Almost a thousand exhibitors were on hand at the 2008 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Chicago to highlight the latest in innovative products designed for the kitchen or bath.
Solid surface materials such as Corian remain popular with products like i.FORMZ by Design Studio molding and cutting the versatile material into unusual shapes and patterns.
Countertops made from recycled glass by Vetrazzo are an eco-friendly option for kitchens and baths. They come in an assortment of bright colors from cobalt blue to firehouse red and are as durable as natural stone.
Solid glass countertops, sinks, and shower stalls from Renaissance Glass Works have opaque textured surfaces, sensor controls, and a built-in light channel to infuse the surface with a soft luminescent glow.
Some unique new kitchen appliances were on display, including the Evo Affinity circular cooktop that’s perfect for parties. It features dual heating zones surrounded by a spill tray to make clean-up easy.
The GE Profile single/double oven combines two ovens in one 30” wide space. Glass touch controls built directly into the doors eliminate wasted space. Siemens also employs user friendly controls in their cooktops, allowing the temperature to be changed simply by sliding a finger.
A sensor on the new cooktop from Thermador uses infrared light to monitor the temperature of pots to cut the heat off before they boil over and maintain a constant temperature. For those who prefer to cook with gas, Fisher & Paykel have a cooktop with burners and supports that retract flush with the surface to make cleanup a breeze.
The new trash compactor from Broan-Nutone includes a six month deodorizer that will keep your kitchen smelling fresh. They use 3,000 pounds of pressure to compress the trash and are available in standard and custom finishes.
The KBIS Design Idea Center showcased model kitchens and baths to demonstrate how all the various components work and harmonize together. The kitchen from Better Homes and Gardens featured a pullout utensil organizer, a wall surface made from colored glass wine and beer bottles, and a cabinet with translucent doors.
Innovative racks, drawers, shelves, and organizers were on prominent display at KBIS as well. These included Sensotronic drawers made by Grass America that open and close at a touch, and a pull through drawer from Häfele that can be accessed from either side of the cabinet.
A wall mounted stainless steel rail system from Franke allows various attachments to be moved about as needed.
Dual-flush toilets, such as those from Caroma save water by incorporating separate controls for liquid and solid waste. A new device from Brondell called Ecoflow allows most existing toilets to be converted to dual-flush.
Another innovative bathroom product is the Just Lift toilet seat from Leibfried, LLC with a sliding hinge that lifts up for easy cleaning.
Faucets and Plumbing
The single lever kitchen faucet from Delta turns on and off simply by touching the neck, while one from Price Pfister has a flow adjustor built into the swiveling nozzle.
Innovations were evident under the sink as well, like PermaFLOW from PF WaterWorks, a clear P-trap that allows you to easily see a clog and come equipped with a rotating paddle for easy cleaning.
There were several unique bathroom sinks on display, including this sink made from solid bamboo.
Brightly patterned glass sinks from Wells Sinkware make a bold fashion statement.
If you want to convert your kitchen or bath to stainless steel for a fraction of the cost, consider coating appliances, fixtures, and hardware with Thomas’ Liquid Stainless Steel. It’s 100% stainless steel that can be brushed or sprayed on surfaces.
There were so many innovative new products at KBIS that we just couldn’t include them all. Here are some other items of interest:
- Drawer Box Specialties Corner Drawer System
- Gaggenau Lift Door Microwave
- Custom ceramic tile from JEM Expressions
- Water Dance Baths by Jetta
- Stone sinks by John Stone Fixtures
- Linkasink custom sinks
- Handcrafted copper sinks and tubs by Native Trails
- Tub/sauna from NeoQi Balance
- Silestone quartz countertops
- Suzanne Crane Fine Stoneware
Other Tips From This Episode
Often steel screws are used to attach the toilet seat lid to the hinge which can rust over time and leave annoying stains on both the lid and toilet bowl. To keep this from happening, try this tip. Fill the screw holes in the toilet seat lid with tub and tile caulking when you install a new toilet seat. Then use a putty knife to level the caulking and allow it to harden before closing the lid.
The Evolution line of kitchen waste disposers from InSinkErator increases grinding power while reducing noise up to 60%. The Excel model features three separate grind stages to handle difficult waste like corn husks and rib bones. A special Jam-Sensor automatically increases motor torque to handle the toughest problems. InSinkErator Evolution garbage disposals are available at The Home Depot.
Payback on Kitchen Remodeling
What kind of payback can I expect to get on a kitchen remodel? -Deb from Maine
The return on your investment when remodeling your kitchen is dependent on a number of factors including the current real estate market, local property values, and the extent of your remodel. You’ll usually see a greater return on a more modest project—such as replacing your appliances, countertops, flooring, and sink—than on a major renovation that requires tearing out walls and replacing cabinets.
The national average rate of return for a minor kitchen remodel is 83% while a major kitchen renovation is 5% less. To check the rate of return for various home improvement projects in your area, go to Cost vs. Value.