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Top 10 Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2012


solid surfacing, solid surface, countertops

Formica® Solid Surfacing in Bianco Mineral.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recently surveyed more than 350 member designers on the materials, styles and products they’ve incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs in the last three months of 2011.  The results reveal the kitchen and bath trends likely to take hold in 2012.  

  1. Cherry wood for cabinets, while still popular, is in decline.  Species such as oak, walnut, birch and bamboo are on the rise. 

  2. Darker cabinet finishes are increasingly being specified, though for painted cabinets, white continues to rule.  Distressed finishes also are making a comeback.

  3. Glass, while a niche material for countertops, is growing in popularity for backsplashes.

  4. Energy efficiency is mainstream, with LED lighting being specified by 70 percent of NKBA kitchen designers in the past year.

  5. Consumers prefer pull-out kitchen faucets vs. a standard faucet with a detached side spray – in fact, 14 out of every 15 designers surveyed incorporated a pull-out faucet into their clients’ kitchens.

  6. Medicine cabinets return as a practical way to gain storage space in the bathroom.

  7. Transitional style, defined as a blend of traditional and contemporary, is now the dominant design for kitchens and baths — ousting traditional from its number one spot for the first time since the NKBA began tracking annual design trends.

  8. Solid surfacing continues to quickly rise in popularity, with specifications rising from 11 percent in 2010 to 26 percent in 2011 to 30 percent this year.  Now those are statistics we like to hear!

  9. Gray, in its various shades, continues to gain momentum as a favorite neutral.

  10. Polished chrome is back, edging out brushed finishes.

For more detailed results from the NKBA survey, click here.  We expect to see these trends out in full force at the National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show next week — if you’re there, stop by the Formica Group booth (3208) and say hello!


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