Most Wanted Features and Colors In Kitchens by Homeowners


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 colors 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 each of new homes have engineered stone and solid-surface countertops.

The Houzz survey provides insight on countertop color. Figure 2 displays the countertop color of those who have granite countertops, the most popular countertop material. 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 (Figure 3). 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.

Cabinetry Chosen

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 have flat panel wood cabinets. Only 5 percent of new homes have laminate cabinets, and the remaining 10 percent consists 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).

Appliances Installed

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 freezer (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, 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.



(1) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report



(4) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report


(6) 2016 Annual Builder Practices Report


Giving Your Kitchen A Face-Lift

Are your kitchen cabinets perfectly sound, but looking a bit shabby and out of date?  Are you reluctant to payout for a complete new kitchen?  Painting your cabinets and upgrading the cabinetry hardware could be the perfect solution.

$3000 – $4,500 is the typical cost for painting and replacing hardware.

Before                                                                                  After

What is the process?

  1. Rule4 will visit your home and give you a detailed FREE estimate based on your requirements.
  2. Where required, the Client selects new hardware – door knobs, handles and hinges.
  3. Client selects new paint color:
  • Rule4 has experienced interior designers to help when needed.
  • Rule4 typically uses water-based lacquer specifically designed for finishing interior paneling, cabinets and trim.  The product is fast drying and is available in ANY color.
  1. Client and Rule4 determine the appropriate area for the cabinets to be painted – typically the garage or basement, sometimes the kitchen itself.
  2. Minor cabinet repairs are carried out, where required, including sanding and using wood filler to correct any imperfections.
  3. 4 HLVP-sprayed applications are applied– 2 coats of sealing primer, 2 coats of lacquer.  In between each coat fine finish sanding ensures a smooth superior finish.   Rule4 uses an HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) Sprayer.  The advantage with an HVLP is the ability to spray the finest mist finish producing the smoothest finished product, plus minimizing material and overspray.  Standard Airless Sprayers are not able to achieve the superior finish compared to the HVLP.
  4. For an average kitchen the process takes 3 days, 2 days for preparation and painting, 1 day for reinstalling the cabinets, adding hardware and making final adjustments.

This is what the owner of the kitchen featured above said about the process and results of refreshing her cabinets with Rule4.

Ginny, Howard County MD
“I got your voice message and I will be happy to give a recommendation to Rule4. As you can see from Don’s photos, my kitchen renovation turned out beautifully! The work was very professional and the cabinets look as if they were just purchased. There was not a thing I would change about how the job was handled and the results. It gives me much pleasure to have this lovely room.”

Contact Don Moran for your FREE estimate today and make your old kitchen unrecognizable!