by Rochelle Komlosi, National Pro Manager, The Home Depot
The cost of large remodeling jobs can make them a big hurdle for many homeowners, but thankfully this is tax season. According to H&R Block, 35 percent of Americans receiving refunds plan to spend it on something practical, like funding home repairs.
When it comes to large remodeling projects, kitchen and bath upgrades are the most common and valuable to clients. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, kitchen remodels can yield an 83 percent return on investment at resale, so it’s arguably the best room in the house to upgrade. Bathrooms also yield a strong return of 67 percent, according to the report.
As with most remodeling jobs, it’s important to consider both current and future trends, as well as long-term value when making recommendations. With that in mind, here are seven of the top considerations for kitchen and bath updates in 2016:
Countertops are a great way to dramatically change the look and quality of both kitchens and bathrooms. Granite remains a popular choice, but quartz surfaces from companies like Silestone have started to challenge it as the go-to material in higher-end kitchens. Simple patterns remain the smart choice for counters. Save the bold design ideas for more affordable upgrades that are easier to swap out when trends change.
Cabinet replacements are one of the most essential parts of kitchen remodels. If cost is a concern, think about ready-to-assemble cabinets for quicker and easier installation. There are also plenty of ways to update and upgrade cabinets without completely replacing them. Consider adding features and amenities like new hinges, soft-close doors and drawers and on-trend knobs and hardware. Refacing cabinets with a stylish veneer are also affordable choices.
Innovative Storage options are trending in 2016. Designers are optimizing storage space with creative ideas like hidden cabinets behind architectural features, floating shelves on backsplashes and built-in pantry organizers. Another development that is gaining popularity is the inclusion of smart spaces, such as hidden charging stations for phones and tablets.
Painting cabinets and walls will refresh both kitchens and bathrooms, as well as protect surfaces from wear and tear. This year, consider muted, neutral color palettes for these rooms. Choose smart with high-quality paints like BEHR Marquee in charcoal, grays and tinted whites for heavily used rooms. Take advantage of augmented reality apps, like The Home Depot’s Project Color app, which enables you to show customers what specific colors will look like on their walls before they decide.
Fixtures like toilets, faucets and shower heads can give the bathroom an updated look without a huge investment. While not every homeowner can afford a completely new shower, a new brushed nickel or brass shower head can bring a modern look and feel at a reasonable price. You can also guide them toward new technology, such as Delta’s Temp2O bath fixtures, which come with LED digital temperature displays.
Flooring is key throughout the house, but especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Wood-look tile is becoming more popular for both rooms because of its durability compared to traditional wood – it won’t scratch, scuff or wear. Interesting and unique tile patterns are also growing in popularity.
Smart, eco-friendly updates are a selling point for both environmentally-conscious customers and those looking to save on bills. WaterSense®-certified products like touchless faucets and toilets have automated features to save on water consumption, while smart home technology like LED lights and programmable thermostats can cut down on electricity.
About the author: As the National Pro Manager, Rochelle Komlosi serves as the liaison between national and government customers and The Home Depot, working to develop ways in which the customer can purchase compliantly and with ease. In 10 years with The Home Depot, Rochelle has served in a variety of roles for the Pro business at The Home Depot, from Pro Account Sales Associate to her current role as the National Pro Manager.