KBIS Bath Report: 9 New Products That You Need to Know

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

As promised, we continue our coverage of some of the best products we saw at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) last week. Today’s report is all about the bath, from a high-efficiency toilet that rarely needs brush cleaning to stylish tiles and shower doors.

Ann Sacks: Maven

KBIS marked the debut for three tile and stone collections created by interior designer Kelly Wearstler, one of which was the Maven ceramic series. Comprising 11 tiles, Maven references some of Wearstler’s iconic designs while employing both modern and ancient processes: screen-printing and the centuries-old dry line technique of cuerda seca hand-glazing. The eight-inch-square tiles are offered in a choice of 30 field colors with gray or black patterning, though a white-on-white colorway is also available. In addition to bathroom walls, the tiles are well-suited to kitchen backsplashes, fireplace surrounds and light-traffic floors.

Coastal Shower Doors: Gridscape

This shower-door line takes cues from attractive regular door designs such as the classic grid reminiscent of French doors and the stacked-panel look. Its new generation, GS2, was unveiled at KBIS to show off soft-close functionality and elimination of either a floor track or wall jamb. The doors can be surface- or flush-mounted and come in chrome or black anodized aluminum finish with clear, satin-etched, laminated, textured, patterned or smoke gray glass. Also added to the series is the GS4 Mondrian Edition, aptly named for the modern artist whose famous paintings inspired the design.

C.R. Laurence: Victoria

A beautifully modern shower-door hinge, Victoria is also a workhorse, supporting frameless glass doors weighing up to 140 pounds and spanning up to 39 inches wide with only two hinges. The square-edge fitting achieves this feat with an integrated stiffening beam that minimizes clamping plate flex and allows for exceptional self-centering. Victoria is designed for use with 10- or 12-millimeter-thick glass.

Grohe: F-Digital Deluxe

A new family of shower products, F-Digital Deluxe provides a multi-sensory spa-like experience using light, sound or music, steam and different water distributions. It comprises ceiling showerheads, body-spray units, built-in audio speakers, color-changing light modules and steam generators, all of which sport a clean, minimalist aesthetic and can be controlled via Bluetooth on a smartphone with the Grohe F-Digital Deluxe App. Homeowners or designers can specify which component combinations work well for their shower spaces and budgets.

Kallista: Pina Paletta

Interior designer Laura Kirar returns for a second collaboration with Kallista on a bath line that embodies sophistication. Called Paletta, it consists of brassware, a freestanding tub and marble console sink. Within the collection, Pina Paletta offers widespread lavatory faucets, showering components and accessories such as towel bars that boast simple, streamlined forms with plume-inspired artisan accents. Finishes include polished chrome, nickel silver, nickel silver with antique silver accents, antique bronze and unlacquered brass, though custom finish options are also available.

Kohler: Sartorial

This jewel of a sink is ornate yet subtle at the same time. Part of the Artist Edition line, the Sartorial collection consists of three base shapes — Carillon Round and Rectangular Wading Pools and Caxton 17-by-14-inch undermount — that are emblazoned with a slightly raised, white-on-white paisley or herringbone pattern.

Moen: Magnetix Hand Showers

As the name hints, Magnetix integrates a powerful magnetic dock for easy and quick securing and releasing of the hand shower, even by a child and with one’s eyes closed. This simple, practical snap-on feature could be a game changer particularly for aging-in-place and accessible design, as users with limited arm movement — whether due to age, injury or other reasons — could potentially manage a hand shower with Magnetix. Aesthetically, this design eliminates the clunky cradles often seen on other hand-shower units. Magnetix showerheads, which are EPA WaterSense-certified, offer six spray options controlled either by dial or push button and a choice of chrome or Spot Resist brushed nickel finish.

Robern: Balletto

Anyone who knows bath products is well aware that Robern is an expert when it comes to marrying style with function and customization in the bathroom. This newly launched console sink only helps solidify the brand’s reputation in this regard. Inspired by the legs, balancing and pointe work of a ballerina, Balletto’s legs are long, lean and tapered much like a stiletto heel and come in chrome, brushed nickel or brushed black finish. (The latter of these finishes is an indication that, as spotted throughout the show, black may indeed be back in kitchen and bath design right now.) But Balletto is also about function: space typically lost to undermount sinks is reclaimed by innovative tip-out drawers on the sides and a smart plumbing drawer in the front; optional accessories such as towel bars and magazine holders are available, as well; a convenient 110-volt in-drawer outlet allows for safer use of grooming tools such as hair dryers; and the vanity is fitted with LEDs to provide a soft night light. Face panels can be specified in any of 13 decorative glass finishes.

TOTO: MH Wall-Hung High-Efficiency Toilet

The elegant MH Wall-Hung toilet packs a lot of punch in such a compact, space-saving package. First, it features TOTO’s CeFiONtect nanotechnology glaze, which seals the porcelain with an ionized barrier. Thus, the surface is extra slick and nonporous, repelling both visible and invisible waste for a better clean. Secondly, it boasts TOTO’s Dual-Max 3D Tornado Flushing System, which releases water in a spinning, cyclone-like motion to effectively remove debris, stains, residue and lime-scale. Yet the dual-flush model is also super efficient: WaterSense-labeled, it consumes only 1.28 gallons per flush for solid waste and 0.9 gallons per flush for liquid.