Homeowners are making room in their budgets to prioritize kitchen remodeling and renovations, according to a new study.

Houzz, the leading home renovation and design platform, recently released its 2022 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study, which gathered information from 2,400 homeowners who are planning, in the middle of, or have recently completed a kitchen renovation.

“We’re seeing a rise in overall kitchen renovation spend as homeowners not only splurge on specific features but also make major modifications to the kitchen layout, systems and walls, many of which require the assistance of licensed home professionals,” Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist, said in the study.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key trends that homeowners want to see in their kitchen remodels in 2022:

Countertop central

Countertops were the most commonly improved feature during kitchen renovations, with more than nine out of 10 homeowners upgrading them. Engineered quartz remains the most popular material for upgraded kitchen countertops, with 42 percent of homeowners opting for it. While granite remains the second-most popular material, it has dropped to 24 percent from 28 percent last year, the study reports.

“It is clear that homeowners are willing to spend a little more to get exactly what they want in countertops that are both beautiful and practical, despite rising prices of labor, products and materials,” Sargsyan said.

And as people continue to work from home, homeowners are making room for bigger kitchen islands. Nearly two in five new islands measures longer than seven feet in length today. Homeowners are also brightening up their spaces; 92 percent installed new light fixtures above islands.

High-tech appliances

The second most common feature that homeowners splurge on during kitchen renovations is appliances. Over a third of upgraded appliances have high-tech features, a 6-percent increase from the previous year. Wireless and smartphone controls are the most popular kitchen appliance features, according to the study.

Beverage refrigerators

You can never stock too many beverages, which is perhaps why nearly one in five homeowners install beverage refrigerators in their kitchens, and why 14 percent are adding wine refrigerators — up 50 percent from 2021.

Vinyl flooring

Hardwood is the most popular flooring material in kitchens, accounting for 25 percent of all installations, but vinyl is on the rise for the third year in a row, nearly doubling in popularity since 2019 to 23 percent.

White and gray continue their reign

Clean, coastal vibes don’t seem to be going away — white and gray are still the most popular colors for kitchen cabinets, backsplashes and walls. But blues, blacks, and greens, are trending up at 26, 10 and 5 percent respectively. You can even add visual interest to your space by using contrasting cabinet colors.

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