The main difference between using hardwood for remodeling a kitchen and softwood is either the presence of porous material or the absence of porous material in the wood. Hardwoods are different sizes and shapes and also porous. Softwoods don’t have pores, but have veins instead. Now hardwoods are more resistant to different types of damage such as dents and scratches. But some softwood can be harder than hardwood; for example, balsa, which is considered a hardwood, is softer than yew, which is considered softwood.
When putting down flooring, either hardwoods or softwoods can be used. It depends on what you want to pay, your taste in wood and what goes with your décor. Hardwood is a higher cost than softwood will be though but with Hardwood there is less maintenance. So if you use softwood; as an example, it requires more maintenance to keep the floor looking like new.
The whole key is proper floor installation. If installed properly and with the stained applied correctly, even an inexpensive floor will look expensive. However, if the workmanship is shoddy, then it doesn’t matter how much the wood costs; the floor will just look bad.
Now, in cabinets, the wear and tear is on the cabinet doors and the front of the drawers where the utensils are, and they wear regardless of the type of wood. Putting the utensils in and out scrapes even the hardest of woods over time. Also, fingernails will scar wood where you grab the knob or door handle on the cupboard. All this activity will scar the wood and wear down the finish regardless if your wood is hard or soft. One way to make the cabinets more durable though is to make sure the finish on the cabinets is heavy and dense. The heavier and denser the finish is then the more durable. Then they’ll be able to stand up to every day wear and tear.
It all comes down to what you want in your kitchen for storage or otherwise and what pleases you aesthetically. But if you only choose the wood for your kitchen based on its durability instead of how it looks, you may end up being very unhappy with the outcome.