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5 trends from IBS

What we saw at the 2020 International Builders’ Show points towards simplified solutions for remodelers that still add complexity and depth

February 28, 2020
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We saw everything there was to see at the 2020 International Builders’ Show: robotic lawn mowers, 3D printed touchless faucets, touchscreen countertops, and more. There was plenty of innovation and creativity on the show floor, but what trends will fizzle out, and which are here to stay?

Here are 5 trends and takeaways from IBS 2020 that remodelers need to know.

1] Simplified Install

The labor shortage is not news, but it’s also not going anywhere in the near future.  Manufacturers know this, and are increasingly working to provide remodelers and builders with solutions that will simplify install and cost them less in manpower and money.

Daltile debuted RevoTile, a porcelain tile floating floor system that installs twice as fast as traditional tile, according to the company. Installing RevoTile consists of only three steps: Place the underlayment, click the tile into place, and grout immediately. No mortar is required, and there’s no wait time necessary between placement and grouting. It comes in 26 marble, wood, stone, and concrete looks, offering design flexibility along with installation ease. 

Similarly, Fibo Group introduced a fully waterproof wall panel system for kitchen and bath environments that features the Aqualock click system to simply install while minimizing lines and creating a more seamless look. This panel system typically installs five times faster than traditional ceramic tiles, according to Anders Carlson, CEO of Fibo. “When installed correctly...there’s no need for a water vapor barrier or other waterproof membrane behind the panels,” he says. (Eco-friendly and easy? What more could you want in 2020?) 

2] Greens & Blacks 

Experts from Daltile and Tando both mentioned their anticipation that greens will grow in popularity. “Color trends filter down from the fashion industry, to interiors, and then to exteriors,” says Amber Skymer, senior product manager for Derby Building Products, manufacturer of the Tando brand of exterior cladding products. “And in keeping an eye on this, I anticipate greens and natural elements in general will really start to dominate in the exterior space sooner rather than later. ”

When pulled off successfully, complex mix-and-match designs provide an added layer of depth, complexity, and originality to a space

Skymer also noted that black will continue to grow in popularity as the modern/industrial look makes a come-back. We saw evidence of this in the interiors space, particularly in kitchen and bath fixtures. Gerber and Delta both featured a number of faucet models in a satin or matte black finish—they may not new to 2020, but they’re definitely not going anywhere.

3] Pushing Environmental Awareness 

Extreme weather is increasing and is not likely to subside in the coming years. (Want to know more about how remodelers are handling it? Check out “Storm Surge” in the August 2019 issue.) Manufacturers have taken note, and each year, IBS features more and better products aimed at preparing homes for unusual weather and giving clients the peace of mind that they’re doing their part to help maintain the planet.

Gerber introduced a 0.8 gpf model of its plumber-friendly Viper toilet, which saves 50% more water than the national standard, according to the company, and 33% more water than high-efficiency toilets. 

In roofing, Huber Engineered Woods’ ZIP System sheathing and tape was recently named, according to the company, “the first manufacturer-warrantied, roof sheathing system that meets the sealed roof deck standard for a FORTIFIED Roof” set by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.  

LP Building Solutions took it a step further, with the launch of LP Structural Solutions, a portfolio of framing and sheathing products engineered specifically to combat resiliency demands in different locations across the country. With this launch came a new product: LP WeatherLogic Water Screen, a synthetic polymer-based screen that can be used with OSB and a WRB house wrap or with an integrated panel to add increased ventilation and draining and maximize the moisture protection in a home. “Within the LP Structural Solutions portfolio, we [have] a singular goal in mind,” says Craig Miles, LP business marketing manager for OSB/EWP. “Help the industry work toward better, more resilient homes to help stand up to whatever nature can throw at it.”

4] Mix & Match Expands

An extension of the trendy seamless indoor-to-outdoor transitions, manufacturers at this year’s show pushed the boundaries of mixing and matching. Multiple booths, including Daltile and Wellborn Cabinets, showcased the mixing and matching of at least three different materials, patterns, or color. 

Wellborn’s modern French bistro kitchen vignette featured a tri-colored cabinet color scheme, originating from the blue color palette. Perimeter cabinets showcased their new Oyster White color, while the island cabinets and those framing the window over the sink were highlighted in Aqua, a soft shade of blue, also newly launched. The cabinets beneath the butcher-block chef’s workspace along one wall sported Bleu paint, a striking dark blue finish. 

Daltile took the trend a step further, combining two starkly contrasted tile designs into a herring bone flooring pattern more commonly seen in wood flooring. 

If not done correctly, mixing and matching more than two colors or patterns can cause a space to look cluttered or poorly planned. But when pulled off successfully, as in the case of Daltile and Wellborn, complex mix-and-match designs add another layer of depth and originality to the space.

5] Touchless and Connected 

We’re moving well beyond the days when lights and thermostats were the only aspects of a home that could be made “smart.” Now, refrigerators, mirrors, and faucets are regularly introduced and updated to meet the ever-changing demands of customers used to connected spaces. (The two products introduced last year by Delta Faucet Company’s First Wave Innovation Lab were faucets: one voice-activated, and one 3D-printed, touchless model.)

Atlas Granite is taking high-tech one step higher with its MASST technology. Using projection lasers and motion sensor technology, MASST (Making Any Solid Surface Touchscreen) turns any light-colored, solid surface into a working 24-by-18-inch touchscreen. It’s no surprise MASST was named the Best of IBS in the Kitchen & Bath category at this year’s show: Not only is it innovative, it’s perfect for this generation of homeowners who desire fully connected living spaces. 

A remodeler can easily install a projection unit with the sensor technology into existing cabinetry, which involves cutting a hole in the bottom of the cabinets so the laser can reach the countertop. Once the unit is installed, it must be connected to home WiFi in order for MASST to work. It can also be connected to a speaker via WiFi (or a traditional cable), for those who want to watch and listen to videos. 

Garage doors are getting in on the smart-home game as well. LiftMaster unveiled its latest connected garage door opener, the 85503 model, which is the first opener with a built-in wide-angle, high-definition camera, according to the company. Now, homeowners can see when their kids get home from school and that their possessions are safe and sound. Because the new model is part of Liftmaster’s myQ-connected ecosystem, it also works with Key by Amazon In-Garage Delivery (featured in “Smart(er) Home” in our December issue) to provide Amazon Prime members with a secure and convenient place for their package deliveries. 

About the Author

About the Author

Kaitlin Schuler is the special projects editor for Pro Remodeler. 

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