Last updated on March 16, 2023

Materials can make up 80% of remodeling costs when you are designing a new kitchen. Beauty, practicality, and durability all need to be considered when you go through the material selection process.

Recent innovations mean that there are excellent choices for every home and budget. Choosing the right materials will result in a kitchen that will look great for many years to come.

Whether you’re ready to move ahead with a kitchen remodel, or if you’re simply exploring your options, understanding materials is key. In the following sections we’ll explore some of the most popular material choices and the benefits they can bring to your home.

Affordable Kitchen Cabinets Des Moines

In the average kitchen remodel, cabinets are responsible for up to 60% of total costs. Cabinets can last for years and even the lifetime of your home, so it pays to invest in the best materials that you can afford.

If you’re looking for materials on the most affordable end of the spectrum, laminates and thermofoil options are best. Manufacturing technology has improved significantly in recent years, so you can get beautiful and long-lasting materials for a budget-friendly cost.

  • Thermofoil cabinets are made by applying a vinyl film to a substrate. The process involves heat and pressure, resulting in highly convincing natural wood replica cabinets. Many homeowners find that thermofoil looks more natural than laminates, which has made the material popular in recent years. Thermofoils are also easy to care for because the finishes are resistant to moisture and won’t chip or flake like painted wooden cabinets.
  • Laminates also provide a look and feel that is similar to natural wood. They are fused to a substrate, providing an exterior finish that will bring beauty to your kitchen. If you choose this material, opt for high pressure cabinets. These will be more resistant to damage and wear. Low-pressure (melamine) cabinets are not as impact resistant and could degrade quickly, requiring costly replacements.

Natural Timber Kitchen Cabinets

Of course, if you want to design a kitchen that exudes class and distinction, you should choose natural timber cabinets. These can be costly depending on the type of wood that you choose, but the benefits in longevity are compelling. Natural wood cabinets could easily last the lifetime of your home and can be painted or refinished/stained when you renovate in the future.

  • Red Oak is one of the most popular materials due to its wide availability and relative affordability when compared to other woods. Prominent grain patterns favor traditional kitchen designs.
  • White Oak is more durable than red, with a subtle grain that can be more suited to both modern kitchens and period designs. White oak is rare in off-the-shelf cabinets and is mostly used in fully custom designs.
  • Hickory is lighter than oak but is remarkably similar in both strength and grain pattern. This material looks best in a natural finish but can be stained for your desired aesthetic.
  • Hard Maple features an understated grain that makes it ideal for long lasting painted finishes or epoxy lacquer. Maple is ideal for a modern kitchen where you still want to showcase the beauty of natural wood.
  • Birch is another fine grain wood, which is a little darker than most Maple. It can be finished with stains, lacquers, and paints, and is a good option if you want the look of natural timber at a more affordable price point.
  • Cherry is typically found in customized cabinets that are made to evoke memories of the early 20th The natural reddish-brown color of cherry wood is ideal for clearcoat and satin finishes. The hardness of the wood protects against bumps and other damage.
  • Pine is a softwood species but it’s still popular for kitchen cabinets Des Moines. The wood can be painted or finished in an epoxy resin to add hardness and resistance to damage. Varieties like knotty pine can add a rustic look to your kitchen.

Your kitchen cabinets are essential for setting the tone and overall style of your kitchen. They should be one of the most important considerations when you are planning a kitchen remodel Des Moines.

Kitchen Countertops

You’ll find that countertops are just as important as cabinets when developing the look and feel of your kitchen. Countertops are the hardest working surfaces in your kitchen, so you should choose a material that suits both your budget and your lifestyle.

  • Granite is typically the most expensive option, depending on the quality of the stone. Granite resists heat and scratches and is mostly impervious to chemical damage. It’s easy to maintain and can give your kitchen a beautiful natural look.
  • Marble comes in just below granite in terms of expense. It is also resistant to heat, but it can scratch and can be stained by chemicals and some foods. The look of marble is unmistakably beautiful, but it might not be the best choice for a busy kitchen with kids and teenagers.
  • Quartz ranges in cost from mid to high-tier. This is a natural material that is mixed with resin to form flawless countertops. It provides the beauty of natural stone with more consistent patterning. Like Granite, it is heat resistant, scratch resistant, and is chemically stable so it won’t stain. Quartz can be colored in the manufacturing process to meet your aesthetic needs.
  • Soapstone is another mid to high-end option that provides all the benefits of scratch, heat, and chemical resistance. Soapstone has a unique aesthetic that could make it perfect for some kitchens, but unusable in others.
  • Butcher Block is a natural wood material that is typically produced in thicknesses around 1.5” to 2.0”. Some premium butcher blocks will be even thicker, especially when used for kitchen islands. Natural wood countertops are beautiful, but they are susceptible to dents, scratches, and discoloration. Regular maintenance is necessary to maintain these countertops.
  • Solid Surface Resin Counters are made from acrylic and are a low-cost option for modern homes. They can be produced in almost any color you can imagine, which makes them compelling for custom kitchen designs. Resin countertops will resist dents, but they can be scratched after prolonged use. They resist staining and discoloration.
  • Laminates are also available as countertops. They are stain and scratch resistant but can be easily damaged by heat. These highly affordable countertops are versatile for budget builds, but if you want something longer lasting it’s a better idea to aim for quartz or naturally cut stone.

You can work with a designer to choose the best kitchen countertop materials to pair with your preferred cabinets. HomeWorx Iowa can take you through a consultation process that includes 3D modeling to let you visualize and customize your kitchen before purchasing materials.

Wall Treatments for Kitchen Remodeling Des Moines

You’ll need to think about your walls early in the material selection process. They should be closely coordinated with your cabinets, countertops, and floors.

  • Paint is the most popular finishing material for kitchen walls. It’s also the most affordable and the easiest to recommend. A low luster eggshell paint will help to add light to your kitchen. You can complement this with high gloss paint for trim like crown molding.
  • Wallpaper is also an option for your kitchen remodel, and you will have far more versatile styling choices if you decide to go this route. Wallpaper is ideal for period homes, or transitional homes that incorporate features from different eras.
  • Paneling is another great option if you want a standout kitchen that is both classy and durable. Panels protect your walls and are resistant to damage. This could be the perfect choice if you have toddlers or young children at home. Half paneling can be combined with paint for a clean contemporary look.
  • Tiles can create beautiful backsplashes around cooking appliances, sinks, and countertops.

Kitchen Windows

Natural light can bring out the best in your kitchen design, making the space warmer and more welcoming during daylight hours. If you can fit it into your budget, aim to improve the windows that you currently have. Simply installing modern windows could significantly boost the aesthetic of your kitchen.

  • Aluminum frame windows are very popular and readily available in a range of designs. If you need something special, you could have custom frames fabricated for your kitchen remodeling Aluminum won’t rust or warp and can be repainted.
  • Vinyl windows have a similar aesthetic to aluminum and are available in a range of standard designs. These windows can be purchased in custom colors, but they don’t take well to repainting. Vinyl is a long-lasting material that is impervious to rot and mold. Vinyl is also affordable and could be the best choice if you’re on a tight remodeling budget.
  • Wood is the most popular window frame material, and it’s suitable for traditional, transitional, and modern homes. Wood can be painted and repaired and could last the lifetime of your home. If you want a premium aesthetic, wood will likely be the best fit.

To keep costs down on your remodel, replace windows with identical sizes. Choose energy efficient glass panels or coating to keep your home comfortable and well-insulated.

Flooring for a Kitchen Remodel

Floors are another key factor in a kitchen remodel. You need to consider look and feel, as well as durability.

  • Luxury Vinyl Plank is a modern material that replicates the look of hardwood. Unlike hardwood, vinyl plank is impervious to moisture damage and will not warp. It’s scratch and dent resistant, and quality products could last the lifetime of your home.
  • Hardwood is a popular option but not the most practical for modern homes. It is easily scratched and can be dented. Wood is also susceptible to moisture damage. The upside is that wood can be refinished and will last for generations.
  • Laminate Flooring is cheap, it looks good, and it can be installed quickly to keep your costs down. Laminates will resist moisture but are not 100% waterproof. Scratch resistance is higher than hardwood, which could make laminate flooring ideal for a home with pets.
  • Stone Tile can be used to create a beautiful kitchen floor that is 100% waterproof and extremely durable. Stone is most popular in bathrooms, but some unique kitchen designs could look great with this material.
  • Ceramic Tiles are affordable, waterproof, scratch resistant, and incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Modern ceramic tiles are inkjet printed with complex designs to add beauty and personality to your kitchen.
  • Porcelain Tiles are also waterproof, but they attract a high price and a high cost of installation. They’re scratch resistant and will usually last a lifetime without any real maintenance required (outside of regular cleaning). Choose porcelain if you are looking for the ultimate premium aesthetic for your kitchen.

Your choice of flooring could make or break your kitchen design. It pays to work with a team that can suggest the best options that complement your other material selections.

Ready to Get Started? Work with Iowa’s Best Kitchen Remodelers

Material selection is critical when you plan a kitchen remodel Des Moines. With so many choices, it’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed at the beginning of the project. To stay on track, start with a budget to help guide your selections. You should also keep practicality and your unique needs in mind. Aesthetic is important, but form should never compromise function.

You can save time, money, and stress by working with a professional design team. At HomeWorx Iowa we are committed to making beautiful, long lasting, and affordable kitchens that are customized for your unique needs. Our consultation process includes advanced 3D modelling to help you visualize all your choices as the design takes shape. Our expert team can present options that you might not have considered, resulting in better kitchens that stand the test of time.

Contact us today if you’re ready to start designing your dream kitchen.