You may not “need” a $10,000 toilet, but once you’ve experienced a Toto Neorest 750H, you will aspire to own one. I spent the week at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which is presented in conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and it was awesome! The $31 billion kitchen and bath industry brings together the world’s best designers, craftspeople and technologists in ways that truly impact our daily lives – up to and including high-tech toilets that keep your bottom warm and clean and practically clean themselves. Here are six things that got my undivided attention.
1 – Toto Neorest 750H
Yes, that’s me staring into a $10,000 toilet. All kidding aside, the engineers at Toto have taken toilet technology to a whole new level. The Neorest 750H has several remarkable features. There’s an integrated UV light in the lid that combines with a special glaze to help break down organic material. It automatically rinses the bowl with antibacterial electrolyzed water, and the results are an almost self-cleaning toilet. Then, there are the fun features like the heated seat, deodorizer and warm water sprays – which require a detailed explanation that I will not provide here.
2 – 3D-Printed Faucets from DXV by American Standard
I’m a big fan of 3D printing (additive manufacturing) and the practically infinite manufacturing opportunities it empowers. You can 3D print in almost any material. Designer Jean-Jacques L’Henaff from LIXIL Water Technology has teamed up with American Standard to demonstrate the power and potential of the art form. Today, this is an objet d’art, the only advantage is the 3D-centric design. But soon, this technology will be pervasive and it is likely have a dramatic impact on the way we shop (and manufacture) kitchen and bath hardware. While these 3D-printed faucets cost approximately $19,000 in stainless steel, for $50 more you can print them in titanium. Who wouldn’t want a 3D-printed titanium faucet for $19,050?
3 – Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill
If you are a true grill master or just a weekend family griller, you will lose your mind when you see the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill in action. It allows you to use any combination of gas, wood and charcoal to create the perfect fire at the perfect temperature for anything you might want to grill. The wood/charcoal drawer makes refueling easy, and the grill is engineered to be very easy to clean. I am a particular fan of the different types of grates (meat, fish, veggies) that are available. I was hugely impressed by the entire line of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s products, but the Hybrid Fire Grill just made me smile.
4 – Monogram Indoor Pizza Oven
When you grow up in New York, pizza is a staple food. Over the years, gourmet pizza recipes have come into their own, and nowadays you can put anything on a pizza crust and call it a pizza. Purists and adventurers alike will instantly fall in love with the Monogram Indoor Pizza Oven. This wall-mounted indoor oven takes only 25 minutes to reach 725 degrees Fahrenheit (the correct temperature for gourmet pizza). Then, you’re two minutes away from all the amazing pizza combinations you can concoct. You may be put off by the $9,900 price tag – but great pizza is worth it!
5 – MoistureShield® Composite Decking
I don’t think I was prepared for the state-of-the art in composite decking material, and I was beyond impressed by what some of the world’s best designers were capable of doing with it. In practice, you can use composite decking materials just as you would use wood. MoistureShield is a green product using 95 percent recycled material, and the company’s non-capped products look and feel better than almost everything else I’ve seen. While MoistureShield has competition from Trex®, TimberTech®, EverGrain® and Fiberon®, MoistureShield’s price, performance and warranty make it stand out.
6 – Boral Versetta Stone®
Cultured stone veneers have been around for a long time. Most products require extremely talented professionals to install them, and as far as aesthetics are concerned, only you can judge – it’s a matter of personal taste. What caught my attention about Boral Versetta Stone were the unique form factor, the mounting system and how incredibly easy it is to install. It’s packaged in 17-lb. sheets that can be installed with mechanical fasteners. Basically, anyone with a level, a hammer and a sense of what a stud is can do this by themselves. If you have a project (indoor or outdoor) that needs this kind of “stone mason” look and feel, Boral Versetta Stone is worth considering.
KBIS was filled with two kinds of devices: connected and not connected. The kitchen and bath industry is going to be in this binary state for some time to come. Do you need a connected toaster-oven? Do you need a connected fork? You may need a connected refrigerator. You could absolutely use a connected pantry inventory system. If your kitchen could suggest a menu based on what it knew it had in stock and based on the time you had to prepare dinner, you would insist upon it.
We’re still a little while away from that vision of the future. But I was very excited to see the NKBA and all of its members optimistically looking forward to helping create a more connected world.