Worktops, entrusted with a variety of aesthetic and functional requirements, have increasingly become the focal point of today’s kitchens, serving not only in their traditional roles of preparation, eating, tidying and entertaining, but also as a multi-purpose space for homework and hobbies and various other projects.
Despite the dizzying range of colors, materials, features and other options available, kitchen consumers are very specific about the criteria they consider when choosing their countertops. This is the result of a nationwide survey carried out by Kitchen & Bath Design News among dealers and designers.
According to the results of the survey, which was carried out early last month, the material, color, durability, affordability and sustainability are key factors when choosing the countertop. Health benefits have also become increasingly prominent, especially given the country’s current public health crisis, traders and designers told KBDN.
Quartz is still the material for kitchen countertops that, according to the dealers and designers surveyed, is the fastest in demand from their customers. In particular, the KBDN survey found that quartz countertops – made from ground or crushed quartz and mixed with polymers, resins, and pigments to create a wide range of textures and colors – are viewed by nearly 36% of respondents as the countertop, who see you growing the fastest asked. For comparison: quartzite – natural sandstone that is fused with sparkling quartz crystals under heat and pressure – is seen as the fastest growing material by just over 14% of those surveyed, while granite is seen as the fastest growing material by around 9% of those surveyed becomes respondent retailer and designer (see Figure 1).
According to the color trends in today’s kitchens, white / cream (45.5%) and gray (25.6%) are the colors requested by worktop customers, according to KBDN survey participants. Black is preferred by around 14% of designers’ customers (see Figure 2). Shiny surfaces are preferred by 55% of their customers, report the design professionals surveyed. In comparison, matte surfaces are preferred by around 45% (see Figure 3).
Cost is also a factor in homeowners choosing a particular countertop material, although retailers and designers surveyed seem willing to source the material they want. For example, the KBDN survey found that only around 36% of their customers consider costs either “extremely” important (9%) or “very” important (27%), according to respondents. In comparison, 57% of their customers stated that affordability was only “moderately” important, while around 7% stated that cost was either “marginally” important or “not at all important” (see Figure 4).
The importance of choosing countertops with pronounced health benefits has apparently grown in importance – probably due to increased awareness of the benefits of anti
microbial protection due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For example, around 55% of their customers consider sanitary benefits such as easy-to-clean and antimicrobial protection to be “extremely important” (16.5%) or “very important (38.8%)”, according to the retailers and designers surveyed. In comparison, only around 16% of their customers consider sanitation to be “only marginally important” or “not at all important”, report the survey participants (see Figure 5).
Other important survey results were:
In terms of material selection, kitchen customers tend to have patterned countertops (75%) as opposed to solid color countertops (see Figure 6).
Consumers are also looking for neutral countertops that blend in seamlessly with the overall kitchen aesthetic, as opposed to bold countertops with a “wow” appeal, the survey found. In particular, more than three quarters of their customers prefer neutral tones to sparkling tops, retailers and designers tell KBDN (see Figure 7).
Durability remains a critical factor when choosing a countertop material. 54.2% of the retailers and designers surveyed state that durability is “very important” and 34.9% “extremely important”. In contrast, only around 1.3% of customers consider the durability of the worktop to be “not at all” important (see Figure 8).
Eco-friendliness is a major factor when choosing countertop materials, only about half of today’s kitchen customers, dealers and designers told KBDN. In particular, almost 60% of the respondents stated that environmental friendliness was only “slightly important” (34.9%) or “not at all important” (23.5%) as a selection factor for their customers. In comparison, only about 10% stated that this was either “extremely important” or “very important” (see Figure 9). ▪