Artisan injects concrete into clay-heavy Kohler Co. material schedule

Sources: Kohler Co., Kohler, Wis.; CP staff

A boutique precast producer is steering a top home building product brand—synonymous with porcelain, chrome and brass—toward concrete. Kohler Co. has acquired United Kingdom-based Kast Concrete Basins, a fabricator of contemporary basins and sinks made with conventional mixes of local limestone grades, specially sourced sands plus premium pigments. 

Known for bold-color offerings and presence in high-end showroom and specification channels, the 12-year-old company joins the Kohler Luxury Brands business unit. “Not only does [Kast] bring a new material to our portfolio—concrete—but also the color and refinement expertise that is evident in the unique shapes and forms of its beautiful basins,” says Luxury Brands President Bonnie Choruby. “Kohler pioneered vibrant, colorful products to great acclaim as far back as 1927, and has progressively introduced innovative designs, materials, and finishes that help customers make a statement in their spaces. Kast shares that same mindset and is a perfect fit for our division.” 

“Everyone at Kast Concrete Basins has the passion to innovate relentlessly, and we couldn’t be more pleased to now be a part of the Kohler Luxury Brands division that includes like-minded brands and the resourcing to accelerate global expansion,” adds Kast founder Tim Bayes, who will now serve as managing director/head of creative. 

Kast Concrete’s Elm Mini sink in Ember

A native of Switzerland, he was drawn to concrete more than 20 years ago, inspired by practitioners’ use and manipulation of the material. Bayes saw concrete’s potential for contemporary product design and, with an affinity for engineering and a degree in Fine Art, he began working with the liquid stone. From designing furniture to creating contemporary interior surfaces, realizing his vision took years of development by researching and refining both the precise mix of concrete and complex casting processes. After paring back the product offering, he and the Kast team focus on basins or sink in designs ranging from simple monolithic forms to refined contours and patterned surfaces. The company’s design center and plant in Nottinghamshire produces more than 50 profiles in 28 colors, including wall-hung, freestanding, countertop, cloakroom, and double-basin models for residential and commercial markets.