America's Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Americans paid an average of $26,888 for a kitchen remodeling job in 1998, and included three features in a majority of their projects: custom cabinetry, a garbage disposal and built-in appliances, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

NKBA's 1999 Design Trends Survey (based on the 1998 calendar year) notes that computer centers, stereo and TV equipment, a butler's pantry and warming drawers also were popular design considerations among consumers last year. But the ever-changing microwave oven was the most requested product to be included in the kitchen - an overwhelming 92 percent of projects, up from 86 percent in 1996.

"With all of the technological advances in microwave cooking, today's consumer can't live without one," said Jeff Burton, 1999 president of the NKBA.

America's kitchens also are getting bigger. In fact, 69 percent of the kitchens remodeled in 1998 were more than 150 square feet, compared to 65 percent in 1996. Only 23 percent of kitchens remodeled in 1998 were less than 150 square feet, compared to 36 percent in 1996.

Granite once again gained ground as one of the top counter materials, and was used in 33 percent of all kitchen jobs in 1998, up from just over 30 percent two years ago.

Solid surface material, although still the number one material of choice, slid 11 percent, down to 34.7 percent from 39 percent in 1996.

Other notable kitchen design trends include the following:

  • The popularity of pull-out shelves has grown from 80 percent in 1996 to 86 percent in 1998.
  • The use of pantry cabinets has dropped drastically in the past two years, from 60 percent to 45 percent.
  • Wine coolers were used in almost 9 percent of jobs in 1998.
  • Freezer/refrigerator drawers were featured in 7 percent of kitchens.
  • Maple cabinets continue to be the most popular, used in over 41 percent of projects.
  • Americans can expect to spend approximately 50 percent of their kitchen remodeling budget on new cabinets, 13 percent on countertops, 8 percent on appliances, 3 percent on fixtures ( sinks, faucets, etc.), and 2 percent on flooring.

Reprinted with permission from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.