KBIS 2023 – Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

By Terry Mohler, Sales & Marketing Manager

The Meridian Products Sales Team recently attended the 2023 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), North America’s premier event for the hottest kitchen and bath designs. KBIS, which once again was combined with the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, was very well attended and provided a great opportunity to see the latest trends and network with industry professionals.

Cabinet Door Trends

While the queen of the party appears to remain the time-trusted shaker door, we did see a number of new interpretations referred to as “skinny shakers” with door and drawer designs featuring smaller framing. As many of you know, Meridian Products has developed the Slab 400 series, which embraces this growing trend, and sales have increased significantly in the past year. If you have not checked out this new line, I encourage you to contact your Meridian Products sales member, or refer to section 12 of Meridian Product’s 2023 product manual and review how you can incorporate the Slab 400 series into your offerings.

It was also very evident that the slab TFL (Thermally Fused Laminate)/Acrylic products are gaining traction in the industry, with most displays showing a line of TFL options. Meridian Products introduced the Evolution line in 2022 “to get our feet wet” in this market space. While it was challenging in 2022 to source new suppliers for materials, Meridian was able to offer this new line in five super matte colors and four wood grains. Many of the vendors at the show were featuring high gloss options and super matte painted colors. Meridian Products is thrilled to announce that in the next couple of months, we will be introducing new high gloss, super matte, and textured wood grain materials — all done with fusion edge banding. All of these materials will be available directly through Meridian, including sheet goods, edge banding, and laminates.

To reed or not to reed – that is the question! Sorry, I had to do it, as I find the new reeded panel look to be a head-scratcher. Companies continue to show the reeded panel look on shaker and skinny shaker designs. The 3/8” tabor material appears to be making a comeback but in a new way. The Meridian Products team saw several vendors showing the reeded panel look, but I heard many people claiming that while people are asking for it, they’re not buying it. Perhaps the idea of it is better than the reality. Or, the extreme cost of the material is deterring sales. Short of a couple vanities, sales have been lackluster and opinions have been mixed. Is it truly a trend, or perhaps just a quick fad? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

Popular Finish Options

With the MDF supply challenges of 2022, many companies are trying, with limited success, to push more stained colors. Warm earth tones are still the buzz and Meridian Products has expanded our stain options over the past few years to include warmer tones like braun, cinnamon, dove, dusk, mocha, peanut, russet, and shadow. The species of choice in the high-end stain world are rift cut, white oak, and walnut.

If the shaker design is queen of our industry, then white paint must be king! However, while white cabinetry remains one of the most requested color options, we are seeing colors progressing with gray, blue, and green tones being pushed by more and more designers. Staying on top of this trend, Meridian Products has seven pages of color options that we have matched to some of the biggest color vendors in the industry (Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Farrow & Ball), on top of our 35 standard paint colors, to provide a robust selection for you and your clients.

Another new look we’re seeing is painted oak. This is one I can speak of personally, since I have gray painted oak cabinet doors in my kitchen, and I love the look! We also saw pastel colors on display at the show. I am talking flash back to 1970 pastels — light pink, baby blue, even lilac cabinetry and fixtures. Everyone at the show was talking about the pastel toilets!

Production and Supply Chain Outlook for 2023

While the past few years have felt like we’ve been running a marathon, trying to keep up with demand while dealing with supply chain challenges, MDF and hardware shortages, and rising solid wood prices, it appears we’re fortunately returning to “pre-race” conditions. And just in time. With the housing market still reporting 5.5 to 6 million more buyers than available homes, the new home and remodel markets will remain strong, keeping cabinetry demand high.

For continued updates, trends, and happenings at Meridian Products, be sure to visit Shop Talk, a collection of blogs where our team members share their insights and expertise.