For the average person, NKBA is an acronym with little meaning. Maybe it has to do with the NBA? Or is it a new musician your kids are listening to? But for those who are making the critical (and exciting!) decision to undergo a kitchen and bath renovation, it’s an important acronym to know.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association -- NKBA for those in the know -- is a non-profit trade association for designers, retailers, remodelers, manufacturers, distributors, and other industry professionals. NKBA prides itself on promoting professionalism and building a network of experts who set the standard for those in industry. Hiring a NKBA-certified kitchen and bath designer can help you ensure that you hire a professional with the expertise to design the kitchen and bath of your dreams and, equally importantly, to make sure your renovation is done right.
#1 NKBA Certification
The most obvious reason to hire a NKBA-certified designer is because the largest industry trade organization has certified the individual and their work as meeting industry standards. And the NKBA certification process is not easy. Designers must have years of experience in the industry before they can apply for certification. Then they must undergo a number of technical and proficiency tests to ensure they have the experience and knowledge necessary to be certified. The exams ask designers to demonstrate their knowledge of residential construction, mechanical and electrical systems, and the critical ability to communicate these plans to contractors, technicians and installers. They also have to show that they can create floor plans that comply with safety standards while taking into account important space and layout issues.
Just as you wouldn’t see a doctor who didn’t go to medical school, it’s much riskier to hire a designer who has not gone through the NKBA certification process. NKBA certifications are globally recognized and were created for the very purpose of creating and deepening trust between designers and their clients.
#2 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Program
Designers who become NKBA certified are not done. The organization requires certified professionals earn continuing education credits (called CEUs) in order to maintain their credentials. The kitchen and bath design industry is constantly evolving, which is why it’s crucial for industry experts to keep learning and broadening their occupational knowledge and skills. NKBA members sharpen their skills by taking classes in construction, architecture, art, health/safety/welfare, ergonomics, countertop design, lighting/illumination, codes & standards, and marketing, among other topics.
#3 KBIS (and other networking events)
The show also offers educational programs, business development, and networking opportunities with leading designers and experts in the industry -- including some famous faces from popular home renovation TV shows!
Beyond KBIS, NKBA members are encouraged to take part in a number of industry networking opportunities. Members are part of local chapter organizations, which provide them with the opportunity to meet and work with other qualified regional industry professionals.
#4 Professional Resource Library
NKBA prioritizes the professionalism of it’s members, which means they are able to work with you, contractors, electricians, and everyone involved in the renovation process in a reliable, thoughtful, and congenial manner. Certified members can expand their knowledge base by attending industry webinars, taking courses and earning specialty badges in professional development. The NKBA Professional Resource Library contains nine-volumes that draws on the knowledge and professional experience of leading authorities and make up the core body of knowledge for the kitchen and bath industry.
#5 NKBA Is Looking Out For You
NKBA’s mission is to “inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry” and the association does that by educating, empowering and elevating its professionals. NKBA provides members with tools to ensure they can successfully meet the needs and desires of their clients. NKBA is here to help its members stay at the forefront of the industry and set the standard for kitchen and bath design and remodeling. In doing so, NKBA envisions a world where everyone can enjoy safe, beautiful and functional kitchen and bath spaces.