Gloss or Matt Kitchens: How to Decide Which Is Best for You and Your Home

For some homeowners, choosing between high gloss and matt kitchens is an easy decision. Most often, people have an immediate preference for the qualities and the look of one over the other.

However, this isn’t the case for many of us.  Take for example your inclination based solely on the looks of both finishes. So which would you pick, high gloss or matt? How would you determine which one works best for your kitchen?

High gloss kitchens were a staple in many homes for years. However, the market has shifted in favour of the more dramatic and subdued matt finish. This is attributed to the growing number of manufacturers that have made matt accessible to a wide range of homeowners, not just in high-end homes.

Both finish types work great in any kitchen style, from the traditional to the contemporary to the minimalist. Timeless in appearance, they both form the basis of visually stunning designs. They’re highly durable and easy to clean.

So how do you choose between these two finishes?

High Gloss Kitchens

To make the most out of your investment, opt for high-quality gloss. Remember that the colours of the gloss on your kitchen would slight vary depending on the reflected light.

For example, units at eye level receive and reflect most of the light entering the space. Additionally, this glossy surface also could reflect the other visible colours in the room.

So, when deciding which coloured gloss to go for, it is recommended to stick to one colour palette. In the event that you are stuck with which colour to use, seek the advice of experienced interior decorators in order to achieve the effect you are going for.

By doing so, you’ll be able to fully achieve and appreciate the stunning beauty of a high gloss finish.

high gloss kitchens cabinet black modern

Easy to clean. One of gloss’ many advantages is that it’s easy to clean thanks to its shiny surface. All you need is a non-abrasive cloth and some water for those common everyday kitchen stains and smudges.

However, for tougher stains, avoid the use of bleach as this could damage the glossy surface. Simply use lukewarm water and mild detergent and some elbow grease, but be very careful not to damage the finish.

Makes the room appear larger and more open. Gloss was made popular by small kitchen spaces. Because light is reflected into the space, the kitchen would appear larger and brighter. Additionally, the lighter the colour of the gloss finish, the brighter the room would be.

There’s no need anymore to tear down walls and have an extension built, saving you money in the long run.

The Drawback  

Although not necessarily major, some homeowners tend to avoid gloss because can make fingerprints and other imperfections more visible on the surface. If you’re not so keen on cleaning every now and then, use gloss on higher cabinet doors, out of reach of greasy hands.

Colour Choices

High gloss is available in a wide array of colours, from white to grey to darker tones, making it easy for you to match your existing wall colour with any available gloss colour.

This finish is also available in different materials and of course prices, from gloss acrylic, gloss laminate, gloss glass to gloss lacquer. Remember that these materials have different manufacturing processes, to create varying surface looks.

How much will be light reflected depends on the material’s finish. It also depends on how it was made.

That’s why you should think about how “glossy” you want your kitchen to look.

Matt Kitchens

Similar to gloss, the quality of the finish is one of the significant requirements for successfully achieving a beautiful matt finish. With high-quality materials, a matt finish can result in the most dramatic looks possible, a kitchen with character and elegance.

As its name suggests, matt absorbs the light, rather than reflect it in the surface. This results in a more muted look. Some perceive this a dull or boring, while others consider this as an understated elegance.

The lack of shine doesn’t mean matt is inferior to gloss. On its own, it has certain qualities that interior designers and architects consider noteworthy.

matt kitchens

An even colour. Since matt isn’t dependent on light in maintaining its definitive hue, it features a solid colour, even on all sides. In other words, regardless of which angle you view it or if there’s low lighting, there is colour consistency.

Hides imperfections. Because of the lack of reflected light, fingerprints, smudges and stains and other imperfections are not as visible compared with gloss. Note that this doesn’t mean stains or fingerprints are not there. They are there! Not only as clear.

Matt finish is also scratch-resistant and durable.

The Drawback

Because light will not be reflected into the room, but rather absorbed, you might want to reconsider matt for small kitchen spaces. However, you can still utilise white hues since this still contribute to the space appearing light.

Grey tones are the next popular colour contemporary kitchens with limited spaces.

Colour Choices

Just like gloss, matt is also offered in a wide range of colours, materials and prices. It also works well in combination with other textures and even high gloss.

The Verdict

So which is better—matt kitchens or high gloss kitchens?

Ultimately, and many have pointed this out, it all boils down to personal preference. But take into consideration your kitchen size and if cleaning is a bother to you.

It isn’t about what’s best for you, but what is practically right for you.

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.

How to Clean and Maintain Your High Gloss Kitchen Surface

We spend so much time and money beautifying and upgrading our home kitchens that we sometimes fail to remember that it’s the busiest room in the house. It will be subject to constant wear and tear and to heavy foot traffic, among other things. So if it’s your first time purchasing a kitchen or you plan on sprucing it up for the upcoming New Year, then bear in mind if your chosen kitchen design and materials are easy to clean and maintain.

It doesn’t matter if you have bought and installed the most expensive materials and finishes, but you failed to maintain them, leaving them to lose their shine and lustre. Instead of looking luxurious and clean, you’ll have a worn-out kitchen that is unappealing to your family and guests. Make an informed decision by understanding how to keep your kitchen free from spills, dust and other dirt and maintain its well-deserved grandeur.

One of the major decisions you have to make is picking out kitchen finishes, the most common and popular being a matt or high gloss kitchen finish. Each finish holds their own appeal to homeowners, and they prefer one over the other.

So if you’re opting for a high gloss finish, it is worth noting that this particular type of finish can make fingerprints, scratches and other marks easily visible, particularly in darker-coloured finishes. But this definitely shouldn’t put you off from choosing this finish. You just need the right cleaning know-how in your arsenal to tackle everyday kitchen use.

An easy high gloss surface maintenance requires a combination of 3 factors: using the best cleaning device, cleaning solution and cleaning technique. The following is a look at each of the aforementioned factors to help you in your kitchen cleaning battle.

Using the best kitchen cleaning device

Creates the illusion of a bigger space

Different gloss materials have different resistant properties. But abrasive materials still should never be used on these surfaces as it could potentially cause damage. Instead, high gloss surfaces should only be cleaned using a soft microfibre cloth, which is readily available in supermarkets.

A microfibre cloth is anti-scratch, so you won’t have to worry about this material leaving marks on your modern kitchens surface. It is made of tiny synthetic fibres which are smaller than those found in a regular cleaning cloth. The smallest speck of dust and dirt attaches to the thousands of tiny fibres, making sure the cleaning cloth doesn’t miss a thing.

Using the best cleaning solution

Easy to Clean

If you think you have to head out to the store and get some high-end cleaning products that would leave you wondering why you had to have a high gloss kitchen surface, then think again! All you need is water. Yes, that’s right. Water. Lukewarm water is the best possible solution for your cleaning needs.

However, other kitchen companies recommend the use of cleaning agents or using soapy water with the microfibre cloth. But it is not advisable. Why? Strong chemicals are found in detergents, which could lead to damages on the glossy finish, not to mention your skin.

Using the right technique

High Gloss Kitchen

Using the best technique leaves your surface clean. So using a microfibre cloth, dip it in lukewarm water, wring it until lightly damp. Remember not to over soak the cloth as it will reduce its effectiveness and could leave behind residual marks and smears on your once glossy surface once it has dried up.

With an “S” motion, gently wipe the surface. If there are tougher stains, you will have to employ some elbow grease. To maintain your glossy surface, immediately clean any spill or stain. Don’t let it dry.

By incorporating all 3 factors, you’ll be able to maintain your high gloss kitchens surfaces and be the envy of neighbours and friends. Keeping its shine isn’t hard. You just need the right tools and knowledge. So go ahead and upgrade your kitchen just in time for the holiday season!