A 'super kitchen' is the optimal place for entertaining.We’re all familiar with superheroes. In the comic book world, they’re known and loved for boasting superpowers like superhuman strength, speed, vision and more. For instance, Superman embodies all of these abilities, plus he can fly! But some superheroes’ superpowers drift outside the box. Take X-Men’s Mystique, who has the ability to impersonate other characters as well as steal their unique skills, providing her with multiple superpowers.

In the real world, superheroes are a bit hard to come by. However, you might be surprised to learn that a room of the home is taking a crack at being a “superhero,” in a manner of speaking.  

According to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey, homeowners are renovating their kitchens to create a “super kitchen” with multiple “powers,” including the ability to mimic the decorating scheme of the rest of the house and take on other room functionalities. Sound familiar? It looks like Mystique may be taking her powers to the kitchen!

What is a super kitchen?

Super Kitchens Houzz infographic“The modern ‘super kitchen’ supports family, friends and work and does it in style,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Our findings show that homeowners expect kitchen renovations to go far beyond improving flow, storage or aesthetics. The ‘super kitchen’ has literally become a living room, family room and office, with finishes, layouts and decor that challenge us to define where the kitchen ends and the rest of the home begins.”

This information was gleaned from a survey of more than 2,400 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, planning, or recently completed a kitchen renovation. It uncovered that beyond using the kitchen for cooking and eating, homeowners are using it for entertainment and education. According to the survey, 49 percent use their kitchen for entertaining, 43 percent use it for socializing, 25 percent use it as a homework space, 19 percent watch TV in the kitchen, and 14 percent read in the kitchen. This room has become such a hub of activity that 60 percent of homeowners report spending more than three hours a day in the kitchen.

How can you give “superpowers” to your kitchen?

Countertop heating makes entertaining and doing homework even more comfortable.Quite literally, you can enhance your “super kitchen” by powering it up — i.e. adding electrical luxuries where appropriate. For example, installing countertop heating under your island overhang makes it a comfortable spot for guests to sit and visit, or for kids to do their homework. The electrical heating element simply adheres to the bottom of the overhang and plugs into a standard outlet. It works by raising the temperature of the countertop an additional 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit to take the chill off of the stone surface.

Many homeowners are also adding TVs, wine fridges, and built-in stations for coffee or tea to support entertaining in their kitchens, the Houzz survey reported. Plus, 34 percent of respondents are upgrading the flooring.

If you’re updating the flooring in your kitchen, you should also consider adding in-floor heating to the room — especially when you’re dealing with tile floors, which are particularly common in kitchens. Tile is a fantastic heat conductor, which means it will actually steal the heat from your feet when you’re walking on it! Hardwood flooring is not as good of a conductor, but it will still feel chilly to the touch.  By installing electric cables under your tile or hardwood floor, your family and friends will be much more comfortable socializing, watching TV and educating themselves in your “super kitchen.”

To read the full Houzz survey, click here. To see which radiant heating products will make your kitchen more “super,” visit www.warmlyyours.com.