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3D Laminate vs. MDF For Your Cabinetry

A lot of homeowners come in looking for new custom cabinets or a cabinet reface. However, most of the time they are uncertain as to which cabinetry material they should use. Many homeowners initially think that wood is the best and only option for their home. Don’t get me wrong, wood can be a great option for your kitchen, but it’s most definitely not your only or best option. Recently, lots of homeowners who have been looking to change up their kitchen have been contemplating whether to use 3D laminate or MDF for their cabinetry. Here are the pros and cons of using either 3D laminates or MDF for your cabinetry. 

3D Laminate 

Modern science and technology have paved the way for a new type of laminate. These new laminated doors are designed to look just like their wood counterparts. Laminate cabinets are less expensive wooden cabinetry doors that are covered in a plastic-like layer called laminate. 


  • high- and low-pressure laminates can withstand extreme pressure
  • easy to clean
  • scratch resistant
  • cost affordable
  • endless color options and can be made to look uniform
  • quick to produce while maintaining a high-quality look and feel 


  • although durable prone to damage due to the pressure it was made under
  • the laminate may slowly lift over time.
  • difficult to repair a damage, so it’s easier to replace


MDF (medium-density fiberboard) 

MDF cabinetry is made from wood fibers, resin, and wax. MDF doors are a simple option to reduce the large cost of installing new custom cabinets.  It’s durable, stronger, and denser than other forms of pressed board, so it can work in almost any application where a natural wood product would be applied. 


  • fewer cracking or warping issues
  • no noticeable grain on your cabinets so it gives your cabinets a smoother finish
  • easy to customize
  • cost effective
  • environmentally friendly product
  • high levels of moisture resistance


  • scratches cannot be repaired easily
  • do not handle extreme heat well
  • MDF doors cannot be stained
  • does not equate to the natural aesthetic found in solid wood.

Kitchen Solvers 

There always seems to be an abundance of options when choosing your new cabinetry. This abundance of options means the kitchen of your dreams can become a reality. But it can also mean feeling a little overwhelmed with your choices. When you’re in the process of a remodel, overwhelmed is the last thing we want you to feel like when upgrading your kitchen. At Kitchen Solvers, part of our core belief is providing each homeowner with the most Pleasant Remodeling Experience. From the moment you call, we will meet you where you are at in the buying process. Call your nearest kitchen solvers for your consultation! If you’re looking to gain a greater insight on what a kitchen remodel entails make sure to visit our blog articles like Looking for a Financially Savvy Cabinet Restoration? Cabinet Refacing could be your Solution! And What are the Steps in a Kitchen Remodel? 

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Survey Spotlights New Priorities of Prospective Homebuyers

SANTA CLARA, CA — With life returning to normal as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, prospective homebuyers have developed a distinct set of priorities when it comes to the products and design features they want in their next house.

That is the key conclusion of a newly conducted national survey conducted by Realtor.com. The online poll, whose findings were made public last month, involved more than 1,200 adults over the age of 18 who plan to purchase a home within the next 12 months, according to Realtor.com, which is operated by publicly traded News Corp. under a license from the National Association of Realtors.

“The COVID pandemic ushered in a new way of thinking about what ‘home’ means, and that is influencing much of what today’s home shoppers are looking for,” said George Ratiu, senior economist for Realtor.com, which reported that the desire for additional space was the top reason driving home shoppers’ decisions to purchase a new home in the coming year. Survey responses also indicate buyers are looking for more flexibility in their home space and affordability in exchange for a shorter commute, the new realities of a post-COVID world, Ratiu said.

“Garages, large backyards and space for pets always rank high on buyers’ wish lists, but those features have grown in importance,” he said. “The pandemic has elevated our relationship with family, as well as the need for our home to serve multiple purposes, especially the ability to work remotely. As a result, we’re placing a premium on the need to accommodate extended family, and features like a home office and broadband internet.”

When asked which home features have become a priority as a result of the pandemic, a quiet location (28%), an updated kitchen (25%), and garage and large backyard (24% each) topped the list. Outdoor living area (20%), space for pets (18%), updated bathrooms (19%), home office and broadband internet capabilities (17% each) and open floor plan (16%) rounded out the top 10 pandemic-induced most desired home features.

Sixty-five percent of respondents indicated that they are considering extended family when they shop for a home, with nearly a quarter stating that they are planning to buy near family members, Realtor.com reported. One-fifth of those surveyed said they will have extended family living with them full-time, while 30% said their new home would need to accommodate extended family staying with them part-time or visiting.

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Business Seen Gaining, Although Headwinds Thwart Growth

EVANSTON, IL — Business for kitchen and bath design firms remains robust, and is projected to continue on an upward trajectory, as the impact of COVID-19 recedes and remodeling demand continues at record levels. But despite the bullish forecasts, dealers and designers remain hamstrung by several significant challenges – most prominent among them rising product costs and lingering disruptions in the kitchen/bath product supply chain.

Those are among the key findings of a major new survey conducted on behalf of Kitchen & Bath Design News by its exclusive research partner, the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI). The nationwide survey, conducted in mid-May, involved nearly 250 kitchen and bath dealers and designers, including those at firms that maintain a showroom as well as those who operate independently.

KBDN’s survey findings mirror those of other recent polls, which have found that demand for kitchen and bath remodeling is at an all-time high as COVID-19 vaccinations continue, previously postponed projects resume, and both permanent and hybrid work-from-home lifestyles prompt homeowners to reconfigure their residences. However, even as the pandemic’s impact continues to dissipate, project backlogs are reaching upwards of three to six months due to supply chain delays resulting from a combination of record demand and factory closures in the initial stages of the pandemic.

By far, the two greatest challenges that dealers and designers say they currently face are rising product/material costs (82% of respondents) and longer lead times on product deliveries (81% of respondents). Some 54% of survey respondents report that they cannot easily access installers, subcontractors or other labor needed to handle the projects they sell, while other challenges pale by comparison.

Among the wide range of kitchen and bath product categories, supply chain disruptions are most severe in the cases of appliances and cabinetry, survey recipients say. And most surveyed dealers and designers believe that the supply chain disruptions won’t end anytime soon. Specifically, 50% of surveyed dealers and designers believe the disruptions will continue throughout 2021. Another 20% anticipate the disruptions will last only through this fall. On the other hand, a significant number (17%) believe the delays will persist into 2022, and 6% say they have “no idea” when the disruptions will end.

Other survey findings included the following:

  • Three in four dealers and designers polled by KBDN report that project requests are currently higher than they were a year ago, when the impact of COVID-19-was far more pronounced. More specifically, 26% of those surveyed say requests are much higher, while 48% say they are somewhat higher. In contrast, only 5% say project requests are somewhat lower, and another 5% say they are much lower.
  • Two in three dealers and designers surveyed say they expect to design and sell more kitchens in 2021 than they did in 2020, when the median number of kitchens completed was 14, with designers and dealers associated with a showroom completing significantly more than independents (an average of 31 versus 6). The average price for a complete kitchen remodel in 2020 was $49,700, with independents reporting a higher average price tag ($64,700 versus $44,000) than those associated with a showroom.
  • More than half the survey respondents expect to design and sell more baths in 2021 than they did in 2020 when the median number of baths completed was nine, with designers and dealers associated with a showroom completing significantly more than independents (an average of 18 versus 6). The average price for a complete bathroom remodel in 2020 was $26,400, with independents again having a higher average price ($32,300 versus $23,500) for those associated with a showroom.
  • Half the surveyed dealers and designers anticipate that their 2021 profit margins on the kitchens and baths they design and sell will increase compared to 2020. Half say project pricing is more important now compared to this time last year, while 43% say the importance of project pricing is currently about the same as in the past.

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Remodeling Spending Up Sharply, Houzz Survey Finds

PALO ALTO, CA — Home renovation spending has grown 15% in the past year, with kitchens remaining the most popular remodeling projects undertaken by U.S. homeowners, according to the tenth annual “Houzz & Home” survey.

The annual survey of more than 70,000 registered users of Houzz found that while median spending on kitchen remodeling has been flat for the past three years, investment on major remodels of kitchens jumped 14% in 2020 compared to the prior year. The survey, fielded this spring, also found that the renovation market will continue to be robust in 2021, with 56% of surveyed homeowners planning to renovate this year, the highest share since 2017.

“While the pandemic caused initial concern for the residential renovation industry, many homeowners finally had the time and financial means to move forward with long-awaited projects in the past year,” said Marine Sargsyan, senior economist for the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform.

“This pent-up demand, along with other long-standing market fundamentals such as accumulated equity, will empower homeowners to continue investing in their current homes rather than face skyrocketing prices in the housing market,” Sargsyan added.

With homeowners largely homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the share who reported that they had wanted to pursue a home renovation and finally had the time increased by 6% in 2020 (44% compared 38% in 2019) and remains the top renovation trigger. Wanting to (remodel) all along and finally having the financial means also rose compared to the prior year, Houzz said, adding that a quarter of surveyed homeowners claimed to have renovated instead of moving because it was the more affordable option.

Other survey findings were as follows:

• While interior room remodels remain the most common projects (68%), outdoor areas have increased in popularity, with 2020 showing a jump of six percentage points (57%) among renovating homeowners.

• While Baby Boomers (ages 55-74) have historically led in both renovation activity and spending, Gen Xers (ages 40-54) narrowed the gap in 2020. Gen Xers now account for 32% of renovating homeowners (up from 30% in 2019), Houzz said. Millennials (ages 25-39) represented 12% of renovating homeowners.

• Homeowners are investing in smaller areas that may once have been considered a luxury but are now considered a necessity, Houzz noted. For example, demand for home office projects jumped four percentage points (14%) in 2020. Median spending on closet upgrades also saw an increase of 43%.

• Smart home technology purchases continue to rise in popularity. A larger share of renovating homeowners purchased smart technology products for their outdoor spaces than the previous year, including security cameras, light fixtures and speakers or sound systems.


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Government Support Seen as ‘Necessary’ to Boost Housing

CAMBRIDGE, MA — As the U.S. economy continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, households that weathered the public-health crisis without financial distress are snapping up the limited supply of homes for sale, pushing up prices and further excluding less affluent buyers from homeownership. At the same time, millions of people who lost income are behind on housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure.

Those are among the key findings of The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021, a major new report which concludes that, while government policymakers “have taken bold steps to prop up consumers and the economy, additional government support will be necessary to ensure that all households benefit from the expanding economy.”

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 report, released last month by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, found that even before the pandemic, household growth in the suburbs and small metros was on the rise, and the pandemic helped accelerate that growth, particularly among younger households who were ready to own homes and were looking to work remotely.

In 2020, existing home sales rose 6% and new single-family home sales jumped 20%, putting total home sales at their highest level since 2006, despite historically tight supply. But the combination of robust demand and limited supply lifted home prices to their fastest pace in over a decade.

“These outsized increases have raised concerns that a home price bubble is emerging,” said Daniel McCue, a senior research associate at the Cambridge, MA-based Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. “But conditions today are quite different from the early 2000s, particularly in terms of credit availability. The current climb in prices instead reflects strong demand amid tight supply, aided by record-low interest rates.”

“For those households with secure employment and good-quality housing, their homes provided a safe haven from the pandemic,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center. “But for millions struggling to cover the rent or mortgage, their housing situations have become increasingly insecure, and these disparities are likely to persist even as the economy recovers, with many lower-income households slow to regain their financial footing.

“Policymakers must be attuned to the needs of those who have fallen even further behind, ensuring that they also benefit from the expanding economy,” Herbert said.

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Lingering Supply Chain Disruptions Seen as Only Transitory

WASHINGTON, DC — Supply chain disruptions continue to wreak havoc on material prices, product backlogs, freight costs and kitchen/bath project timelines, although current conditions are likely a temporary speed bump rather than a lasting roadblock to future market growth.

That’s the view of most construction market experts, including leading manufacturers, who are forecasting that the current challenges impacting the kitchen and bath product supply chain are transitory rather than permanent, and should dissipate, for the most part, by the same time next year.

Product suppliers ­– as well as kitchen/bath designers, distributors, home builders, remodelers and others ­– have been facing a year-long “perfect storm” of surging demand coupled with materials shortages, logistical challenges and global factory shutdowns wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, while remodeling demand is soaring as vaccination rates increase and emerging lifestyles spark reconfigured home layouts, supply-chain disruptions have resulted in acute shortages of critical building products. Supply constraints, at the same time, have caused material costs to soar.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, materials shortages are currently more widespread than at any time since the 1990s, while higher costs coupled with shortages have seen builder confidence in the market decline to its lowest level in a year.

Some 90% of surveyed home builders reported a shortage of plywood, and nearly as many a shortage of windows and doors, according to a recent NAHB survey, which also found that the situation has deteriorated “drastically” since the same time last year. Shortages were also seen impacting a broader-than-ever range of products, including appliances, tile and cabinets, as well as plastic, stainless steel, semiconductors and other components essential to the manufacturing of refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, washers and dryers.

According to the latest Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI), compiled by the National Kitchen & Bath Association and John Burns Real Estate Consulting, supply constraints coupled with rising materials prices and shipping costs are forcing a growing number of kitchen/bath design firms to cope with longer lead times, seek alternative supply sources and increase their prices in an effort to preserve profit margins.

Some 45% of surveyed dealers and designers reported that material shortages and product pricing are affecting project timelines, according to the Q1 2021 KBMI. 60% of surveyed manufacturing firms reported average lead times of six-plus weeks, a significant increase from the previous quarter. 78% of those same manufacturers reported severe capacity constraints – also up from the previous quarter – due to extended lead times on raw materials and significant freight delays. At the same time, 67% of surveyed building and construction firms reported a backlog of three-plus months, with 21% reporting a backlog extending all the way through 2021.

According to Christofer von Nagel, CEO of BSH Home Appliances, the company’s brands – Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau – “are facing unprecedented consumer demand coupled with global materials shortages and logistical issues that are impacting the supply chain.”

Those factors have caused longer-than-usual delays in delivering appliances (and have made it) “challenging to keep pace with continued high demand,” von Nagel said, adding that fulfillment for some products has recently been four to six months.

“The supply chain is fragile worldwide,” Von Nagel observed. “There are delays no matter where a product is manufactured (and) we expect conditions to be challenging for the foreseeable future.”

“We know this is frustrating for consumers,” Von Nagel added, noting that BSH has hired additional employees, increased production, and constantly monitored and adjusted its supply chain and manufacturing processes.

A growing number of other suppliers have done the same.

For example, in June, Delta Faucet Co. announced a decision to “prioritize production” for certain product brands or finishes, while temporarily pausing production for other collections and finishes. The pause is expected to be in effect until the fourth quarter of 2021, the company said, noting that while it won’t accept new orders during this time, it will fulfill existing orders.

“We estimate that market demand will begin to normalize during the second half of 2021, assuming that consumer spending patterns start to normalize by mid-year,” Electrolux CEO Jonas Samuelson recently told corporate shareholders, adding that capacity and electronic components availability will remain constraining factors into the second half of 2021.

“Because we recognize the situation is not going to change anytime soon, we’re working to be more proactive in alerting our customers to the delays so they can better plan,” Samuelson said. “By this time next year, we anticipate this situation will begin to balance across both demand and the shortages in materials and components needed to assemble the products.”

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Registration Opens for CEDIA In-Person Expo

ALPHARETTA, GA — CEDIA Expo, the platform where technology integrators, designers and construction professionals connect, learn and engage, runs September 1 to 3 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. The leading residential technology event brings over 10,000 home technology design and construction attendees together with 300+ exhibitors at one of the first 2021 in-person events supporting the technology sector.

“We’re all eager to connect again on a human level and get back to face-to-face events as we celebrate everything we value as a community together again,” said Emerald Group Vice President, CEDIA Expo & KBIS, Jason McGraw.

CEDIA Expo is committed to making both new and established attendees and exhibitors feel connected and engaged by creating fresh programming, show floor activations, education, and training events in a safe, comfortable environment, show organizers noted.

New exhibiting brands include Environmental Lights, a leader in LED lighting solutions; Hisense, a fast-growing consumer electronics and appliance manufacturer that offers cutting-edge televisions and home appliances, and Datum Project Processing, a new to the market and show exhibitor that is participating in the rebranded Launchpad (formerly Innovation Alley).

Crestron, one of the leading complete, engineered smart home systems companies, is also returning to the main show floor. “We have been thrown into this global experiment,” said Crestron Exec. V.P., Global Marketing Brad Hintze. “We’ve had to innovate as a company, but so have our customers and partners throughout this year. It’s been an amazing experience and we’re excited to be back at CEDIA Expo to share our newest innovations and insights.”

DataComm Electronics, an industry-recognized brand name and a leading manufacturer of home theater and HDMI accessories and data/telecom connectivity solutions, also joins CEDIA this year. “I’m looking forward to the in-person CEDIA event in Indianapolis this year,” said Cassidy Jones, president of DataComm Electronics. “We have some new concepts to introduce, and the products really shine when we can talk about and demo them face-to-face.” Jones continues, “It’ll be nice to catch up with the customers and other exhibitor friends we missed in 2020.”

For registration details, visit https://cediaexpo.com/attend/registration-pricing/



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2020 Announces Winners of Global Inspiration Contest

Westwood, USA – 2020 recently announced the winners of this year’s 2020 Global Inspiration Contest for kitchen, bathroom and office designers. Interior designers across North America, the United Kingdom and France submitted their designs using 2020 applications that allow users to create visualizations using real materials and finishes from a wide selection of manufacturer catalogs.

This year’s contest was sponsored by Allied USA, Fotile America and Armony Cucine. There were nine categories that designers were encouraged to submit to, and over 445 submissions were received this year. The winners of each category were selected by an expert panel of judges, with the top three designs eligible for the Voters’ Choice prize.

The winners of the 2020 Global Inspiration Contest for 2021 are:

  • Contemporary kitchen: Laura-Lou Fortin from Christian Marcoux Cuisine et Mobilier Design, Canada – 2020 Design Live
  • Traditional kitchen: Marie-Pier Durand from Cuisine MT, Canada – 2020 Design Live
  • Contemporary bathroom: Aurore Guy from QUADRILLAGE, France – 2020 Fusion
  • Traditional bathroom: Chelsea Butler from Cabinets.com, USA – 2020 Design Live
  • Any space: Alex Legare Grondin from Dkor.A, Canada – 2020 Design Live
  • 360° panorama: David Fitton from Mill Town Kitchens & Interiors, U.K. – 2020 Fusion Live
  • Reconfigured office space: Isabel Dunklin from McDowell-Craig, U.S.A. – 2020 Visual Impression
  • Flexible office space: Kristen M. Seiner from Tech Valley Office Interiors, U.S.A. – 2020 Visual Impression
  • Educational space – Marianne Box from Hertz Furniture, U.S.A – 2020 Visual Impression
  • Voters’ Choice – Brittany Hutt from Cabinets.com, U.S.A – 2020 Design Live

2020 Marketing Director Karen Curtis is thrilled with all the submissions received this year. “Our designers are extremely talented, and our contests really showcase how their creativity and expertise combined with our software make beautiful things happen,” says Curtis. “We strive to continually improve our products so that designers can rest assured they are using the best solution on the market.”

To learn more about the 2020 Global Inspiration Contest winners, please visit the contest gallery at https://www.2020spaces.com/2020-global-inspiration-contest/gallery/.


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Business Skills Event Planned

CHICAGO – SEN Design Group, a kitchen and bath industry buying group and business education resource, is accepting registrations for its Business School, to be held in-person at theMart (formerly known as Merchandise Mart) in Chicago. The four-day event – scheduled for July 12-15 and sponsored by Custom Wood Products – empowers business owners and executives in the kitchen and bath industry with the right tools to grow their businesses, according to SEN.

“The Business School is the kitchen and bath executives’ opportunity to move the needle in their organizations. It’s a truly transformational, poignant program that brings industry executives to the next level,” said Dan Luck, SEN Design Group’s senior v.p. “The program covers critical topics to maximize returns, master financials, leverage marketing strategies, improve personnel relations and implement proven methods to quickly and profitably grow kitchen and bath businesses.”

Participants will develop strong strategic planning skills and learn how to manage the business financials, build a successful commission system, learn how to forecast sales, create an effective pricing formula, increase profits, build a powerful sales team, win bank financing requests, develop a three-year budget and more.

But a successful business cannot rely solely on financial and business skills. Kitchen and bath business owners must also advance their personnel management skills, which is why the Business School includes a module dedicated to helping participants motivate and lead employees effectively.

The third day of the intensive program will focus on how to leverage marketing strategies to grow the business. This module will cover strategies to stand apart from the competition, the importance of creating a marketing plan, how to effectively use customer relationship management (CRM) tools, how to implement digital marketing campaigns and creative data-driven analytics to generate more leads.

Visit here to see the Executive Business School program and email Skyler Ille to register for the event. The cost to participate is free for SEN Design Group members and $1,195 for non-members; $995 Early Bird registration by June 30th, 2021.

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Cabinet Sales Up Sharply Through First Five Months of 2021

RESTON, VA — Major domestic kitchen cabinet and vanity manufacturers continued to post strong sales gains through the first five months of 2021, as demand remains at record heights and the impact of COVID-19 continues to dissipate, according to the latest in a series of monthly surveys by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association.

The KCMA’s latest “Trend of Business Survey” reflected a year-to-date sales increase of 21.6% through May when compared to the same five-month period last year. Custom cabinet sales through the first five months of 2021 were up 23.5% over the same period last year, while semi-custom cabinet sales rose 21.3%, and stock cabinet sales gained 21.4%, the Reston, VA-based KCMA said, adding that overall May sales were up 32.9% compared to the same month last year.

Survey participants include stock, semi-custom and custom companies whose combined sales represent approximately 75% of the U.S. kitchen cabinet and bath vanity market, according to the KCMA.



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