News, Trends, Community - March

Kitchen & Bath Trends

NKBA Reveals Kitchen & Bath Trends

A member survey by the Hackettstown, N.J.-based National Kitchen & Bath Association revealed seven kitchen and four bathroom trends to watch in 2011.


  1. Shake It Up—Shaker-style cabinets supplanted Contemporary as the second-most popular style. Traditional remains the most popular style.
  2. Dark Finishes—Dark natural finishes overtook medium natural, glazed and whitepainted finishes.
  3. A Place for Wine—Wine refrigerators seem to be on the decline, but unchilled wine storage is growing in popularity.
  4. Bonjour Réfrigérateur—The French-door refrigerator has strengthened its position as the type specified most often.
  5. Inducting a New Cooktop—Induction cooktops haven’t overtaken gas and electric models, but they’re closing the gap.
  6. LE D Lighting—LED (light-emitting diode) lighting use has increased from 47 percent to 54 percent while incandescent lighting continues its journey to obsolescence.
  7. Trashy Designs—A greater emphasis is being made to address trash considerations. Some 89 percent of kitchens include trash or recycling pullouts.


  1. Quartz Countertops—Quartz continues to take market share from granite in relation to bathroom vanity tops.
  2. Green Bathrooms—Not eco-friendly spaces, literally green bathrooms. A year ago, green color palettes were used by only 14 percent of NKBA designers, but at the end of 2010, that figure had risen to 24 percent.
  3. A Worthy Vessel—Under-mount sinks continue to dominate newly remodeled bathrooms; however, vessel sinks have become the clear second choice.
  4. Satin-nickel Faucets—This trend relates to bathrooms and kitchens. From the end of 2009 to the end of 2010, the percent of NKBA designers who specified a satin-nickel faucet rose from 41 percent to 63 percent in
    the kitchen and from 4

New Homes

Builder Confidence Unchanged

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes remained unchanged at 16 for a fourth consecutive month in February, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders/Wells
Fargo Housing Market Index.

“Although builders are starting to see more interest among potential home buyers, we are also dealing with a multitude of challenges, including competition from foreclosure properties and inaccurate appraisals of new homes, which are limiting our ability to sell,” says NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “On top of that, an extremely tight lending environment continues to make it almost impossible to obtain credit for viable new and existing projects, and most do not see that situation improving anytime soon.”

Home Priced

Stabilization Seen in Some Areas

Home sales rebounded in 49 states during the fourth-quarter 2010 with 78 markets—more than half of the available metropolitan areas—experiencing price gains from fourth-quarter 2009, while most of the rest saw price weakness, according to a survey by the Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Realtors.

Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, jumped 15.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.8 million in the fourth quarter from 4.16 million in the third quarter but were 19.5 percent below a surge to an unsustainable cyclical peak of 5.97 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. The peak was driven by the initial deadline for the firsttime buyer tax credit, NAR says.

In the fourth quarter, the median existing single-family home price rose in 78 out of 152 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) from the fourth quarter of 2009, including 10 with double-digit increases. Three were unchanged, and 71 areas had price declines. In the fourth quarter of 2009, a total of 67 MSAs experienced annual price gains, according to the survey.

Home Equity

Remodeling Cost Compares Favorably to Moving

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based says that because of loss of equity in their homes homeowners may find the cost of remodeling compares favorably to moving. Of the 5,000 homeowners surveyed, today the
average amount of home equity is $106,000 compared to $176,000 in 2009. If a homeowner moves, the organization estimates a new home that meets his or her needs will cost, on average, $428,000. This is $145,000 more than the price at which a homeowner could sell his or her current home. On the other hand, the remodel cost estimate is approximately $100,000.

Market Index

Remodelers Expect Gains In 2011

The Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index (RMI) edged up to 41.5 in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 40.8 in the third quarter. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers say market activity is lower compared to the prior quarter. The RMI has been running below 50 since the final quarter of 2005. “Remodelers are starting to see an uptick in interest from consumers who are considering future remodeling projects,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Fort Collins, Colo. “Homeowners are also showing more willingness to undertake larger remodeling projects.”

Permit Activity

Remodeling Gains 18 Percent

Residential remodeling activity rose 18 percent year-over-year in December 2010 and for the 14th straight month, according to Austin, Texas-based BuildFax’s Remodeling Index. On a regional basis, the West and South experienced betterthan-average remodeling activity in December; the South posted a four-year high, and the West posted an index high. The Midwest suffered its usual significant November-to-December decline, and the Northeast continues to lag all other regions while still showing signs of recovery. BuildFax bases its information on a national database of building-permit data.


Peterson Named NAHB Remodelers Chair

Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, president of Associates in Building & Design Ltd., Fort Collins, Colo., was appointed 2011 chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers during the International
Builders’ Show in January. Peterson established his remodeling design/build firm in 1990 and helped found his local Remodeler’s Council. He also has served as president of his local home builders’ association and the Colorado
Association of Home Builders. In 2007, Peterson was NAHB Remodelers’ Remodeler of the Year for professional excellence and was recognized as the 2008 Colorado Builder of the Year.