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How to choose materials for a modern kitchen

The right choice of materials can transform your kitchen.

The materials you choose for your kitchen should be practical, but they should also evoke that sense of ‘home’ we all look forward to at the end of a long day. Follow our pointers on choosing materials for your new modern kitchen.

1. Coordinate your design materials

Modern kitchens usually feature man-made components such as concrete and quartz to great effect, often set against the natural beauty of wood. Floors, kitchen cabinet doors and worktops need to be chosen to complement each other and any other furniture, whether you favour bold contrasts or subtle variations.

2. Choose sturdy kitchen counter materials

From super-slim granite countertops or quartz to chunky wood, it is worth investing in well-made worktops that make a statement. Always consider the durability and maintenance of materials before you make your choice.

Here are a few kitchen counter material ideas – each with their own unique benefits – to discuss with your builder and help you make your decision:

  • Solid wood, will add instant character, and will age well if properly maintained.
  • Stone, such as marble, limestone and granite, is a good natural choice. There are plenty of convincing laminate alternatives that mimic the look of these surfaces too.
  • Composite worktops can include seamlessly integrated sinks and drainers.
  • Engineered stone, created from crushed quartz and resin, is impressively hard wearing.
  • Stainless steel is the professional chef’s choice and, along with polished concrete, will create an industrial look. Try combining these tough materials in your food preparation area, with a wooden breakfast bar to soften the effect.

3. Transform your kitchen with modern kitchen floor materials

A new kitchen often involves new flooring. A wood floor can transform the look and feel of a kitchen, particularly if replacing a carpeted floor. Wide floor boards create a very modern look, while vinyl is a practical, attractive choice. Bolder contemporary options include poured concrete or resin floors, which work well with underfloor heating.

You can also combine different floor materials to define distinct zones in an open-plan kitchen – for example, wooden boards in the dining area and slate tiles where you cook. Alternatively, you can use a single unifying material throughout to maximise the sense of space.