The results of Home Innovation’s annual survey of 110,000 U.S. households are in. Helped by declining prices in recent years (and the fact that Mother Nature knows how to produce some beautiful countertop material), granite is still the best-selling kitchen countertop by a sizeable margin – accounting for about 40% of home countertop replacements in 2016.
But if you’ve tuned into home improvement channels or walked the exhibition floor at the International Builders’ Show recently, you’ve likely noticed that Quartz countertops are getting a lot of attention. According to our survey results, the material’s market share, like its share of the limelight, is surging. Quartz is, without a doubt, the fastest growing countertop material—soaring from 8% of home kitchen countertop replacements in 2011 to 17% in 2016.
What is behind the rise? For one, manufacturing capabilities are much better now, bringing us more attractive designs, colors, and styles. Also, good merchandising displays in prominent places in home improvement stores have brought this category into the reach of any household. And last, but probably not least, it has been picked up as the darling of home improvement TV shows for kitchen remodels.
In the wake of Quartz’s ascent, the popularity of Solid Surface material has suffered some in this category. But it’s not all gloom and doom for this material. Its use is shifting to a higher-end alternative to one-piece cultured marble vanity countertops, and it is used as a highly durable and maintenance-free shower surround and commercial interior and exterior wall material.
Surprisingly, Laminate countertops seem to be holding on at about 21% of this market. The free-fall it experienced during the past couple decades seems to have been halted—continuing innovation in this category has brought us some very attractive and realistic designs, more durability, and perhaps the lowest-maintenance product in the category.
The kitchen countertop replacement market is big—approaching 200 million square feet installed in 2016 – so there’s room for new contenders. Marble, which is beautiful but traditionally declared as not-so-suitable for kitchen countertops due to its porosity and softness, is angling slightly upward with a few percent share increase in the last year. Concrete countertops, while getting some niche attention in the media, is still flying under the radar in this study.
Stay tuned for more trends coming out of this year’s survey—we have information on hundreds more product categories to unveil as our analysis continues. Interested in getting more in-depth with your product category? Just let us know.