The Pros and Cons of a Gloss Kitchen Finish
When it comes to designing your kitchen, there is a lot to take into account before deciding on the final look. No other room in the house is more important than in the kitchen since it’s the centrepiece of the family home.
Not only do you want to get the design of your kitchen right for aesthetic reasons, but there are also practical reasons too that mean the finish of your kitchen has to be just right. A lot of time is spent in the kitchen; cooking food for your family, entertaining friends, as well as the less fun but equally important task of keeping the kitchen clean and tidy.
So, as you wrestle with the many choices involved in choosing the ideal kitchen, this guide will provide you with all you need to know about gloss kitchen finishes.
We’ll make sure everyone’s on the same page by briefly describing exactly what a gloss finish is, before looking at the different types of gloss finish. Then we’ll weigh up the pros and cons of a gloss finish, before leaving you with a final word on how to make sure you pick the kitchen finish that is right for you and your home.
What is a “gloss finish”?
The keyword to describe a gloss kitchen finish is “shine”! Gloss kitchens have a highly polished surface, which means they reflect a great deal of light and for this reason, they are very shiny. If you’re not so sure about a shiny, gloss kitchen, check out our guide to matt kitchen finishes.
To get technical for just a moment, the reason gloss kitchens reflect so much light is due to ‘specular reflection’. This happens because the surface of a glossy unit is so smooth and even that when light hits it, it bounces off in one direction, producing a crisp, distinct beam of light.
Now that the science lesson is over, let's dive right into the main types of gloss finish.
The three types of gloss finish
With gloss kitchens, you have three types of finish, which vary in price, quality, and durability.
If you’re looking for the most affordable option, then gloss Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is likely the option for you. The core of the kitchen units is usually made of MDF, which is then covered in the PVC and put through a process known as vacuum forming, which binds the PVC to the MDF.
The resulting glossy finish is highly shiny, though the downside to PVC gloss is that you are limited in the colours you can choose. Darker colours aren’t available as these are prone to highlighting surface irregularities, meaning if you opt for gloss PVC, your kitchen will have to be a light colour.
However, if you’re going for a minimalist look, a white or ivory gloss finish can work wonders in a shaker style kitchen.
While the gloss PVC units have a wooden composite MDF centre, acrylic gloss units are made of solid acrylic. The first thing to note is that this increases the price per unit; however, many argue this is worth it as acrylic gloss produces a sublime evenness in colour.
The downside to acrylic gloss is that it scratches more easily, which is definitely something to bear in mind for those with a young family. That being said, while a toy car dragged along the full length of your brand-new kitchen units will seem like a disaster, the scratches should buff out.
One last thing to bear in mind, if you go for acrylic, make sure to use a non-abrasive cleaner.
This form of kitchen finish also uses an MDF core for the units, however, this core is coated in a primer and then covered in layer upon layer of a lacquer substance which results in an incredibly even and shiny surface. This process gives your kitchen cabinet doors an intensity and depth which is simply unrivalled.
And aside from looking good, a gloss lacquer kitchen will last longer as well, as the units are sturdy and hard-wearing.
However, you guessed it, this type of gloss is generally the most expensive, so if you do opt for this one it’s worth shopping around to try and find the best deal you can.
Now that we’ve covered some of the pros and cons of each specific type of gloss finish, we’re now going to look at some more general points when considering a gloss finish.
The pros of a gloss finish
There are many reasons to choose a gloss finish, not least of which is the sleek, stylish look you can achieve. Combined with the latest kitchen appliances, your gloss kitchen will be ultra-modern and impress any guest!
Another reason to choose gloss, especially if you're working with a small kitchen, is that gloss finishes make the room look and feel bigger. If your kitchen gets little natural light, some well-placed lighting will do the trick.
Most of us like cooking, but hardly any of us like cleaning! So why not make your life easy by choosing a gloss finish. Dirt and food splashes find it hard to stick to the smooth, shiny surfaces, meaning they wipe away with ease.
The cons of a gloss finish
While gloss kitchens are easier to clean, they also need to be cleaned more often as those dirty marks and fingerprints will show up more easily.
Another downside, particularly with acrylic gloss units, is that they’re quite easy to scratch. While they will buff out, it takes time and effort to buff out scratches.
Finally, the shiny surface of a gloss finish isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, as the light being reflected can result in brighter and darker areas, giving an uneven look.
The final say
When deciding whether or not to opt for a gloss kitchen finish, it’s worth asking yourself some questions.
- Stylistically, do I want a modern, shiny, highly polished look? Or would I prefer something more understated?
- Practically speaking, how likely is my new gloss kitchen to get covered in fingerprints, scratches, and dirty marks?
- And finally, do I have the time and commitment required to keep on top of the regular cleaning required to maintain a gloss kitchen in its optimal condition?
The bottom line is gloss kitchens may require a little extra work; but can give you a truly spectacular, ultra-modern style.
If you want more information on the gloss kitchen finish or want advice on kitchen design, contact a member of our team today.