The old saying that the kitchen is the heart of a home has rung true, especially during this past year. For many, it’s not just the place to prepare meals but also an area to work at home or a place for the kid’s homework. A kitchen remodel usually tops the wish list of home renovation projects and a great deal of attention goes into kitchen planning when constructing a new house.
The 2021 Houzz Kitchen Study reveals the top choices and colors when it comes to kitchen design. Read on to see where your preferences fall.
White Prevails. Shades of white are the preferred choice for cabinets, countertops and backsplash material in both renovations and new construction. Light wood cabinetry follows second with gray coming in third for top cabinet colors.
Island of Color. 41% of homeowners prefer a contrasting island, either with a different cabinet color or countertop material.
Top of the List. When remodeling, countertops, backsplashes and sinks are the most important upgrades. Engineered quartz is the most popular counter material followed by granite.
Ceramic or porcelain tile is the top pick for backsplashes and most homeowners bring their tile to up to the cabinets or range hood.
Wood versus Tile. In the survey, tile is the preferred material for floors especially wood look tile. Hardwood floor is still popular though mainly in lighter, natural tones.
Stainless Reigns. From appliances to plumbing, stainless steel is favored choice among homeowners.
Mr. H says: Good food is what makes a house a home-Enjoy!
“What is the best kitchen counter top selection?” is a question I’m frequently asked. Unfortunately there is no correct answer as every choice has it’s pros and cons. With my guidance, I leave it up to the home owner to evaluate those attributes and choose the option that best fits their lifestyle.
In no particular order are five types of the most counter top materials readily available.
Over the last few decades, the market leader for counter top selections has been granite. This natural stone is mined from quarries all around the world, producing very plain, solid color slabs to the wildly exotic. Polished to a fine finish it is still a porous material that requires diligent maintenance to keep it looking fine. Acids, like citrus juice, can eat away at the stone, while beets and red wine can leave behind a stain. It can withstand direct cutting (although it dulls knives) and a hot pot generally will not harm or scorch the surface. An annual application of sealant will keep stains at bay while a thorough daily wipe down will reward by remaining beautiful.
Marble, granite’s softer cousin, is even more porous and prone to scratching and absorbing stains. It’s a classic though and can be worth the effort to keep it looking fabulous.
Photo: Classic Marble Granite and Tile
Quartz is an engineered material composed of 95 percent ground natural quartz and 5 percent polymer resins. It has the look and feel of natural stone without being porous and is both heat and water resistant. Quartz has exploded in popularity due to it’s nearly maintenance free appearance and anti-microbial properties. With thousands of colors, patterns and price points to choose from, local fabricators predict that within a few years, Quartz will be the counter top of choice.
Nothing compares to the warmth of wood. Whether in the ubiquitous butcher block form, the trendy reclaimed mode or long lengths of a rare hard wood, this material is tactile and can remain lovely with a little care. Naturally anti-bacterial and easy on dishware, wood counter tops have acoustical properties as well, absorbing sound in a busy room. They are not heat or water resistant so care should be taken with trivets and around sink areas. Keeping the counter tops oiled is a must and most counter tops can be sanded and repaired if scratched, gouged or scorched.
The first choice in restaurant kitchens and for good reason since stainless steel can take a beating and still look fabulous. Heat, water and acid resistant, it can scratch and ding though, and like natural stone and quartz is cold to the touch. The stainless material can come in a number of finishes and textures, including brushed or hammered finishes. Sink bowls can be integrated creating a seamless, hygienic surface. Since the metal is flexible it can be contorted into a myriad of shapes and designs and is at home in both traditional and modern kitchens.
Pioneered by DuPont under the brand name, Corian in the 1960s, this counter top material is enjoying a resurgence. Composed from minerals and acrylic polymer, it can be formed into any shape without affecting it’s uniform color allowing for integral sinks and drainboards. Other companies, such a Wilsonart, LG and Formica all have their own solid surface offerings with thousands of patterns and colors to choose from. While not entirely heat resistant, it is non porous and anti-microbial. It can scratch and scorch though there are onsite repairs that can done depending on the extent of the damage.
Mr. H says: The best way to get rid of kitchen odors is to eat out-Enjoy!
The Kitchen and Bath Business web site recently highlighted a Zillow Digs study of the top kitchen remodeling trends expected for 2014. The Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report is based on the most popular kitchen photos on Zillow Digs.
Top trends include:
Black countertops: Back granite, Soapstone, and Quartz countertop material add sophistication to any kitchen design. Create contrast with lighter color cabinetry.
Open shelves or glass front cabinets: Displaying everything from crystal glasses to soup cans has become fashionable in all types of kitchen styles. Be sure you can to keep things neat before embracing this trend.