One thing's for certain: durability is in.

By Katherine Owen
January 26, 2021
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When it comes to what's trending in 2021, it's no surprise homeowners are hungry for kitchens that are hard-working, easy to keep organized, and all-around joyful to be in. Home cooks are getting creative with their storage and colorful with their cabinetry. But if we're talking flooring, durability is the name of the game. Houzz's new 2021 Kitchen Trends Study proves it. In the report, Houzz polled homeowners about their kitchen renovation plans to determine just what's changing in homes across the country. The results found that 65% of those surveyed plan to upgrade their flooring soon.

So just what are people changing about their floors? Houzz looked at the two big factors: material and color. Out of six options (tile, hardwood, vinyl, engineered wood, laminate, and natural stone), tile took the top spot with 24% of homeowners choosing ceramic or porcelain for their kitchen upgrade. And after spiking last year, hardwood flooring dropped six percentage points and returned to the second position (23%).

But what's the most telling detail that durability is in demand? Houzz reports that while vinyl doesn't take the cake for most popular (it came in at number three), it is showing the most growth. "Vinyl continues to grow in popularity as a flooring material, with 19% of kitchen renovators choosing vinyl or resilient flooring in 2021, up five points from the previous year; vinyl is now considerably more popular than engineered wood (14%)," the report states.

Credit: PHOTO: LAUREY W. GLENN; STYLING: BUFFY HARGETT MILLER

Vinyl flooring comes with many benefits, and has made great strides in aesthetics. It's practical, easy to maintain, and economical–what else can you ask for? Its slip-resistant nature makes it a safe choice, and the cushioning it can provide makes it a comfortable one. Many varieties even come with a lifetime guarantee.

As for looks though, wood's still got it. "Wood tones" dominated the top colors category for kitchen flooring, regardless of the presence of any real wood. A small percentage of renovators (14%) report adventuring to gray hues for flooring, and those not opting for wood tones or gray go for beige (10%), brown (9%), and multicolored (6%).

So whether reclaimed heart pine remains your style or whatever's-easiest-to-maintain is more your speed, one thing is for sure and it's good news for all: with new technologies and ever-growing selections of styles, the options are better than ever.

(P.s. Want to know the ultimate quick fix for easy cleanups in the kitchen? Washable rugs! Check out a few of our favorite ideas here.)