NKBA Reveals Top Design Trends and Economic Outlook
January 17, 2017
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 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Based on this member survey, the NKBA expects to see the following overall kitchen trends this year:
- 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: 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.
According to respondents to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Survey, two-toned colored kitchens are on the rise. NKBA members reported that white and gray painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes they proposed to their clients, and they show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Blue and black toned cabinets, as well as high gloss finishes are gaining popularity.
As with kitchens, contemporary and transitional-styled bathrooms have overtaken traditional in design preference, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report completed by the NKBA. Based on this annual member survey, the NKBA expects to see the following overall bathroom trends this year:
- 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.
- Whites, off/whites and gray are by far the most popular bathroom color schemes. Blue is emerging, with younger design professionals leaning more towards 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 percent 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.
More than 10 percent of American homeowners did a kitchen or bath remodeling project last year for a total kitchen and bath remodel and replacement market of $85 billion. The kitchen and bath market for new construction is $48.6 billion.
The NKBA report, “Estimated Market Value for the Kitchen & Bath Remodeling and New Residential Construction Markets,” finds that each year homeowners remodel upwards of 10.2 million kitchens – roughly one in 10 of all households – and 14.2 million bathrooms, two of the most important rooms in a home. Further, annual new home construction adds roughly 1 million kitchens and 2.3 million bathrooms to the marketplace.
Nearly half (48 percent) of kitchen remodel and replacement projects were budgeted at $15,000 or more; while one-in-five Americans (21 percent) spent $7,500 or more to remodel their master bathroom, according to the report released at KBIS, the association’s annual show.
Other insights into the kitchen segment of the industry include:
-10.2 million — or roughly one in 10 of all households — undertook a kitchen remodel or replacement project during 2015.
-Nearly half (48 percent) of kitchen remodel and replacement projects were budgeted at $15,000 or more.
-However, there was a great variation in the kitchen project budget, pointing to more partial upgrades, rather than complete remodels. For example, 63 percent of respondents spent less than $5,000 on their kitchen remodeling or replacement project.
-Similar to previous generations, younger homeowners are more inclined to DIY these projects and baby boomers are more inclined to hire the expertise.
-The overall estimated retail market value for products among households undertaking kitchen remodel or replacement project activity is $49.7 billion.
Other insights into the bathroom segment of the industry include:
-14.2 million — or just under 13 percent of all households — undertook a bathroom remodel or replacement project during 2015.
-21 percent of respondents spent $7,500 or more to remodel their master bathroom.
-As with kitchens, there was a significant variation in spending for bathroom remodels and replacements. For example, nearly four-in-ten (38 percent) of respondents budgeted less than $2,500 for their bathroom remodeling or replacement project.
-The overall estimated retail market value for products among households undertaking a bath remodel or replacement project is $35.5 billion.
“This NKBA research is the first in a decade to quantify the size of the kitchen and bath industry,” says NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. “Our $134 billion industry has a major impact on the U.S. economy, representing nearly a fifth (18 percent) of the total residential design and construction marketplace.”
The report is based on an online survey fielded in early 2016 that generated 1,078 responses representing homeowners, builders/remodelers and general contractors’ views of projects completed during 2015. The study contains a breakdown of kitchen and bath market activity, including kitchen and bath remodeling by segment product behaviors, average amount spent on products, estimated retail market value by product and a breakdown of kitchen and bath market activity by housing type.
“Kitchens and bathrooms are big business,” echoes Manuel Gutierrez, NKBA consulting economist and principal of ManuelDJGutierrez, LLC. “The $134 billion residential construction and remodeling market for American kitchens and baths is weighted toward remodeling projects, with $85.2 billion (64 percent) allocated to remodeling and $48.9 billion (36 percent) earmarked for new construction.”