Hardwood Flooring Is No Longer the Most Popular Choice for Kitchens—Here's Why
There's a new top flooring choice in town.
Every January, kitchen designers and home renovators anxiously await Houzz's Kitchen Trends Report (in case you missed them, here's last year's top kitchen trends). After surveying more than 1,300 U.S. homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning, or who recently completed a kitchen remodel, Houzz compiles the data into a thorough trends report, detailing everything from kitchen cabinet colors to appliance upgrades. Each year, the report shows us not only which features will be trending in the year to come, but also which may soon be phased out. Considering how costly a kitchen renovation is (according to the report, the median spend is $11,000!), it's just as important to avoid trends that will soon be over as to jump on those that are currently in style. After taking a look at the 2019 report, there's one kitchen flooring trend we're surprised to see ending: hardwood flooring is no longer the most popular choice.
Hardwood Flooring Is No Longer #1
According to the report, 69 percent of kitchen-remodeling homeowners updated the flooring in their kitchens. However, only 24 percent chose natural hardwood (down from 30 percent in 2018). So, what did they pick instead? Twenty-six percent went with ceramic or porcelain tile, while 40 percent opted for some type of engineered flooring, including engineered wood (17 percent), vinyl (12 percent), and laminate (11 percent). In 2018, hardwood flooring's popularity dipped slightly, but it still securely held the number-one spot. But in 2019, hardwood flooring has officially been dethroned.
Engineered Flooring Takes the Lead
The decline of hardwood flooring correlates to the rise of engineered flooring options. In fact, all three types—engineered wood, laminate, and vinyl or resilient—increased in popularity from 2017 to 2019. As manmade flooring options improve, becoming more beautiful and more durable, they're quickly becoming renovators' go-to flooring choice. In general, engineered wood flooring is easier to install than hardwood, since you can often skip the plywood subflooring. Plus, it stands up to heat better, since engineered wood planks don't expand and contract as much as solid hardwood planks do.
So then why are 24 percent of homeowners still choosing hardwood? It's still the winner when it comes to aesthetics, and since it can be sanded down and refinished multiple times over the years, hardware floors are better for resale values.
Flooring Follows the Countertop Trend
Last year, we were surprised to learn that engineered quartz had replaced granite as the top choice for kitchen countertops. Now, kitchen flooring is following the same trend. As engineered materials improve, becoming increasingly practical alternatives to their natural counterparts, we'll likely see this kitchen trend continue. Trend prediction for 2020: Could laminate and MDF cabinets soon replace natural wood ones?