2012's Most Popular Kitchen Renovation Trends

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Published: 06th November 2012
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You've made up your mind -- it's time to give that old kitchen of yours a makeover, and you've already saved up enough money to pay for the renovations.

Now, you just need to decide exactly how you're going to make your kitchen more modern!

Luckily, the National Kitchen and Bath Association just released the findings of their annual trends survey. Each year, the NKBA polls more than 350 designers about the popular trends in kitchen renovations.

Some of this year's findings are interesting, and show a shift from tradition materials and designs, like:

- A change in cabinets

For decades, the woods of choice for cabinetry have been cherry and maple.

While cherry still has a strong hold as the top choice (69% of new cabinets built in 2012 so far have been cherry), other woods are being used for cabinets more than in the past.

Oak and bamboo usage have doubled since 2010 (oak is up from 11% to 22%, and bamboo is up from 5% to 10%), while walnut and birch are being used three times as often as they were two years ago. In fact, designers now report that birch is being used for cabinetry in 15% of homes, with walnut coming in at 13%.


- Darker is better

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry finishes, it seems darker is better. At least, the designers surveyed (and the homeowners they worked with) seem to think so.

The survey shows dark natural finishes were used 58% of the time in 2012, while medium finishes came in at a similar percentage (55%).

Light wood finishes did not fare so well, but when it comes to painted cabinets, white is still the color of choice.

In fact, white fared better in the survey than all other colors combined.

So, if you want your house to match current trends, either stain your cabinets a dark wood finish color, or paint them white.


- You need to upgrade that old faucet

You may not consider a faucet replacement as much of a kitchen renovation, but two new trends have taken over.

First, more designers are using pull-out faucets that serve a two-in-one purpose, instead of the traditional standard faucet with a detached side spray.

Also, it seems brushed medal finishes are out, and polished chrome is back in style. In the survey, 52% of designers say they have installed chrome faucets and fixtures this year. That's up from 34% a year ago.


- Out with the white, in with the gray

In society, a man with gray hair has long been considered distinguished, and now in home design, it seems the same is true.

A properly-balanced shade of gray can act as an alternative to the traditional white and off-white color schemes for homes without being overpowering.

While the two whites still dominate the market, the use of gray in homes has increased from only 9% in 2010 to 33% this year.

Brown continues to also be a popular color scheme choice in both the kitchen and the bathroom.

The survey states that bronzes, greens, and blue have also been used more recently than they were in the past.


- Solid surfaces

In 2010, the designers polled for this survey reported that the only used solid surfaces in 11% of kitchens.

That number has almost tripled in two years, up to 30% this year.

If solid surfaces aren't for you, don't worry. Trends show that granite and quartz still dominate the market.


- Glass backsplashes

Stone tile and ceramic tile (including porcelain) are still the clear-cut choices for backsplashes, but glass is slowly on the rise. In fact, 52% of home designers have reported using glass for backsplashes in 2012.


Hopefully now you can decide what fits best in your kitchen!


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