This annual list of the best kitchen and bath remodeling franchises was posted on September 10, 2022.
Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most important rooms in any home, and the rooms with the most functional parts. This means that they periodically need important parts replaced or renovated, to keep them functional or meet their owners’ tastes. It also makes them difficult and expensive to remodel, meaning that homeowners are reliant on remodeling businesses, many of them franchises.
The home remodeling industry is currently worth around $105 billion in the US, with 525,000 businesses employing 815,000 people. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling represents a significant portion of this work.
The industry has done well over the years to 2022, experiencing growth every year for a decade. Relatively high levels of employment led to more disposable income. As a result, homeowners could afford more professional remodeling projects, boosting the industry. Favorable mortgage rates and rising home prices also played a part, boosting house sales and property investment. The steady churn of house purchases led to high levels of remodeling, as new residents sought to make their mark on their homes and new landlords sought to make their properties rental-worthy.
Even the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a short-term halt in renovation projects, didn’t slow the industry for long, as customers brought remodelers back later in 2020, after extra time at home inspired them to fresh improvements. Seeing the same rooms day in and day out led many people to seek a change.
But now conditions are becoming more difficult, and 2022 looks set to be the year when the industry declines. Shifting economic conditions, including rising interest rates, are expected to trigger a decline in the housing market, which will undermine the trends that boosted remodeling. Rising incomes and the extra equity that comes from rising house values won’t be enough to counter the contraction in work on new homes. Global economic forces and the longer-term impacts of the pandemic are going to affect the US market. As a result, the industry is expected to see a 10.4% decline in revenues in 2022, down from a peak of nearly $177 billion in 2021.
This dramatic contraction reflects the nature of this industry. While nearly 30% of kitchen renovations happen because the old kitchen broke down, a lot of the work is far less urgent. Around 40% of kitchen remodeling represents long-desired renovations that only take place when the customer can spare the money. Similar figures apply for bathrooms. This means that the industry is vulnerable to significant contraction as the economy shifts. People will tolerate their existing bathrooms and kitchens for longer as they save up for remodeling that is further from their financial reach. Broken appliances and impatient customers will ensure that business doesn’t completely dry up, but things will be more difficult.
There are some trends that franchises can use to stand out and try to rise above industry trends. Demand for eco-friendly remodeling is rising, and this sort of work can be a USP. Connected to ecological concerns is a desire for energy saving measures, driven by current problems with global fuel supply chains, which could encourage people to seek more efficient kitchens and bathrooms.
Another approach is to lean into new technology, including that around smart homes, to attract customers who are less concerned with saving money and more interested in living on the cutting edge. Features like smart lighting and remotely operable appliances can attract tech-savvy customers, if you’re working in an area with the right demographics, though the fact that 65% of under-35s live in rentals means that a significant proportion of those interested in novel tech aren’t investing in their own homes.
Kitchens represent a larger share of market revenues than bathrooms, and so may be a safer bet. Some companies work on both types of remodeling, and while this involves a larger investment in tools, materials, and skills, it would give you more flexibility in difficult times.
Customers like to be able to see and touch fittings before they buy, so a residential showroom where you display the options can be a big benefit for a remodeling business. However, this involves significant financial outlay.
The kitchen and bathroom remodeling business is a big one, and in the long term, a place with a lot of money to be made. In the shorter term, the prospect of falling revenues could make it a challenging time to start franchising in this sector.
The Top Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Franchises of 2022
1. Kitchen Tune-Up
Kitchen Tune-Up offers homeowners five different ways to “Tunify” their kitchen, including their Original Tune-Up, cabinet redooring, cabinet painting, cabinet refacing, and custom cabinets. Cabinets are often the most prominent feature of a kitchen, and by “Tunifying” them, customers can enjoy a much-improved kitchen without doing a full remodel, which can be a very expensive undertaking.
The Original Tune-Up is a proprietary process for reconditioning and restoring existing wood cabinets, often in just one day. A Tune-Up Plus includes kitchen organizers, storage solutions, and accessories for max functionality, as well as adding new hardware to cabinets (knobs and pulls).
The company prides itself on building trust with each customer based on core values and practices they call Trustpoints, including Listen, Communication, Respect, Dependable, and Solutions.
Kitchen Tune-Up is part of the Home Franchise Concepts family of eight different brands of home service franchises with more than 2,300 franchised locations. Founded by David and Cindy Haglund in Aberdeen, South Dakota in 1986 and franchising since 1988, the number of locations has grown in recent years from 159 in 2012 to the current total of 261 (up from the previously reported total of 213), of which none are company-owned and eight are located outside the US.
2. Miracle Method Surface Refinishing
Miracle Method Surface Refinishing allows homeowners to give new life to bathtubs, showers, ceramic tile (whether floors, showers, counters, backsplashes, and so on), and kitchen countertops. Refinishing these items is much faster (2-3 days) and less expensive than replacing them or doing a total renovation of each space.
Most refinishing processes depend upon the use of hydrofluoric acid to etch the existing surface so a new finish would stick. The Miracle Method uses a proprietary bonding agent, which was a huge advance in adhesion that didn’t require the use of hydrofluoric acid at all.
The company claims refinishing services will cost homeowners 50-75% less than replacing the items, and homeowners can choose from more than 30 different colors and patterns, including stone-look finishes for kitchen countertops, vanities, and ceramic tile.
Founded by Bob Gray in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in 1977 and franchising since 1980, the number of locations has risen in recent years from 124 in 2012 to the current total of 158 (down slightly from the previously reported total of 160), of which none are company-owned and one is located outside the US.
Re-Bath has a motto that says it all: Effortless Bathroom Remodeling, from Start to Stunning. Homeowners can begin the process with a free design consultation and then later decide if it’s something they want to pursue.
Having a bathroom completely remodeled has a significant impact on a home’s value. It’s an investment that could even return more than 100% of the cost when it’s time to sell in a hot housing market.
Remodeling elements can include DuraBath wall surrounds, vanities and countertops, shower bases, bathtubs, faucets and fixtures, lighting, toilets, flooring, and more.
Founded by Kurt Kittleson and Highly Falkner in Arizona in 1978 and franchising since 1991, the number of locations has declined in recent years from 234 in 2012 to the current total of 106 (up from the previously reported total of 92), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.
4. Five Star Bath Solutions
Five Star Bath Solutions has several options for homeowners to remodel a bathroom focused solely on showers and bathtubs. With their Shower Conversion service, the company removes an existing bathtub and then turns that space into an elegant walk-in shower, often in as little as one day. It can have floor-to-ceiling continuous walls (mold and mildew resistant along with microbe protection properties) in a wide variety of textures and colors, including a selection of natural stone colors. Their Bath Remodel service is geared to remodeling either an existing shower or an existing bathtub. Their Bath and Shower Combo service deals with both the existing shower and bathtub.
All Five Star conversions and remodels are backed with a fully transferrable lifetime warranty that covers all parts, all materials, all labor, and floor-to-ceiling protection against water damage.
Five Star Bath Solutions is part of the Five Star Franchising family of seven different service brands. Founded by Chad Jones in Ontario, Canada in 1996 and franchising since 2008, the number of locations has increased in recent years from 24 in 2012 to the current total of 65 (up from the previously reported total of 46), of which none are company-owned and 15 are located outside the US.
5. Kitchen Solvers
Kitchen Solvers sees the kitchen as the heart and soul of most homes. The company has completed more than 50,000 kitchen remodels since 1982 and has the know-how to tackle projects of any scope ranging from a light upgrade to a full renovation. Services include custom kitchen cabinets, cabinet refacing, kitchen design, expert installation, storage solutions, countertops, backsplashes, and more. The company does bathroom remodels as well.
Homeowners can take advantage of a complimentary consultation and the company’s commitment to get each project done on time, on budget, and with as little disruption as possible.
Founded by Gerald and Betty Baldner in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1982 and franchising since 1984, the number of locations has fallen in recent years from 75 in 2012 to the current total of 57 (up from the previously reported total of 52), of which none are company-owned and one is located outside the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.