Correction: A previous version of this story listed Beko’s dishwashers as being made with recycled bottles. It is actually their clothes washers that are.
The annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is always a great event for checking out the latest products and trends in the residential building, design and remodeling spheres. That show happened last week in Las Vegas, and its annual Best Products awards, announced on February 1, are a window into what specifiers are excited about. Many of this year’s winners, chosen by a panel of five respected designers, reflected the latest in wellness and sustainability innovations, as well as what’s likely to show up in your next home update.
Bathroom Wellness and Sustainability
The top bathroom-specific award, Best of KBIS – Bath Gold, went to Italian manufacturer S.G. SRL for its inFINE Column Shower. Designed for pool baths, spas and other outdoor applications, this sleek setup extends design possibilities for a wide range of wellness-enhancing spaces.
The Silver award went to Kohler’s recycled tile initiative, WasteLAB, for its new ABSTRA Collection. Tile is a durable, low-maintenance material that is especially popular for bathroom spaces and an absolute wellness design selection. This collection has a nature-inspired palette, adding to its biophilic appeal.
Creating tiles from recycled toilets in the 150 year old manufacturer’s processes and keeping that material out of landfills, makes it a sustainable option as well.
Kitchen Wellness and Sustainability
The Best of KBIS – Kitchen Gold went to a workstation sink from an Atlanta area manufacturer. The Baveno Kitchen Sink System by Bocchi uses a granite composite material known for its heat, stain and scratch resistance, adding to the functionality facet of wellness design. Also contributing to functionality is the set of accessories that come with the workstation that make it prep- and cleanup-friendly. This style of kitchen sink, also called chef sink, has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Kitchen Silver went to an innovative ventilation product from Fotile, a manufacturer based in China. The Insert Self-Adjusting Range Hood will automatically sense smoke and descend to the proper height to maximize capture. When used with a Fotile cooktop, it will automatically start ventilating, an increasingly popular smart feature seen in recent years.
Smart Home Wellness and Sustainability
The Best of KBIS – Connected Home Technology Gold went to an outdoor product this year. Moen’s Smart Sprinkler Controller and Smart Wireless Soil Sensors are engineered to let your sprinkler system irrigate your yard when it needs water and turn off the sprinklers when it doesn’t. This can save both your lawn and water bill, definitely enhancing your home’s sustainability.
The Best of KBIS – Connected Home Technology Silver award went to GE Profile’s 36-inch Touch Control Induction Cooktop. Induction cooktops enhance both wellness and sustainability. The smart features in the mid-priced Profile brand ease the transition to induction with guided cooking functionality. With an app and smart pan, the user chooses the recipe and starts cooking without guesswork. The cooktop also offers more comprehensive temperature control than just low, medium, high options – giving the home chef more of the performance level professional chefs expect in their induction models.
There were other awards given at KBIS worth noting. The show features a small KickStarter Zone of small companies seeking wider sales and distribution for kitchen and bath products. The Grand Prize Winner was an under-sink composting system by Sepura Home. This model replaces a garbage disposal and keeps food scraps (and their odors) contained until the homeowner is ready to take the removable compost bucket to a curbside green bin for municipal pickup, or add to an outdoor compost bin. With California implementing mandated composting, this under-sink system will be a boon for conveniently processing and storing food waste. It definitely enhances one’s sustainability at home.
KBIS’ owner, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, sent its current class of Thirty Under 30 industry professionals across the show floor to choose their favorites. These Millennials and Gen Z kitchen and bath specialists gave their awards to kitchen sink, faucet and accessory maker Kraus USA for sustainability, GE Profile for smart home integration, GE’s luxury appliance brand Monogram for living in place (i.e., universal design, aging and accessibility) and Brondell, known for bidets, and air and water filtration products, for wellness.
KBIS has a ‘people’s choice’ award as part of its DesignBites segment, a speed-dating style round-up of hot new products. Called the “Brand With the Biggest Bite,” this year’s honor went to appliance maker Beko, a subsidiary of a Turkish-based global manufacturer, which promotes both sustainability with its clothes washers made using recycled bottles and wellness with its produce nutrient-protecting refrigerator technology. Last year, the brand debuted a lighting system that promised to keep produce fresh for up to 30 days. This year, they upped the freshness power with a circadian-style lighting system that protects your fruit and vegetables’ nutritional value.