Selecting Kitchen finishes (Part B)

Top Tips to Selecting Kitchen Finishes (Part B)

Yesterday we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using two of the main kitchen materials – glass and stainless steel. Today we will continue our discussion on selecting the best materials for your kitchen on the Northern Beaches:


If the timber look is the one you are after, you have two options – hardwood panels or timber veneers. Most kitchen cabinet panels are made from hardwood. They can be stained and sealed or painted in a solid colour. One of the main advantages of hardwood panels is that the depth of colour always improves with age. However, when selecting solid timber for your kitchen cabinetry, be aware that wood warps easily with exposure to moisture, so cabinet panels must be finished on all sides prior to leaving the factory, or finished on-site as soon as possible to prevent warping. Your main hardwood options will be red oak, white oak, hard maple, hickory, cherry, birch and ash. Pine is the only softwood species used for cabinetry. It dents more easily than hardwood and often features knot, but it is far cheaper in price and the pale yellow lumber is often well suited to traditional and country-style homes.

Modern Wooden Kitchens liked by Volpe Cabinet Making


Alternatively, a cheaper option that still gives the “timber look” is timber-veneered panels. These are one of the cheapest options when it comes to kitchen finishes. Laminate panels are crafted from laminate (resin-saturated layers of paper and a protective transparent layer) fused to a substrate using heat and pressure. As a result, laminated cabinet panels are heavier than solid wood panels. They are not limited to faux-timber veneers but are available in a wide array of colours, styles and textures. Keep in mind that laminate panels are generally only available in flat panels.

There are two types of laminate:

  1. HPL or high pressure laminate is commonly used for countertops and is the more durable laminate option.
  2. LPL or low-pressure laminate (such as Melamine). This is cheaper than HPL but is less resistant to cracking and chipping


Thermofoil is another budget-friendly option for kitchen finishes. Thermofoil panels are made from vinyl film that has been applied to a substrate with heat and pressure. The advantage of thermofoil over laminate is that it can resemble wood textures more closely than laminates and it offers ore opportunity for custom shaped or curved panels without the cost of using solid timber. Also, the edges of thermofoil panels are covered, providing a clean line and seamless panel appearance. Like laminates, Thermofoil panels are available in a variety of colours and textures and are easy to clean.

For more information on selecting kitchen finishes, or for general help with kitchen design in Sydney, contact us.

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