While design is always a highlight of the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), another word was tossed around the show floor more than any other: value.
In this stressful economy, homeowners and builders want to get the most out of their dollar, whether that means buying a vanity in a style that will look great forever, or investing in the savings made from energy and water efficient products.
Manufacturers responded at the show, held April 16-18 in Chicago, by introducing products at lower price points, highlighting timeless designs, and revving up green product selections.
As an example of affordability, Kohler came out with the lower-priced Lattis Pivot shower door, and Danze showcased its Reef collection of entry level and slightly higher priced bathroom faucets.
For Zoli, the luxury brand of the Xylem Group, value for vanities does not come from the price point, but from style. Instead of trying to come up with bright, bold look that may only intoxicate customers for a few years, the company aimed to focus on a modern aesthetic that would last as long as the products.
"Now we're back to value, and we want a classic style," said Farshad Tafazzoli, founder and president of Zoli.
Numerous companies also added to or highlighted their water and energy efficient lines, including a more energy efficient laundry launch from GE, a low-flow toilet from Toto, and low-flow showerheads from Moen and Alsons.