What is the NKBA and How Does it Impact Your Project?


If you have explored our website or social media, you may have noticed that we proudly advertise that we are a member of the NKBA, or National Kitchen and Bath Association, and you wouldn’t be alone in wondering what that actually means!

The National Kitchen & Bath Association, established in 1963, is a not-for-profit industry group that nurtures expertise & competence in the kitchen and bath industry. Since its beginning, the association has developed into the world’s leading resource for the industry. Its members include designers, manufacturers, remodelers, and other industry professionals. It provides crucial research, certification, and knowledge tools to the industry. It is responsible for designating, updating, and maintaining important space-planning guidelines that set the standard for safe and comfortable kitchen and bathroom use today.

For example, recommended walkways around a kitchen island are generally regarded as minimum 42” for a one-cook kitchen, and minimum 48” for a two-cook kitchen. These types of space-planning guidelines are developed through years of comprehensive research and anthropometry, or the study of the measurements and proportions of a human body and how they relate to its surrounding environment.

Guidelines such as these are what Two30Nine designers use to help plan your space, such as determining whether or not the existing footprint of your kitchen has room for a island. They use these tools to carefully evaluate your space, needs, and unique dimensions and then formulate a plan for the space that takes all of these factors into account.

In addition to research and training tools, the NKBA offers certification to kitchen and bath designers. There are currently two tiers of certification available:

Certified Kitchen & Bath Designers

At Two30Nine, we are proud to have 2 CKBDs on staff: Victoria Avanthay from our Winnipeg showroom, and Leigh Penner from our Morden showroom.

To earn this certification, they must have worked in the industry for 5 years, with at least 2 of those years being dedicated to full-time residential kitchen & bath experience. After successfully receiving and submitting positive client affidavits attesting to their level of professionalism, CKBDs must also pass a rigorous 2-part exam. The first part is a timed multiple-choice exam, testing knowledge in 4 categories: Planning & Design, Construction & Mechanical Systems, Business Management, and Products/Materials. After successfully passing this portion of the exam, candidates must complete 8 design drawings in total, one of each of the following for both a hypothetical kitchen and bath project, using specifications and dimensions provided to them at the beginning of the exam: Floor Plan, Elevation Plan, Construction Plan, and Mechanical Plan. Candidates are given just 72 hours to complete and submit all 8 design drawings, which are then adjudicated by a panel of NKBA judges.

Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designers

We are extremely proud to have a CMKBD on staff. Candace Rudd, our Winnipeg showroom manager, earned this certification by proving she has worked in the industry for a minimum of 7 years, with at least 4 of those years being dedicated to full-time residential kitchen & bath experience. In addition to her experience, CMKBDs must demonstrate dedication to promoting professionalism in the industry, by mentoring up-and-coming designers, attending and engaging in industry events, and promoting the value of professional kitchen & bath design services through public means.

Kitchen & Bath Industry Show – KBIS

Finally, the NKBA holds KBIS, or the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, every year in January. This colossal trade show is the largest kitchen & bath show in the world, drawings thousands of attendees and exhibitors to congregate and network, learn, showcase new products, and draw on the collective experience of their fellow industry members. Two30Nine designers take turns attending this important event, bringing back enhanced knowledge and renewed enthusiasm about the projects they help bring to life!

When you work with Two30Nine, you can be assured that we are connected with our industry, follow best practices to give you the most efficient and safest space to work in, and aware of all the newest available products and materials available on the market. Membership with the NKBA is one of the most important ways that we are equipped to serve you well. If you’d like to meet with one of our designers about your project, please reach out, we’d love to chat!

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