Announcing KBB’s 2017 Product Innovator Award Winners
Kitchen Product of the Year: Geoluxe Pyrolithic Stone
This new surface material combines the beauty of marble with technical performance. It is made from 100 percent mineral-based materials and offers an impact resistance equal to that of quartz or porcelain – outperforming granite and marble.
“It is so impressive to see a manufactured stone surfacing with through-body, realistic veining effects come to market,” said Lauren Levant, one of this year’s judges. “The high-gloss finishes, stain/scratch resistance and LEED certification rounded out this product as an excellent advancement in the industry.”
Bathroom Product of the Year: Victoria + Albert’s Eldon Tub
The Eldon back-to-wall tub offers the curvaceous lines of a freestanding tub, but it sits flush against the wall to save space and make installation a breeze. It is wrapped with an edge that forms a natural shelf against the wall to conceal pipework and provide a platform where plumbing can be deck mounted if desired.
“Those looking for elegance linked to practical ease of living will love the Eldon,” said Jonathan Carter, marketing director for Victoria + Albert Baths. “The full-width faucet deck is the perfect space for a scented candle and bath oils to create the “home spa” feel or a great spot to store kids’ bath toys. However, the best bit is never having to clean behind the bathtub again.”
Second Place Kitchen: Zephyr’s Lux Island White
The Lux Island (White) is for homeowners who want an unobtrusive view of the kitchen without the traditional “island” hood. Its integrated design discreetly mounts into the ceiling above the island cooktop – catering to an open kitchen layout – and its white shade blends into the ceiling, which the judges say is ideal in a modern kitchen.
According to Zephyr, the hood is equipped with Perimeter Aspiration, a technique that moves airflow away from the central area of the hood and evenly distributes it through narrow openings around its perimeter. This ensures the hood will keep the kitchen free of smoke and debris and can handle the most powerful cooking jobs over European- or professional-style ranges.
Second Place Bathroom: American Standard Spectra Touch & Spectra eTouch Showerheads
The Spectra Touch Showerhead allows the user to change spray patterns with the touch of a finger on the outside ring of the fixture. The Spectra eTouch Showerhead includes a remote control that also allows users to change spray patterns. It can be attached to a base plate that is mounted on the shower wall for ease of use, and its discreet design features a concave touch point with a soft surface.
“This is a great product for anyone needing assistance in the shower by allowing a simple touch to the pad or to the fixture itself,” said John McClain, one of this year’s judges. “In a society that values aging in place, this is an added benefit.”
Third Place Kitchen: ILVE’s Majestic Induction Range
The ILVE Majestic Induction Range includes a multi-function oven, full-size warming drawer and rotisserie, and it offers advanced pot-sensor technology with power boost and simmer options on all burners. It is available in a 36- or 40-in. option, and the company says it is the first appliance company to offer a 40-in. induction range in the U.S.
Third Place Bathroom: Delta Faucet Co.’s Delta Water Leak Detector
The Delta Water Leak Detector, designed in conjunction with iDevices, detects leaks quickly by being placed near a water source to monitor and identify dripping or pooling water. Water sources include water heaters, appliances, sump pumps, sinks and toilets and can even include non-living spaces like attics, basements and garages.
Honorable Mentions – Kitchen: Tresco Lighting’s Snap Panel Lighting
Snap Panel LED Lighting is a customizable panel that can be snapped down into 3-in. by 3-in. squares and connected back to back – or via jumper cords – to create the desired shape. It also provides unified backlighting and can be used for onyx, glass and translucent countertops and backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms – adding dimension and an additional light source.
Honorable Mentions – Bath: TOTO USA Neorest AC
The difference between the NEOREST 750H from 2016 and the most recent NEOREST AC is that the newer model is a wall-mount unit and includes TOTO’s In-Wall Tank System concealed with the mounting bolts and water shut-off valve. The dual-flush plate can be easily removed to provide access to the tank, and the entire unit can be lifted for cleaning underneath.
Honorable Mentions – Kitchen: Frigidaire Gallery FS Induction Range made by Electrolux
Frigidaire is bringing the ease of induction cooking to everyone – with a range that is less than $1,000. According to the company, its induction technology brings water to a boil 50 percent faster than conventional ovens and heats pans faster so it takes less time to cook; the cooktop then cools quickly since the heat is created in the pan itself.
Honorable Mentions – Bath: INOX Hardware’s Barn Door Lock
The judges liked the Barn Door Lock because it is clean, concise, functional, practical and innovative, and it also caters to a trendy design feature – the barn door. Its difference is that the lock is installed in the jamb – concealed inside the wall – instead of in the door, and its bolt slides securely into a barn door’s strike. This eliminates the issue of typical barn door lock alignment.
Honorable Mentions – Kitchen: Ketra D3 Downlight
The D3 Downlight is known for its replication of natural light and synchronization of circadian rhythms; its LEDs shift during the day to provide a full range of sunlight – brighter during the day and warmer at night. According to Ketra, this light offers the most accurate, fully tunable light source with the ability to produce full-saturated, pastel and high CRI white light. A custom semiconductor driver chip allows the user the ability to control the intensity and color spectrum of the lamps and luminaires – wirelessly if desired.
Honorable Mentions – Bath: Daltile’s Panoramic Porcelain Surfaces
This high-impact, large-format panel and slab collection is suitable for multiple installations, including floors, tub surrounds, walls and countertops. It is available in two thicknesses for a seamless look in bathrooms and allows for a vertical or horizontal panel installation.
“The price point of this elegant architectural surface brings the possibility of designing dramatic features into projects of all sizes,” said Levant, commenting on the collection’s flexibility and versatility.