Have you noticed that we use the term ‘modular kitchen’ only in India? In most Western countries, the word kitchen itself implies modular kitchens. So contrary to what we assume, modular kitchens are still a relatively new concept in the Indian context. And even as the whole world and its brother is getting one, there is a lot of misinformation and cliches surrounding modular kitchen materials. 

We have the jargon surrounding modular kitchen India to blame for it. So let us try and demystify modular kitchens for you by breaking it down to its essential materials. 

Here’s a breakdown of the various essential elements of a modular kitchen, with a brief of what you should keep in mind for each. So if you are planning to redo your kitchen anytime soon, here’s all the information you need. Think safety, functionality, aesthetics – we’ve got you covered!

Modular Kitchen Materials #1: Cabinet Materials
modular kitchen materials-wooden kitchen
Planning a kitchen and all its finishes

What you see from the outside is only the cabinet shutter finish, but a lot more goes into making kitchen cabinets. The shutter, that is the door of the cabinet, covers the carcass cabinet, which is its body. While these materials may not be visible, they form the framework of the kitchen, so you need to keep them sturdy. The materials used here include wood, plywood, MDF and particle board – and each comes with its pros and cons. While those who use the kitchen sparingly can rely on particle board as an economic option, it might not suffice for people looking for longevity and extensive usage. Moreover, plywood comes in different varieties like BWR and BWP. So, find the best option for your home, depending on how your kitchen is used. You can check out the details of these different materials here

Modular Kitchen Materials #2: Finishes
modular kitchen materials-acrylic finish
Nothing like glossy acrylic finishes!

The finish of your kitchen cabinets is what will be visible to you and others. Hence, it must appeal to your aesthetics and rational faculties. Depending on your budget and preference, you can choose from the high-gloss acrylic to the comparatively muted laminate that’s available in a variety of finishes. If you are shying away from acrylic finishes due to the expenses concerned, you might need to reconsider – these kitchens are super easy to maintain! However, if you are not too sure about this glossy finish, laminates might be the way to go. Similarly, membrane foils can make your kitchen look seamless. Functionally, you can pick from heat- and scratch-resistant ultraviolet finish. You can also check out newer finishes like laminem! Get a detailed study of the kitchen cabinets finishes here

Modular Kitchen Materials #3: Countertop
modular kitchen materials-countertop
The sleek granite countertop remains a favourite!

The right countertop can take your kitchen’s visual appeal to a whole new level. However, once you think of what it endures on a daily basis, you’ll know that you need to look for functionality while selecting this aspect of your kitchen. The cost-effective granite has remained a favourite for modular kitchen India for its heat- and scratch-resistant nature. However, the anti-microbial and non-porous Kalinga stone is also becoming popular. You can also consider the non-porous Quartz for its sleek and uber modern appearance. While all these materials allow you to choose the colour of the countertop based on the colour scheme of the kitchen, quartz opens up a wider range of choices by allowing you to mix colours on your countertop. 

Marble countertops are also highly popular in Indian homes. However, it might be tougher to maintain as compared to other options. If maintenance is a concern, you can lean towards the likes of Corian stone and Caeserstone. Their resistance to stains is only one of the reasons to use them in your kitchn. In addition, the sheer elegance of the latter is sure to add to the charm of your kitchen! 

All in all, each material comes with its own unique features , so do your research here before selecting the right one for your home. Or are you are drawn to more than one option? If you can’t decide which countertop would suit your kitchen, take a look at What Kitchen Countertop Matches Your Personality?

Modular Kitchen Materials#4: Handles
modular kitchen materials-cabinet handles
Quirky handles add a personal touch

The handles of your kitchen cabinets are often the last thing you think about – if it even makes it to that list! But they will be the first to loosen up and need repairs. We usually consider it a fixture chosen on the basis of functionality. However, the right handle could make your kitchen look a whole lot better. Choose between pull-out handles, edge-profile ones or the classic knobs. Or if you want to go back to the basics, stainless steel handles are a great option! 

Alternately, you can look at quirky handles or custom-made pieces, just to add that touch of glam to your kitchen! You can browse through a whole range of cabinet handles here

Modular Kitchen Materials #5: Sinks
modular kitchen materials-sink with drainboard
The right sink can make all the difference!

Can you think of a kitchen without a sink? No, right? From washing fruits and vegetables, to cleaning up utensils after meals, the sink is a permanent fixture in our kitchens. And while there are a variety of sinks available in the market today, you need to decide which one’s right for you.

Depending on the amount of space and number of people cooking in the kitchen at a time, you can choose between single and double-bowl sinks. However, if you want separate spaces for rinsing your edibles and cleaning up, the double-bowl sink is your best bet! Or think of a sink with an attached drainboard. You can use this to wash your utensils and drain them too! Isn’t that neat?

Take a look at our recommendations for kitchen sinks here

Modular Kitchen Materials #6: Flooring
modular kitchen materials-moroccan tile flooring
Why should the floors be boring?

Does the kitchen floor seem inconsequential to you? If you are thinking that the kitchen flooring is important only from an aesthetic point of view, maybe you need to be doubly sure. The kitchen is a highly accident-prone space. Can this space withstand dropped objects and/or spilling of hot liquids? If not, pay close attention!

Cool concrete floors remain an evergreen choice in tropical climates, and lend an industrial touch to your kitchen. However, if you find this flooring too rigid, there are a plethora of other options! Hardwood kitchen tiles are another classic option that have stood the test of time, and are known for their durability. You can also consider bamboo wood if you want an alternative to regular timber. Not only does it have gorgeous grains, but this kind of flooring is also among the strongest natural materials on the market today!

Conversely, if you’d like to look down to a floor that stands out with its colours and patterns, you need a flooring of ceramic tiles. You can pick out colours and styles as per your taste, and personalise your kitchen floor! You can explore more flooring ideas here.

Modular Kitchen Materials #7: Backsplash
modular kitchen materials-backsplash
Lacquered glass to brighten your kitchen instantly

If you’re looking for an easy way to amp up your kitchen, the backsplash is your best bet. Whether you lean towards vibrant colours or look for more understated options, there’s something here for everyone! For an affordable and easy-to-main option choose lacquered glass, or even glass tiles! 

However, if you want to add some rustic charm to your kitchen, the exposed brick backsplash is a classic that never goes out of fashion. This also adds an intriguing textural element to your kitchen. Terracotta tiles might also catch your fancy – and make your kitchen look well-used at the same time! 

In case you love patterns and a mix of styles, Moroccan tiles are certainly the best choice for you. These are easy on the pocket, and you can customise them to your taste! You can also check out metal or stone tiles for effortless elegance. We have several other options waiting for you here. 

Modular Kitchen Materials #8: Kitchen Cabinet Mechanism
modular kitchen materials-touch to close shutters
Convenient cabinet mechanisms make life better!

By mechanisms, we mean how you open your kitchen storage units. This primarily depends on how you use your kitchen. Choose between hinged and lift-up shutters to make your kitchen perfect for you. You can also lean towards flap-up shutters for added convenience. If you want to cut down on operational noise, you can also consider using the soft-close mechanism. As an added benefit, this mechanism helps you cut down on the wear and tear, keeping your carcass cabinets in better shape.

Alternately, you can consider using roller-shutter units to stow your appliances when not in use. And what about retracting drawers? Open drawers in the kitchen will never be an issue again! Check out all the kitchen cabinet mechanisms available to you here

We hope that you now have a clear picture of the pros and cons of using different materials used in bringing your kitchen together. With the right materials, your kitchen stays in better shape for a long time! So, choose

If you like this article, also check out How to Design the Wardrobe You Need for a detailed insight into selecting the right wardrobe for your home!

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— editor@livspace.com