Interesting Parallels Between The U.S. and Canada

Houzz released their annual Kitchen Trends Study 2017 for both the U.S. and Canada. The data is interesting in both reports – a third of homeowners in both studies reported leading a healthier lifestyle post a kitchen renovation, from eating more fruits and vegetables to preparing more meals at home. Also, both studies indicated a propensity towards opening spaces up significantly to both other rooms in the house and the outdoors.

The U.S. study included three surveyed age ranges. Millenials – classified as 25-34 years old. Older homeowners, classified as 35-54 years old, and Baby Boomers, classified as 55 years and older.

The popular study revealed that “look and feel” and “durability” were the top motivating factors in choosing a countertop surface, far ahead of cost, which only 21% of homeowners across the sample group said was their top motivator. Cost is third in importance for millennial homeowners, while ease of cleaning is third for older generations (35+). Marble counters and wood flooring are rated highest for their look, and granite/quartz counters and porcelain flooring for their durability. While contemporary is the most popular style across all age groups, millennial homeowners (25-34) are more likely to opt for modern or farmhouse kitchens than older homeowners (35+), while Baby Boomers (55+) are more likely to prefer traditional style. Millennial homeowners are also more likely to install kitchen islands.

In addition to aesthetic appeal, all respondents to the U.S. Houzz survey cited durability (53%), easy cleaning and sanitizing (38%), stain resistance (25%), and scratch resistance (14%) as some of the main considerations when choosing a countertop.

Houzz found that 40% of homeowners renovating their kitchen chose quartz countertops, while the share of those who chose granite fell 4% from 2016 to 41%. Respondents said they like quartz for its durability, easy cleanup, and stain and scratch resistance, and as a result, the share of quartz surfaces continues to grow.

The most popular kitchen built-ins are pantry cabinets and islands, appearing in two of five renovated kitchens (41% and 40%, respectively). Homeowners 54 and younger are significantly more likely to install an island than older homeowners (49% vs. 36%, respectively).

White continues to gain popularity in updated kitchens, with two in five cabinets (42%) and/or roughly a fifth of backsplashes, countertops, and/or walls being white (17%-23%). Yet, many updated kitchens are taking a different approach, with a third of countertops and a quarter of backsplashes having multiple colours, and half of new flooring and over a quarter of cabinets in a dark, medium, or light wood finish. White countertops and backsplashes and grey flooring and walls are nearly twice as likely to appear in renovated kitchens of millennial homeowners (25-34) than in those of Baby Boomers (55+). After white cabinetry, younger homeowners favour grey and dark wood, while older homeowners opt for medium wood.

Among homeowners updating their kitchen flooring (95%), hardwood and ceramic or porcelain tile are most popular (61% in total). These materials are particularly most popular among younger homeowners (70% for 25-34 vs. 57% for 55+).

Canadians Are Cooking More At Home.

The Canadian study was interesting as well. It was not broken down by age range the way that it’s American counterpart was, but it gleaned some interesting data nonetheless. Contemporary and modern styles were the hallmark of new kitchens (24% and 21% each). White cabinetry appears in a whooping half of updated kitchens (52%) and more than half of new cabinetry is custom made (55%). Countertops led the way heftily with being the top upgraded kitchen component (95%) while backsplashes were a close second (91%). The top countertop choices were quartz and granite respectively (53% and 26%) and ceramic and porcelain tile were the top flooring choices. Budgets were big in Canada as well. Nearly one in 10 homeowners spent more than $100K on their kitchen renovation. Another 20 percent spent between $50K and $100K.

The lifestyle data in Canada was very interesting, as well. 88% of respondents reported cooking at home 5 days a week post their kitchen renovation, which was greater than in the U.S. 47% of those surveyed reported spending more family time in the kitchen. 36% of respondents reported hosting more dinner parties and entertaining post renovation. 28% of respondents even reported baking more at home.

Read the U.S. report in its entirety, here.

Read the Canadian report in its entirety, here.

**Methodology U.S.: The survey was sent to registered Houzz users in the U.S., and fielded in June and July 2016. Homeowners who completed a kitchen renovation project in the past 12 months, are currently working on one, or plan to start one in the next three months shared their plans and progress in our online survey.
**Methodology Canada: The survey was sent to registered Houzz users in Canada, and fielded in November 2016. Homeowners who completed a kitchen renovation project in the past 12 months, are currently working on one, or plan to start one in the next three months shared their plans and progress in our online survey.