Among all the fixtures, faucets, plumbing and potties at KBIS — the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show — there are some noticeable trends. As I filtered through all the kitchen and bathroom commotion in Las Vegas this week, here are the three trends that stood out:
Though it always sounds a bit ridiculous at first, there is no denying that digital technology is changing this industry dramatically. Though high-end toilets that play music and remember your "bulk waste habits" are on the more silly side, temperature control and conservation settings will no doubt become more commonplace.
• ioDigital - Moen
Moen's digital showering system allows consumers to digitally control temperature and flow with precision. Available with their shower, tub and vertical spa collections of faucets and hardware.
• DTV Prompt Shower System - Kohler
Kohler's new simpler and more affordable digital shower option for consumers who want precise control on temperature, conservation settings and ease of use.
• Washlet B100 - TOTO
TOTO adds to their popular Washlet series of technologically advanced toilets and toilet seats with the introductory level Washlet B100. With basic features like warming, washing and unique shape that fits almost any standard toilet, it is sure to increase the popularity of Japanese toilet technology.
• Numi Toilet - Kohler
Kohler's most technologically advanced toilet, the Numi is "the finest in personal comfort and cleansing" and features motion activation, bidet, air dryer, heater, deodorizer, touch screen remote, music docking station, presets and a tankless sleek and compact design. See also "Hands-On" With the $6,400 Kohler Numi Toilet.
RETROFIT & RENOVATE
The kitchen and bath industry is responding to the needs of the thousands of homeowners and urban renters who wish to upgrade their existing homes. These products make retrofit and renovation easier with standard sizing and smart solutions to make DIY even easier (if that's the route you choose).
• Robern's R3 Series
A new standard in medicine cabinets the new entry-level line from Robern features Beveled or Plain mirror options in 7 standard sizes — ideal for retrofitting and upgrading existing medicine cabinets and mirrored cabinetry — they're designed to replace existing standard medicine cabinets but with high-end features that include 1" flange to hide gaps, paint lines or any wall imperfections, anodized aluminum construction, 3 mirror construction (exterior door, interior door and interior back) and slow-close hinges.
• M•PACT Common Valve System
"Moen's M•PACT valve makes it easier to upgrade the style of the bathroom without replacing any faucet plumbing. A common-valve design allows for a quick faucet change within minutes: simply unscrew the handles and spout, lift them out and replace with the new style."
• Vault and Whitehaven Sinks These 2 new short apron front sink models from Kohler are available in a slim 7" apron option that allows you to retrofit an existing industry standard 36" sink with a modern farmhouse sink (stainless or cast iron) into your existing standard cabinetry. With this option, the sink is still 9 inches deep, but the apron is shortened to fit a standard sink base cabinet.
MORE RETROFIT & RENOVATE
• Grohflex by Grohe — "a new universal valve system that
accommodates the full spectrum of shower applications - from a basic tub-shower setup to a multi-
function custom shower."
TRANSITIONAL / CONTEMPORARY
Nearly every vendor I spoke with talked about their newest designs that were destined to be in high-demand due to their strategic aesthetic that was a nod towards traditional but just modern enough to appeal to today's consumers. While I personally prefer more modern and edgy design (Kohler's Toobi comes to mind), these collections will appeal to the masses and are attractive to a wider range of consumers.
•90° Bathroom Collection
Sleek contemporary bathroom faucets, fixtures and accessories that finds the perfect place between traditional and modern.
• Treshem Bathroom Suite
A full range of options from Kohler for a neo-traditional bathroom — everything from toilets, sinks, vessels and bathroom cabinetry that is stylishly contemporary without being too modern.
• Aimes Soaking Tub - TOTO
Adding to the existing Aimes suite, TOTO chose a rectangular and angular tub design to meet that not-too-modern consumer.
MORE TRANSITIONAL / CONTEMPORARY
• Silas Faucet Collecton by TOTO
Images: provided by vendors