Choosing the right materials for your kitchen remodel or new construction is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. The materials you select for countertops, cabinets, floors, and backsplashes impact the look, functionality, and durability of your kitchen. With so many options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to select the perfect materials for your needs and style. This article provides tips and considerations for choosing the best kitchen materials to create your dream space.


Countertops are the workhorse of any kitchen. Important factors to consider when choosing countertop materials include:


Kitchen countertops need to stand up to daily wear and tear. Harder materials like granite, quartz, and solid surface resist scratches, stains, and heat damage better than softer options like laminate.


Some countertops like granite and quartz require very little maintenance, while options like butcher block need frequent oiling. Consider how much upkeep you’re willing to do.


Prices can range from $20-$200 per square foot installed. Measure your space and set a budget to narrow options.


Do you prefer modern, rustic, traditional, or minimalist style? Select a material that aligns with your overall kitchen design.

Popular countertop choices include:

  • Granite – Natural stone prized for its elegance and durability. Heat and scratch resistant. Requires yearly sealing.
  • Quartz – Engineered stone that’s durable, low maintenance, and available in wide variety of colors/patterns.
  • Butcher Block – Classic warmth of wood offers great surface for meal prep. Needs frequent oiling/sealing to prevent damage.
  • Laminate – Budget-friendly option for wide range of colors and patterns. Less durable than stone.
  • Solid Surface – Non-porous acrylic/resin material that’s seamless, durable, and repairable.


Kitchen cabinets make up a significant portion of the kitchen, so their look and quality are important. Considerations include:


Most common options:

  • Wood – Natural warmth and timeless style. Durable hardwoods like oak and maple recommended.
  • Plywood – Affordable manufactured wood that takes paint/stain well. Prone to swelling and warping.
  • Thermofoil – Vinyl wrapped over composite wood products. Budget option with integrated finish.
  • Metal – Brushed steel or aluminum for an industrial, modern look. More expensive but long-lasting.

Quality of Construction

Solid wood dovetail drawers, full-extension glides, soft-close hinges/drawers, and durable finishes signal quality construction.


From ultra-modern to traditional to cottage, cabinet style should align with your overall kitchen aesthetic.

Custom vs. Stock

Custom offers personalized sizing/designs to maximize space. Stock is more budget-friendly and quicker to install.


While small in size, backsplashes make a big impact. Considerations when selecting materials:

  • Ease of Cleaning – Materials like glass tile and metal are simpler to wipe down than porous stone.
  • Durability – Hardy materials like porcelain or metal tiles can take more wear and tear behind a busy sink.
  • Style – From sleek glass to handmade ceramic tile, choose a material that complements your design.
  • Cost – Prices range from $5-$50 per square foot installed based on material and labor. Measure your space before budgeting.

Popular backsplash options:

  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile – Budget-friendly, wide range of looks from rustic to modern.
  • Glass Tile – Sleek, contemporary option available in endless colors and finishes.
  • Metal Tile – Interesting textures with high durability. Good for modern kitchens.
  • Stone Tile – Elegant natural option like marble, travertine, or slate. Requires sealing.


Kitchen flooring needs to stand up to heavy daily use. When selecting materials consider:


Floors must be able to withstand dropped pots/pans, spills, pet nails, foot traffic, and more. Harder surfaces like stone, tile, and resilient vinyl rate higher.

Water Resistance

Frequent spills make water-resistance key. Tile, vinyl, and sealed concrete are better than wood or laminate.

Comfort Underfoot

Cushioned vinyl and wood feel better underfoot than harder surfaces like stone. Consider comfort if you’ll be standing for long periods.


Match the flooring to your overall aesthetic – rustic wood, contemporary tile, cozy laminate, etc.

Popular kitchen flooring options include:

  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile – Durable classic kitchen surface available in many patterns/textures.
  • Natural Stone – Elegant options like marble, slate, or limestone. Can be slippery when wet.
  • Luxury Vinyl – Affordable, waterproof, and comfortable underfoot. Wide range of looks.
  • Laminate – Budget-friendly option mimics wood or tile. Avoid areas that get wet.
  • Concrete – Industrial vibe. Durable but can be hard on feet over time.

Choosing Your Kitchen Materials: Key Takeaways

  • Consider how each material rates for durability, maintenance, cost, and style for your needs.
  • Countertops take the most abuse – go for durability. Think low maintenance for surfaces like backsplashes.
  • Focus on comfort underfoot and water-resistance for floors.
  • Quality cabinet construction and materials designed to last are worth the investment.
  • Make selections that align with your overall desired kitchen style – modern, cottage, contemporary etc.
  • Measure spaces and set a realistic budget before falling in love with options outside your range.

With some thoughtful consideration of your lifestyle, budget, and design aesthetic, you’re sure to choose kitchen materials you’ll absolutely love.

Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing Kitchen Materials

What are the most durable and water-resistant countertop materials?

Quartz, granite, solid surface, and laminate countertops stand up well to heavy daily use, spills, scratches, heat, and moisture.

What flooring can handle water splashes and is comfortable underfoot?

Luxury vinyl and cork are water-resistant, warmer underfoot, and budget-friendly kitchen flooring options.

What backsplash materials are easiest to keep clean?

Glass, metal, and porcelain tile resist moisture and are wipeable. Avoid unsealed stone that absorbs liquids.

Should I invest more in my kitchen cabinets or countertops?

Quality cabinetry built from durable materials with soft-close hardware will give you the most bang for your buck long-term.

How do I choose a countertop color that I won’t get tired of?

Go for neutrals like white, black, or gray paired with natural materials like marble or quartz for a classic, timeless look.


The materials you choose for your kitchen remodel have a big impact on the functionality and aesthetics of your space. Take time to carefully consider how you use your kitchen, your priorities in terms of durability, maintenance, and comfort, as well as your overall style preferences. Measure your space, set a realistic budget, and select quality materials that reflect your needs and taste. With mindful planning, you can create a kitchen you’ll enjoy for years to come. What materials are you considering for your kitchen remodel and why? Let us know in the comments!