LAS VEGAS - The innovations in kitchen design and installation will be on display later this month at the National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) 48th annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) at the Las Vegas Convention Center April 26 to 28, 2011. The show expects to draw nearly 40,000 attendees who will have the opportunity to check out the newest and most distinctive products available to the marketplace from nearly 600 exhibiting manufacturers from across the globe.

Kitchen trendwatching is already top-of-mind at the NKBA. The organization's "Top 11 Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2011"report, which was released in late January, lists the following five kitchen trends related to cabinets and hardware:

* Shake It Up: The Shaker style began a rise in popularity in 2009 and gained momentum in 2010. By the end of the year, Shaker has supplanted Contemporary as the second most popular style used by NKBA member designers. Traditional remains the most popular.

* Maple Cabinetry: As 2010 began, cherry was specified by more NKBA member designers for use in kitchen cabinetry that any other wood. This year, while cherry still remains a popular choice, maple overtook cherry for the number-one most used wood.

* Dark Finishes: Dark natural finishes won out over medium-natural, glazed, and white painted finishes to become the most specified type of finish toward the end of 2010. Light natural and colored painted finishes also remained fairly common.

* Solid Surfaces: While granite and quartz will retain the number 1 and 2 spots in the countertop market in 2011, solid surfaces have emerged as the clear number 3. Additionally, laminate dropped slightly in preference, while solid surfaces rose somewhat. Niche products like butcher block and marble also increased in popularity.

* Goodbye, Color: Homeowners seemed to be afraid of color as 2010 drew to a close. The use of every color except beige and gray was either flat or down across the board from a year earlier. Even neutral browns have been deemed too bold by many clients. Whites and off-whites dropped only slightly, while instances of grays, beiges, and bones increased a touch.

At KBIS, top cabinet and hardware makers will showcase their newest innovative products for the kitchen market. Here are a few product highlights from featured KBIS manufacturers, which attendees will discover at the trade show later this month (high-resolution photography available for media use):

* FEDERAL BRACE (BOOTH #C7283): The installation of heavyweight applications can crush sheetrock wall if nothing is placed between the support brace and the wall board material. Federal Brace announces the Bracket Backer ™, a design-enhancing backer board trim that protects soft wall material behind brackets in heavyweight applications. This product helps prevent sheetrock flexing or crushing of soft wall board materials. Made with a micro-fiberboard material commonly called high density MDF, the backer has a high content of recycled material and is excellent in projects with environmentally green considerations. While optimal use of the Bracket Backers™ is in high weight capacity support applications such as granite and other stone countertop extensions, they can also be used simply as trim molding around brackets to enhance the look of other support applications such as shelving.

* GRASS AMERICA INC. (BOOTH #C6027): The Kinvaro L-80 Parallel Lifter system from Grass America offers a smooth and quiet action as the lifter opens a single door in parallel to the cabinet. The lifter allows quick and easy access to cabinet interiors as the door is pulled up and out of the cabinet way. In one smooth motion, doors-regardless of the weight-lift up and hold firm in any position. Easy, tool-free adjustments make the L-80 lifter the perfect hardware for large wall cabinets with their vast amount of storage space. Grass Lifters open effortlessly via spring power assistance and accommodate various door weights. All cabinet doors are lifted up and out of the way for full access to the interiors.

* KITCHEN KOMPACT INC. (BOOTH #C7181): New and available in time for KBIS from Kitchen Kompact, the Bretwood Maple line features medium to dark maple flat panel cabinet doors. With its warm color and clean look, Bretwood conveys a bold visual statement. Bretwood's rich undertones and autumn finish warm up the home and provide the perfect accent. Kitchen Kompact has been known for years to be a manufacturer of neutral colored oak and maple cabinetry. The new Bretwood Maple gives Kitchen Kompact a medium to dark colored cabinet, meeting the demand of dark colored cabinetry in the market.Kitchen Kompact also announced that the company will continue to hold prices for the next six months.

* LG HAUSYS SURFACES (BOOTH #C6702): Appealing to a wide range of preferences in today's surfaces design options, Viatera® by LG Hausys introduces 15 new sophisticated colors to its popular collection of quartz surfaces. These color additions expand Viatera's robust palette and were inspired by emerging fashion and color trends. Viatera® combines natural quartz with advanced polymers to create a nonporous countertop material that is stain-resistant and hygienic. The Viatera® collection increases from 30 colors to 45, ranging from soft and warm tones to passionate and intense shades. The 15-color launch includes brand new collections Reflection, Ice & Dover, and Veined.

* RAW URTH DESIGNS (BOOTH #C6396): Raw Urth Designs introduces new Metal Shelving Systems. The company offers both modern and traditional lines inspired by clients' needs to have gorgeous, handcrafted metal in their wine cellars and kitchens. All of Raw Urth's steel products (range hoods, outdoor fire features, countertops, backsplashes, and the new metal shelving) utilize recycled steel from mills in the U.S. and are all handcrafted in Colorado. Raw Urth's unique patinas are spectacular in their own right and put a spin on the overall kitchen look.

* THINKGLASS (BOOTH #C6882): Let creativity soar with ThinkGlass glass kitchen countertops that are as stunningly beautiful as they are durable. Made from 100 percent recyclable glass, each countertop is unique, with a huge selection of molded textures and hand-painted colors. Customers can select their glass thickness, edge treatments and even add LED lights to further personalize their design. The end result is a smooth, glossy finish that is as strong as any natural stone or manmade countertop material. Although they appear to have a delicate, almost ethereal beauty, these countertops can easily withstand the demands of even the busiest home chefs. Virtually maintenance-free, their textured finish hides fingerprints and is impossible to stain. They are naturally resistant to scratches, mold and mildew, and can endure high heat without cracking or scorching. Because glass is nonporous and requires no sealant, it is a healthy, hygienic choice for kitchen use.

* TOP KNOBS USA (BOOTH #C4108): Top Knobs, known for its exceptional kitchen cabinet hardware, announces the launch of the Sanctuary Collection of decorative hardware. Inspired by Asian architectural details, the Sanctuary Collection delivers a simplified, sophisticated look, available in eight finishes including Brushed Satin Nickel, Flat Black, German Bronze, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Pewter Antique, Polished Chrome, Polished Nickel and Tuscan Bronze.The inspiration for the Sanctuary Collection is in the simplicity of form and sophistication of style. As with every Top Knobs cabinet knob, door handle, pull, hook, or fixture, the Sanctuary Collection offers a completely sealed finish that lasts for years and years, so there is no wear.

* WESLOCK (BOOTH #C4470): The Molten Bronze collection by Weslock was created to offer a rustic and durable hardware line to the consumer. The entry handles, knobs, levers, and deadbolts are available in Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Black, and Weathered Pewter with rosette options in Square, Premier and Sutton. Featuring a 10-year finish warranty and limited lifetime mechanical warranty, Weslock offers the only Grade II cylindrical door lock in the residential market and continues to be recognized as the best builder lock. Weslock product features include all metal parts, ease of installation, panic-proof privacy locking, removable knobs and levers, dual spindles, and removable rosettes.

About National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a nonprofit trade association and owner of KBIS. With nearly 40,000 members, the NKBA has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 46 years. The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide. NKBA members span 11 kitchen and bath industry segments, including builder/remodeler, cabinet shop, dealer, distributor, decorative plumbing and hardware, designer, fabricator, multi-branch retailer, installer, manufacturer and manufacturer's representative, many of whom attend or exhibit at KBIS each year.

About Kitchen and Bath Business (K+BB)

K+BB magazine, published by the Nielsen Company, reaches 34,000 interior designers, architects, kitchen design specialists, custom builders and remodelers each month. This magazine blends exclusive features on cutting-edge business developments, installations and industry personalities with solid market research. K+BB was the first magazine to recognize and serve this industry, and continues to provide progressive and insightful coverage of the industry's products, trends, and services, with a sophisticated visual style befitting a design-oriented readership.

SOURCE: National Kitchen and Bath Assn.

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