When it comes to kitchen cabinets there are a wealth of options out there. Choice is obviously a good thing. However, when there is so much choice it can all feel a bit overwhelming. Whatever your preferences, there is definitely a kitchen cabinet design to suit all tastes. Here, we put two kitchen cabinet design favourites together: solid wood vs high gloss. In many ways, these styles are polar opposites. High gloss has quickly become the obvious choice for any homeowner wanting to create a contemporary and ultra-modern kitchen design. Meanwhile, solid wood instantly conjures up images of country farmhouse kitchens, and traditional and classic looks. In fact, there’s more to it than that when it comes to solid wood vs high gloss. Both styles are more versatile than many people realise. Here’s everything you need to know about solid wood and high gloss kitchen units.

Solid wood vs High Gloss – Fantastic looks guaranteed

With high gloss kitchen units, it’s really all about the finish. Unsurprisingly given the name, these units boast a sleek and glossy finish. As the units reflect the light of the space at different angles, high gloss makes any kitchen look bigger than it really is.

For a completely different aesthetic, solid wood kitchen units truly are a thing of beauty. Solid wood brings genuine charm and warmth to any space. Solid wood units give you beautiful and natural grain patterns. Each wood species brings with it its own strength and durability features. Each type of solid wood provides a different aesthetic too. For example, if it is a stunning grain that you are looking for, choose the likes of oak or maple for your kitchen.

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Solid wood vs High Gloss: Super stylish in any setting

Although solid wood and high gloss offer very different styles, no one would argue that both designs haven’t got bags of style and character in their own right.

With high gloss there are various factors that affect the extent to which the units will reflect light. These are: the type of gloss, colour chosen, the underlying material, and the type of light in the space. Particularly suited to contemporary kitchen designs with flat cabinet fronts. The high gloss style first became popular in the 1970s, but things have certainly moved on since then. Back in the day, a clinical white was about your lot when it came to high gloss kitchen units. There was some attraction in that and, of course, bright white is still a popular choice for kitchen cabinets. However, there are now far more high gloss options on the market. Neutral shades, such as grey, beige, cream, or Champagne, have come to the fore. They boast the same flowing lines as the high gloss units of days gone by, but now they offer far more character and warmth.

Advantages of high gloss in the kitchen

The ability to create the illusion of space is the major advantage that high gloss has over the kitchen cabinet competition. This is why it is so popular with homeowners. It makes a small space appear wider and bigger than it really is. Most of us crave more space in the home and with high gloss, the kitchen really opens up. This makes high gloss a great choice of finish in smaller-sized kitchen.

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With solid wood you have plenty of choice. With so many wood species now available, you should be able to find a wood that matches both your style and your budget. It’s often also possible to customise sold wood. From the shape to the finish, you can really create a unique look for your kitchen with solid wood kitchen units.

Solid wood is seen as a superior material by cabinet makers and it’s not hard to see why. As well as fantastic style, solid wood is also extremely strong and durable. In fact, in the strength stakes, solid wood really is unrivalled. The highest quality solid wood comes with a hefty price tag. However, with that comes the confidence that solid wood cabinets will literally last for decades. Of course, as wood species vary in strength and durability, you should do your research to ensure that you are making the correct choice for your home and your needs.

Solid wood might cost you more upfront than some other kitchen unit materials but, as solid wood is so durable, they offer fantastic value for money. They won’t need replacing as soon as with other materials and with proper care there is no reason why solid wood units cannot last a lifetime. You really are getting value for money with solid wood.

How do the prices compare?

Solid wood kitchens price up a little bit more expensive than other kitchen units. However with a 350mm single door base unit coming in at £164.04, the Kitchen Warehouse solid wood ranges are still affordable. Remember, although you will find cheaper kitchen unit styles around, you really can’t beat solid wood when it comes to quality and longevity.

High gloss kitchen units are a really affordable option. We have a 350mm base unit with a single door available in seven colours for only £112.68.

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Maintenance and Cleaning

High gloss kitchens units are very low maintenance and really easy to clean. To keep on top of things, all you need is a non-abrasive microfibre cloth. The microfibres will pick up any dust or marks that may have gathered on the surface. For more stubborn stains, warm water, a mild dishwashing soap and a non-abrasive sponge will do the trick.

The only downside is that because of all the reflected light on the surface of the units, marks, scratches and fingerprints are more visible. However, as the units are so easy to clean, this shouldn’t be a major problem.

If you are concerned about kids and mucky fingers, one option is to only opt for a high gloss finish on upper cabinets. A semi-gloss or even a matt finish could then be used for the lower units. It’s also worth bearing in mind that marks and imperfections on the surface of high gloss units are more noticeable on darker coloured finishes.

Maintenance of your solid wood kitchen units is not difficult or onerous, but it is very important. In their unfinished state, wood is not waterproof. Certain wood species are better at withstanding a certain amount of moisture. However, as woods are prone to moisture damage, it is important that a waterproof finish is added.

Over time, warping, cracking and bug infestation can become problems with solid wood. However, with care and regular protection and maintenance, these problems are unlikely to rear their ugly heads. Although, maintenance of solid wood kitchen units is important, you should not let it put you off purchasing solid wood.

Examples of solid wood and high gloss units

At Kitchen Warehouse, the wood used in our solid wood kitchen units is all sourced from sustainable European forests. Only Grade A+ solid oak is used in the manufacture of our kitchen doors. They all feature the classic five-piece design. All styles come with mortise and tenon joints, and top-of-the-range mechanisms, such as Hettich soft closing hinges.

If natural oak is the colour you are looking for, we offer three stunning styles: MaddisonWakefield and Jefferson. Painted solid wood options are also available.

If high gloss is more your thing, we offer plenty of choice here too. Our high gloss kitchen unit range is available in seven stunning colours. As well as classic white, you can also choose the softer tones of Porcelain, Cashmere or Cream. If you fancy glossing up your kitchen in on-trend grey, we have two great tones, including the extremely popular Dust Grey. The stunning Anthracite completes the collection.

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Which style is the winner?

All in all, it’s impossible to pick a winner between these two giants of the kitchen design world. They offer very different things, of course. However, it’s pointless trying to say that one is superior to the other. The fact is, if you want to create a cutting edge look for your contemporary kitchen space, high gloss kitchen units really are an ideal choice. Not only that, if you have a smaller space, high gloss really is the smart choice. High gloss units will make the space look much larger than it really is.

On the other hand, if a classic and timeless design is what you have in mind for your new kitchen, there are few (if any) better options than solid wood kitchen units. Remember, if you opt for solid wood, you really are making an investment in the future of your home. Solid wood is truly built to last. If you would like any more help and guidance choosing your dream kitchen, just get in touch with the Kitchen Warehouse team.