More than 44,000 kitchen and bath industry professionals attended the 2007 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas last May, viewing more than 1,000 exhibits.
One of the most amazing sights was a one-of-a-kind vessel made from a single solid piece of lapis on display at the Decolav booth. The lapis was mined out of Afghanistan and a spokesman for Decolav said it was one of the largest pieces mined there.
At the Hansgrohe booth, products designed for the company’s Axor Massaud line featured organic forms inspired by nature. For example, a robe hook appeared to have tree branches and a floor-stand towel rack was shaped like a tree. A showerhead provided a waterfall. Another piece was shaped like a blade of grass. French designer Jean-Marie Massaud created more than 60 components and accessories for this collection, including washbasin mixers, bathtub fittings, soap baskets, a flower vase, a toilet brush holder and a molded mineral washbowl.
Danze expanded its organic-inspired collections with its bamboo-styled South Sea lavatory faucet and the gently curving Antioch collection for the tub and shower.
Dornbracht’s new Elemental Spa series of cube-shaped bathroom faucets and fittings included fixtures that created diamond-like reflections in the cascade of water from the white DuPont Corian® that housed the Dornbracht fittings.
At the Delta Faucet Co. booth, showerheads with H20 kinetic technology shaped and delivered water in a manner that would enhance the user’s experience while conserving water. The technology resulted from a partnership between Bowles Fluidics Corp. and Delta Faucet. The water is oscillated for a nice, even flow. The technology controls the size and velocity of the drops of water.
A faucet at the Hansa booth delivered a braided stream of water. The Hansa2day showerhead can provide a shower or waterfall effect.
Danze presented a faucet that created a ribbon flow of water.
Some manufacturers focused more on the fixture delivering the water. At the VitrA booth, a group of showerheads shaped like a honeycomb was mounted above a tub.
For those who prefer a bathroom with a toilet discreetly hidden beneath a sitting bench, Villeroy & Boch offered its City Life Smart Bench. It looks like a simple wooden bench, but when you lift the lid, there is a toilet seat. Adjacent openings in the base of the bench house a drop-in roll of toilet paper and a cleaning brush.
Beyond this, exhibitors unveiled new finishes; quieter, more energy-efficient and conservation-oriented fixtures; innovative designs; and a continued focus on in-home spas and the Minimalist look.
Fabulous Finishes, New MaterialsAlsons introduced showerheads in Venetian bronze, oil-rubbed bronze and a bright red.
At the Porcher booth there was a bright red tub and showerhead tying in to the trend of red appliances.
Jeeves Heated Towel Rails and Amba Towel Warmers, constructed of stainless steel, showed finishes such as polished stainless steel and oil-rubbed bronze.
Both Delta Faucet Co. and Basco Shower Doors displayed products with a brushed bronze finish. Danze presented a distressed bronze finish and brushed stainless steel.
Moen introduced both brushed bronze, a soft-textured, warm and golden finish available on its Icon™ collection, and antique bronze, for an Old World look with a golden base and a blend of black undertones. The antique bronze is featured on Moen’s traditional-styled Kingsley™ collection.
BLANCO showed stainless steel sinks with a new finish -satin - which it says does not spot or fingerprint and is impervious to calcium buildup.
Graff introduced its Steelnox finish, which it claims is “fingerprint free.” Its matte Steelnox looks like brushed nickel.
At the TOTO booth, black nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and a rose bronze finish were featured.
VitrA presented its new Water Jewels bathroom collection by industrial designer Matteo Thun. These uniquely created counterware items and bathtubs, among other bathroom amenities, are made from alternative materials, including wood, marble, solid stone and glass.
Houzer displayed its Hammerwerks Collection of hand-hammered copper and pewter sinks. Lavatory sinks are offered in lustrous pewter or antique copper in various shapes and configurations: round, ellipse, fluted, conical. Some are decorated with a border of grapevines, stars or fleur di lis.
Conserving ResourcesA number of companies unveiled faucets, showerheads and/or toilets with water-conserving properties.
Alsons Fluidics spray uses a chip technology to manipulate the size and shape of the water droplets. This enables the homeowner to have a great-feeling shower while saving water and energy, the company said.
Delta said its H20 Kinetic showerhead provides a 1.6-gallon per minute water flow vs. the more typical 2.5 gallons per minute, but because of the oscillation of the water, it still feels like a solid sheet of water falling.
Moen introduced its Water Saving showerhead that has a flow of 1.75 gallons per minute, a 30% water savings from the industry standard. Spray formers in the showerhead concentrate the flow of water. This showerhead allows builders to receive maximum points for water reduction under the LEED rating system, the company said.
VitrA displayed its 1.2-gpf gravity-flush high-efficiency toilet, which is part of its EverGreen line.
At the Kohler booth, Sterling introduced the Stanton dual-flush toilet, which is EPA WaterSense listed. Users can choose between two water levels for every flush - 1.6- or 0.8-gallon water consumption - which can save an average family of four up to 6,000 gallons of water per year, the company said. It features a flapperless valve and trapway design to maximize the force of gravity for one-flush operation and a siphonic washdown system to thoroughly clean the bowl.
Shower PowerLasco Bathware introduced a 72-inch wide shower pan that allows for two-person use and can accommodate a full spa-like shower system with two showerheads. Features include a high-gloss, non-porous acrylic surface; back center drain location and moat design for a clean-looking floor surface; and a unique drainage system that lets the water flow over the edge of the floor surface into the “moat,” then around the perimeter to the back of the pan and into the drain.
Moen offered a new square showerhead as part of its new Divine™ kitchen and bath collection from ShowHouse® by Moen®. The Divine shower package includes a square-shaped 7-inch rainshower showerhead with Immersion™ technology for optimal rinsing power and increased coverage.
Danze introduced 10 distinctive styles of showerheads. Its 300 series offers new shapes with powerful sprays. The 8-inch, double-plated Danze 350 and 360 showerheads channel water for maximum force and coverage. The 6-inch Danze 300, 310 and 315 showerheads have a slim profile with a more minimalist look while still providing a luxurious spray.
Shapes, Sizes And Special EffectsTOTO introduced the Lexicon Collection Designs I & II, square above-counter lavatory vessels that are both distinctive and contemporary. They feature angular exteriors with softly rounded interior corners and generous curves. The perfectly square Design I has a minimalist look. The sophisticated, self-rimming Design II is slightly rectangular in shape.
Briggs unveiled 13 new vessels at the show, in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Jacuzzi added another option for its Duetta and Elara tubs. In addition to the jetted whirlpool or combination salon spa versions, now they also are offered in a PureAir™ edition that uses an 800-watt, variable-speed heated air blower to create fine warm bubbles comparable to champagne for a soothing experience.
In addition, Basco introduced its Preceria shower door that features a slightly curved door and a solid, elliptical-shaped header that suspends 1.5 inches over the door and attaches to it via clips. The 75-inch-tall door is equipped with an oversized 8-inch elliptical-shaped pull handle and is centered between two panels. The Preceria is 5/16-inch thick and swings both in and out.
Jacuzzi unveiled a 1/4-inch frameless curved glass shower door in sleek tempered glass, available in four standard sizes, with chrome or brushed nickel trim.
KWC showed Eve kitchen faucets with Luminaqua® light technology. A stream of water passes through a circle of light. Featuring a single side lever and Neoperl® pullout spray, it is offered in chrome or stainless steel.
Geberit demonstrated its concealed tank and carrier system that mounts the toilet on the wall instead of the floor and enables the positioning of components in any part of the bathroom while concealing the functional components.
Also, Jason showed tubs with “sound immersion” that enable the bather to hear and feel the music. It’s available in tubs that are more than 36 inches wide. In addition, the tub wall is designed for lumbar comfort.
Exceptionally quiet but powerful food waste disposers were demonstrated by InSinkErator. Five new disposers in the Evolution PRO Series™ line feature MultiGrind™ and SoundSeal™ technology that can grind virtually any food waste with significantly reduced noise.
K/BIS 2008 will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, April 11-13.