Dekton material, 8mm profile. Photo by Hallie Busta.
Dekton material, 8mm profile. Photo by Hallie Busta.
Slim Slab
Although Cosentino launched its high-performance, compact façade material Dekton last fall, the surfaces maker brought it to the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) with a look at what’s next—a forecast that includes an 8mm-thick profile (shown) whose lightweight construction will help to decrease structural loads without sacrificing design value. For use in residential and commercial building skins as well as interiors, the architectural material, which is made from a combination of inorganic raw materials found in glass, porcelain, and quartz that are sintered to achieve a compact composition, represents a shift by the company away from its trademark interior surfaces and onto the envelope. With a 3D finish, it is offered in 12 earth tones (Kadum, shown), as well as white and black, in addition to polished, matte, and slate finishes. Company representatives at KBIS said to expect more textures and finishes to be released in the series this year. –Hallie Busta

Aero showerhead. Photo courtesy of TOTO.
Aero showerhead. Photo courtesy of TOTO.

Under Pressure


Bath-products manufacturer TOTO is giving its shower fixtures the spa treatment with a new proprietary technology that draws air in through the showerhead and pumps it into each water droplet to enhance the spray volume without increasing water consumption. Combined with the company’s Gyrostream spray mode, which releases the water in short pulses for a massage effect, AeroJet+ technology is offered with the company’s new Aero line of showerheads and handshowers. The showerhead model features a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), while the handshower can be set at either 2.0 gpm or 2.5 gpm. –Hallie Busta
trutankless water heater. Photo by Sandra Malm.
trutankless water heater. Photo by Sandra Malm.

trutankless Water Heater
Celebrating its debut at the show this week and winner of Best of IBS 2014 for Best Home Technology product, trutankless from the Bollente Companies is a game changer for the water heater category. Until now, gas-powered units have posed a steep price point and high installation costs.  Electric units have had issues with mineral build-up and scaling, known to decrease service life. Enter:  trutankless. Bollente claims the electric tankless technology eliminates issues with scaling and mineral build-up. The heat exchanger, actually four robust copper heat exchangers featuring ceramic insulation, comes with a lifetime limited warranty. The smart units are Wi-Fi compatible, and have self-aware features that can detect leaks, automate service calls, and communicate directly with the installer. A user App, available for iOS and Android phones and tablets, allows remote temperature settings, calendar settings, and error notifications. Slightly larger than a shoebox, the compact units offer impressive installation flexibility. –Sandra Malm

Armstrong's engineered stone tiles. Photo courtesy of Armstrong.
Armstrong's engineered stone tiles. Photo courtesy of Armstrong.

New Armstrong Tiles
Armstrong’s new line of engineered stone tiles, Alterna, is made with a durable composite material consisting primarily of crushed limestone. Aesthetically similar to stone or ceramic, the material is warmer underfoot than traditional tile, resists stains, and doesn’t crack. It is also less slippery than traditional smooth ceramic tile. Color options range from solid to intense color variation. Multiple sizes and shapes can be mixed to different patterns – including a basket weave and a three-way opus – to offer homebuyers and remodel customers an upscale-looking custom installation. Armstrong says Alterna installs in about half the time of traditional tile. It’s also backed by a Lifetime Residential and 5-year Light Commercial warranty from Armstrong. –Sandra Malm

Johns Manville insulation. Photo by Sandra Malm.
Johns Manville insulation. Photo by Sandra Malm.
Johns Manville is Back
The last time Johns Manville attended IBS was in 2007, and it was mostly known for fiberglass insulation. However, over the past seven years, Johns Manville doubled-down significantly and greatly expanded its products—adding spray foam, sheathing, backer board, and mineral wool. It’s an impressive product spectrum designed to offer builders optimal choice and flexibility. The most recent additions, Johns Manville’s line of mineral wool products, offer a variety of performance benefits for both building occupants and contractors. Dense and durable, the mineral wool products can be easily and accurately cut and are available in a range of thicknesses and sizes. Homeowners benefit from acoustically superior environments, moisture protection, and increased fire performance. For more information on Johns Manville’s Sound & Fire Batts and TempControl Batts click here. –Sandra Malm

Metrie Moldings. Photo by Lauren Hunter.
Metrie Moldings. Photo by Lauren Hunter.

Re-Molded Interiors


Interior trim company Molding & Millwork used IBS/KBIS to debut its reinvented identity and product line, Metrie. The brand not only set aside its former generic name, but has taken a new look at how they design and inspire with interior moldings. Elaborate ceiling treatments, unique rosette placement, and refreshed profiles marked the brand’s inspiring booth design. Check out their iOS app and new website to tour the five new collections: Fashion Forward, French Curves, Pretty Simple, True Craft, and Very Square. –Lauren Hunter
Moen floor-mounted tub fillers. Photo by Lauren Hunter.
Moen floor-mounted tub fillers. Photo by Lauren Hunter.

Elegant Elevation
With freestanding tubs gaining more use in bathroom designs, Moen has added floor-mounted tub fillers to two of its popular collections: traditionally elegant Weymouth and sleek, modern Arris. A specialized installation system makes adding a freestanding tub filler easier for builders and remodelers, and helps make the stand more secure. Choose from chrome or brushed nickel to complete your next spa bathroom project. –Lauren Hunter

Electrolux dishwashers. Photo by Lauren Hunter.
Electrolux dishwashers. Photo by Lauren Hunter.

Spray Away
While some appliance manufacturers are focusing on electronics and high-tech features, Electrolux is working on improving the basics and adding features that will make their products more valuable and convenient for users. Take this little detail in one of their well-designed dishwashers. Flip up the blue tab and clip your sports bottle in to give it a dedicated water jet for more thorough cleaning. Flip the clip over again to direct the stream into the wash tub. It’s a clever feature that supplements the dishwasher’s other benefits of a unique wash arm, top level utensil tray, and attractive 30-minute wash cycle feature. –Lauren Hunter