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Kitchen Remodeling Survey Reveals Homeowners' Design Preferences

Remodeling returns as home cooks refresh outdated kitchens, survey shows

JASPER, Ind. (October 24, 2012) As more Americans cook meals at home, renewed interest in kitchen remodeling is spurring new design trends for spaces that not only look beautiful, but perform beautifully as well, according to a new survey by MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.  For many homeowners, the time has come to stop putting off the remodel with 14 percent of homeowners feeling restored confidence about their personal financial situations to take on such a project. Reasons homeowners are taking on remodeling the kitchen include having out-of-date spaces in need of refreshing (62 percent), wanting better kitchen functionality (37 percent), and wanting more storage (35 percent).

MasterBrand Cabinets conducted the survey to gather insights into remodeling trends and to align the designs, styles and innovations to meet homeowners’ individual needs.

According to the survey, consumers are upgrading everything from countertops and cabinets to flooring, paint, plumbing, appliances and lighting. Enjoyment of the space is important, as more consumers are interested in creating a new look for the space (64 percent) than those who want to invest in the long-term value of their home (36 percent).

“The kitchen, the heart of the home, is beating a little faster these days as people breathe new life into their outdated spaces. They want to enjoy their time in the kitchen and have it truly work for the way they are living now,” said Joel Culp, executive vice president of marketing and strategy, MasterBrand Cabinets. “Today’s consumers also have an endless variety of options for creating inspiring kitchens, even on tight budgets, putting remodeling once again within their reach.”

Home is where the hearth is

The return to remodeling reflects consumers’ return to the kitchen. Seven in 10 Americans are cooking at home more than going out to eat in order to save money,1 and as the economy improves, many homeowners are showing a revived desire to renovate their kitchens without breaking the bank.2

According to the MasterBrand Cabinets survey, the average amount consumers plan to spend on a remodeling project is $14,100, with the majority of respondents (61 percent) spending less than $10,000. On average, more than a quarter of remodeling budgets is spent on cabinetry.

Refreshing and renewing

As part of consumer’s desire to refresh their kitchen’s overall look, the most popular kitchen elements slated for replacement are countertops (76 percent), paint or wallcoverings (70 percent), cabinetry (67 percent) and flooring (64 percent).

Opening new doors with cabinetry

Oak is by far the most popular wood type, with 30 percent of respondents choosing it over maple or cherry (both at 17 percent) and laminate (15 percent). Light or natural stain is the most popular with 42 percent, followed by dark stain (24 percent) and painted cabinets (15 percent).

Space and functionality

Space and functionality (19 percent) and style or look (18 percent) are the top responses for the biggest kitchen problem, issue or challenge needing addressing. Respondents also indicate a desire for more space with an interest to adjust the flow of the kitchen layout to be more to their liking, and provide ample walking or living space. Nearly 20 percent say they want more space for appliances and storage.

Behind the kitchen door: fun storage facts

It’s no wonder homeowners say they need more storage. In addition to storing traditional items such as dishes, cookware, pantry items, cleaning supplies and serving items, some of their most unusual items stored in the kitchen include old trophies, pool parts, worms, a fish tank, a foot massager, “my cat’s ashes,” “my children’s teeth” and hockey gear, the survey found.

Generational and regional differences

Remodelers’ ages and locations around the country impact their preferences for various kitchen elements, the survey found. Oak cabinetry is more popular among those age 55 or older (30 percent) than for those 35-54 (32 percent) and 18-34 (20 percent). In the south, oak is less popular and cherry is more popular compared to other regions of the country.

Lightening up as they age

As homeowners grow older, they gravitate toward light or natural stains in an effort to prolong the value of their home. Dark stain is much more popular among younger remodelers 18-34 (38 percent) compared to those 35-54 or 55+ (both at 22 percent). Light or natural stain is the most popular choice for nearly half of those 35-54.

For homeowners who wish to refresh their kitchen with beautiful and functional cabinetry solutions, offers a one-stop destination that makes it easy to get inspired, get informed, and get the high level of service they need, all in one convenient place.

The kitchen remodelers public opinion survey was conducted by Russell Research an independent survey research firm, on behalf of MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. Research was conducted in July 2012 among 417 homeowners who remodeled within the preceding 12 months or intend to remodel in the following 12 months.

1 “Seven in Ten Americans Cooking More Instead of Going Out to Save Money,” Harris Poll, May 16, 2012,

2 “Homeowners Want to Add Style to Kitchens, on a Budget,” USA Today, June 6, 2012,

About MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

Headquartered in Jasper, Ind., MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. (MBCI) is the largest cabinet manufacturer in North America. Its powerful portfolio of brands – ranging from standard to custom – offers quality cabinetry solutions for kitchen, bath and other areas of the home. MBCI is an operating unit of the consumer product company, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS). For more information, visit

About Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc.

Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., creates products and services that help fulfill the dreams of homeowners and help people feel more secure. The company's trusted brands include Master Lock, MasterBrand Cabinets, Moen faucets, Simonton windows and Therma-Tru entry door systems. FBHS holds market leadership positions in all of its segments. The company's 16,000 associates generated more than $3.3 billion in net sales in 2011. FBHS is part of the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information, please visit