Acrylic vs. Laminate : What’s The Best Finish For Kitchen Cabinets?

Cabinetry is perhaps the most essential component of any modular kitchen and its finish is what  adds aesthetic appeal to give your  kitchen a unique personality. Therefore, it’s important to take some time to  choose the best finish for your kitchen cabinets. There are various  finishes available in the market right now, such as acrylic, membrane foils, polymer, laminates etc. Acrylic and laminates are among the most popular options, however they differ in terms of aesthetics, durability and pricing.

Here is all you need to know about both these options to help you decide what type of finish you must get for your kitchen cabinets.

What is acrylic finish?

kitchen cabinet acrylic

A type of finish similar to lacquer, acrylic is a non-toxic, reflective high gloss finish which can give cabinets a perfectly smooth appearance. It is available in a wide range of colors and will give a mirror-like semblance to your kitchen cabinets.

What is a laminate finish?

kitchen cabinet laminate

A commonly used finishing material for cabinets, laminates are a composite artificial material made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins. The upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or color.The laminates used in kitchen cabinets  are pressed in factories using high pressure using automated machinery.

Pros and Cons of acrylic and laminate finishes


  • A premium high-gloss option preferred for high-end kitchens, acrylic finishes can add visual space and an inviting appeal to your kitchen.
  • While laminates are available in glossy options, these are not as reflective as an acrylic finish. As a result, the overall look is more muted and less striking.

Color and Varieties

  • Acrylic finishes are available in a wide range of vibrant colors which retain their hue and brightness for years.
  • However, the variety available in laminate finishes is higher and includes matt, glossy, ultra high gloss.  Apart from colors, these are also available in various textures including wood.

Maintenance and Durability:

  • Scratch resistant acrylic finishes not tarnish, de-laminate or fade away with time –  they maintain their flawlessly smooth and ultra-glossy appearance. However, this means that finger print marks, dirt and stains are more visible, and require regular cleaning.
  • Relatively more hard-wearing and durable when compared to acrylic finishes, laminate finishes are moisture and heat resistant and can be treated for antibacterial properties.


  • Given their aesthetic appeal and easy to clean properties, acrylic finished cabinets are more expensive when compared to laminates.
  • Laminate finishes offer variety and durability at a significantly lower cost, making them ideal for those on a budget.

What’s the best finish for your kitchen cabinets?

One possible option which is trending today is a combination of both acrylic and laminate finishes.

kitchen cabinet finish

Since most lighting tends to highlight the upper cabinets, use acrylic finishes on them for a glossy, attractive look. Laminate is a good choice for lower cabinets since they are likely to see more use as well as wear and tear. You can choose textures and colors that complement each other for a coordinated look.

Decide on the best finish for your kitchen cabinets depending on your use, budget and tastes to enhance the overall look and feel of your modular kitchen.

Categories : Kitchen
Tags : , , ,