When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, you have to make what seems like millions of decisions. Island or no island? Remodel or renovation? Dark or light-colored walls? Single or double-handle faucet?
Here’s something you might not have thought of yet—finishes. Finishes bring your space together into a seamless room. They can help reflect the style of your home and wow guests when they walk in.
But now you have even more choices. Distressed or polished cabinetry? A matte or brushed faucet? A glossy look, or a more understated one?
Whatever vibe you’re looking for, you don’t want your kitchen to look like a mismatch of color, texture, and style. In this blog, we’re going to guide you through the different types of finishes for every surface of your kitchen, including your cabinets, floors, countertops, and more. We’ll also cover popular kitchen design trends and which finishes are used for each. After reading this blog, you’ll be able to choose the perfect finishes for your kitchen.
What are Finishes?
A finish is the final look and feel of a surface in your kitchen. Whether it’s your countertops, flooring, cabinetry, or appliances, finishes provide texture, color, and useability to your space. Kitchen finishes have the added benefit of protecting your surfaces, especially countertops and floors. That’s why choosing the right kind of finish for each surface is important.
Finishes come in many different colors, textures, and materials. We’ll cover some of these later in this blog.
Why You Need Kitchen Finishes
You need kitchen finishes for two reasons:
Style. Finishes are the puzzle pieces that bring your kitchen together into one, seamless room. Choosing the right finishes for your kitchen will add the element of style you want.
Practicality. Choosing the right finishes for your kitchen is important for practical purposes, too. Most families look for finishes that can withstand wear-and-tear and are easy to clean.
Now that we’ve covered a few basic aspects of finishes, let’s look at some of the types you’ll encounter as you remodel your kitchen.
Types of Kitchen Finishes
Each finish has a unique look and feel that it brings to each aspect of your kitchen remodel. In this section, we’ll look at common kitchen finishes for each type.
Kitchen floors go through a lot—spills, scuffs, and everyday wear. You need a floor that can withstand it all. Some families opt for a ceramic or porcelain tile floor, which don’t need any finish to keep them clean. Wood floors are typically finished with a sealant so they aren’t damaged by heat or water. Many families simply opt for vinyl flooring, which can be styled and finished in numerous ways and comes in hundreds of styles and colors. Vinyl flooring is usually finished with tough urethane, wax, or acrylic to make it very durable and waterproof. Just like a bathroom, the kitchen is no place for carpet!
Countertops also take a lot of heat in the kitchen—literally! Whether you choose durable granite or cost-effective laminate countertops, different finishes can protect your countertops and give them the style you want.
For granite countertops, the stone can be polished, ground, or even flamed to add different style elements. Granite naturally doesn’t need any other finish—it’s water, heat, and stain-resistant! Laminate countertops, however, are easier to damage. Adding texture like a matte finish will help hide any scratches, but is not heat resistant. Use hot pads to protect your counter or look specifically for heat-resistant laminate. Solid surface counters such as Corian brand are a plastic composite material that can range in finish from matte to glossy and is stain resistant, making it highly durable and repairable!
Faucets, Light Fixtures, and Metal Elements
Faucets and light fixtures can add a lot of character to your kitchen. When choosing the finishes for the metal elements of your kitchen (not just faucets and lights, but things like towel racks and cabinet handles, too), find a consistent look and feel for all of them. Most brands have room sets of each style so you can keep things consistent in every room.
For these types of fixtures, many suppliers offer different types of metal finishes, like brushed nickel, stainless steel, chrome, brass, matte black, or oil rubbed bronze. Some homeowners opt for more functional styles, like a simple matte or stainless steel finish. Others get adventurous and go for mixed metals, contrasting the appliances with the fixtures and accessories.
Cabinet finishes can really help your kitchen shine! Since cabinets take up a lot of space in your kitchen, you can add style elements that make them blend in or stand out, depending on your preference. When reusing cabinetry, some families opt to paint their cabinets, while others glaze or stain the natural wood. Waterborne UV, a water-resistant lacquer, has recently become popular as a practical finish with added durability and low odor. Other options include a varnished or distressed look. But don’t forget the beautifully smooth factory finish you can get with brand new cabinets!
Backsplash can add a lot of style to your kitchen, but as the name suggests, it’s hard to keep messes off of it! Glossy finishes reflect light beautifully and are generally more washable whereas matte finished tile can show fingerprints and grease. It’s also harder to clean. Your tile selection is up to you, but at VADA Contracting, we recommend epoxy grout when you apply your tile to your kitchen. It’s incredibly stain resistant and easy to clean while remaining flexible enough to prevent cracks over time.
What To Consider
The look and feel of your kitchen is just one thing to consider when choosing different finishes. Now that we’ve covered some of the most popular finishes for each area, let’s take a look at some other things to consider.
Design: Finishes contribute to the overall design and character of your kitchen. What sort of accents do you want in your new kitchen? How will your kitchen fit with your current home design? We’ll cover more specific trends later in this blog.
Texture: Finishes offer varying textures for surfaces in your kitchen. Some textures lend themselves better to different designs than others. Almost any surface of your kitchen can have a texture, whether that’s matte, glossy, brushed, sprayed, or varnished. Consider what kinds of natural and artificial textures you want in your kitchen before choosing finishes.
Durability: Not all finishes are created equal when it comes to durability. Talk to an expert, like your home contractor, to determine what finish will fit your family’s lifestyle.
Maintenance: As we mentioned above, some finishes are easier to clean than others. Other finishes reduce the appearance of dust, dirt, oils, and scratches. Some counters such as butcherblock require regular sanitizing and sealing with detergents and oils to retain the look and durability. This is important to remember when deciding on the general style of your kitchen and how much time you want to spend maintaining it.
Budget: Different finishes will have different price tags! Your contractor can help you determine the best finishes for your budget so you don’t have to sacrifice other elements of your remodel. Pro tip: Anything trendy will be more expensive! Sometimes matte black is nearly double the price of brushed nickel.
Ease of installation: Depending on what your kitchen remodel is like, consider how easy each finish will be to install. A brand-new granite countertop with a polished finish might have an extended timeline whereas installing laminate countertops can often happen same day. Vinyl tile flooring might be easier to install than wood or tile and that is certainly reflected in the install cost! Again, this depends on your personal preference, the feel of the space, and your overall budget term.
Examples of Finishes for Your Unique Style
When you bring certain finishes together in your home, you can create a style that fits your taste and works in your home. We’re going to take a look at some of the most popular design trends and what finishes you’ll need to complete the look.
Modern and Sleek
Black never goes out of style, and that’s why modern, sleek kitchen designs use black and dark tones for cabinets, tabletops, and more. Finish the space with ceramic tiles polished to a shine and glossy subway tiles for your backsplash. For hardware and other metal details, matte finishes will elevate the overall look of your sink and range hood.
Colors: Black, gray, and muted tones
Metal details: Matte black or gray finishes
Countertops: Granite or laminate
Flooring: Polished porcelain
Backsplash: Glossy subway tile
Cozy and Rural
Looking for something cozier and more inviting? Try a bright, homey farmhouse feel for your kitchen. This look features cabinets with a distressed finish and the use of blues, whites, and grays. Ask your contractor if you can add design details to your backsplash, like a floral pattern. For a lived-in feel, choose hardware with a brushed or hammered finish.
- Colors: White, blue, and gray tones
- Metal details: Brushed or hammered metal like bronze or nickel
- Countertops: Simple granite or wood covered with a sealant
- Flooring: Polished wood or vinyl
- Backsplash: Simple porcelain details
Elegant and Refined
Often called “Hamptons” style, a light, airy, and refined feel to your kitchen like a getaway to a coastal resort. Hamptons style is characterized by very light and bright colors, especially white. Polished marble countertops and silver hardware with a glossy finish are huge characteristics of this style.
- Colors: White and light tones
- Metal details: Polished silver or nickel hardware
- Countertops: Marble polished to a shine
- Flooring: Polished wood, or vinyl designed to look like wood flooring
- Backsplash: Tasteful and simple polished tile
Functional and Practical
For a no-frills, budget-friendly approach to kitchen remodeling, many finishes lend themselves to being functional without being an eyesore. Aim for sturdy and mess-proof finishes, like laminate countertops finished to resist heat. Easy-to-clean finishes include acrylic and vinyl. Matte finishes on your metal details will hide the appearance of water stains, fingerprints, and dust.
- Colors: Muted and natural colors
- Metal details: Matte or brushed to reduce the appearance of stains
- Countertops: Laminate finished with a heat-resistant lacquer, or even granite to hide any scratches or marks
- Flooring: Easy-to-clean vinyl
- Backsplash: A matte-finished tile or porcelain
Finish Strong with Your Kitchen Remodel
In this blog, we talked about some of the most popular kitchen finishes and how they’ll work in your space. We understand that remodeling your kitchen is a big job, and something as small as what finishes to choose can slip through the cracks. Let VADA Contracting help you make the right decisions for your kitchen remodel. Schedule a call with us today and find out how we can help you love your kitchen again, and finish your remodeling project the right way!