Pros & Cons of Matt Kitchen Cabinets and Worktops

Matt kitchen cabinets and worktops have become a huge trend in both contemporary and traditional homes. However, although they may be popular, they may not be the right type of finish for your home kitchen.

It’s common to see new trends popping up from time to time and taking the market by storm. Then you’d think that they’re the perfect way to go, only to find out that you’re not as happy with what you chose.

This is normal since it’s hard to resist trends especially when they are splashed around in picture-perfect galleries all over.

Are chic matt worktops and cabinets ideal for your kitchen?

While a matt finish comes with its advantages, it also comes with a few disadvantages. When making a life-changing decision, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with the pros and of course the cons so you’ll be prepared with any potential drawbacks. Additionally, you will have a chance at picking another option that could possibly work better than the first option.

So below, we’ve round up the pros and cons of matt kitchen cabinets and worktops.

The Pros

First, the good news.

Although the matt finish has been around for a while, they started making waves just about five years or so ago. Interior decorators consider them “modern” and chic, individual and fresh.

Matt is perfect for contemporary living and comes in a wide variety of colours that can easily be designed according to your space.

One huge advantage matt has over a high gloss kitchen finish is that the surface of the cabinets will not as easily show any imperfections, smudges, stains or fingerprints. This is all thanks to the absence of light being reflected on the surface. A matt finish absorbs light instead of reflecting it on the surface.

Hence, this leads to another advantage—you will not clean the surface as often compared with high gloss.

Additionally, matt easily blends well with your already existing high gloss kitchen cabinets to add a little bit more texture and character to the space. Matt worktops and cabinets are great for larger kitchen and open floor designs because they add a more expansive feel.

matt kitchen in black

The Cons

And there’s the other side of the spectrum. Matt finish has some pretty straightforward cons.

Firstly, cleaning might not be as easy as cleaning a glossy surface. Although imperfections might not easily show, but when they do, it will be more difficult to get rid of them.

It’s not uncommon to leave streaks when cleaning matt surfaces. Additionally, these surfaces tend to absorb the stain, making cleaning more difficult.

In terms of making your kitchen space larger, matt may not be for you. If your kitchen doesn’t have ample natural lighting or if there are only a handful of windows where natural light can pass through, you might want to reconsider picking matt as a finish.

Space could feel cramped since light will not be reflected off the surface but instead absorbed.

Making the Decision

Planning for your kitchen’s design is more than just mere appearances. You have to consider function and practicality as well.

Yes, matt cabinets and worktops are trendy options. However, they’re not for every household.

You have to be realistic, honest and make sense of your lifestyle and kitchen use.

So to help you with your decision-making, here are 6 questions you need to ask yourself if you do however set your mind on a matt finish.

white matt kitchen with wall units and matching lacquered dining table with seating area

6 Questions to Consider When Designing a Matt Kitchen

Traditional or Modern?

On of matt’s strongest elements is that it can be used in almost any kitchen style, whether traditional or modern or even somewhere in between.

Contrasting or Uniform Cabinets and Worktops?

Another thing to consider is if you want to opt for a uniform look for your kitchen. This means a uniform matt effect across all cabinetry and worktops. Or if you want to mix matt with some bit of gloss or semi-gloss.

Whichever option you choose, it works well. Gloss helps add a little bit of shine to the space and helps it make appear larger, thanks to the reflected light on the surface.

Likewise, you can make a real style statement by adding glossy doors or drawers in an otherwise matt space.

One way you can incorporate gloss is by placing it on upper kitchen cabinet doors. That way, the light will be reflected on the upper level while keeping greasy hands off your glossy surface. The matt finish will be positioned on the lower kitchen cabinets doors. A complete blend of style and practicality.

What Is Your Colour Pallet?

Remember that light drawers and cupboard help make the space feel larger and more open. This is ideal for small kitchen spaces.

Greys, navy blues and other darker shades are ideal for larger kitchen spaces since they help make the room feel very sophisticated and classic.

Meanwhile, to create a focal point to the space, opt for colours on particular units, like kitchen islands where you can make your own statement.

Glossy or Matt Floors?

One of the most neglected design areas of the kitchen is flooring. Many find it to rarely make any statement. Nothing can be further from the truth.

A well-designed kitchen flooring could help enhance the overall design of your space and help draw in all elements of design. That being said, it’s important to factor in whether you’ll go for a matt or glossy kitchen flooring.

Tiles are often used for gloss flooring, which looks striking against matt cabinets and worktops. On the other hand, matt tiling and wood are more subtle and often easy to maintain in the long run.

How Will You Decorate the Walls?

Matt paint sits well with any design and is a popular choice for almost any household kitchen. To break up the kitchen’s design, add a gloss effect on the walls.

Glossy tiles help make the room appear brighter and lighter and helps draw attention to a specific area if that’s what you are going for.

What about the Appliances?

Modern-day appliances are also available in both glossy and matt finishes, from fridges, ovens, to cookers. However, the effect will depend on how much you want the appliances to blend or stand out in the overall design.

The Bottom Line

Matt kitchens are stunningly beautiful, dramatic and full of character. It’s a trend that’s enjoying its increasing popularity. Not only is it applicable on almost all kitchen sizes, but also it can blend with other finishes to create a striking space that you’ll definitely love spending time in.

Finding the Right Kitchen Style for You: Gloss or Matt Kitchen Finish

Kitchen remodelling could be a fun or daunting task, whether you’re simply upgrading the worktop or the cabinets or you’re completely keeping up with the latest season’s décor.

One significant decision you will have to make is choosing between a high gloss and a matt kitchen finish. Some homeowners immediately know which of the two they prefer, while for others, it’s not quite clear.

Both finishes could be as perfect and beautiful as your home’s heart, although the decision entirely rests upon your personal preference.

Don’t worry. This article will help you make the right decision.

Let’s have a look at whether a matt or a high gloss finish could be just right for you and your home.

A high gloss kitchen

If you prefer a more sophisticated beauty, then gloss is your answer. It offers a lustrous finish and is ideal for modern and contemporary designs. In fact, it has been exceptionally popular since the 1970s.

Although high gloss can be a bit tricky to perfectly style, a well-designed high gloss kitchen could be more than spectacular.

 

modern highgloss purple and white schmidt kitchen

Can match and blend with other colours

While gloss impeccably works in a smaller number of colours, it can still be perfect if you want your kitchen in luxurious black.

You might be concerned with black being a bit too much, a bit too dark or a bit too over-the-top.

But no!

There’s plenty of light reflected on the surface, even from darker colours. Even though you want to experiment with darker hues, you’ll still benefit from the reflection.

The amazing black gloss finish in the kitchen below retains spacious depth and feel of a contemporary kitchen. Although the colour is black, the space doesn’t feel cramped, thanks to the light reflected on the glossy surface.

high gloss kitchen cabinet a pop of colour

Abundance of light

If you’re looking to maximise your kitchen space, a high gloss finish could be perfect.

Its shiny surface reflects light coming from the outside or from light fixtures into and across the kitchen, creating the illusion of a larger space and making the room feel bigger than what it actually is.

This is especially true when you opt for lighter colours such as cream white, although these aren’t your only options.

However, caution should be taken when combining different colours with gloss.

Remember that the surface reflects light. This means the surface will reflect all the colours in your kitchen. So, when you experiment with contrasting colours, be prepared to a space with mesh of clashing colours.

Easy cleaning and maintenance

One of the fascinating qualities that make high gloss ideal among homeowners is that it’s fairly easy to clean.

Yes, it is true that fingerprints, smudges and other imperfections can be visible on glossy surfaces. However, note that these imperfections are not easily noticeable on high-quality glossy finishes.

Still unconvinced?

How about considering handleless high gloss kitchen cabinets?

Is a handleless high gloss finish the best choice for you?

Some homeowners are put off the idea of choosing a glossy finish because of the fact that fingerprints and other marks can show up prominently on the surface. If your heart is set on this glossy finish, yet you can’t stand the idea of having to constantly wipe off stains and other marks, there is another more appealing option.

Kitchen cabinets and cupboards with handles can easily attract smudges and dirt, simply because people will be touching these surfaces. Additionally, this all accumulates around the handles, the most awkward place, making cleaning a pain.

However, all these can be avoided with handleless kitchen cabinets.

As the name implies, these cabinet styles have no front handles that we often see on regular cabinet doors. Although various options are available, a “true handleless” type is created by recessing a solid stainless steel channel in the top line of the cabinet, creating a gap for your fingers between the top of the drawer or door and worktop’s underside.

Your fingers should curl around the surface edge and onto the back of the drawer or door, pulling it forward to open.

Benefits. This style allows you to create a streamlined, uncluttered look. The best part of this is that there are no handles where children can hang from or accidentally bang their head.

Understanding the diverse gloss materials

A glossy finish can be achieved with a wide number of materials. You can easily find and get what you are shooting for.

You have gloss glass, gloss laminate and even gloss acrylic. Whatever your heart desires, there’s plenty of options.

Matt kitchen finish

Unlike high gloss’ reflective surface, matt instead absorbs light and doesn’t reflect it. This means you’ll have a flat stylish look, which can be ideal for anything from country-style properties to traditional designs.

However, its simplicity also lends to a more contemporary style. Matt finish tends to have a more slightly warmer and consistent feel than gloss.

rempp matt lacquered kitchen

Hides marks and other imperfections

Much like gloss, matt surfaces are relatively easy to clean. However, an additional benefit provided by this particular finish is that it’s much better at hiding any imperfections on the surface.

Not only is matt scratch resistant, but also fingerprints, smudges and other marks are less noticeable on its surface. This is highly ideal for households with children. It means that you can get more out of life since the surface will remain in exceptional condition for a long period of time.

Broader colour variety

Compared with gloss, matt finishes offer a broader variety of colours. This lets you mix two colours more easily, which can be very beneficial if you have a specific palette in mind.

And yes! It’s true that matt finishes easily blend quite well with other surfaces and materials, including gloss.

Some homeowners initially prefer having a glossy finish, but then they opt for matt when they find out that they can easily get what they’re actually looking for.

In general, matt finishes work with a wider range of properties and may be more naturally suited to the aesthetic of your home. In the example below, the dark matt surfaces sit perfectly alongside the wooden cabinets and worktop.

Textured or smooth

If you do set your heart with a matt finish, another decision you will have to face are the kinds of material to use. This often boils down to a smooth or a textured finish.

Although textured surfaces look more stunning in any kitchen, it should be noted that they’re more prone to packing dust and dirt. Frequent cleaning might be needed.

However, there is no right or wrong answer as to which is better for your home. Just opt for one that is ideal for the way you live.

If you don’t want regularly clean and is keeping a busy household, then a smooth finish could be the way to go.

Appearing elegant and luxurious

What makes matt perfect for a minimalist is its understated elegance. Check out the example below.

matt kitchen finish

On matt surfaces, colours will appear solid from all angles. Your kitchen will definitely have a smooth-looking surface, regardless of time of day. In glossy surfaces, the colour and appearance dramatically change depending on the time of day and the amount of reflected light.

Matt is best when combined with other features

Unlike the striking and attention-grabbing appearance of gloss, matt leans more on the naturally muted look. That doesn’t mean that matt has a boring or flat look. Rather, matt works perfectly either as the centrepiece or a stunningly beautiful backdrop, complementing the other bolder features of your kitchen.

When you take this into account and the fact that matt comes in a wide range of materials and colours, this proves that a kitchen such as this could appeal to almost every type of taste and style—versatility being its strongest suit.

For example, a more dramatic backlash could be set against a matt finish.

So which is the right one for your home?

This technically depends on your personal taste and lifestyle. If you don’t mind seeing fingerprints now and then or constant clean up isn’t an issue, then we recommend a high gloss finish.

However, if you want to hide any imperfections and if there are kids in the house, opt for a matt kitchen finish.

Note that you need to factor in the quality of the kitchen material and finish in your decision as well. By working with reputable and high-quality suppliers, you are assured that your kitchen finish will last for a very long time.

Top Tips in Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinet Finish

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets—the colour, style, handles, size. But what about the finish? Most probably, your kitchen designer will ask you to decide which finish you prefer, be it matt or a high gloss kitchen finish.

But wait! You don’t have to be half-hearted with your reply.

If you’re unsure which one to pick, then we’re here to help.

The cabinet finish could dramatically alter the look of your kitchen and also set the mood, regardless of the cabinet’s material. Some even consider the cabinets as the backbone of the kitchen.

Surprised?

This is why choosing which cabinet finish requires a deep understanding of your household needs.

The following will be covered in this article:

  • The available finish
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each finish
  • Tips to make sure each finish will work best for your kitchen

Finish materials

Whether you chose medium-density fibreboard (MDF), particle board, solid wood doors or ply for your cabinets, there are a wide array of finishes you can use to achieve the functionality and look you are aiming for.

For example, an oil coating can be used for solid timber doors to achieve a country style kitchen. For a more durable finish, opt for a coloured or clear polyurethane. This ultimately falls into your preference.

Meanwhile, kitchen-specific paints from any brand can be used to paint manufactured boards like particle board or MDF. If not, you can also use two-pack polyurethane. A layer of laminate, wood veneer, melamine or vinyl wrap can also be used as finish for such doors. Again, this depends on your preference and the look you are going for.

However, regardless of material or coating, you still have to make a choice between matt, gloss and semi-gloss finish for the end product.

Which finish should you go for? This is the classic question faced by potential customers looking for the ideal finish for their kitchen.

Should you go for the flashy and extravagant flair of high gloss or opt for the more subdued, practical warmth of a matt?

Which should you prefer and why?

The following are advantages and disadvantages of each available option.

High gloss kitchen cabinet finish

What is a high gloss finish?

Somewhat understandably, a high gloss has a glossy and sleek finish. It reflects the light of the space at different angles, making it popular and the most requested finish since it became trending back in the 70s.

This type of finish is more suited for contemporary kitchen styles with flat cabinet fronts.

There are 4 factors that affect the strength and amount of reflected light:

  • Type of gloss used
  • Colour of gloss
  • Underlying material
  • Type of light illuminating the space

Depending on the materials or the supplier, others refer to a high gloss as 100% gloss or ultra-high gloss.

high gloss kitchen finish

Advantages

A bigger space. What makes a high gloss so popular among homeowners is because it makes a limited space look bigger and wider than what it actually is.

This is thanks to the reflected light that produces a shiny finish, creating an illusion of a more open and bigger space. A high gloss finish is ideal for smaller kitchen spaces.

The bonus? You won’t be concerned with a darker colour since the shade will not absorb all the light in the room, but instead, reflect it.

The lighter the colour, the higher the reflection of light. Hence, white is the most popular colour choice.

However, take into account also the other colours of the room, since the reflective quality will bounce the light and could also reflect the other colours into those surfaces, often referred as a colour cast.

Colour cast could somewhat alter the overall appearance of the existing colour of the kitchen cabinets.

So don’t be surprised that there’s a slight alteration in colour on the surface if there are different colours in the nearby rooms such as the living area. This is especially visible on white glossy surfaces.

Easy cleaning. One other great advantage of high gloss is that it’s practically easy to clean. All you need is non-abrasive microfibre cloth to clean the glossy surface. Microfibre cloth will pick up any dust particles or marks on the surface.

For more stubborn stains, you can use a mild dishwashing soap, a non-abrasive sponge and warm water. Then gently clean the surface. Rinse, and dry with a clean non-abrasive microfibre cloth.

Disadvantages

If there are advantages, surely there are drawbacks.

Imperfections are more visible. This is undoubtedly one of the major drawbacks of a glossy finish. Since there is ample amount of reflected light on the surface, dirt, scratches, fingerprints and other marks will be more visible and noticeable.

However, as already mentioned, the surface is fairly easy to clean. So this might not be a major problem.

Now, when it comes to darker-coloured glossy finishes, tiny imperfections on the surface are more noticeable than on lighter-coloured glossy finishes. Thus, you might want to reconsider opting for a darker-coloured gloss if there are children in the house or if you’re concerned with constant cleaning.

Top tips

The reflection on light-coloured glossy cabinets will be more apparent on higher cabinets because they’re more at eye level compared with cabinets below benchtops.

If you want a high gloss finish but concerned about the visible imperfections or concerned about the kids in the house leaving marks on the surface, then opt for a high gloss finish on the upper cabinets. Then, use a semi-gloss or a matt finish for the lower ones.

Furthermore, if you would likely incorporate a darker-coloured gloss, consider mixing it with a lighter colour. The darker colour should be positioned at eye level where it will be out of reach from the sticky fingers of either adults or kids.

Then use a lighter colour for the lower cabinets, which will not easily show any imperfections.

Matt kitchen cabinet finish

What is a matt finish?

Although this is a relatively new trend, matt has become a popular choice in households over recent years. Unlike the gloss’ reflective surface, matt boasts a flat surface that absorbs light.

However, this doesn’t mean that it will appear dull, especially with lighter colours.

A matt finish is ideal for a country or traditional style kitchen cabinets with routed fronts. Yet, this finish could look just as great as gloss on contemporary style kitchen cabinets with flat fronts. In fact, it has grown highly popular in Europe than gloss.

Advantages

Less visible imperfections. One clear advantage matt has over gloss is the fact that scratches, fingerprints and other surface imperfections are not as visible because of the absence of reflected light.

However, this doesn’t mean that there are no marks. It only means that you don’t see them as clearly because light isn’t reflected on the surface.

Colour consistency. Another advantage of matt is the appearance of a consistent colour. Because of the absence of reflected light, colours in different areas of the cabinet fronts look the same.

Notice how the colour remains consistent in the image below.

matt kitchen finish

Disadvantages

A muted look. Since light will be absorbed on the surface resulting in a more muted look, others may find matt dull and boring. However, it is far from that.

Matt exudes an understated elegance with solid colours in every angle. However, note that matt isn’t ideal for small kitchen spaces. Light will not be reflected and the space could feel cramped.

Cleaning might be so easy. Since the surface could be not as smooth as gloss, cleaning might be a challenge for some, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t easy to clean. Like gloss, use a microfibre cloth for cleaning the surface.

If you plan on using a laminate material, make sure to carefully check the samples. Opt for a smooth flat finish.

Top tips

If you love the dramatic effect that is matt but concerned with the possibility of a boring look, then consider these ideas:

  • Opt for a cabinet door with a routed front like a Shaker-style picture below. The cabinet’s profile will cast varying shadows on the surface, making a feeling of interest and depth.
  • For contrast, mix two different colours.

Semi-gloss finish: Something in between

If you are still unconvinced whether to get a high gloss or a matt kitchen cabinet finish, then you can always settle for something in between—a semi-gloss finish.

A semi-gloss combines the advantages of both matt and high gloss finishes.

A semi-gloss has a certain degree of light-reflective qualities making light bounce around the kitchen space. Nevertheless, since the surface isn’t as highly reflective as high gloss, imperfections are not as visible and there is a more consistent colour.

high gloss kitchen finish

The takeaway

So which finish would you choose? The hybrid semi-gloss, dramatic matt or the flashy high gloss kitchen cabinet finish?

Ultimately, it all depends on your preference. It’s not entirely about which finish is the best, but what is ideal for you and your family.

Always remember that quality is key, not the lowest in cost.

5 Creative Design Tips for Small Home Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart and hearth of the home, regardless of the size. So if you’re planning on a kitchen makeover but worried because of the available limited space, then think again.

There are tons of innovative ideas you can implement in your home kitchen that will make it feel and look bigger than what it actually is. For example, a lighter-coloured high gloss kitchen cabinet finish will definitely open up your space and make it look more modern.

Below are stunning features and helpful tips that can transform your small kitchen into a welcoming space that your family deserves.

Lighten up your kitchen

Like in the example above, use light colours to make the space feel larger. Dark colours make the room feel even smaller. Carefully consider your colour options for the cabinets and walls.

If you are unable to change the colour of the cabinets or walls and they happen to have a dark tone, consider updating instead your lighting. Install LED strips under the cabinets or shelves. These energy-efficient models will be adding an extra impact to your kitchen without leaving a big footprint.

Incorporate into your new décor scheme a lighter paint colour for the walls. If possible, opt for a high gloss kitchen finish for a contemporary updated look and feel to the space.

high gloss kitchen open shelving

Ceiling-high cabinets for extra storage

De-clutter your counter by making use of stacked cabinets and open shelves. When there is limited space, the only way is to go up.

By adding extra shelving above the sink or the stovetop, you give yourself extra storage for storing dishes and other kitchen-related stuff. You can also use the extra shelves to display your precious china or other treasured items.

Just remember to not go overboard with it. The lesser items around, the bigger your kitchen will look.

A compact kitchen island

Many homeowners consider a kitchen island as a crucial component for entertaining guests, food prep and many more. But if you’re concerned that there isn’t enough space for an island, consider a compact one that can also double as a dining table.

Also, make use of rolling cart shelves for flexibility. This not only provides extra storage but also food prep space. This can also be moved out of the way when not needed.

high gloss kitchen compact kitchen island

Add mirrors

One of the hottest trends these days are mirrored cabinets and backsplashes. The mirrors create an illusion that the walls and cabinets continue into another dimension. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It opens up the kitchen and brings light.

Tall seating

If your kitchen space restricts you from having a full dining set, opt for stools lined along the side of the worktop or consider a high-top table. This creates a cosy breakfast or dining nook without having to sacrifice space.

Keep in mind that it isn’t about the space, but the way you utilise the existing space that you have. Creative solutions such as making use of high gloss kitchen finish to brighten up and modernise the space and open shelving do make an impact on how your kitchen looks and feels.

Pros and Cons of High Gloss Kitchen Tiles

For a contemporary décor, shiny high gloss kitchen tiles would look stunning, sophisticated and elegant. Imagine those European kitchen doors with smooth lacquer finish. They’re simply breathtaking.

Additionally, a glossy tile’s easy-to-clean nature makes them ideal for kitchens, splashbacks and bathrooms. Although glossy surfaces are practically easy to clean, abrasive dirt like sad needs to be removed and swept off to avoid scratching the surface.

But although these tiles are aesthetically pleasing, there are still factors to consider. This article presents the pros and cons of high gloss kitchen tiles.

high gloss kitchen

Pros

Visually, glossy tiles are very reflective and dramatic, especially in dark colours. Because of the polished surface, light reflects off the tiles.

They are ideal for small kitchen spaces because they can make it appear larger and brighter, especially if the tiles used are white. One of the major advantages of glossy tiles is that they’re easy to clean. You only need a soft cloth, warm water and mild liquid detergent to remove spills, smudge and other marks and wipe it dry.

They’re perfect if you’re going for a luxurious, modern high-end look for your kitchen. A number of homeowners opt for glossy tiles for their kitchen floors to add a luxurious feel and a modern touch to their kitchen.

high gloss kitchen tile makes the place look brighter and larger

Cons

One of the major drawbacks of a glossy surface is that it easily makes spots, smears and other marks more visible compared with a matt finish. If there is a high volume of traffic in your kitchen, you might want to consider a matt finish if you don’t want to regularly mop the surface and remove any visible marks.

Another concern homeowners have noticed about glossy tiles is that they more slippery than matte ones, potentially leading to injuries. If this is a major concern for your household and if there are kids, opt for a matte finish for the kitchen flooring and use a high gloss finish for the backsplash. This way, you can achieve both beauty and practicality of both finishes.

Final thoughts

Like overall design decisions for your home, it still depends on your personal preference and the look that you want to achieve. If you have a small kitchen space and don’t mind the regular cleaning, then opt for high gloss kitchen tiles.