Design & Construction Week, the co-location of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show, featured award ceremonies, interactive showcases, networking events, and learning opportunities.

The Fourth Annual DCW took place Jan. 10-12 in Orlando, Fla., where roughly 80,000 home builders, remodelers, developers, designers and their trade partners talked to suppliers and saw demonstrations at the event, which spanned the west, north and south halls of the Orange County Convention Center. Early, unverified estimates report a 15% increase in attendance over the previous year, marking the fourth consecutive year of attendee growth.

Peyton Manning, DCW’s opening ceremony keynote speaker, kicked off the event with a full house. The hall was overflowing, and his speech had to be streamed into another conference hall. He shared his thoughts about his career and what it takes to be a leader.

“Your personal goals should align with your team goals,” Manning said. “Leaders have to be all-in or all-out. Strong leaders must focus on three things: themselves, their team, and the competitive landscape. Take on new challenges one week at a time. I encourage you to be led by your dreams.”


Top 10 Bathroom Design Trends

The National Kitchen & Bath Association revealed the top design trends for the coming year as specified by the annual Design Trends Report. The report reveals the top ten trends in kitchen and bath design, as well as other relevant statistical information regarding the kitchen and bath industry.

Contemporary and Transitional-styled bathrooms have overtaken Traditional in design preference, according to the report. Based on this annual member survey, the NKBA expects to see the following top 10 overall bathroom trends this year:

  • Contemporary and Transitional-styled bathrooms have overtaken Traditional-style preferences. Shaker style is gaining on Traditional, while Mid-Century Modern is emerging. Asian Fusion is a niche design, but design professionals who recommend it plan to do more of it in bathrooms.

  • White, off-white, and gray are by far the most popular bathroom color schemes. Blue is emerging with younger design professionals leaning more toward violets and purples. Stainless steel is niche and emerging.

  • Linen storage cabinets and wood vanities are the most commonly used bathroom storage solutions. Floating vanities and open shelving are popular and increasing in popularity. Toilet topper cabinets are declining in demand.

  • Ceramic tile flooring is most popular, but high-quality vinyl appears to be emerging.

  • Undermount bathroom sinks are most desirable, with requests for vessel sinks continuing to wane, as well as pedestal sinks. Trough sinks are emerging.

  • More than half of NKBA members surveyed said they eliminated a tub or whirlpool in a bathroom remodel over the course of the past year. Yet half also specified a freestanding tub during that same period, and 60% expect to specify more of them in 2017.While tub/shower surrounds are maintained and updated when they already exist in a home, they are not being added to new bathrooms or completely remodeled bathrooms.

  • White fixtures are trending up, while bone/bisque colored fixtures are trending down. Brushed brass and gold are emerging faucet finishes; designer faucet colors, while still quite niche, are emerging.

  • The most popular amenities for the bathroom are in the arena of safety and comfort: e.g., comfort heights, shower seats, lighting in showers and no-threshold showers. Emerging amenities are smart toilets, smart toilet seats, music in the shower, easy maintenance features, and radiant floor heating.

  • Water-saving toilets and faucets are becoming more mainstream.

  • Distributed video and audio and wiring pathways for future integration are still niche in the bathroom, but emerging.

Survey respondents also reported that the arena of safety and comfort comprises the most popular category of bathroom amenities, including: comfort height toilets/countertops, shower seats, lighting in showers, and no-threshold showers. 


Top 10 Kitchen Design Trends

Contemporary-styled kitchens have overtaken Traditional to become the second most popular North American kitchen design, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report conducted by the NKBA. Based on this member survey, the NKBA expects to see the following top 10 overall kitchen trends this year:

  • Clean lines, built-ins and simple door styles dominate kitchen designs. Contemporary-styled kitchens overtake Traditional to be the second most popular design after Transitional. Emerging: Industrial and Mid Century Modern. Mountain Modern and Coastal are variations on Contemporary. ​

  • White and gray painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Blue painted and high gloss cabinets are emerging. For overall color schemes, blue as well as black are emerging.

  • Two-toned kitchens are gaining in popularity. Also mixing it up are materials and metals across surfaces and as accents.

  • While wood cabinets dominate kitchen designs, metal — currently a small segment of the cabinet market — appears to be emerging. Metal cabinets are most frequently specified by younger and male designers.

  • Furniture-look pieces, rollouts, and pullouts and under cabinet lighting (LED) are among the most popular kitchen cabinet features. Use of crown molding is declining. Rustic and reclaimed woods were frequently mentioned.

  • Quartz is the most popular kitchen countertop material, and trending up. Granite, the second most popular countertop material, is trending down.

  • Induction cooktops and convection ovens are trending higher, and microwave drawers are outpacing freestanding or built-in microwaves. Steam ovens still represent a small segment of the market, but are also trending higher.

  • Use of technology in the kitchen is increasing. About one third of NKBA professionals included wiring and pathways for future tech integration. Also trending upwards: More Internet-connected appliances and docking stations.

  • Interior barn and pocket doors in kitchens are trending up.

  • Accessible and/or universal design features continue to trend up for kitchens.


Coverage of the show floor can be seen on Plumbing & Mechanical’s Facebook and Twitter pages using #LiveWithPM and on DCW will return to Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center Jan. 9-11, 2018.


New products from DCW

Digital showering technology

Moen’s U Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower gives homeowners the ability to create up to 12 personalized presets, including name, greeting, outlets, temperature, shower timer and notifications. It also allows users to have the shower pause at initial start-up once it reaches the desired temperature. The shower includes a digital valve that offers precise thermostatic temperature control and enables the user to connect up to four shower devices. The controller features a 5”, non-touch LCD screen that provides feedback on the shower status through on-screen messaging and notifications. The shower valve will allow temperatures between 60° F and 120° F.


Push-to-connect plumbing system

SharkBite’s push-to-connect plumbing system for new construction called EvoPEX extends beyond the traditional pipe-and-fitting solutions to be inclusive of fittings, PEX pipe, outlet boxes, valves and other accessories needed to install a complete plumbing system from meter to fixture. The body is made from Acudel high-performance polymer. It also features a green-colored visual indicator to ensure that the fitting is properly connected, minimizing install errors that cause potential leaks points.

SharkBite Plumbing Solutions.

Bright-colored disposer

InSinkErator’s Fresh Kitchen collection of yellow, green, and orange disposers, baffles, and cleansing pods enlivens a sink by turning it into a hub of bright colors and uplifting scents. The disposer freshens itself with every use and is fitted with a colorful backpack. The quiet disposer features a ¾ hp engine to power through tough foods and a multigrind system that breaks particles into finer particles. After finishing the grind, the disposer dispenses a refreshing agent that neutralizes odors and leaves behind a light fragrance of lemon, lime, or orange.


Mimic natural rain

Kohler’s Real Rain relies on gravity rather than the typical pressurized spray to shape the water, using 775 concave nozzles to start the storm off slowly and then build. The rates at which the drops fall is varying and random. It has a 6” dry area when not in deluge mode that keeps the rain away from the face. The ceiling-mount panel measures 19” x 19”. It flows at 2 gpm and complies with CALGreen requirements. Available finishes include Polished Chrome, Vibrant Polished and Brushed Nickel, Matte Black, Vibrant Titanium, Vibrant Brushed Bronze and Oil-Rubbed Bronze.


PE-RT & PEX connection system

Legend’s SmartClick PE-RT and PEX Connection System facilitates a permanent connection without requiring any tools. Insert the tube into the connector until you hear the click, which tells you that the spring steel clamp inside the connector has been actuated and you have a permanent connection. It is for use in potable water plumbing systems utilizing PE-RT (ASTM F 2769) or PEX (ASTM 876/877). The fittings are third party certified by IAPMO and are ANSI/NSF 61, ANSI/NSF 14 and ASSE 1061 compliant.