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What is your Kitchen Made of?

 

 

There’s nothing more exciting than getting started on a home building or renovation project. You get the chance to start fresh and craft the type of home or room that you’ve always wanted. This is especially true for kitchens, one of the most popular rooms in the house.

Because of the kitchen’s popularity, it’s important that the building or renovations be done right the first time. Kitchen projects are often expensive undertakings so you don’t want to have to redo anything. As you’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, you also want to be sure that it fits your exact needs, and for every household and family, these needs are different.

When thinking about your needs, you should also begin thinking about the types of materials you want in your kitchen as these will affect the functionality of your kitchen. Not sure how to choose the right materials? Let’s go through the top materials for kitchens and discover what your kitchen can really be made of.

Melamine

melamine-cabinet-doors

Most people will incorrectly refer to this material as laminate, but it is in fact, not laminate.Melamine is easier on your wallet than most choices, and it is also fashion forward and highly functional. In addition to being easy to clean, this material comes in a wide variety of colours so you’ll surely be able to find something you’ll like. Currently, kitchen trends are shifting towards flat profiles, textures and clean lines, all of which melamine serves.

On the other hand, melamine is prone to chipping so you need to watch any corners. Try adding an ABS edge strip to keep them safe. Some homeowners are turning this con into a pro by finding edge strips that come in contrasting shades or materials. They fix their durability problem and create a unique design in their kitchens.

Laminate

laminate-cabinet-doors

The difference between laminate and melamine is in the thickness and compression of the product on the board surface. With laminate, you can also get nearly any colour you wish. Laminate materials come in all different prints, colours and finishes, which means you can find high glosses, vibrant hues and solid woods to match your kitchen.

The laminate process does use different types of materials that vary in expense, which can make laminate a little more expensive than you might anticipate. Like melamine, you can get an ABS edge strip to protect the edges of your benchtops and take advantage of their differing designs.

Thermoformed

thermoformed-sink

Most homeowners will probably know this material as vinyl wrap. Regardless of what you call it, thermoformed doors and panels are classified as a mid range alternative. Don’t forget, you will need to give these materials a paint-like finish. Thermoformed products are popular among homeowners because they are much sturdier and it’s harder to scratch, chip or mark them. You’ll find all sorts of cool designs, colours and finishes that are sure to match any kitchen.

One of the biggest drawbacks of thermoformed materials is they have a reputation for being poor quality. This is because market suppliers looked for cheaper, offshore products to pass off as the real ones. To know if you’re really getting thermoformed products, be sure you have a seven-year warranty on any product and the MDF substrate is rated as El as a minimum standard for formaldehyde content. A poor finish will also cause what is known as the orange peel effect. The heating process used to make a thermoformed product can sometimes cause it peel.

Cold foil pressed vinyl

vinyl-kitchen-floors

These materials combine features we’ve previously discussed. Cold foil pressed vinyl has a finish with the same hardwearing vinyl surface, similar to the thermoformed product. The difference is the laminating process. The materials are laminated using cold foil press PUR laminating technology. With this, you’ll see a plain profile with square edging, which is also finished in either a matching edge or a contrasting ABS edging. Homeowners prefer this option because the panels last so much longer and the finish is of high quality. Distortion from heat and the orange peel affect are not often found in these types of materials.

Though these materials resist most scratches, if you do scratch them, the mark is permanent. You will have to replace the whole thing, which might lead to colour-dye problems.

Cold foil pressed acrylic

acrylic-kitchen-cabinets

The process for making cold foil pressed acrylic is nearly identical to that of the vinyl, but the material has a much glossier finish. Many people prefer the beautiful mirror finish and the fact that little scratches can easily be polished out. The high quality of surface finish also distorts heat so you won’t have to worry about orange peeling here either.

The problem with this type of acrylic is that its edges can only be finished in either a matching product of ABS edging. This doesn’t leave you with too many options.

Polyurethane

polyurethane-kitchen

When you mix an oil-based paint with a polyurethane resin, you get a smooth, luscious finish that comes in nearly any colour you could ever want. This material can be applied to formed and routed doors and can completely seal edges to create that seamless finish.

As beautiful as it can be, polyurethane does not hold up well, especially if you have children who chip and scratch surfaces. A 2-pac finish should prevent most chipping. Again, this material can be damaged in the heating process which also causes the orange peel affect.

Timber Veneer

timber-veneer

For a while, timber veneer was very much out of fashion, but it has since made a comeback. New man-made veneers mean you have far more options to choose from. This option is also considered environmentally friendly.

Like other timber products, this one must be sealed. You should also be aware of how much UV lighting is shining on the door as this can also affect the colour.

Solid timber

timber-benchtop

Homeowners who choose solid timber have a classic, timeless look in mind for their kitchen. This option is readily available and comes in many shades. The material is solid and durable, and if it is damaged, it only enhances the distressed look.

All solid timber doors are made with at least five pieces, meaning your door or cabinet not has a profile you’ll need to match if you ever need a repair. A polyurethane sealer will help protect the wood, but it can also crack. Finally, UV rays do have an effect on the colour if exposed to the sun for too long.

As you can see, there is a wide range of material options to choose from when designing a kitchen. As you’re designing the kitchen of your dreams, keep your needs in mind. Do you want a state-of-the-art kitchen or do you want to make it easier to clean? With the right choices in mind, you’ll be on your way to the perfect kitchen.