PM Managing Editor Kelly Faloon reports live from the 2007 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.




K/BIS Day One at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Greetings From Las Vegas!

Amidst all the neon and “ding-ding-ding” of the slot machines, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show began its first day at the Las Vegas Convention Center. First off, let me tell you that the convention center is not an easy place to get around, and the layout on the show floor is not the most intuitive. But we plug on so we can see the latest and greatest our industry manufacturers have brought to show us.

 

  • My first stop of the day was to the Everpure booth. The company has several new products to show this year, most notably its whole-house water ultrafiltration system (HSD-440P unit). This system is currently in the process of getting certifications to remove viruses and bacteria from a home’s water supply. The company is also introducing a combo heated and chilled water unit, and a water filtration system just for gourmet coffee and espresso makers. The company also has rewritten its instruction manuals to make it even easier to install its products.

    But the star of the show seems to be what Everpure calls “the new bubbly” - the Exubera combination chilled/carbonated water dispenser. Booth visitors are treated to samples of Italian soda - carbonated water and flavored syrup - to test out the new product.



  • Top: A red bath vanity from Italian company Latoscana. Middle: A red airbath tub from Aquatic. Bottom: Alson's new red showerhead.

    Bet On Red

  • Next was a trip to the Alsons booth. The In2ition is still a big seller there, and the company is really going after the green audience as it now has a new “green” logo to highlight the Fluidics technology that is part of the In2ition line. The company also was showing a new color in its showerheads - red. Now, this reporter used to have a red/black/white bathroom, so I thought it was pretty interesting. Today, I have small red appliances in the kitchen, and that’s where Alsons has taken the idea.

    But that wasn’t the only company showing red in bathroom fixtures. I also saw a red airbath tub from Aquatic, and a neat, red bath vanity with white vessel sink from Italian company Latoscana.



  • The 'Green' House Wins

  • Rinnai recently received ASME certification on one of its units. Not much new there, but 2008 may see some new product from this tankless water heater company. 
  • Uponor is also at the show - it’s expanded some of its plumbing lines. Uponor is going through a transition period with its new name and recent management changes, but I was told to expect big things from the company in 2008. 
  • I attended a mini-seminar put on by the National Kitchen & Bath Association regarding green design. Architect Robert Blakeman talked about some of the recent green design projects he has worked on, including what he called an urban adaptive reuse project in New York, where things like green roofs and geothermal heating and cooling helped to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent. He noted that the market has changed in green building, partly due to the fact that Wall Street has now embraced it.

     

    He also discussed how to design sustainable bathrooms and kitchens - radiant floor heat is definitely a component of the green home. Here are some of his tips for sustainable bathroom design:

    • Provide good exterior light
    • Use low-flow fixtures/1.6 gpf
    • Operable windows
    • Good ventilation
    • Use solar hot water system
    • Install radiant heating in floor
    • Use tankless water heater
    • Avoid cabinets with particle board
    • Use sustainable harvested woods
    • Use green countertops
    • Use recycled glass, ceramic flooring
    • Use safe cleaning products
    • Use low-voltage lighting


  • PM Sales Rep Jean Eslick takes the Rheem EZ-Link challenge. The fastest time at the show will win a Rheem tankless water heater and installation.

  • A visit to the Rheem booth saw demonstrations of its EZ-Link cable for connection of tankless water heaters. Actually, it’s a contest - whomever has the best time will win a Rheem tankless water heater, as well as the installation. Several people made the attempt while I was there, including our own Jean Eslick. In addition to the EZ-Link, Rheem has new sizing software available for its tankless water heaters, as well as a tankless installation video available for download on its Web site.


  • Spa Experience For This Show-Girl

    For some of us media types, the culmination of the first day of the show is the Moen Spa Press Event. Each year at K/BIS, Moen invites the media to an off-site location (this year at the Las Vegas Country Club) to enjoy shoulder/neck massages, foot massages, parafin wax treatment for the hands, and this year, beauty makeovers. All this plus food and drink - my favorite being the chocolate fountain. It’s a great way to end the first day of the show - too bad they don’t offer that treatment every day of the show!

    Stay tuned for more products and demos from K/BIS in Vegas...

    Kelly Faloon, Managing Editor, PM