Trends for the year include upgraded countertops, vinyl flooring, and kitchen islands, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. (Photo: Jesse Bannister/Pexels).


Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

With the darkest days of winter in the past, fresh starts and home makeovers are top of mind. And Boulder County is ready for renovation to help us move forward from a difficult period. Whether fixing up a home, building anew, or preparing to sell, it’s a good time to consider key features and styles homeowners want most in their kitchens.

Trends for the year include upgraded countertops, vinyl flooring, and kitchen islands, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. Topping the list is a plan to spend more.

Spending increases
Whether the remodel is major or minor, homeowners plan to spend more money on a project this year. Major remodels – those where all cabinets and appliances are replaced – saw a median spending rise of 14% in mid-2021 to $40,000. Spending on minor remodels increased 25% in mid-2021 to $10,000.

Seventy percent of homeowners keep their kitchen’s square footage the same and about 30% increase the size. The Houzz report shows that 43% changed their kitchen layout, but in a switch from a popular trend, only 38% of the redesigns open the kitchen to interior or outdoor space, a drop from 46% in 2020.

Bring in the pros
Do-it-yourself rose during the pandemic years, but this year, most homeowners will hire professionals for their kitchen remodel – the largest percentage in four years. Additionally, 53% of homeowners plan to hire a general contractor and 31% will bring on a professional cabinet maker or installer. Hiring of kitchen designers, interior designers, decorators and kitchen remodelers is also on the rise this year.

Countertop upgrades prevail
Countertop replacements fit into the plans of 91% of homeowners during a 2022 kitchen remodel, a three-point rise over 2021. More than a third of those also plan to spend more on up-leveling their countertops.

The leading countertop material is still engineered quartz, while granite remains the second-most-popular choice, and quartzite rose to 9%. Countertop materials also include laminate, solid surface and concrete.

White and gray are colors of choice
Color wise, white rose to the top. For countertops, white is followed by multicolored and the recently popular gray is on the decline, with only 12% of renovating homeowners choosing gray a countertop, down from 15% in 2020.

Contrasting countertops on an island continues to be popular at nearly 25%. White still holds the top spot at 32%, but wood tones follow closely at 26%, according to Houzz.

White is also the choice for cabinets, backsplashes, and walls – at 41%, 40%, and 32% respectively.

Gray is the perfect neutral compliment to white and metal finishes. Homeowners choose it for walls to go with their stainless steel appliance finish. And nearly three-quarters of homeowners choose stainless, a three point increase in 2022 compared with 2021.

Vinyl flooring stages a comeback
While most homeowners continue to choose stained or unstained hardwood, popularity has nearly doubled for vinyl or resilient flooring since 2019. It now sits in the No. 2 position after wood and before ceramic or porcelain tile.

Kitchen cabinets redo
The majority of renovating homeowners – 65% – replace all kitchen cabinets, while nearly a third opt for a partial replacement, according to Houzz. Refinishing cabinets has grown to a whopping 65% in popularity, up five points from 2021.

Most prefer Shaker style, with flat-panel cabinets still popular but in slight decline. Custom cabinets are chosen by 43% of homeowners, while 35% opted for semi custom, 11% chose stock cabinets, and 10% selected ready-to-assemble.

Islands get bigger
More than half of homeowners want to add or update their kitchen island and the size is growing. Nearly 40% increased island size to over seven feet long, up from 35% in 2022. The study confirmed what many of us know: islands are used for more than cooking or baking, with additional uses including entertaining, socializing, and working.

Beverage fridges pony up
Nearly 19% of renovators plan to add a beverage refrigerator to their kitchen, up five percentage points from 2021.

For the full report visit

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, email Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620, or visit