Feature Article /
Apr 30, 2018

Study Finds Cooking Lifestyle Impacts Remodeling Choices

Homeowners completing kitchen remodels

Courtesy of NKBA

The National Kitchen and Bath Association has released the findings from its first behavioral survey, revealing how kitchen use can impact remodeling activity and decisions.

The Lifestyle Segmentation Report surveyed nearly 800 adults with household incomes of $40,000 or higher who had remodeled their kitchen since November 2016 or planned to before August 2018. The results broke participants into five lifestyle segments based on differing attitudes towards kitchen activities and kitchen designing, and studied how the relationship between the two influenced the remodel process in the $74 billion kitchen market.

“This exclusive research is somewhat of a departure from our traditional studies, which typically analyze product categories, design trends, size of the market and business projections,” says Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “It’s the first time we are looking at how changes in consumer lifestyle impact the actual use of our industry’s product and services.”

The five participant categories included three subsets of confident DIY designers: confident, techy cooks; confident, non-techy cooks; and struggling cooks. It also included two categories more likely to seek design help: confident cooks and struggling cooks.

Confident designers and those seeking design help made up nearly equal shares of the remodeling market (49 percent and 51 percent, respectively), but those seeking design help had a higher share of total kitchen remodel spending (58 percent).

Share of homeowners remodeling

Courtesy of NKBA

Homeowners also had differing reasons for seeking designer help. Struggling cooks tended to rely on designers more heavily for guidance through the remodelling process, while confident cooks seeking help wanted professional support to ensure the project was carried out smoothly.

Meanwhile, DIY designers heavily cited confidence in their own ideas and cost as reasons to avoid seeking professional design services.

Most participants were remodeling their homes to replace old or outdated kitchens (77 percent of all segments), but confident cooks seeking design help were the most likely to be remodeling to age in place in their homes (38 percent).

The study also looked into where in the kitchen each segment spent money. More than 90 of all segments replaced countertops, with 50 percent opting for natural stones such as granite, soapstone, slate, or marble. Sinks and faucets were the next most common additions, at 87 percent and 85 percent respectively overall.

Confident cooks seeking design help were most likely to look for new, larger appliances (84 percent), with all other segments requesting these items about 70 percent of the time or less. Refrigerators were the most popular appliance replaced, at 88 percent across all segments, followed by dishwashers (80 percent), microwaves (76 percent), and ranges (71 percent).

The five categories all overwhelmingly agreed that they preferred wood cabinets (72 percent) that were white or off-white (66 percent). Additional storage space was another major remodel focus, with 63 percent of all respondents requesting a new pantry. This was especially true of confident cooks seeking design help, who requested a new pantry three-fourths of the time.

The full NKBA Lifestyle Segmentation Report is available for purchase at the NKBA store.


This story originally ran in the May/June issue of PRODUCTS magazine. See the print version here.