Matte or Glossy finished Cabinets?
This article is more in the context of Indian homeowners with a budget of 3L to 10L for home interiors. This explains only about the LAMINATE finish which is most commonly preferred in this budget.
Though the finish is primarily decided by the likes of the homeowner, the following factors also weigh in to decide the finish.
- Kitchen Size
- Handle or Handle-less finish
- Cleaning efforts
1. Kitchen Size
Glossy surfaces reflect light and bring light into the kitchen. Matt surfaces absorb light and give you a flat muted look. If you want to make your kitchen look bigger, glossy is the way to go.
Most of the Indian apartments have kitchens of less than 80 to 100 sqft and do not have a lot of sunlight. In these cases, glossy is preferred to make the kitchen a little more spacious. U-kitchen will definitely need glossy finishes (to make the kitchen look bigger) as the cabinets take a lot more space of the kitchen than the L-kitchen types (presuming same kitchen size)
For a given kitchen size -
- Less than 80 sqft: Glossy finish
- 80 - 120 sqft U Kitchen: Glossy finish
- 80 - 120 sqft L or straight Kitchen: Glossy or Mix of matt + glossy
- Greater than 120 sqft - Matt finish. If you think the kitchen is too muted, use profile doors or handles or dual color to show some depth.
This abstracts out a lot of details, so follow this with a grain of salt.
If we are only talking about the laminates, there is an increase in the budget for using glossy laminates. Nonetheless, the difference is not too much: For a typical kitchen, the price will increase by Rs.8-10k. Most of the vendors or contractors in the market charge in terms of sqft or lump sum, so are aware to ask them about the details.
For instance, a matt laminate is priced around Rs. 1200. Glossy laminates are around 2000 bucks. Laminate sheets come in 8x4 ft (32 sqft). Technically, the difference between matt and glossy is (2000-1200)/32, which is around 25 bucks per sqft. Considering the wastage, multiple colors and the type of edge-band used, the difference should not go more than 50 to 75 rupees per sqft.
Tip: Just go with glossy finish if you like it. The price difference is not too much and is worth it.
3. Handle or Handle-less finish
When you go for the handle-less finish, you frequently touch the surface of the cabinet door.
Oily fingerprints are visible in both Matt and Glossy finishes, though it is more visible in the glossy surfaces. But, Matt surfaces are difficult to clean than glossy surfaces. Go for the glossy finish in a handle-less kitchen as you can wipe the grease off of the surface easily.
Tip: If you do not like cleaning your kitchen frequently, go for kitchen with handles.
4. Cleaning effort
Cleaning those matte finishes is typically not as easy or straightforward as cleaning glossy surfaces. Scratches and other imperfections may not be easily seen in matte surfaces, they are difficult to remove when it happens. If you have a maid or kids or a messy spouse for that matter, go with glossy finish and do not look back.
Tip: If maid or children access the kitchen, go for the glossy finish - at least for the under counter cabinets.