What are the features and colors included in kitchens of newly constructed homes? Data from Houzz, combined with information from the 2016 Builder Practices Survey, provides insight.
The 2016 Builder Practices Survey (BPS) is a national survey of homebuilders, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, that captures valuable information on the product features included in new residential construction, both single-family and multifamily.
It is a robust survey of 1,381 respondents who built single-family detached units and 199 respondents who built multifamily or single-family attached units (i.e. townhomes). Results are available on national and regional levels.
Analyzing the BPS can uncover interesting trends in the construction of new kitchens, such as countertop material type, cabinet type, and appliances.
Although the BPS covers a broad range of topics, it does not touch upon the color themes of kitchens in new construction. Houzz, an online platform dedicated to home remodeling and design, conducted an online survey on this very topic. Its survey asked recent buyers of newly constructed homes about the color themes in their kitchens. The survey is national in scope and had 203 respondents.
Combining data from the BPS with the Houzz survey can provide powerful information on what today’s new kitchens look like. The following provides a snapshot of the 2015 product features and color themes included in kitchens of newly constructed single-family homes:
Countertops & Backsplashes Installed
Granite countertops are overwhelmingly the most popular with 64 percent of new homes having this material type. It is no surprise that only 14 percent of new homes have laminate countertops. Based on NAHB’s Consumer Preference Survey report, laminate countertops are the least desired kitchen feature and are likely only installed when affordability is a major concern. Besides these material types, 9 percent of each new home has engineered stone and solid-surface countertops.
The Houzz survey provides insight into countertop color. Three color choices stand out: 30 percent of respondents have multi-colored countertops, 26 percent have white, and 18 percent have black. Twenty-six percent reported some other color or were not sure about their countertop color.
In addition to countertop material color, buyers also noted the color of their backsplashes. Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having white backsplashes, 13 percent reported beige, 12 percent reported multi-colored, and 6 percent reported gray. Forty-three percent reported some other color or were not sure of their backsplash color.
Wood-based cabinets are the most common, but there is variation in the panel type of wood cabinets. Sixty percent of new homes have raised panel wood cabinets, compared to 25 percent that has flat panel wood cabinets. Only 5 percent of new homes have laminate cabinets, and the remaining 10 percent consist of various other types, such as glass cabinets. The most popular color is white (34 percent), followed by wood – medium tone (20 percent), gray (9 percent), wood – dark tone (7 percent), and multi-colored (6 percent).
Cooktops and ranges are almost always provided in new kitchens with 97 percent of new homes having these features. Features that are also commonly installed include dishwashers (92 percent), microwave ovens and garbage disposals (both 84 percent); and refrigerators and freezers (65 percent).
Items less frequently installed in new homes include clothes dryers and washers (36 and 34 percent, respectively), wall ovens (18 percent), hot water re-circulation piping (17 percent), water softeners, and central vacuum systems (both 13 percent); hot water dispensers and standby generators (both 8 percent); trash compactors (4 percent), and elevators (2 percent).
The combination of data from the BPS and the Houzz survey provides a sense of what new kitchens look like. New kitchens tend to have granite countertops, and raised panel wood cabinets, and come with a standard set of appliances, such as cooktops & ranges, microwaves, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. New kitchens also have white, multi-colored, or wood-based color themes, and are complemented by “stainless steel” appliances.