According to HGTV.com, kitchen improvements register among the top ten home remodeling projects that can pay off at resale. And as the command center of entertaining space for today’s open floor plans, homeowners are investing heavily to update and upgrade kitchens.
A Statista.com report for 2016 noted a third of kitchen remodels cost less than $15,000, while another 21 percent tallied between $15,000 and $25,000. The remaining roughly 46 percent of respondents spent from $25,000 to $100,000 on their kitchen project. Among the top 10 new features added to existing US kitchens in 2016 were: islands, breakfast bars, peninsulas and beverage stations. Meanwhile, new countertops and backsplashes ranked 1 and 2 respectively for kitchen upgrades in 2016.
Clearly, countertops are an important design component for homeowners seeking to upgrade their kitchen or add new features. Moreover, a countertop update lists among the most impactful, simplest and cost efficient options for a “big bang for the buck” kitchen remodel, not to mention a smart return on investment at resale. But with so many choices of materials and wide ranging costs among them deciding on a countertop material can be challenging.
Granite has dominated the category for years, but more recently quartz is making significant gains in customer preference while wood is closing the gap for the number three spot. The right choice of material obviously must fit the budget, the design plan and the intended use. One way to control costs, add design interest and select the right surface for the specific use is to mix and match materials. The trend toward islands, peninsulas and other use-specific surfaces lends itself perfectly to this approach. Add in the flexibility wood offers and homeowners can really broaden their design options.
Depending on the species selected and the material it’s paired with wood can impart either a contemporary or rustic feel. Designers agree: among the many “cold” or even “clinical” options available from stone, to metal, concrete, glass or tile, wood can provide unparalleled warmth and soften an otherwise hard-edged look and feel, often while also reducing the cost of the project. The question then becomes: Why not integrate some wood into the design?