HACKETTSTOWN, NJ - Cherry wood cabinetry orders are in decline, reports the National Kitchen & Bath Association, but maple - its closest wood species rival for cabinets - has not gained as a result.

Cabinetry in Oak, Bamboo Rises; Cherry, Maple, Alder DeclinesCherry wood was consistently the first or second most popular wood for cabinetry, jockeying for the top spot with maple each year. Now designers are shifting from it, with just 69 percent specifying it this year, says NKBA. That's down from 80 percent in 2010, and follows a drop to 72 percent last year. 

Maple dropped in popularity, falling from 77 percent to 70 percent in the latest survery. Alder fell too, specified by just 27 percent of kitchen designers, down from 30 percent last year and from 40 percent two years ago.

Instead, says NKBA, a number of lesser-used woods are being specified more often, including:

• oak, which is specified by twice as many designers now (22%) versus two years ago (11%)

• walnut, which has increased from 3% in 2010 to 9% in 2011 to 13% today

• birch, now specified by three times as many kitchen designers (15% vs. 5%)

• bamboo, which has doubled from 5% last year to 10%

NKBA surveyed more than 350 member designers took part in its 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey to cite the materials, product types, and styles that they’ve incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011.

In addition to shifts in wood species, other trends include darker finishes, white paint, glass backsplashes, LED lighting, traditional inset bathroom medicine cabinets, use of solid surfaces like granite or quartz, in kitchen and bath, gray color schemes and polished chrome hardware, says NKBA in its study.

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