Innovation Re-emerges In Kitchen and Bath Products

  • Rohl



    Larry A. Falke

    Handcrafted in Italy, the new line of sinks features a rounded, easy-to-clean bottom edge, zero-edge side walls, and an insulating undercoat that reduces sound. It also comes in a new copper finish that will never change, the company says.

  • Thompson Traders



    Part of the company’s Legacy Collection, the Baccus Tornasol partial drop-in or vessel-mount sink is made from 16-gauge, pure multi-colored copper. It measures 17 inches in diameter and 6½ inches deep.

  • The Murano Collection



    The manufacturer’s countertop system consists of two parts—the granite slab and a sink. The pre-fabricated, 2-centimeter slabs of 7-foot-long granite are already cut to countertop and island depth. The product uses a sectional system that reduces the fabrication and installation costs associated with granite countertops. The Modena kitchen system starts at $10 per square foot.

  • EnGrain Wood Countertops



    The fabricator specializes in highly custom wood countertops and islands. Almost any design is possible, and available species include ash, hickory, red elm, sapele, Lyptus, and zebra wood, among many others.

  • LSP Products Group



    The Pull Stop Box moves angle stops into the wall and takes the hassle out of angle stop installation. Installed behind the drywall, the outlet box has an escutcheon to conceal the valve so there are no stub outs or angle stops protruding from the bathroom wall. The knob controls the flow of water to the supply line by actuating the valve in a push or pull motion.

  • Muirsis



    The Cabrillo electronic, pull-down kitchen faucet offers hands-free operation, solid brass construction, ceramic disk cartridges, and a solid brass control panel for the hands-free feature, flow rate, and temperature. Priced at $2,350, it comes in chrome and satin nickel.

  • Niagara Conservation



    The Tri-Max aerator offers three pressure-compensating flow rates so home buyers may choose 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 gallons per flush with a simple turn. It’s constructed from Celcon plastic, a black turn dial, and solid brass with a polished chrome finish.

  • Tile Redi



    Redi Trench marries the manufacturer’s preformed, one-piece shower pans with an integrated trench (or linear) drain. As with the company’s other products, it’s impervious to water intrusion and inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. It can be used with any size base from 52 inches to 72 inches long.

It would be easy to presume that the products at the 2012 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show would follow the same continuum of the last four years or so—largely uninspiring offerings with only a handful of standouts. But that would be incorrect.

Though the show has shrunk from its pre-recession attendance numbers, it offered a surprising amount of cool products that showed manufacturers are still thinking up ways to make things better. While the show has a long way to go before it reaches the halcyon days of the housing boom when luxury and innovation ruled, a lot of manufacturers had a trick or two up their sleeves.

Companies introduced good looking, universally designed kitchen and bath products, accessible slide-out hardware for corner cabinets, easy-install farmhouse sinks, clever faucets, and cool appliances.

Rohl introduced a very popular stainless steel copper sink that was a huge hit at the show; The Murano Collection displayed a granite countertop system that can be installed for as little as $10 per square foot; and Niagara Conservation showed a simple aerator offering three pressure-compensating flow rates from 0.5 to 1.5 gallons per minute.

For photos of these and other innovative products we saw at the show, check out the slideshow.