New Houzz Survey Reveals Consumer Wants in Kitchens & Baths

The recently released 2020 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study reveals good news for manufacturers and retailers of lighting products.

According to the study, consumer spending on kitchen remodeling projects has continued to grow. The median spend on major kitchen remodels completed by mid-2019 was $35,000, up 17 percent from the prior year. It is interesting to note, however, that while many homeowners opted for complete kitchen overhauls, the breadth of kitchen renovations has been scaled back for the second year in a row. For example, upgrades to countertops and sinks were not as widespread (89 and 83 percent, respectively) compared with two years ago (94 and 90 percent). Similarly, structural upgrades were not as frequent, including opening the kitchen to other interior rooms (46 percent), changing kitchen layout (46 percent), or adding square footage (35 percent).

“It is remarkable to see median spend on kitchen remodels grow by double digits for the third year in a row,” says Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Combined with a two-year decline in the scope of kitchen remodels, spend increases confirm our findings of significant price inflation in the home remodeling industry due to changes in international trade policy. Homeowners are dealing with increasing product prices by substituting materials, as indicated by slower growth in the use of engineered quartz and a decline in the popularity of engineered flooring materials that are highly impacted by tariffs on imported materials from China.”

The Houzz study indicates that recessed lights continue to be the most popular lighting upgrade (69 percent), followed by under-cabinet and pendant lights (65 and 56 percent, respectively). Just over 90 percent of homeowners who upgraded their islands also chose to install new lighting, with pendants being the most common option (66 percent).

Where there was a slowdown reported is in technology. The Houzz study found that while high-tech features remain popular among those upgrading faucets and appliances, their growth has slowed slightly. Half of the upgraded faucets purchased were high-tech (51 percent vs. 57 percent in 2019), boasting water efficiency, no-fingerprint coating, or touch-free activation.

Similarly, one-quarter of new major appliance purchases had high-tech features (25 percent vs. 30 percent in 2019), with wireless controls leading the pack.

When it comes to master bathrooms, the recent Houzz Bath Trends Study revealed that four in five homeowners upgraded the shower during a master bathroom renovation (83 percent), with more than 50 percent of those increasing the shower size. Fewer than one-quarter (22 percent) of those who renovated their master baths chose to increase the overall bathroom size.

The primary goal of the reported bath remodels was to create a “relaxing sanctuary” with cleanliness and lack of clutter as key. Neutral tones came out on top with white or wood vanities (34 and 29 percent, respectively), white counters (46 percent), gray or white flooring (31 and 19 percent, respectively), and gray or white walls (29 and 27 percent, respectively).

Toilets with high-tech features grew in popularity from 28 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019. Likewise, vinyl/resilient and engineered wood flooring materials collectively grew from 6 percent in 2017 to 10 percent in 2019.

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