This year, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) took place a week after CES. A lot of appliance makers, like Bosch and LG, showed up at both, with different announcements at each show. Walking around KBIS 2017 was a little bit what I imagine someone going through a home remodel dreams about at night — being surrounded by endless faucets, fasteners, and handles. Who knew there were so many drywall options? (For some, this might sound like a nightmare.)
Black is the new stainless
In late 2015, several manufacturers came out with their take on black stainless steel, including KitchenAid, LG, and Samsung. Over a year later, the marketplace is even more crowded. LG brought Nate Berkus to KBIS to show of its LG Studio appliances in the color. “I can promise you, it’s the next big thing,” he said at a preview event. “There’s a warmth to it and a patina to it.” GE also had fridges in two new colors: matte black and its stainless steel color. Frigidaire also had a host of Gallery appliances in its version of the trend, which is actually more of a slate gray that the company says can mix and match with other manufacturers’ colors.
Speaking of Frigidaire, if you’ve been waiting for the price of induction to come down, the company will deliver this year. Two new ranges, one $999 and the other $799, are much more affordable than others we’ve seen. For example, Frigidaire’s FGIF3061NF costs over $1,500 right now. The company is hoping to bring the cooking method, long popular in Europe, to more people in the United States.
Tiny houses, micro-apartments, millennials — there were a lot of reasons given for why there were more than a few 24-inch appliances at KBIS. Both Miele, a German company, and Haier, the Chinese manufacturer that recently acquired GE Appliances, have been making these slimmer machines for years. Both had a suite of smaller appliances on display at KBIS. Miele had a 24-inch combi-steam oven and built-in coffee maker, as well as an induction cooktop and 18-inch dishwasher. You can find 24-inch ranges, for example, at Best Buy, but you won’t get a ton of options. Considering how many manufacturers make these sizes for Europe, maybe they’ll start bringing more products over for smaller kitchens.
The third rack grows up
A few years ago, several dishwasher makers started putting in a third rack for utensils. It meant a little less space down below in terms of height, but it also meant you could ditch the basket in the third rack and put in bigger pots and pans. Bosch decided to make this rack (what it’s calling the MyWay rack) a little more versatile on some of its models, by allowing it to fit bowls and shallower cups. Again, the idea here is to give you more flexibility with the lower two racks. Considering how many cereal bowls I go through a week, it’s actually a nice feature. Meanwhile, Smeg lets you slide half the bottom of the third rack over to one side, allowing room for taller glasses in the second rack. Neither of these are life-changing, but they’re small changes that could make significant difference to your dish-loading routine.