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Exclusive Multifamily Kitchen + Bath survey – Specifiers ask: "Where are all the refrigerators?"

Multifamily Housing

Exclusive Multifamily Kitchen + Bath survey – Specifiers ask: "Where are all the refrigerators?"

Kitchen and bath supply chain problems are hitting multifamily developers and their AEC project teams hard.


By ROBERT CASSIDY, EDITOR, MULTIFAMILY DESIGN+CONSTRUCTION | September 13, 2022
Caesarstone quartz countertops in Modern, Traditional, and Farmhouse kitchen settings.
Caesarstone quartz countertops in Modern, Traditional, and Farmhouse kitchen settings. Photo: Caesarstone

Early results are in for MULTIFAMILY Design+Construction's inaugural Kitchen + Bath survey of multifamily developers, architects, contractors, and other specifiers – and it's clear that supply chain problems are impacting their apartment, condo, and townhome projects.


To take the survey – with a chance to win one of 10 $50 debit cards – go to MFDC K+B Survey. To be qualified to participate, your company must be actively involved in multifamily design, development, or construction, and you must give your name, company name, and email, at the end of the survey.


HOW COVID, UKRAINE WAR ARE IMPACTING SPECIFIERS

We asked: "What K+B amenities have you had DIFFICULT SOURCING due to the Covid pandemic or Ukraine war? What are you doing about this?"

Appliances came up more often than any other product category. "We've been purchasing them early and storing in our own warehouses or changing our spec to purchase models that are in stock/available," said one respondent.

"It's been difficult getting appliance packages with the same manufacturer," said another respondent. "We're needing to mix manufacturers and appliances."

Yet another said, of appliances, "We're ordering early and being more flexible, less committed on specific brands or models."

"We had to take early delivery of the appliances (way ahead of schedule), because otherwise they'd be given to another project," said a respondent. "As a result, we had to find storage for the appliances."

Stackable washer/dryer combos were In short supply, according to one respondent. 

THE GREAT REFRIGERATOR VANISHING ACT OF 2022

Refrigerators were the main culprit, according to early survey respondents. One respondent was very specific: "French door refrigerators."

But most would have been happy with any ol' fridge. "We're finding whatever spec is available," said a respondent. "Need to order well in advance and be flexible," advised another.

But the list of shortages was not limited to kitchen appliances. Tile products were a problem for one respondent: "We are having to respecify to domestic manufacturers."

Cabinets were also cited by several repondents. "Unfortunately, playing the waiting game," said a cabinetless respondent.

Another pleaded, "Trying to get locally sourced cabinets, made in the USA." Yet another said, "Diversifying [cabinet] suppliers."

WIDE RANGE OF K+B PRODUCTS STILL MISSING

Other amenities lost in the black hole of the supply chain:

  • Vented fans with LED lights
  • Porcelain tile
  • Faucets
  • Stone
  • Electrical fixtures
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Shower surrounds
  • Fiberglass shower units
  • Quartz countertops
  • Solid surface materials for compartments
  • Lighting
  • Flooring

The last word on "solving" the K+B amenity shortage problem: "Order way in advance," advised one respondent.


To take the survey – with a chance to win one of 10 $50 debit cards – go to MFDC K+B Survey. To be qualified to participate, your company must be actively involved in multifamily design, development, or construction, and you must give your name, company name, and email, at the end of the survey.


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