Top Colors and Materials for Counters, Backsplashes and Walls

Homeowners are continuing to choose neutral tones for their remodeled kitchens. In addition to white, wood or gray cabinets, they’re often selecting countertops and backsplashes in white and gray, according to the latest research out from Houzz.

The 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study gathered information from nearly 2,600 Houzz users who had completed a kitchen remodel or addition in the previous 12 months, were working on one or were planning to start one in the next three months. Here are six kitchen design trends for counters, backsplashes and walls based on what homeowners are choosing now.
White is the top color choice for upgraded countertops in remodeled kitchens.
1. White Is the Most Popular Countertop Color

White is the No. 1 choice (31%) for upgraded countertops in renovated kitchens, with multicolored the second-most popular option (25%), followed by gray (15%).

Twenty-nine percent of added or upgraded kitchen islands feature a contrasting counter color in relation to the perimeter counters, with wood tones the most popular contrasting choice. Read our story on what’s trending for kitchen islands to find out which other colors are popular when homeowners choose contrasting island countertops.
This Indianapolis kitchen features engineered quartz countertops, the material chosen by just over half of renovating homeowners who are upgrading their counters.
2. Engineered Quartz Is the Top Countertop Material

More than half of upgraded countertops in renovated kitchens are engineered quartz, making it the No. 1 choice for upgraded counters. Engineered quartz was also the top material for upgraded countertops in last year’s report.

However, the growth in popularity of this material (5% year over year) was slower this year compared with the 11% clip of recent years (2016 to 2018). The slower growth is likely due to the dramatic increase in the price of engineered quartz imported from China, the report says.

“Homeowners are dealing with increasing product prices by substituting materials, as indicated by a slowed growth in engineered quartz and a decline in the popularity of engineered flooring materials, highly impacted by tariffs on imported materials from China,” says Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist.

The second-most popular choice for upgraded counters in renovated kitchens is granite (29%), followed by butcher block or wood slab (11%), quartzite (7%) and laminate (6%).
3. White Is the Most Popular Backsplash Color

For backsplashes, white is also the most popular option (35%) among renovating homeowners upgrading their kitchens, followed by multicolored (20%) and gray (15%).
Impact Interior Design
This Boston kitchen features ceramic tile for the backsplash. Porcelain and ceramic tile together are the top choice among homeowners upgrading their kitchen backsplashes as part of their remodel.
4. Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Is the Most Popular Backsplash Material

Ceramic or porcelain tile is the top material (57%) among those upgrading backsplashes as part of their kitchen remodel, followed by marble (10%), granite (6%) and engineered quartz (6%).

5. Backsplash Coverage Reaching Heights

Among homeowners who are upgrading the backsplash as part of their kitchen renovation, 63% are taking the backsplash all the way up to the cabinets or range hood, while 21% are taking it just part of the way up, ending the backsplash between the countertop and upper cabinets or range hood.

A smaller share of renovating homeowners upgrading their backsplashes are creating a full feature wall by taking the backsplash material all the way up to the ceiling (11%). Others take it part of the way to the ceiling (4%).
This Minneapolis kitchen features beige walls (Alexandria Beige by Benjamin Moore), the third-most popular pick among renovating homeowners upgrading their walls as part of a kitchen renovation.
6. Gray Is the Top Wall Color Choice

As mentioned, neutral tones have been popular for renovated kitchens in the last few years, and the most popular wall colors in this year’s study carry on that trend. Gray is the most popular color choice for walls (30%), followed by white (24%) and beige (20%). That said, some renovating homeowners are going bolder with their wall choice colors, with blue (7%) and green (5%) nabbing the next-most popular slots.

The 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study gathered information from 2,598 Houzz users who had completed a kitchen remodel or addition in the previous 12 months, were working on one or were planning to start one in the next three months. The study was fielded between June 19 and July 2, 2019.

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