KBIS Post Show Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts and observations I had after attending the KBIS show (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in Chicago on April 15th 2010.  First, let me start by saying this is the smallest KBIS show I have ever attended.  A true reflection of the state of the economy, specifically the building industry.  Gone were some of the larger suppliers such as Whirlpool/Kitchen Aid, and Sears among others who probably decided to rely on their strong ties to builders/remodelers and save their marketing dollars for another day.

There was an even larger contingent of Chinese based companies represented at the show.  Sadly several of those companies were there to show off  their  “knock off” faucets and fixtures.  I am sure available for quite a lower price, but forgive me for refusing to go down that road of purchasing those type of products.  What if something goes wrong with their product?  I refuse to purchase questionable products from companies that you may never hear from again.  If they want to show their true ingenuity, why don’t they create their own designs instead of sending scouts with cameras over to Kohler, Moen, Delta and other manufactures?  Look at how Chinese drywall turned out.  It’s the old adage you get what you pay for.

Enough of my rant.  On to what you really want to hear… the good stuff.

Top 5  new offerings from the show.

5.  Quartz Tops

We have been a big supporter of natural stone & granite but I will have to admit some of the newest offerings of Quartz tops offer  impressive new patterns and colors.  It was nice to see tops that looked real, not the miss-mash of chips epoxied together.  To borrow a quote, “We’ve come a long way baby!”

4.  Water Sense

Almost all plumbing manufactures have put a higher emphasis on the Water Sense program.  Many are now offering many of their standard and most popular lines in lower g.p.m.’s to conform to the Water Sense guidelines.  This is a must for those seeking higher levels of Green Certifications.  You can achieve similar levels of pressure and flush while utilizing less water.  More importantly, they are finding their way into some of the companies most popular designs.  You may not even know you are using a Water Sense faucet or fixture!

3.   Stone Vessels

We all know that vessel sinks have become popular at these shows, but what about a matching granite vessel to sit atop your granite top?  Pretty neat stuff.

2.  High Tech Appliances

Jenn Air displayed an impressive offering in technology with their new 4.3″ to 7″ full color LCD touch screen display for cooking.  The menus were beautiful and you could easily select from hundreds of pre-set cooking options to easily make gourmet meals.  They also feature a built-in convection oven conversion so you no longer have to guess how to adjust your baking for convection. Here is a short video about their new displays.  Video

1.  Shower options

Staying at the forefront of the plumbing world Kohler now offers a “Flipside” shower head.  It’s simple design allows you to simply spin the shower head over to change the type of spray.  It offers up to 4 different sprays out of one head.  They call them Kurrent, Koverage, Kotton, and Komotion. Link

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