When it comes to your home, selecting the materials you use during a renovation can be overwhelming. There are so many choices available to you! Not only do you need to narrow down the selection, but you must live with your decisions day in, and day out.

All you know is you want your kitchen renovation to be the best that it can be… and we agree! When it comes to your kitchen renovation materials selection, there can be several questions that come to mind.

  • How do you know you’re making the right choices for your kitchen?
  • Do the materials you selected for your kitchen renovation work together or clash?
  • What factors should you base your decisions on regarding which materials to pick?
  • What are all of the different decisions you need to make during a kitchen design project?

While none of these questions are complex, they do require consideration. However, if you’re working with Hammerdown, you know that you can lean on the expertise of our entire team – from design-build contractors to our interior designers. So, if you have any questions about the kitchen renovation materials you should use as part of your kitchen design – you’ve come to the right place!

What to look for when selecting kitchen renovation materials

First up, what factors should you consider when selecting your kitchen renovation materials? Remember, your kitchen is a daily-use, high-traffic part of your home. If you’re like us, your kitchen is the heart of your home – where you entertain family and friends, prepare meals for loved ones, and spend quality time.

However, these days, your kitchen is likely doing double or triple duty. It may be your home-school space, arts and crafts or puzzle room, and part-time home office. As your number one guiding principle when selecting your kitchen renovation materials – be true to what your needs are from your home.

Some of our top picks for factors that can help your kitchen design material selection process are:

  • Durability – to ensure your kitchen renovation will stand up to the test of time as you and your family use your kitchen daily
  • Functionality – the design needs to match your lifestyle and help you do things better, with more ease, and without complication
  • Beauty – your kitchen renovation needs to be nice to look at and your kitchen should give you a “wow” factor as you’ll be spending a lot of time here
  • Blend the style of your selected materials and finishes –  with a blend of styles, your renovation will have depth and personality that matches your unique style
  • Mix in some natural (or natural-looking) materials – with natural finishes added to your kitchen renovation, you’ll bring warmth to the space

Now that you have the important factors in mind, you might be wondering how in the world you’ll make these decisions for yourself. Keep reading and we’ll touch on what you can do to ensure you get the right materials for your kitchen renovation.

The role your budget plays in your kitchen renovation materials selection

One of the most important factors when considering which kitchen renovation materials you select is your budget. The price variance is almost as massive as the options available to you in the first place. But when it comes to your home renovation, how do you know the best place to spend more or save? Here are our best tips, and how you can get the guidance you need.

Work with an experienced kitchen interior designer

They will be able to help show you where it makes sense to spend more. You can help them by being forthcoming with your lifestyle needs, style preferences, and available budget (we can get creative with smaller budgets!)

More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean more durable, functional, beautiful, or better. Sometimes, it just means it costs more. Your interior designer will be able to guide you and suggest materials and options you might not even know exist. Ask for their opinion and, if you did your due diligence before hiring your interior designer, trust their judgement.

Kitchen renovation cabinetry and shelving selection

One of the most important aspects of any kitchen renovation is cabinetry and storage. There truly are countless options and combinations available to you, so it’s good if you can do some preliminary research. Start narrowing down your style preferences by looking at popular websites like Instagram or Pinterest, flip through renovation or interior design magazines, or browse your renovation company’s website.

Kitchen renovation materials - cabinetry and shelving selection

With your cabinetry style preference in mind, select the other options

Generally speaking, there are 3 common styles of cabinet doors – slab (flat panel), shaker,  and raised panel. Each type of cabinet door inherently leans to a particular style on a scale from modern to classic to traditional.

It’s very popular to mix cabinetry materials, colours and finishes… but why? 

  • As popular as ever is the two-tone kitchen cabinets. Usually, this look features light upper cabinets and dark lower cabinets or one colour used for the wall-based cabinetry and a second colour used for the island. The use of multiple colours or finishes can help your kitchen connect with the rest of the house. A larger kitchen, if all one colour, can sometimes feel overwhelming
  • Your kitchen can also benefit from a couple of different types of storage – a mixture of glass doors, open shelving (in a variety of materials), and closed cabinetry all lend themselves to different uses, from displaying your decor, sentimental objects or often used items, to efficient storage of food, cooking ware, or off-season dinnerware. 
  • For the cabinetry material, there’s a wide variety of wood species to consider: pine, oak, hickory, cherry, maple, alder, and walnut are just a few of the more popular options. However, woods that are on the harder end of the spectrum are generally a safe bet – they are more durable, but some do might cost more than others, so weighing that against durability and style is an important consideration. Hardwoods are from broad-leaf trees, and the denser or tighter the grain, the harder the wood tends to be. The most popular hardwoods are oak and maple.
  • While we’ve suggested staying away from single-colour kitchens in large spaces, a single colour does have its benefits. Predominantly single-colour kitchens can work great in certain situations, particularly in smaller areas where they can make the room feel larger and less visually busy.

After you’ve decided on the style, material, and finish of your kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to pair them with a countertop.

Kitchen renovation materials – options for countertops

When you aren’t sure which countertop material to select, we typically recommend either natural stone (most commonly granite or quartzite) or quartz. They both have similar price ranges, but each with benefits and drawbacks. Once we know a bit about your lifestyle, we can help match the countertop material that will be best for you.

However, that’s not to say you can’t select another type of material. Granite and quartz will always be in demand as safe bets for their quality and durability. But feel free to explore other natural stone products or some less common materials, such as the following:

  • Other natural stones such as marble or soapstone
  • Porcelain (and a similar product called sintered stone)
  • Butcher block
  • Stainless steel
  • Solid surface (Corian and similar)
  • Laminate (least expensive but not as much as some think, builder-grade quartz can be comparably priced to some laminates – just ask us!)

Flooring options for your kitchen renovation

Kitchen renovation materials - flooring selection

Similar to the popularity of granite and quartz for countertops, is the rise of luxury vinyl plank (LVP) or luxury vinyl tile (LVT). Either of these can be a great option as a kitchen flooring material. Luxury vinyl materials have been increasing in popularity due to:

  • Durability and quality, being able to withstand foot traffic for years
  • Budget-friendly when compared to most other flooring materials
  • A variety of options allow you to find that perfect look and an increase in the quality that can mimic the features of natural materials with surprising accuracy 

The classic option – hardwood; is available in solid and engineered construction. Solid hardwood tends to be more prone to moisture fluctuations but provides the most longevity. Engineered wood is great for our climate, but is limited in its ability to be altered in the future. Both are less water resistant than luxury vinyl, but hardwood will age better over time. The appeal of hardwood is both in the warmth it brings to a space and how it feels underfoot. You can always refinish your hardwood floors if they are starting to show wear over time.

Tile or natural stone floors will always remain popular for their durability. However, due to our climate, if you’re installing tile or stone, you may want to also invest in in-floor heat. Even without heating your floors, tile or natural stone is usually the most expensive option. Due both to the cost of the materials, but also as it is the most labour-intensive installation.

Finally, you may consider cork, which is a very soft and comfortable material to stand on but easily damaged. Cork floors have many of the same benefits of hardwood, but without the durability. We tend to stay away from cork flooring in kitchens unless your home is very low-traffic.

Lighting options for your kitchen renovation

Kitchen renovation materials - lighting selection

While it might not have been initially high on your list of things to consider, lighting is an essential part of your kitchen renovation materials selection. Lighting your home properly can be the difference between a “good renovation” or a “great renovation” – lighting really delivers you the “wow” factor.

There are too many fixture options to list, but your interior designer should help you narrow selections based on your preferred style. However, they should also help you create a lighting plan to illuminate your space appropriately.

  • Layering your lighting is crucial
  • Having a variety of different types of lighting – task, display, and ambient
  • Your kitchen renovation can incorporate many different fixtures– pot lights, chandelier or statement pieces, pendants, under-cabinet, wall sconces, or flush/semi mount
  • Lighting is an important element to take time to plan well, as it is both a decorative and functional feature in your kitchen renovation. It’s also a great way to enhance your style and add personality.

Kitchen renovation materials –backsplash tile options and patterns

Kitchen renovation materials - backsplash tile selection

You likely already have “custom backsplash tile” in your mind as a kitchen renovation material must-have. It’s a great way to add a pop of colour, introduce a pattern, or accent with a touch of natural material. However, the most important function of the backsplash is that it protects your walls from wear and tear. Therefore, the selection of material should suit your lifestyle, while also considering the best compliment for your countertop that meshes with the style of your cabinetry and flooring. Ideally, your backsplash is a crucial selection that should help tie your kitchen space together, not divide it.

If you’re feeling adventurous, some other backsplash materials are:

  • Metal or metallic finishes
  • Glass-faced patterned wallpaper
  • Continuous slab; Use the same material as your countertop for a seamless look

Sink, faucets, and accessory selection

You’ve heard us mention “durability” and “high traffic” in this article, but perhaps, there is no higher traffic touchpoint in your kitchen than the sink area. With the constant splashing of water, and as the hub for cleaning it will see many bumps and scratches from heavy pots and pans – you’ll want to ensure the durability of the materials you select.

Kitchen renovation materials - sink, faucet, and accessory selection

Your interior designer can help recommend brands and styles of faucets that are more durable than others. As for the sink itself, farmhouse-style sinks and under-mounted sinks have surged in popularity due to their functionality and practicality. 

Whatever you decide, spending a bit more on your sink setup now can actually save you dollars over the long term. If you opt for inexpensive now, it will often mean the fixtures were constructed of lower-quality materials and components. If this is the case, it’s likely your sink and faucet will need to be replaced long before your stone or quartz countertops. It can be difficult to retrofit a sink into hard surface countertops, as they are custom cut and polished to spec.

While your priority when selecting a sink and faucet should be practicality and durability, these must be stylish too. You can rest easy here as brands offering high quality are also on the leading edge of in-demand styles. Consider how mixing the metal finishes of these fixtures, along with your cabinet hardware, appliances, and lighting can create a stimulating combination that stirs up your home’s appeal!

What if you have a special request for kitchen renovation materials?

If you have your mind (and heart) set on a specific renovation material – just talk to us! We’re here to help you get what you want from your home. We’ll do our best to help you source the material, and of course, take care of the logistics and installation.

Another note is to not overlook your kitchen appliances, especially if you plan to purchase new ones. While not necessarily considered kitchen renovation materials, your appliances can be a large part of your renovation budget and often aren’t included in project pricing (as they vary so widely). However, when the time comes to shop for your appliances, we’ll have discussed what options to look for so they’ll fit with the design plan for your kitchen. Keep us informed on your selections as we look to match colours, materials, and finishes to your appliances. We’ll also need the dimensions of your appliances when we order your cabinetry, to ensure a perfect fit.

We work with you to select your kitchen renovation materials!

At the top, we said kitchen renovation materials can become overwhelming! In this article, we’ve just begun to scratch the surface. The good news is we work through the process with you – our interior designers and design-build team are incredibly knowledgeable – to help make this as fun and smooth a project as possible.

Let us take the stress and strain of decisions off your plate. Contact us and request your interior design consultation, or book your meeting to discuss your kitchen renovation directly on our website.