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Wood supplies.

New advances in wood manufacturing supplies are largely determined by consumer design trends. Even functional supplies like adhesives, hinges, edgebands and fasteners are impacted by the latest design developments because their performance is crucial in achieving the customer's desired look.

According to a survey by Norcraft Cabinetry, a few of the top design trends in 2014 included the use of kitchen islands as tables and cabinetry as furniture pieces. Other trends were straight wall layouts with large islands, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, drawer storage and working zones for cooking, prep and clean up.

LED Lighting was used not only under the cabinets but also at the toe kick area to light up floor space. Organization was a big desire for kitchen cabinetry, with larger drawers used for plate and cup storage, mixer shelves for heavier pieces of equipment, tray dividers for those smaller spaces and knife drawer inserts for top drawers.

The 2014 National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Trends survey forecast trends of contemporary kitchen designs with simple lines, storage and special compartments for electronics and pets.

According to the survey, a number of features in demand include: induction cooktops, steam ovens, French-door refrigerators, bottom freezer refrigerators, touch-activated faucets, electronic (no touch) faucets and LED lighting.

Additional findings:

More than half of respondents included accessible and/or universal design and easy-maintenance features in their kitchens, and demand is expected to continue.

Two-thirds of designers incorporated docking and/ or charging stations in their kitchens, as well as a desk or home office area. Some 56 percent included a flat-screen TV in their kitchen projects.

Furniture-type pieces were specified in kitchens by eight out of 10 respondents in 2013 and approximately 56 percent expect to do more in 2014.


Textured surfaces, which offer the look and feel of wood, continue to be incredibly popular with consumers. Panel manufacturers are steadily developing melamine and laminates that feature the deep grains found in real wood. This offers architectural millwork shops, designers, cabinetmakers and architects expanded array options essentional for contemporary designs.


Decorative LED lighting is now standard in kitchen cabinetry as well as closet organizing systems. Designers are even using it to spice up nontraditional spaces like bathroom shower heads. Typical LED lighting applications for cabinetry include puck lights and strips or flexible tape (pictured). Flexible strip LED lights are ideal for use over countertops, toe kick lighting or in other places that require elongated uniform lighting. LED lighting was one of the top upgrade requests not only for closets but retail store fixtures and residential and commercial cabinetry.

High-Gloss Panels

A hallmark of modern design, high-gloss acrylic surfaces also offer additional advantages such as scratch resistance, surface consistency and color richness. The components can be used in a variety of applications including kitchen cabinetry and office furniture, as well as luxury closet organizing systems. New lines of high-gloss panels are now available that integrate seamlessly into laser edgings providing zero-joint edgebanding.


Sliding doors are becoming more popular in the U.S. as urban design catches on. Barn doors are used as partitions, in place of pocket doors, and as room dividers. Cabinet and door hardware are more visible as open space interior design takes hold and universal design becomes more than just a buzz word. Tambour doors that open sideways and pull-out shelving also are trending. The no-hardware look is popular, too, with touch-to-open doors and drawer hardware. Islands and entire cabinets that lower for access then return to the original position.

Storage Accessories

Accessories add style and function to a variety of spaces in the home. As consumers are demanding more storage options from the kitchen to the closet, storage accessories from drawer inserts, pullout racks and tables, motorized lifts and undercabinet storage rails are gaining in popularity.


The Euro-style trend drives a demand for a seamless look, produced by laser-powered edgebanding machines. The specialized edgeband consumable, extruded with glue that is activated by lasers, creates a nearly invisible joint. The same material can be used on hot-air edgebanders. Seamless also appeals to healthcare markets, reducing crevasses harboring germs. Also big: antibacterial properties on hardware and work surfaces, prized by medical establishments.


Greener glues are in demand for paneling and furnishings that do not off-gas or harm indoor air quality. Concerns surfaced about performance, bleed-through on light veneers.


Portable power tools for solid wood joinery, paneling, and job-site installation saw a number of advances in the fastening components they use. Lamello introduced the P14 connector; Festool's Domino XL uses a larger, stronger tenon; Senco updated its power tool lines and provides collated strips of screws that feed into the driver like bullets from an ammunition belt.


Zero formaldehyde coatings that deliver consistent gloss or matte finishes meet the need for reduced off-gassing on furnishings. Greener catalytic coatings and water-borne urethanes gain traction, with some business furniture makers branding their coating processes. Neil Kelly introduces a "declared contents label" for its kitchen cabinets.

Veneer & Lumber

A number of veneer yards disappeared during the downturn, while high-definition textured laminates gained footing in the market. Remaining manufacturers improve and automate production, and introduce rustic and textured styles in addition to classic patterns.


Digital print laminates have expanded interior design possibilities, offering customized surfaces with flash-cured UV inkjet patterns from Formica, Wilsonart, and individual, woodgrains, even photos or- Wood-like laminates--high-definition photorealistic reproduction enhanced with carefully controlled embossing to simulate the look and feel of real wood veneer. Uniboard Woodprint embosses its decor paper laminates, synchronizing real wood textures just as they would be in nature.


Sanding pads with fabric mesh capture and direct dust. 3M, a name synonymous with sandpaper, introduced Cubitron II sandpaper and expanded applications to hand-held and sanding machines. Adapted from its automotive abrasives, Cubitron abrasive particles are "cultured" for uniform dimension, providing longer-lasting belts and pads and more consistent sanding.


Lightweight panel has gained acceptance in Europe, where advocates tout its advantages in shipping and reduced materials. In the U.S., a lightweight panel component supplier built a plant near IKEA's Danville, VA, Swedwood factory. U.S. markets still question mechanical properties of the lightweight panel sandwich--honeycomb and other core designs--and how these panels measure up in production versus MDF or other board products, as well as their strength in end use. The addition of plastics to some forms of lightweight panel core is being enabled by technologies from BASF and EconCore.

Also popular

Along with the latest trends in wood manufacturing supplies previously mentioned, the following products generated the most page views at Woodworking Network in 2014:

Pull-Out Table Mechanisms: The pull-out table mechanisms create more counter space and make any room more functional. The table tops can seat up to six people and close either by folding or stacking.

Barn Door Hardware: Sliding door hardware comprised of solid, hardened aluminum rails and rail brackets along with steel roller straps, fasteners, center guides, door stops and rail splicers. It is designed to support large doors weighing hundreds of pounds.

Motorized Wardrobe Lift: A motorized wardrobe lift raises and lowers clothing at the touch of a button without interfering with the items stored below. Features include a motorized 110V, electrical plug (included) and wireless remote control.

High Gloss Melamine Finish: Its smooth, mirror-like, texture is achieved with Italian steel press plates using heat and pressure to bond the panel. The decor paper is thermofused to a super-sanded MDF (Grade 155) panel. Applications include residential kitchen, bath and closet storage systems as well as the commercial, hospitality, retail and store fixture market segments.

Metallic Edgebanding: Edgebanding that is ABS covered with real metal foil, to give the real metal look of aluminum or stainless steel. It is available in 0.5mm, 1mm and 2mm thickness.

Modular Wall Organizing System: A simple-to-mount wall system that adapts to a wide range of organizing challenges. The starter kit measures 4 ft x 4 ft and includes four slat wall tracks, three sheets of pegboard and two side angles. It can be installed with screws.

Bamboo Dimensional Lumber: A new line of bamboo dimensional lumber was introduced and is available in amber and natural, edge and flat grain. A variety of dimensional lumber options are available. Uses for the lumber include furniture, fixtures, door and window jams and other decorative applications.

Binning Divider Strips: These strips are designed to enable users to create reconfigured compartmentalized horizontal and vertical partitions or dividers for bins, drawers, cabinets and displays in which objects must be segregated.

Frameless RTA Cabinet Boxes: A new line of customizable European style frameless RTA cabinet boxes is available in UV finished birch plywood or melamine. Designed for new remodel projects or refacing projects, the cabinet boxes can be ordered in any width, height or depth.

Cabinet Storage System: This new undercabinet storage systems offers the ability to hang rather than stack pots and pans using a fully extendable rail system.

Panel Mounting System: A new panel clip system allows easy installation and easy removal for access or replacement, while allowing a strong retention force. It can be used for all architectural applications, including hospitality, commercial and healthcare.

Keyless Invisible Cabinet Locking System: A keyless invisible cabinet locking system, operated by radio frequency technology. Its transmitter pad operates within a 15 ft range. One transmitter pad can activate an unlimited number of receiver latches.

Dry Lubricant For Woodworking Tools: A dry lubricant with proprietary additives engineered for all woodworking tools and metal surfaces. It will not stain, discolor or transfer and virtually eliminates drag co-efficients smoothing feeds on table & band saws, jointers, planers, shapers and hand-held routers.
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Title Annotation:TRENDS/Wood Manufacturing Supplies
Publication:Woodworking Network
Date:Dec 1, 2014
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