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Upgrading the Kitchen: Top Trends

According to a study, among 75,470 American homeowners, the most popular project is a kitchen remodel. About 40 percent of homeowners are doing kitchen renovations because they could finally afford it, while 35 percent could no longer endure their old kitchen. For 30 percent, the kitchen renovation is necessary because the existing kitchen has badly deteriorated or has broken down.

Some 28 percent had purchased the home recently and wanted to put in their personal touch on the kitchen, while 14 percent felt inspired to do some changes.

Cost of Renovations

In mid-2020 the median cost nationwide was $35,000 for a major kitchen remodel and $8,000 for a minor kitchen remodel. For a kitchen, less than 250 square feet, the median cost of a major remodel was $30,000 while the median cost of a minor remodel was $5,000. For a kitchen over 250 square feet, the median cost of a major remodel was $45,000 while the median cost of a minor remodel was $12,000.

Top Upgrades During Kitchen Renovations

Almost all or 94 percent of kitchen renovations include complete or partial cabinet upgrades. Among these, 63 percent of homeowners are replacing all cabinets. Among those doing only partial upgrades, 60 percent are changing the exterior finish, while others are adding more cabinets, replacing cabinet doors, replacing some cabinets, and refinishing the interiors. Some 13 percent are adding walk-in pantries.

The other top upgrades in kitchens are countertops at 88 percent, backsplashes at 83 percent, and sinks at 80 percent. These are followed by faucets, light fixtures, flooring, appliances, wall finish, windows, exterior doors, interior doors, and electronics.

For countertops, 40 percent favor an engineered quartz kitchen countertop, 28 percent favor a granite stone kitchen countertop, 12 percent favor a wood slab, eight percent favor quartzite, and five percent favor marble.

For backsplashes, the majority, or 54 percent choose porcelain or ceramic tiles. Smaller percentages choose marble, engineered quartz, granite, and quartzite. The majority or 68 percent choose full coverage reaching the bottom of the range hood or the cabinets.

For faucet upgrades, 26 percent are for water efficiency, 22 percent are for a coating that repels fingerprints, 21 percent are for either touch-free or touch-only activation, and seven percent are for LED displays for temperature.

In upgrading their light fixtures, 66 percent choose recessed lights and undercabinet lights, 53 percent choose pendant lights, 19 percent choose a chandelier, and 13 percent choose in-cabinet lights.

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The most popular flooring is porcelain or ceramic tile at 24 percent, followed by unstained or stained hardwood at 23 percent, vinyl at 19 percent, engineered wood at 14 percent, laminate at 10 percent, and natural stone at five percent. For walls, the most popular color is gray at 28 percent, followed by white at 26 percent, and beige at 21 percent.

The most popular appliance upgrades are the dishwasher at 75 percent, a refrigerator or freezer at 73 percent, a microwave at 72 percent, a range at 62 percent, and a range hood at 55 percent. Less than half of homeowners upgraded to new garbage disposal, cooktop, wall oven, beverage refrigerator, wine refrigerator, washer and dryer, and warming drawer.

The most popular upgrades for kitchen electronics are a charging station for mobile gadgets at 41 percent, a home assistant at 35 percent, and wireless speakers at 31 percent. These are followed by a kitchen tablet, and a kitchen computer.

Kitchen Shape and the Kitchen Island

Among all homeowners doing kitchen renovations, 32 percent are adding an island while 23 percent are upgrading an existing island. 81 percent are either square or rectangular, but sizes vary from less than six feet to more than seven feet. Some 40 percent have engineered quartz countertops, followed by 28 percent with granite. Others have a butcher block, quartzite, or marble.

Almost all are adding storage to the island, mostly through cabinets with doors. About 20 percent install a sink and a faucet on the kitchen island. Above it, 62 percent hang pendant lights, 33 percent install recessed lights, and others hang a chandelier, track lights, or a fixture with a fan.

44 percent of homeowners are changing their basic kitchen layout. Among them, 38 percent favor the L-shape and 31 percent favor the U-shape. Lower percentages favor a galley shape, a single wall, or other shapes.

Post-Renovation Bliss

After renovating their kitchen, 70 percent of homeowners also use it for dining. More than half entertain there, 46 percent socialize there, and 23 percent do their work there. Some 15 percent watch television in the kitchen and nine percent read there.

Remodeling the kitchen area makes it serve multiple purposes for homeowners, not only extending usage but the joy it brings to residents.

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