Well, it has been a minute since we traveled to Las Vegas for the International Builders Show and Kitchen Bath Industry Show, otherwise known as IBS/KBIS. Bob and I made this trip in the first part of February. Then on the way back, I caught the virus and have been running behind ever since it seems. So I wanted to finally share a bit of the interesting and new things we saw at the show.
For those of you unfamiliar, this show is gigantic. I mean huge. There are typically over 100,000 people that attend this show each year. There are only two venues in the US that are large enough to host this show. One is in Las Vegas, and the other is in Orlando. So the show typically rotates between those two locations on a three-year cycle. Although I have heard rumors and rumblings of this changing in the future. Anyway, there is so much to see at this show that the first time you attend, it can be mind-boggling. I have been several times now, and I know I have yet to see it all. Granted, these days, our time at the show is very scheduled. But you still cannot help but be amazed at the magnitude of this event. So without any more hoopla, here are some of the highlights of the show this year.
This is some super cool wood product. They make cladding, decking, and custom saunas. The really interesting thing about this product is its process. They apply a heat/steam process to cure and treat the wood, which makes it like a “super wood”. Through their special proprietary process, the treated final product is rot-resistant, extremely durable, and dimensionally stable. Not to mention this stuff is gorgeous. They also have some really great systems for hanging the cladding and decking. Some of the newer fastening systems were quite inventive and allowed for a pure wood look in the final product. They are originally a European product and are making their way into the US. They also had a sauna in “The New American Home” that gets built each year for IBS/KBIS.
They are doing some amazing things with bathroom fixtures. Their new shower technology is impressive. The numerous ways they can control the water in a shower through their new Anthem control system is pretty cool. It can control temperature, flow, patterns, and steam if equipped. The new controls themselves are important upgrades over your standard shower controls. Also, they have several versions of “smart” toilets that are simply wild to me. I definitely understand the need and use for these toilets. I just find it crazy to have such intelligent toilets. and I mean that in a good way. They can do lots of good things with water consumption and data tracking. It is apparent that technology is invading every aspect of our daily lives. They also had a very impressive zero-edge bathtub, The Stillness soaking tub. It was a show stopper to be sure.
This company sells just about every piece of hardware imaginable. But one of the most impressive parts I saw at the show was their lighting system for millwork and cabinetry. It was a contact-based LED system, and it was so well integrated into the millwork. It disappeared and was also placed in such practical and useful locations. The system is a “wiring” of the millwork itself and allows for the utmost flexibility within a shelving system. Move the shelf, and you still have the proper light. It was sweet! As a former millwork shop tradesman, it just made me appreciate the entire system. They have these lighting systems down.
This is a German-based company that makes many types of equipment. They are most known in the US for their refrigerators. They have really mastered the task of integration with the millwork. The seamlessness of their products is so that they almost disappear into the rest of the kitchen. I think that is a great quality. They had a new “pantry” unit that was nice. While I do not have a pantry large enough for a refrigerator, I could totally see this as a secondary drink refrigerator. One of the salespersons told me it could hold X number of bottles of champagne. I do not recall the exact number, but it was plenty. Upon our discussion with the onsite reps, they are coming out of their supply chain issues now and have products more readily available.
This was just very nice kitchen cabinetry. This company is based in Germany, and they have several custom lines. They had a very nice setup and some very elegant solutions on display. I did not get to take the best photos of this booth, but it was all well-designed and well-crafted.
A few other photos below show the Think Wood booth. They had some very cool wood assemblies, and I just had to share. This is a group that promotes the use of wood products. They are a solid resource for information on all kinds of wood construction. They also allowed us to film an interview in this space with Sam Ebersol of Mid-Atlantic Timber Frames, so that is awesome as well. Just shows they are great people.
We finished up our trip on our last night at The New American Home. This is a house built for the show and is used as a type of showcase for many of the brands, first and foremost was the cabinet manufacturer Wood-Mode and the event we participated in that evening was at their invitation. This house build has been happening annually to coincide with the show since 1984. Our media partner SGC, the parent company of BD+C, is a big part of this project so we tend to get access to the house during special promotional events. This one was during the last night for us to be in town. The house always has some cool features, and it is nice to see some products in place. This one had a great view which was a nice end to the trip.
Until next time,