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NKBA 2013 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends

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Kitchen and Bath Design Trends

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) released 2013 kitchen and bath design trends observed starting in 2010. 

Color SchemesKitchen and Bath Design Trends

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) revealed that gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths have witnessed a dramatic escalation since 2010, particularly over the past year. Designers reported that more than half of kitchens (55%) and bathrooms (56%) use shades of gray to create chic, sophisticated spaces. This is a significant growth for the color choice, which was used in just 9% of kitchen and 12% of bathrooms as recently as 2010.

Despite its growing popularity, gray still comes in as just the third most popular color scheme. White and off-white remain the top option, used by 73% of kitchen designers and 71% of bathroom designers — an increase of 6 percentage points in both categories over the past year. Beige and “bone” remain the second most popular color scheme in both rooms, followed by grays and then browns. Browns are declining in bathrooms, falling from 39% in 2012 to 35% this year, but sepia tones rose from 11% to 17% in kitchens and 11% to 18% in bathrooms.

Style Options

Traditional kitchen and bath designs continue to give way to transitional styling, which NKBA defines as a seamless blend of traditional and contemporary. Traditional was the most popular design aesthetic in 2010 and 2011, while transitional design takes the lead in 2012, used by 69% of kitchen designers (a 10-point jump) and 61% of bathroom designers. As a result, traditional styles sit in second place in both rooms, their popularity holding steady at 60% in kitchens and 58% in bathrooms. Contemporary design secured a close third in the most recent poll, maintaining a steady 52% use in kitchens and increasing slightly from 53% to 57% in bathrooms.

Kitchen and Bath Design TrendsCountertop Choices

Granite remains the top choice for countertops, but Quartz is narrowing the gap. Quartz usage has increased from 69% to 80% in kitchens and from 53% to 65% in bathrooms. The popularity of solid surfaces in kitchens continues to rise, growing from 11% in 2010 to 35% in 2013. Marble still remains a popular bathroom vanity-top material, decreasing slightly from 46% in 2010 to 39% this year.

 Glass Backsplash

The preference for glass splashes has grown dramatically over the past three years: from 42% in 2010 to 64% this year. At the same time, while natural stone tile showed consistent growth during 2011 and 2012, usage dropped from 60% to 55% in the latest survey. Ceramic or porcelain tiles held its top position for the third consecutive year, but overall usage fell by 11 percentage points between 2010 (88%) and now (77%).

Touch-activated faucets

Growing in popularity are touch-activated faucets, specified by 32% of NKBA designers, versus only 20% of designers in 2011 and 2012. Pull-out faucets are still in the top position, as they have been since 2010, with usage rising from 88% in 2010 to 94% this year. Pot filler faucets grab the second spot this year, gaining five percentage points over the past year to 33%.

LED Lighting in the Kitchen

LED Lighting in the Kitchen

LED Lighting

Energy-efficient lighting is widely used in both the United States and Canada. As consumer awareness of energy efficiency has risen, it comes as no surprise that light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting is being specified by a higher percentage of designers, increasing from 70% to 77% over the past year. The significant uptick from 50% in 2010 indicates that this trend has serious staying power.

Meanwhile, there has been no significant change in the use of compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and incandescent bulbs, with current usage at 26% and 41%, respectively.

Faucet Finishes

When it comes to faucet finishes in kitchens, satin nickel has been on the top since 2011, its usage increasing from 42% in 2010 to 60% this year. Bronze or oil-rubbed bronze finishes are also being specified more often, growing from 41% to 50% in the past year. The increased popularity of these three finishes most likely comes at the expense of polished nickel and polished chrome. The latter, which had seen a rise in usage in 2012, dipped from 52% to 47% in the latest survey; polished nickel dropped from 25% to 20%.

 Porcelain Tile

Porcelain Tile

Tile Flooring

In the bathroom, ceramic or porcelain tile flooring has been in slight decline over the past two years, but it remains the most popular of all materials, specified by 83% of the survey participants this year — down from 93% in 2011. Natural stone tiles have also declined since 2011 dropping from 77% to 59% in 2012, and to 57% this year. However, they have been the second most popular type of flooring used since 2011.

Undermount Sinks

Undermounts are in slight decline this year, dropping from 94% in 2012 to 87%. But here again, they remain the most specified type of lavoratory sink — not just in the latest poll, but over the past 3 years. Integrated sink/tops have seen modest growth, increasing from 35% in 2012 to 41% currently.

Average Costs: No Growth

In the NKBA Design Trends Survey each year, designers are asked for the total average cost of the kitchens they design, including materials and labor. In 2010, the figure was $44,800; in 2011, it dropped to $40,500. In 2012, the figure rose significantly to $51,050. However, this year witnessed another modest decline, to $47,308.

In 2010, bathroom remodels stood at $18,575 and dropped to $16,475 in 2011. But the average spend increased to $18,850 in 2012, indicating homeowner remodeling budgets were on the rise. As we enter 2013, the figure plateaued at $18,538.

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