Cabinet Sales Gains Extend Through July, KCMA Reports

RESTON, VA — Domestic kitchen cabinet and vanity manufacturers continued to post substantial sales gains through the first seven months of 2021, according to the latest in a series of monthly surveys by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

The KCMA’s latest “Trend of Business Survey” reflected a year-to-date sales increase of 18.3% through July, compared to the same seven-month period in 2020. Custom cabinet sales through the first seven months were reported up 21.5% over the same period last year, while semi-custom sales rose 17.6% and sales of stock cabinets gained 18.1%, the Reston, VA-based KCMA said.

July sales were up 7.2% compared to the same month last year, the association added.


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Home Sizes Rise With Virus-Fueled Demand for More Space

WASHINGTON, DC — Single-family home sizes are reported to be rising as an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a recent trend toward downsizing as homeowners are seeking additional residential space for a wider range of purposes, particularly teleworking and school-related activities.

According to second-quarter 2021 U.S. government data and analysis from the National Association of Home Builders, the median size of a newly built single-family home increased to 2,297 sq. ft. The average size for new single-family homes increased to 2,540.

Since Great Recession lows, home size rose between 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained, according to the Washington, DC-based NAHB. In contrast, home sizes declined between 2016 and 2020, as more starter homes were developed, the NAHB said.

“Going forward we expect home size to increase again, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes in the post-COVID-19 environment,” observed Robert Dietz, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based NAHB.

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Kitchen Renovation – Is It Right For You?

kitchen remodelingKitchen remodeling is a fairly straightforward process when compared to other types of home renovations. The basic principle design and function of your kitchen stay the same, even with kitchen remodeling. You might upgrade to new finishes and fixtures, but the basis of your kitchen still stays the same. However, with kitchen remodeling, these functional aspects begin to change.

For example, in most cases, you will want to upgrade your existing flooring. Tile is very common in many kitchens, and there are many different types of tile available for you to use. However, if your flooring is in good condition, there’s no need to replace it. You can update your kitchen remodeling by installing new flooring, fixtures, cabinetry and other cabinet options.

On the flip side, if your current kitchen remodeling project includes tearing out walls, replacing the cabinets or replacing the stove, then you may have a harder time finding new replacement flooring options. Walls can be replaced with concrete or tile, or you can have the entire wall ripped out and rebuilt. The possibilities are nearly endless for this type of renovation. In fact, your kitchen remodeling might include completely changing the layout of your kitchen, including removing your kitchen appliances and moving everything into a single area.

With kitchen remodeling the flooring option changes as well. Instead of just painting the floors, you can stain or paint them, and you can get a liner built under your countertops so that stains don’t show so easily. The cabinets might be re-glazed with new paints or epoxies, and most of all, you might consider getting new appliances and cabinetry. New appliances can include convection ovens, range makers, dishwashers with or without water control, and more.

Kitchen cabinets can also be updated with new cabinet doors, hardware, pulls, and accessories. It might be necessary to have a contractor come out and replace the knobs and handles on your drawers, or it may be possible to replace the doors altogether. These types of kitchen remodeling projects may include having your cabinets refaced with brand new materials or using a sliding door system to keep the cabinets open. Even if your cabinets haven’t been moved in years, it’s still possible to do a complete renovation on them.

One major advantage to kitchen remodeling is that it allows you to add your own personal touch to the space. You can use new cabinetry, flooring, countertops, appliances, and more to customize the look and feel of your kitchen renovations. Not everyone has a similar sense of style when it comes to color, so this can be a great way to make a difference in your home. You can make it your own by using your own unique touches.

When you are planning your kitchen remodeling projects, you need to have a good general contractor working for you. The general contractor can help you pick out the cabinets and other fixtures that you want for your new kitchen. He can also help you determine what the cost of these items will be. You may need to bring this information with you when you meet with a contractor, so he will know exactly what you are looking for.

The kitchen remodeling project that you choose should be a project that you can take on yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the work or don’t have the proper skills for the job, you shouldn’t do it. You can improve the appearance of your home without spending a lot of money, and you’ll be able to enjoy the results of your own personal labor.


Small Remodeling Upgrades to Make a Big Splash in Your Kitchen

Have you been considering a remodel, but aren’t sure you want the entire commitment a full kitchen renovation brings? If yes, this article is most definitely for you. The kitchen is the hub of any house. It’s the place in your home where you prep your meals, your kids do their homework, your guests congregate, and where your morning coffee is enjoyed. A place with so many different meanings deserves to look and perform up to its utmost potential. That’s why remodels at all levels are so popular. Recently, homeowners have been asking for smaller scale remodels to just tweak previous remodels from past years. Here are four great small kitchen remodeling ideas.

Cabinet Refacing

If you’re happy with the design and layout of your kitchen but are unhappy with the current look your cabinets bring, refacing is the route for you. Kitchen cabinet refacing allows you to have the look you’ve always dreamed of without the additional expense and hassle of a large remodel. The process of a reface is quite simple. It just consists of replacing all the existing doors and drawer fronts with a door style, wood species and finish that you choose. We then apply a matching refacing material to all exposed end panels and face frames of your existing cabinets. Kitchen cabinet refacing installation takes just days to complete.

Go Darker

For years, kitchens have always been about being white, bright, and pristine. White cabinetry was anywhere and everywhere. And although it will always remain a classic, there’s a new trend which is becoming ever so popular in kitchens all around the globe. In recent years, we’re now seeing a strong transition into dark countertops and cabinetry. This new style works to create more depth and contrast within the room. Comparatively, it also holds up much better against the daily wear and tear than white cabinetry.

Open Shelving

Open shelving is great to implement in your kitchen. It’s cost effective and has a quick installation process. Not only does it make for easily accessible dishes and appliances, but it’s also a great opportunity to showcase your character and personality within your home. Some homeowners choose to use this surface space as a way to showcase their artwork i.e. paintings, vases, pots, or pictures.

Full Scheme Backsplash

Recently, there’s been more of a vertical appearance with backsplashes. It’s no longer just the space between the countertop and cabinetry. Entire slabs are going up to create more of a sleek look. Utilizing an entire wall for a backsplash presents a two-in-one opportunity. One, you get your much needed backsplash for your kitchen. And two, you now have a statement wall within the room. This statement wall works to truly bring your kitchen to life.

Kitchen Solvers

At Kitchen Solvers, we want to ensure that you, the homeowner, protect and preserve your beautiful kitchen. The most important factor in how to make a kitchen remodel easy is getting help from professionals. At Kitchen Solvers, our expert design team can help you create the ultimate kitchen that fits your budget and offers some of the best features and styles available. Once the plan is established, we’ll take care of the rest. Get in touch with our team today to get started designing the kitchen of your dreams.

And be sure to read our helpful articles: How to Make a Kitchen Remodel Easy and Confused about Cabinet? A Guide to a Cabinet Reface or Replace!


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Statement Vessels

Personalization has emerged as a key trend in design as homeowners emerge from the pandemic with a renewed sense of what they want in their homes. People have become more adventurous with their design choices, and want rooms that reflect who they are and fill their needs.

Nowhere is the desire for a personalized space more important than the bath. While most clients look for a spa-like feel in the master, that term is getting an upgraded definition, with elegant finishes and calming, earth-toned colors getting a much-needed update. Guest and powder rooms designs are also getting more adventurous, with bold wallpapers, intricate tile and colorful fixtures and fittings getting a nod.

The bath sink, once a utilitarian fixture that knew its purpose and performed it without fanfare, is re-emerging in new shapes, textures, patterns and materials, providing a dizzying array of choices. Vessel sinks, in particular, are providing a wow factor that continues to push the envelope when it comes to making a statement.

Some of the trends being seen in vessel sinks include:

–Vessel sinks are no longer just round, with angular squares and geometrics joining softened ovals and asymmetrical shapes.

–Bright, bold colors are enjoying a surge in popularity, especially in the powder room where homeowners look for elements that make a statement.

–Many vessel sinks are now designed to do double duty, allowing them to sit on top of the counter or be semi-recessed for a different look.

–Metals and metal-looks are everywhere, with copper, brass and stainless leading the way.

–Vessels in all materials are often sporting texture, whether its waves or ridges on solid surface or hammered finishes on metals.

–Matte finishes are giving sinks and other bath fixtures new life, in a range of muted tones that often reflect the colors of nature, with a particular focus on matte black.

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NKBA ‘Hall of Fame’ Nominations Being Sought

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — The National Kitchen & Bath Associations is now accepting nominations through for 2022 inductees to the Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame,  recognizing individuals “for their significant and enduring contributions” to the kitchen and bath industry, the association announced.

Nominees will be reviewed based on outstanding achievement, leadership and corporate citizenship, according to the NKBA.

“The Kitchen & Bath Hall of Fame recognizes the pinnacle of excellence in K&B design, invention, entrepreneurship and service to the industry,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of the NKBA.

“These are the people whose contributions have impacted our homes and industry work in notable ways,” Darcy said. “We encourage our members to help celebrate these remarkable individuals by nominating them for this prestigious honor.”

Although nominees are not limited to NKBA members, nominations must be submitted by NKBA members. Each selection is based on merit of the nominee, not by the number of nominations. All nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee. Nominations must be submitted online on The deadline for nominations is 5:00 pm ET, Sept. 30, 2021.

New inductees will be recognized during the NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design + Industry Awards on Feb. 7, as part of the 2022 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando, FL.

The NKBA created the Kitchen & Bath Hall of Fame in 1989, and over the last three decades has inducted more than 90 individuals, who are featured in a special gallery at NKBA’s Hackettstown, NJ headquarters.

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High-End Projects Seen Leading Kitchen, Bath Market Surge

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Although forecasts for low- and mid-range project spending have each been revised upward, it’s the high end of the kitchen and bath market that will “shine” in the months ahead, according to the latest forecast issued by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

According to the latest NKBA forecast, released this summer, the high end of the kitchen/bath market is now expected to surge by more 28% compared to 2020 ­– topping the association’s initial 19.8% projection) ­– as pent-up demand, robust savings and sharply rising home appreciation “encourage homeowners to go the extra mile” when it comes to spending.

In its latest market forecast, the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA revised its 2021 industry sales projection to $170.9 billion in kitchen and bath spending, up by 21.4% from 2020’s $140.8 billion and nearly 8% higher than the association’s initial estimate for the year. New construction kitchen and bath spending is now expected to exceed 2020 by 28.5%, while kitchen and bath remodeling expenditures are expected to climb by 12.5%, according to the NKBA. Total kitchen spending (new construction and remodel) is now targeted at $81 billion, with bath spending estimated at $89 billion, both more than 20% above last year and appreciably higher than the NKBA’s initial forecast.

The “red-hot market,” according to the NKBA “is a continuation of a positive ‘perfect storm’ that began in the second half of last year and hasn’t let up, all related in one way or another to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“First came the buildup of savings, as homeowners experiencing the unknowns of the COVID-19 lockdown decided to err on the side of caution,” the NKBA said, adding that “much of it wasn’t voluntary, as spending on dining, entertainment, travel and leisure came to a screeching halt.

“Adding to the dramatic savings growth were the generous government stimulus programs that poured $5 trillion into the hands of consumers. As homes suddenly began doubling as schools and offices, configuration changes practically became mandatory. The kitchen morphed into the family hub and previous health and wellness trends for both bathroom and kitchen accelerated in urgency. And all that extra time at home made more homeowners realize a makeover was badly needed.”

“Add to that record-low interest rates that have made home-related loans very attractive, and steep home appreciation with demand far outstripping supply, and all the elements have neatly fallen into place.”

Among the NKBA’s other key conclusions:

n Home Improvement Tops Discretionary Spending: Nearly 1 in 3 homeowners plan to boost their home-improvement discretionary spending this year, well above the 1 in 5 (or fewer) who plan such increases for eating out, entertaining, travel or health. In fact, the average home-improvement project price point is 25% higher than last year, according to the NKBA.

n Kitchen & Bath Are Top Choices: For those planning home improvements this year, kitchens and primary baths rank #1 and #2, respectively, among a dozen home areas offered. More than half of those surveyed (55%) said they planned to remodel their kitchen, while 40% cited their primary bathroom. Exterior (37%), patio/deck (29%) and primary bedroom (29%) round out the top five areas for anticipated remodeling, the NKBA said.

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Product, Labor Shortages Seen Impacting Design Firms

PALO ALTO, CA — More than three quarters of businesses in the construction and architectural/design services sectors report that product and material shortages and costs impacted their businesses in the second quarter of this year, while more than half of firms in both sectors report labor shortages and costs impacted their businesses, according to Houzz, Inc., the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home remodeling and design.

According to the Q3 2021 “Houzz Renovation Barometer” – which tracks residential renovation market expectations, project backlogs and recent activity – more than nine in 10 businesses across both sectors reported second-quarter increases in costs for lumber, copper, steel and aluminum, although about half of the surveyed businesses do not believe that costs will continue to increase in this year’s third quarter. Additional materials that construction pros anticipate increasing in cost include plastic, concrete, paint, foam, and drywall. Interior designers anticipate increased prices for appliances, furniture, and cabinetry in the third quarter, Houzz said.

More than nine in 10 construction businesses report moderate to severe skilled labor shortages, with carpenters, laborers, framers, cabinet specialists and plumbers in particularly short supply.

The Houzz Barometer also revealed that construction pros experienced their busiest quarter in six years, and that confidence among construction and design businesses for home renovation activity remains strong.

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Housing Affordability Reported Down on Rising Prices

WASHINGTON, DC — Soaring building material costs, high demand and low inventory have added tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home, causing housing affordability to fall to its lowest level in nearly a decade during the second quarter of 2021, the National Association of Home Builders reported.

According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, released in August, 56.6% of new and existing homes that sold between the beginning of April and the end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $79,900. This is down sharply from the 63.1% of homes sold in the first quarter of 2021, and the lowest affordability level since the first quarter of 2012, the NAHB said.

NAHB analysis reveals that higher costs for lumber products have added nearly $30,000 to the price of an average new single-family home, observed Robert Dietz, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based trade association, who reported that the national median home price surged to a record $350,000 in the second quarter, up $30,000 from the first quarter, the largest quarterly price hike in the history of the series.

“With the U.S. housing market more than 1 million homes short of what is needed to meet the nation’s demand, policymakers need to focus on supply-side solutions that will enable builders to increase housing production and rein in rising home prices,” Dietz said.


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Kohler Details Progress on Key Corporate Initiatives

KOHLER, WI — Kohler Co., the Kohler, WI-based manufacturer of plumbing products, tile, cabinetry and lighting, has outlined a series of steps the company is taking to adhere to corporate commitments tied to social, governance and environmental issues.

Kohler’s 2020 Believing in Better Metrics Report, released in August, addressed the progress being made to reduce the company’s GHG emission intensity, waste-to-landfill intensity, water-use intensity and other key initiatives.

“While Kohler celebrates creativity, diversity and innovation in all its forms, we know we can do more to protect the planet, build resilient communities and enrich the quality of life for everyone,” said Laura Kohler, senior v.p./human resources, stewardship and sustainability.

Among the highlights of Kohler’s “Believing in Better” initiative were:

n A reduction in operational intensities since 2008 that has cut net greenhouse gas emissions by 48%, operational energy use by 22%, waste-to-landfill by 47% and water use by 46%.

n  Generated more than $1 billion in sales from environmentally favorable products in 2020.

n Completed more “Design for Environment” (DfE) projects, an incubator for developing products that are better for the planet, than in all previous years combined.

n Pivoted manufacturing facilities to produce and donate 80,000 face shields for frontline workers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

n Provided 3,500 showers for the unhoused.

n 26 teams competed in the annual Innovation for Good I-Prize, an internal competition that encourages associates to develop solutions with a social purpose. Three ideas were awarded funding for incubation.

n  More than 1,600 associates from around the world united around various communities and their allies, including launching a “hate has no home” education and fundraising campaign.

“Kohler is committed to providing access to safe water for communities around the globe, delivering innovative solutions to address pressing social issues and strengthening its efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion,” Laura Kohler said.

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