Pros: Good colour range, very durable, fade resistant, easy clean.
Cons: Can look rather plain as these doors cannot be profiled.
Cost: Most affordable.
Vinyl Wrap (Thermoformed)
Pros: Good colour and texture range, easy to clean and are available in many profiles.
Cons: Vinyl wrapped doors can be fairly easily scratched and need to be protected from heat. Some doors are susceptible to delamination, depending on how well they have been manufactured. Delaminated or damaged doors can’t be repaired.
2-Pack Polyurethane (Painted)
Pros: Lacquered doors are available in a very wide colour range (basically in any PMS colour), as well as profiles. They are easy to clean and can generally be repaired.
Cons: Lacquered doors must be treated with care as they are easily chipped or scratched.
Cost: High end.
Pros: Looks and durability.
Cons: Can be prone to twisting and warping if the timber is not correctly seasoned, or the doors aren’t manufactured correctly. Colour and grain matching can be difficult and consumers wanting a consistent timber look should consider doors and panels made from reconstituted timber veneers.
Cost: Custom made timber doors can be fairly expensive depending on manufacture and materials used. Cheaper mass produced doors are available.
Granite benchtops are a popular choice for those who want the elegant look of natural stone. Granite is one of the hardest benchtop materials available, but is somewhat brittle and susceptible to cracking if mistreated. Cared for properly, it will look good for many years.
Pros: Granite comes in many colours and patterns. It is very durable and difficult to scratch.
Cons: Natural stone is porous and as such needs to be resealed regularly. Joins tend to be more obvious than with most other bench top materials. Being a natural product colours and patterns can differ from the showroom sample.
Cost: Relatively expensive. Usually around the same price as engineered stone and solid surface products.
Tip: Go to the fabricator’s workshop and choose the slab, as they can vary considerably from showroom samples.
Engineered stone is made of quartz or granite granules, marble dust or glass chips mixed with a resin or polyester base. Its appearance and durability have made it a popular choice.
Pros: Doesn’t have to be sealed; large variety of colours and patterns; difficult to scratch. Properly constructed joins should be almost invisible.
Cons: Some engineered stone products aren’t UV stable and therefore not recommended for outside use. Check with your cabinet maker or supplier if you want to use it outdoors. Engineered stone is flammable and shouldn’t be used near intense heat sources, such as a BBQ.
Cost: Generally, on a par with granite and dearer solid surface products.
Marble benchtops are more commonly used in bathrooms, due to its tendency to stain and scratch more readily than granite.
Pros: Looks glamorous.
Cons: Marble requires regular resealing and is sensitive to acidic foods and some cleaning products.
Cost: Similar in price to granite or engineered stone.
Laminate is a very popular option, particularly where cost is a consideration.
Pros: Laminated bench tops are relatively inexpensive. They come in a very wide range of colours and finishes and are fairly easy to keep clean. Laminated benchtops come in up to 3.6 metre lengths which can mean less joins in the benchtops.
Cons: Chips and scratches are difficult to repair. Laminate will burn and must be protected from hot materials as these will leave scorch marks. The use of abrasive cleaners on laminate is likely to cause damage. Laminated benchtops can’t be used with an under mount sink.
Cost: One of the cheapest options.
Stainless steel is the benchtop of choice in busy restaurants for a number of reasons — it’s easy to clean, hygienic and hardwearing.
Pros: Hygienic; easy to clean; can withstand hot pans; can be worked to create integral sinks and draining boards.
Cons: Shows scratches, dents and fingerprints; expensive; can be noisy; can’t use abrasive cleaners. Where joins are necessary the two pieces of steel can be welded and sanded, but the join will be obvious.
Cost: Stainless steel is a higher end product.
Solid surface benchtops are made of a solid acrylic block, so the colour and patterns are consistent throughout.
Pros: Solid surfaces products are often repairable and are resistant to staining. Properly manufactured joins are difficult to see. It is easy to clean. Acrylics come in an extensive choice of colours and patterns. They can also be used to create integral sinks and draining boards. Small scratches are fairly easy to buff out.
Cons: Moderately heat and scratch resistant.
Cost: More expensive than most other materials — generally similar price to natural or engineered stone.
Tip: Plain colours will usually be cheaper than those with a speckled pattern. Acrylics can be ‘coved’ up the wall as a splash back so there’s no easily visible join at the back edge
Not commonly used for bench tops, but timber tops are sought by those seeking a rustic effect.
Pros: Strong and long lasting.
Cons: Timber bench tops are not heat or scratch resistant and require regular resealing. Chipping in the polyurethane coating should be repaired immediately to prevent the ingress of moisture.
Cost: Making timber benchtops is more labour intensive, making them an expensive option.
Pros: Glass splashbacks are an increasingly popular choice, primarily because they look stylish and are relatively easy to clean. Glass splashbacks are available in a large range of colours and finishes. Glass also comes in large sheets meaning large areas can be clad without having joins, other than in corners. The minimum number of joins means that glass that there are fewer areas where mould can grow.
Cons: Glass splashbacks don’t suit all layouts, especially where there are a lot of changes of directions making installation particularly difficult.
Cost: Glass splashbacks are generally at the higher end.
Pros: Wide range of colours, types, sizes and styles. Materials used include ceramic, mosaic, glass and recycled glass.
Cons: Grouting is difficult to keep clean.
Cost: Cost can vary considerably based on the style and materials utilised. Tile size can also affect the cost of installation.
Pros: As with glass, stainless steel splashbacks are cut to size, making installation relatively quick and simple. Stainless steel is a very durable and hygienic product.
Cons: Cleaning is best done with special stainless steel cleaners. This can mean that stainless steel splashbacks are higher maintenance than other types of splashbacks.
Pros: Acrylic splashbacks are available in a wide range of colours and is a generally a versatile and durable product. A significant advantage of acrylic is that it can be easily joined to acrylic bench tops, providing an almost invisible join between the two.
Cons: The biggest issue with acrylic is that it can’t be used close to heat sources IE behind a cooktop.
Cost: Acrylic splashbacks are at the higher end.
Pros: From a design perspective laminate offers tremendous flexibility in both colour and finish choice.
Cons: Laminate splashbacks cannot be used behind cook tops.
Cost: Laminate is the budget option for those looking for the clean lines offered by many of the other materials.
Pros: Natural stone offers durability and a choice of products, from granite to marble very appealing look and is good option where stone is being used for the bench tops.
Cons: Natural stone is a porous product and maintenance can be an issue as the surface needs to be regularly sealed.
Costs: Natural stone is one of the most expensive of the splash back choices.
Pros: Mirrored splashbacks give the illusion of space and work well in smaller areas.
Cons: Mirrored splashbacks are less durable may not be a great choice in the harsh environment of a kitchen. Mirrored glass is likely to crack if installed behind a cook top without having been toughened. Unfortunately, mirrored glass will usually distort if toughened.
Costs: Similar to glass.
Pros: Wide range of colours, cheap.
Cons: Paint needs to be of high quality and designed specifically for use in wet areas. Illegal behind sink or cooktop.
Costs: Cheapest available option. Does anyone do painted splashbacks???????
One of the key components to choosing colour for your home is to know what to avoid. There are certain colours that do not work in the wrong rooms. While it is true that you can always just paint over a poor colour choice, preplanning will save you from the wasted time and money that goes into painting a room.
The smaller kitchen areas will need to utilize colour to maximize the space. The property owner will want to make the room feel tall and expansive. The colour choices this owner will want to avoid are generally dark. Dark wood grains, wooden paneling, darker green, red, blue, or purple will make your kitchen look tiny and cramped. Those with smaller kitchen spaces will want crisp, lighter colours. White works well in a small kitchen. You may opt to find whites or off-whites that are tinted blue, green, or yellow to offer the presence of colour, without making your room look small.
Those with open kitchens have a different set of challenges. They will want their rooms to appear welcoming and cosier than a smaller kitchen. You want your kitchen to appear proportional to the rest of the home. You should incorporate colours and textures into an open plan kitchen. Many experts recommend using white for the wall colour and incorporating rich colours into the room through accents. Some may like to create a “feature wall” that has a dark colour to accent a large or open room. Feature walls are often surrounded by lighter hues of the same colour on the opposing walls.
Large, open kitchens are often stippled to provide texture. It’s also popular to feature textured neutrals to bring a greater feel of customization and personalization. Popular colours aside from whites are greys, beiges, shades of black, or light metallic. Other possibilities for incorporating texture include surfaces of Corian, stainless steel, brushed stainless steel, granite, laminate furnishings or tiles.
The typical kitchen will not be large or small. It will likely have enough room to accommodate 4-6 people without cramping. These rooms commonly have varied sources of natural light and this should be utilized as much as possible. You should also have appropriate placement of appliances and counters. If your kitchen falls within this category, your design options are many. You can feel free to use bold colours as the natural light will prevent any claustrophobic sensation. The same principal applies if you have an abundance of electric light. So long as the room remains bright, bold colours will not remove any sense of space. If you do not have the necessary lighting for bold colours you can upgrade. You can install better lighting or just choose lighter shades of the same colours you enjoy.
Apartment kitchens can be a challenge for many and in many ways. People all around the world have struggled with the apartment kitchen and many resort to bringing in professionals. This expensive investment should be a last resort as you can vastly improve the look and feel of your apartment kitchen through colour.
The reason so many apartment kitchens are disliked is they are often just small. Many do not have a source of natural light and if there is a window, it’s often small. It may not be on the side of the building which has the lightest during the day. Light colours work best in these spaces. Your neutrals are not limited to black, white, monotones or gray. In the multitude of colours on the market, you can find neutrals in blues, sage green is a neutral colour and even caramel is touted a neutral.
Your appliances will also influence your colour scheme in the apartment kitchen. You don’t want to install black appliances in a small space unless it is mandatory. The best general colours for your appliances will be white, stainless steel, or beige enamel if available in your area.
There are also other colour decisions to make for your kitchen, no matter what type of kitchen you have. Kitchen doors suit nearly every décor in earth tones. You can create a “cozy” feel in your kitchen using tans or browns. Red should be avoided in the kitchen as it often creates a feeling of heat. Red is best as just an accent colour and not a feature colour.
Black is another colour that should only be used as an accent in the kitchen. The colour absorbs heat and that can increase the temperature in your kitchen. It is used extensively with white because white is a known reflector when it comes to heat. Your colour scheme should match with the other colours used in the main rooms of your home. When you decide to redecorate your kitchen, make note of any other rooms highly visible from your kitchen. Can you use any of the colours you see for your kitchen?