Generational Preferences in Kitchen & Bath Features

It can be easy to pinpoint certain features first-time home buyers might like in a home vs. longtime homeowners – for example, pizza ovens1 may be of more interest to younger buyers, while older buyers are likely more concerned with aging in place features such as wider doorways, non-slip flooring and sensor lighting.

Are there amenities that appeal to the largest home-buying population, from 30-somethings to people in their 40s and early 50s? Fortunately, yes.

Recent surveys show that there are strong similarities in what millennials and Gen X prefer vs. baby boomers. This could make it easier for home builders, designers and remodelers to provide home features that are of interest to a wide segment of home buyers.

Here’s a look at how different generations differ, and agree, on various kitchen and bath features:

Where They Differ

While some of these features might be attractive to all generations at least to some extent, the level at which they are valued between age groups can differ greatly.

In the Kitchen…

If you’re looking to create a more elaborate, luxury kitchen design – such as one with a double island setup or a central island with a range – it’s more likely to be embraced by Gen X and millennial buyers. The What Home Buyers Really Want2, 2021 Edition from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey shows the central island plan has 63% and 64% support from millennials and Gen X, respectively, while only 37% of baby boomers are interested in those features. The double island gets between 53% and 55% support from the younger generations, while only 27% of boomers prefer it.

In the Kitchen…

Steam ovens, such as the KitchenAid SmartOven+ Combination Oven, provide another stark contrast – about 50% approval3 from millennials and Gen X but only 19% from baby boomers. The two younger generations prefer wine refrigerators by similar margins over boomers.

In the Bathroom…

When it comes to the bathroom, younger buyers are more interested in his and her baths, dual toilets in the primary bath and bidets – all earned between about 50% and 60%4 preference from Gen X and millennials. None of the features registered over 28% among boomers.

In the Bathroom…

For baby boomers who may be looking to age in place, curbless showers are an ideal feature to help prevent people from tripping when going in and out. Also, larger shower areas5 that leave room for a chair and other aging in place features are being installed in new homes and remodels for older home buyers.

Where They Agree

According to the National Association of Realtors 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report6, 44% of all buyers prefer new homes to avoid issues with electricity and plumbing. There are features within those homes that are commonly sought after by millennials, Gen X and baby boomers.

In the Kitchen…

Double sinks, a walk-in pantry and table space for eating were among the most popular features7. The desire for environmentally friendly appliances is consistent across generations as well, with 22% of all buyers8 considering them to be “very important.” Whirlpool third rack dishwashers that can help consumers load more and run less to help reduce water usage, or an Energy Star-certified refrigerator may be attractive to buyers.

In the Bathroom…

About 58% of all buyers9 want at least two full bathrooms. In the home’s primary bathroom, all generations desire both a shower and a tub10, considering them to be “must haves.” People are valuing relaxing spaces11 in their homes more than ever before, and these bathroom features can help create a sanctuary in the space – a place to retreat. Linen closets and double vanities were also cited as essential by 76% and 69% of buyers12, respectively.

For additional details about our appliance offerings, contact a sales rep today. Keep up with other trends and news in your industry by visiting The Trade Channel page.

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