Kitchen & Bath Market Index Report


Kitchen & Bath Market Index Report Signals a Robust 2020

Industry closes out 2019 strong, as industry health and optimism hit highest levels since the NKBA and John Burns Real Estate Consulting launched the report.

By National Kitchen & Bath Association and John Burns Real Estate Consulting


The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John Burns Real Estate Consulting released their Q4 2019 Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI), which reveals an energetic expansion despite showing signs of a slower pace of growth throughout the year. With KBMI scores above 50 indicating growth, this quarter’s KBMI of 69.8 is well above that of previous quarters (Q3: 64.3, Q2: 65.4).

The KBMI is the definitive gauge of kitchen and bath industry conditions based on findings across four primary industry segments: Design, Building & Construction, Retail Sales and Manufacturing. The index also serves as a valuable lens into several critical economic indicators, including consumer confidence, discretionary spending and the strength of the housing market.

“A strong Q4 is great news for industry professionals and consumers going into 2020,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “As we move into the new year, we’re encouraged that this dynamic industry continues to grow and business outlooks are positive.”

“The health of the kitchen and bath industry is an invaluable proof point for clients looking toward the strength of the housing market,” said Todd Tomalak, Senior Vice President of Research for John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “We’re pleased to continue this quarterly report with NKBA to provide real-time insights as home-buying and building trends shift so rapidly.”

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Key takeaways from the KBMI fourth-quarter report include:

  • Future outlook is exceedingly optimistic: Members feel more positively about future conditions (77 index reading) than current ones (67 index reading). This can be partially attributed to an increase in home builds and sales, which open up additional construction and remodeling opportunities.

  • Economic confidence is solid: Despite economic uncertainty throughout 2019, NKBA members rate the current state of the economy at a seven, on a scale of one to ten (with one being extremely weak and ten being extremely strong).

  • Industry is at its healthiest: Members rated industry health at a 7.2 out of 10 in the last quarter of 2019, up from 6.7 in Q3, Q2 and Q1.

  • Skilled labor shortage tops industry challenges: With 750,000 jobs expected to open in the design and construction industry through 2026, NKBA’s membership base -- comprising nearly 50,000 professionals across the kitchen and bath industry ---  continues to list skilled worker availability as a primary concern, followed by cost of materials and labor. One way NKBA is addressing these challenges is through its NextUp program, which aims to recruit and empower the next generation of skilled workers. Darcy noted that the industry’s momentum and future potential make the NKBA’s efforts to help alleviate the skilled labor scarcity more important than ever. “This is why we’re encouraging our members to get involved every step of the way through our multi-pronged NextUp program to expose young people to the many different career paths in our very own industry,” he said.

  • Countertops are the craze: Countertops are consumers’ primary splurge for both kitchen and bathroom jobs. They’re also trading up on stoves/ranges and cabinets in the kitchen, and vanities, medicine cabinets and tiled showers in the bathroom. While awareness and interest in “smart” lighting and plumbing is increasing, fewer consumers are spending on newer devices in these categories.

    Methodology note: We have incorporated historical revisions to the KBMI in this release due to changes in the weighting methodology that occurred in Q4-2019. The revised index weights three inputs: 55% for current sales conditions, 15% for next quarter sales conditions, and 30% for current state conditions.

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About the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS), as part of Design & Construction Week® (DCW). With nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA envisions a world where everyone enjoys safe, beautiful and functional kitchen and bath spaces. The mission of the NKBA is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through the creation of certifications, marketplaces and networks. For more information, visit or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).

KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

About John Burns Real Estate Consulting
John Burns Real Estate Consulting is an independent research provider and consulting firm focused on the housing industry. John Burns founded the company in 2001 because he saw a need for better analysis on the housing market. The company has grown to a highly passionate team of research analysts and consultants in offices across the country, who work together to provide the most trusted source of US housing analysis. John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s research subscribers receive the most accurate analysis possible to inform their macro investment decisions, and the company’s consulting clients receive specific property and portfolio investment advice designed to maximize profits. For more information visit