to 100,000 attendees at the show.
One of the highlights of the show today for me was meeting Herbert Kohler Jr., Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Kohler Co., and David Kohler, president and COO of Kohler Co. Herbert Kohler Jr. has received more than 200 design and utility patents. The National Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame inducted Kohler Jr. in its founding year of 1989, followed by the National Housing Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2002, he was named National Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing. In April of 2006 he was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame. Because of all these accolades, Herbert Kohler Jr. will be featured in CONTRACTOR’s February issue as one of the most influential people in the plumbing and hydronics industry.
Also, while at the Kohler booth, Victoria Valdez of Kohler gave me and Robert Mader, editorial director, a tour of the newest products at Kohler. My favorite product is the new Undertone Preserve Sinks. These kitchen sinks are engineered to create a scratch barrier, protecting stainless steel and maintaining its pristine look.
“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.”
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. It keeps Kohler stainless steel sinks looking newer longer.
Another impressive kitchen product is Kohler’s Sweep Spray, a new “Blade-of-water” technology built into four models of Kohler kitchen faucets. This new innovation replaces circular pattern sprays with a wide, powerful blade of water.
“We are thrilled to introduce this leading-edge spray to those looking for powerful performance from their kitchen faucet,” said Sarah Fitzsimmons, product manager Kohler Kitchen Faucets. “This revolutionary spray gives the user more control that makes the mundane task of kitchen clean-up quick and easy.”
Sweep spray uses specially angled nozzles to create a forceful and uniform blade of water that slices through dirt and debris effortlessly. It provides precise water delivery that achieves superior results in cleaning dishes as well as sink basins and their edges and corners. This spray is introduced on four existing Kohler faucets: Cruette, Bellera, and Simplice with a three-function sprayhead: Sweep, aerated stream and pause; and the Sensate faucet with a two-function sprayhead: Sweep and aerated stream.
Another highlight of the show today was touring Moen’s booth. My favorite new products at their booth are the freestanding tub-filler faucets that are 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.”
Stay tuned for more Kitchen & Bath/Builder's Show coverage in print and online.