A breakout year for new ideas
By Danielle Galian, The Wholesaler
KBIS 2016 went off without a hitch! The show is a spectacle with thousands of attendees chomping at the bit for the latest and greatest in kitchen and bath innovation. Following are some of the highlights from this year's show.
American Standard's Beale faucet was a stand out at this year's KBIS. This high-performance faucet features the Selectroniccapability, which reduces the risk of cross contamination with food. It comes in two finishes: polished chrome and stainless steel.
Brizo unveiled the Litze Bath Collection at their KBIS booth. With three distinctive handle options, a bent tube spout, a jointed wall-mount shower arm, and teak wood accents, this collection is eye-catching. The collection will be available in late 2016.
KohlerKohler's spotlighted their new Veil Intelligent toilet at KBIS, which offers smart functionality. Features include automatic opening/closing lid and flushing, integrated bidet functionality, and a stainless steel bidet wand offering warm cleaning water. Other features of the toilet include dual jets, a rimless bowl, and 1.28 and 0.8 gallon eco-flush options.
Viega had a residential focus at their booth. One of the first companies to bring press technology to PEX, Viega PEX for reclaimed water was a new addition spotlighted at KBIS. The offering is their answer to the national water shortage issue. The company also highlighted its full line of manifolds for good-better-best installation options at KBIS. Manabloc is the "best" of those options. It acts as an electrical box, like in the home, and can nearly double energy efficiency while cutting project time in half. Finally, radiant was also spotlighted through the focus on taking a system approach first and individual solutions approach second. Viega's radiant display showcased a wood panel installation versatility that could be built without variation to surface levels.
Mitsubishi Electric spotlighted its new multi-position solution PUZ pump system, which is ideal for multi-unit situations and can cool and heat multiple zones within a space. Also on display at the booth was the MSZFG wall air conditioning unit. A sensor in the unit can identify human body heat and react by directing air toward a person’s location.
Rinnai’s big KBIS unveil was its Wi-Fi box, which can be attached to its units in order to allow for monitoring via a mobile app. A highlight of the Wi-Fi offering is that Rinnai is not limiting the installer and contractor base that can use the service. Instead, end users can select a contractor or installer of their choosing after deciding on the Wi-Fi feature, and Rinnai will get the selected professional up to speed on the installation, service and maintenance functions. The offering will be available in March.
The condensing combi floor boiler was a highlight of the Bosch KBIS booth. Launched at beginning of the 2015 heating season, it has 96 percent efficiency and a smart control that is connected to the Internet. With this feature, real-time weather reports can be accessed and factored into the boiler's temperature adjustments. Both contractors and end users can monitor the boiler through a mobile app. The booth also showcased the robust nature of Bosch's offerings by spotlighting its latest in security, thermostats, power tools, and 3D printing.
The focus for Lubrizol at KBIS was messaging about the reliability of CPVC. To support the messaging, Lubrizol announced its re-engineered Builder Advantage Program that now features an increased warranty of 30 years. The company will be announcing new partnerships and research in the spring.
The big news on the fire protection side for Uponor at KBIS was the exposed listing for its fire protection system with UL. Now, PEX can be left exposed in unfinished basements, removing the requirement of sheet rocking and additionally reducing the sprinkler requirements. The company also announced at KBIS that it will release more simplified thermostat and control offerings in April.
The focus at this KBIS booth was its promotion of "CSA Meets UPC." Now, CSA Group is on board with UPC in addition to already aligning with the ICC and Canadian codes.
The unveil for Niagara Conservation at KBIS was the 0.8 gpm Stealth toilet. This offering is intended for applications such as hotels. Though a water-saving offering, the toilet still offers quality cleaning of the bowl through a vacuum push that allows for complete water coverage.
Grohe returned to KBIS after a short break from the show, and did so with some innovative offerings. The first was a foot sensor that controls sink on/off functionality. This helps with sanitary and ADA design needs. The second was Aquatunes, a wireless speaker that is attachable to shower bars. The speaker is the result of a partnership with Phillips in an effort to produce state-of-the-art sound quality in the bath space.
KBIS was the official launch spot for Navien's new NaviLink, which will be available at end of March for all their product lines. Through the new Wi-Fi control and mobile application, remote access will be available for all Navien tankless water heaters (NPE series), combi-boilers (NCB-E series) and gas-condensing boilers (NHB series). Smart phone and tablet owners will be able to control temperatures remotely, access usage data, receive diagnostic notifications, and remotely activate recirculation and scheduling.
Franke introduce the Chef Center, which comes with an all-inclusive sink and accessories, such as a colander, exclusive roller mat, drainer board, remote control drainer basket, and two compost bins. One of the bins has a removable bin, and the second one can be used for items such as sponges.
Modernity was everywhere at KBIS, especially at the Delta booth. This year, Delta unveiled the Zura bath collection inspired by geometric shapes. With this collection, the showerhead, inspired by a pendent light fixture, is ideal for the modern homeowner.
Introducing its latest in toilet innovation, TOTO displayed their $10,000 Neorest 750H toilet equipped with a bidet, dryer, heated seats, and temperature monitoring capabilities. The toilet was the highlight of their booth display.
The Sigma Series flush plates were a modern welcome to KBIS from Geberit. The plates' sleek design ensures not only a modern looking feel to any bathroom, but an economical one as well. With a water saving dual flush, this product is sure to please any homeowner.