27/01/2023  •  , ,

Luxury Kitchens: 10 High-End Kitchen Materials

Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes

Are you looking to create the perfect luxury kitchen design for your home? 


The best place to start is with the materials you select!


At Deslaurier, we have over 40 years of experience specializing in custom cabinet manufacturing and kitchen design services. In that time we've cultivated numerous luxury kitchen designs and worked with every material listed in this article. 


With that, let’s dive into some high-end materials you can incorporate into your luxury kitchen design.


Let’s get started! 

Table of Contents

What is High-End?

Marble Countertops

Quartz Countertops

Authentic Hardwood

Natural Stone Flooring

Painted MDF Cabinets

Walnut Cabinets

White Oak Cabinets

European Textured Melamine Cabinets

Copper Kitchen Sinks

Cast-Iron Kitchen Sinks

Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets 

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High-End Materials


Luxury kitchen materials are typically high-end, durable, and attractive products. There are luxury materials for any kitchen design, whether they suit a traditionalfarmhouse, or modern style


When it comes to kitchen products, those listed below will be on the higher end of the pricing scale. 


With that, let’s dive into some of the most high-end materials used for luxury kitchen designs, from countertops to sinks!


1. Marble Countertops


Marble and luxury are synonymous words in the world of kitchen design. Marble is an all-natural stone and every slab is unique.


The style of marble countertops is in a league of its own. Colours and vein patterns exude elegance and instantly elevate any room they’re placed in.


Marble countertops can either be polished or honed. True to how it sounds, polished marble is glossy and sheer. Honed marble has a matte look, but is generally more forgiving and will hide scratches better than polished marble. 


The added protection of honed marble will come in handy. Not only is marble one of the most expensive countertop materials, but it also is one of the more high-maintenance materials as well. 


On average, a marble countertop costs between $80-$250 per sq. ft. Contrary to popular belief, you can buy marble on a budget. You just have to do diligent research in order to know where to go. 


2. Quartz Countertops


When it comes to countertops, quartz falls under its own hybrid category. Quartz itself is a mineral in the earth, but quartz countertops are not considered natural stone like granite or marble.


Technically, quartz is an engineered stone countertop, meaning that while 93% of the surface is pure quartz, the remaining 7% of the stone is manmade.


Essentially, what fabricators do is grind up the quartz mineral and glue it back together with polymers and binders. These man-made components bind with the quartz to create an ultra-durable, non-porous surface that doesn’t require resealing.


During the manufacturing process, sometimes fabricators will add tiny flecks of glass or metals, or combine pigments with the quartz to create extra visual appeal.


The cost of a quartz countertop can vary due to a number of variables. According to Ottawa supplier Urban Quarry, the average cost of a quartz countertop falls between $80-$180 per sq. ft.


3. Authentic Hardwood Flooring


Simply put: hardwood is king in the kitchen. Hardwood flooring is the top tier when it comes to resale value, and potential homebuyers fawn over its inclusion in the kitchen.


You might be inclined to go with an aesthetic replica of hardwood like vinyl or engineered hardwood due to its realistic appearance and less expensive price tag. We get it, hardwood is considered luxurious and expensive – but you can find plenty of quality selections at reasonable price points.


Homebuyers love the appeal that comes with real hardwood flooring. It’s a fan favourite and worth the investment. The authenticity of natural hardwood will increase the worth of your kitchen in a way that alternative products, such as vinyl or laminate, just can’t.


Quite honestly, the higher cost of hardwood might be irrelevant if vinyl flooring begins to wear down in a decade or if the engineered wood needs replacing in 20 years' time. The added price of hardwood flooring will be well worth it, especially if properly taken care of, quality hardwood flooring can last for centuries. 


Hardwood flooring typically starts at around $7 per sq. ft. with high-end options reaching as high as $15! Of course, it’s not uncommon to find high-quality hardwood for under $10 per sq. ft., and the lifespan of the product certainly makes the investment worthwhile. 


4. Natural Stone Flooring  


When you talk about natural stone flooring, you'll find a number of materials that are popularly used for kitchen countertops. Stones like marble, quartz, and granite are some of the most popular, and luxurious, you can find for kitchen flooring. 


Natural stone flooring is quite expensive for the same reasons stone countertops can be. However, it’s not just the natural stone that drives the price up. Installing stone flooring can be extremely expensive.


Stone tiles can be simultaneously heavy and susceptible to cracking, a combination that requires an installer with ample experience. However, it's well worth the expense as they'll provide a high-quality finished product and less risk of any precious stone tile breaking. 

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5. Painted MDF Cabinets


Medium-Density fiberboard (MDF) is a material manufactured by breaking down softwood and hardwood residuals into wood fibres. 


These wood fibres are compacted with wax and resin. They are then formed into panels and applied with high pressure and temperatures in order to create a durable, condensed board. 


MDF’s smooth surface is perfect for a uniform, painted finish. In fact, if you are interested in painted cabinetry, you won’t find a better alternative than using MDF for your door fronts.


Aside from how smooth the surface of MDF cabinets is, they also benefit from being a man-made product. MDF does not expand and contract to temperature changes as drastically as natural wood does, meaning MDF is not as likely to cause visual cracks and joint separations once painted. 


While MDF itself isn’t an overly expensive, luxury material on its own, it is simply the best canvas for high-end paints. In fact, it’s less expensive than paint-grade woods such as maple and birch; showing that luxury cabinets don’t always have to be the most expensive.


What turns MDF into a high-end, luxury option for painted cabinets comes directly from the quality of the product. The combination of MDF’s smooth surface and ability to perfectly sustain luxurious paints is what makes it the best option when it comes to painted cabinets. 


Like the idea of painted MDF cabinets? Check out our article on the top kitchen cabinet colour trends for 2023!


6. Walnut Cabinets


Walnut is a stunning natural wood that is noted for its significant colour, strong, straight grain variation, and warmth. 


Walnut can range anywhere from a light brown to a deep, dark chocolate hue. Though its grain is very open and slightly coarse, walnut still has a beautiful, uniform surface.


Walnut also has a unique aging process. With time, the dark brown colour of walnut will naturally begin to lighten. 


Much like cherry, walnut cabinets are rarely, if ever, subjected to a painted finish. Unsurprisingly, most people use a clear coat to enhance the rich, natural colours of walnut. When finished with a clear top coat, walnut portrays a very rich, velvety sheen that accentuates its strong grain pattern.


While these qualities are attractive for any type of kitchen design, in recent years walnut has been utilized more in modern kitchens with flat, slab doors to accentuate the grain pattern. 


Walnut is at the higher end of the solid wood cabinet pricing spectrum.


7. White Oak Cabinets


It’s worth noting that not all oaks are alike. Technically speaking, there are several different varieties of oak, and each one is slightly different from the next. 


There are two major types of oak: red oak and white oak


White oak is stronger (1360 to 1290 on the Janka scale) and rot-resistant, making it a highly durable wood that is more inclined to be used outdoors or for boats. That being said, white oak has grown in popularity over recent years. From hardwood flooring to kitchen cabinets, white oak is a hot commodity. 


Red oak, although multifaceted and capable of seamlessly fitting into beautiful kitchens, tends to be viewed as more traditional and inferior to white oak. 


When aesthetically comparing the two, white oak is a lighter colour than red oak, has a smoother surface, and also has a more open grain pattern with similarly straight lines. 


Unlike cherry and walnut above, white oak has a solid surface for painted cabinets. Given that white oak is often sought out for its aesthetic beauty, it is less likely to be covered with a painted finish. 


White oak is one of the most expensive cabinet materials on the market and can be roughly 40% more expensive than its red-oak counterpart. While price doesn’t always indicate the quality of the material, in the case of white oak, it’s worth the investment. 


8. European Textured Melamine Cabinets


If you’re looking for a high-end, man-made alternative with a natural wood aesthetic, textured melamine is the way to go. 


At Deslaurier, we offer standard textured melamine, as well as a premium, high-end product referred to as European Textured Melamine (ETM)


European textured melamine is considered a higher quality, luxury line of melamine. ETM produces a prestige material with deeper textures and colours, a more realistic-looking wood grain, and it even feels more like natural hardwood.


In contrast with standard textured melamine, ETM does not feel as “plasticky” and is a much more convincing imitation of natural wood. 


If you’re looking for a perfect, consistent hardwood aesthetic, European textured melamine is the highest quality option available on the market today.


Visit our Learning Centre and read our article on the best luxury kitchen cabinets


9. Copper Kitchen Sinks


Copper is renowned for being one of the most practical materials for kitchen sinks. This reputation is largely due to the fact that 99.9% of pure copper is naturally antimicrobial, can kill harmful bacteria, and is completely recyclable! 


In fact, copper is such a long-lasting and durable material that you’ll still often see antique copper sinks that date back 50 years or more! 


It should come as no surprise that copper is typically one of the most expensive kitchen sink materials available on the market. 


The cost of copper kitchen sinks will vary depending on the size, style, installation method, and thickness of the material. For example, a copper farmhouse sink will be more expensive than a standard copper top-mount of the same size.


All things considered, the rule of thumb when it comes to copper is the thicker the gauge is, the more expensive the sink will be. 


A quality copper sink will start around $600 and only go up from there. In fact, don't be surprised to find some larger styles that cost $3,000 or higher.

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10. Cast-Iron Kitchen Sink


Coated with porcelain enamel, solid cast-iron sinks offer long-lasting durability with sound-deadening qualities and can withstand heat up to 1,000°F.


While the material is incredibly durable, the enamel can get scratched or chipped over time by dropping sharp objects, resulting in the cast-iron surface becoming exposed.


If you have a cast iron pan, you know how heavy the material is. Now imagine how substantial the weight of a cast iron kitchen sink could be. Because of this, it may be necessary to reinforce your cabinets and countertops to ensure they can support the weight of such dense material. 


Cast-iron sinks are incredibly versatile. They are available in a variety of colours and can be installed in drop-in, undermount and farmhouse configurations.


Cast-iron kitchen sinks can range from $500 for single-basins to over $2,500 for large double-basin or farmhouse styles. 


Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


When it comes to luxury kitchen materials, there are truly a wide variety of high-end products to choose from. The five materials listed above represent just a few of the finest luxury kitchen materials you can include in your home. 


If you have your eye on custom cabinetry, Deslaurier Custom Cabinets has everything you need. With over 40 years of experience to our name, we provide our clients with a fully customized design process with our talented team of designers


Book a free consultation with a Deslaurier kitchen expert at our Ottawa showroom today!


Interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer? Visit our Become a Dealer page to learn more! Live outside the area? Find a Dealer to connect with a Deslaurier dealer near you!

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