Kitchen & Bath Shipments Rise

Leading indicators of kitchen and bathroom remodeling activity, namely sales of everything from surface materials to appliances show that K/B remodeling remains strong, despite a slowdown in the overall growth in the remodeling market this year.

Decorative laminate demand

Sparked by demand from the flooring industry, sales of decorative laminates in the United States are being forecast to rise 3.8 percent a year, to 16.6 billion sq. ft., valued at $8.2 billion, by 2011, according to a study by The Freedonia Group. The Cleveland, Ohio-based market research firm forecast that laminate sales gains will be fueled largely by growth in laminate flooring, which is projected to gain 9.6 percent per year through 2011. Cabinets will use 4.4 billion sq. ft. of laminate in 2004, despite below-average growth, particularly in the new-construction sector, analysts said, noting that demand for laminate cabinets will occur at the expense of other materials, such as softwood plywood. High pressure laminates, such as those used for countertops and other horizontal surfaces, are expected to post above-average growth over the next five years, researchers added. Laminates made from low pressure overlays are being forecast to comprise 81 percent of decorative laminate sales volume by 2011.

Cabinet and vanity sales

Sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities, hurt by the ongoing housing slump, fell sharply in June compared to the same month in 2006, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association said last month. According to the Reston, Va.-based KCMA, manufacturers participating in the association’s monthly “Trend of Business” survey reported that overall cabinet sales declined 15.0 percent in June compared to the same month in 2006. Sales of stock cabinets fell 22.1 percent for the month, while semicustom cabinet sales declined 6.8 percent and custom cabinet sales declined 12.6 percent. Year-to-date sales through the first six months of 2007 were down 13.5 percent from the January-June time period of 2006, the KCMA reported.

Appliance shipments

Slowed by the softness in the nation’s housing market, shipments of major home appliances are likely to remain essentially flat — although at record levels — through the balance of this year, before posting a modest gain in 2008, according to the latest forecast by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. The Washington, D.C.-based AHAM projected that major appliance shipments, on a significant growth curve over the past 10 years, should reach a record 80.23 million units this year, up just marginally from the 79.95 million units shipped in 2006. Projections are for shipments to rise to 81.45 million units in 2008, with most product categories posting slight advances (see graph at right).

Universal Design

Remodelers see Aging-in-Place Opportunity

A recent survey of remodelers by the NAHB found that almost three-quarters of respondents (72 percent) are involved in home modifications related to aging-in-place projects, up from 60 percent in 2006.

According to the survey, respondents indicated that some of the most popular types of aging-in-place remodeling projects included installing grab bars (90 percent), higher toilets (75 percent) and curbless showers (63 percent), and widening doorways (56 percent). More than 75 percent of respondents noted an increase in the number of requests for aging-in-place features over the past five years. Respondents reported that the top reasons for their customers to undertake aging-in-place work included planning for future needs (78 percent), living with older parents (54 percent) and acute age-related disabilities.

Community Service

NAHB, National Housing Endowment call for entries

The National Association of Home Builders remodelers to submit entries for the third annual Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service. The award honors members who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to bettering their communities and promoting philanthropic endeavors. The complete award description and entry form is available online at

To be considered, projects should be completed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 12, 2007. The winner, among other qualifications, will have met a defined and demonstrated community need, succeeded in motivating other NAHB members and/or company staff to participate and developed a project that can be replicated by other builders. Entries should be received by Nov. 12, 2007. The work of past winners can be viewed at

For more information on the National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service, contact Niki M. Clark, public relations manager, NAHB, at or by phone at (800) 368-5242, ext. 8061.

Materials Supply

The Home Depot completes Sale of HD Supply

The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, announced it has completed the sale of HD Supply. As announced, the terms were as follows:

  • Purchase price of $8.5 billion
  • The Home Depot will own a 12.5 percent equity interest for $325 million.
  • The Home Depot guaranteed a $1 billion senior secured loan of HD Supply

In fiscal 2006, The Home Depot had sales from continuing operations of $79 billion and earnings from continuing operations of $5.3 billion. The re-affirmed a commitment to its $22.5 billion recapitalization plan announced on June 19, 2007.


Research using wind lab conducted at Florida International University

The International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University is conducting research using its Wall of Wind hurricane simulator in an effort to find a cost-efficient way to reinforce homes in hurricane-prone areas of the U.S.
A substantial number of tests are being conducted on roof systems of buildings.

Information regarding whether inexpensive retrofits to a home will reduce storm losses is limited because it is difficult to determine what fails first during a hurricane. The research at FIU, currently in its second phase and funded by a catastrophe insurer affiliated with RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., Pembroke, Bermuda, uses a six-fan, 16-foot-high wind generator designed to replicate Category 4 hurricane wind and rain and gauge their impact on single-story structures.

Kitchens & Baths

October is National Kitchen & Bath Month

The National Kitchen & Bath Association is celebrating National Kitchen & Bath Month throughout October.
Established by the NKBA in 1982, National Kitchen & Bath Month raises awareness of the importance of kitchen and bath professionals and to honor their achievements.

The NKBA’s goal with the program is to make October the most popular time of year for consumers to remodel, shop for and maintain their kitchens and bathrooms. It is also a great opportunity to focus on immerging trends, kitchen and bath safety, and important design strategies.

A special NKBM section has been added to the Association’s Web site where consumers and professionals can find local and national NKBM events, informative news and happenings in the industry, search for local NKBA professionals and finds ways to join the celebration with coupons, discounts and industry fact sheets for consumers.

For more information, please visit the NKBA Web site at or call (800) 843-6522.