A one-dimensional kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) model has been developed to simulate the chemical vapor deposition of a diamond (100) surface under conditions used to grow single-crystal diamond (SCD), microcrystalline diamond (MCD), nanocrystalline diamond (NCD), and ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) films. The model considers adsorption, etching/desorption, lattice incorporation and surface migration but not defect formation or renucleation processes. Two methods have been devised for estimation of the gas phase concentrations of species at the growing diamond surface, and are used to determine adsorption rates for C1Hx hydrocarbons for the different conditions. The rate of migration of adsorbed carbon species is governed by the availability of neighboring radical sites, which, in turn, depend upon the rates of H abstraction and of surface-radical migration. The KMC model predicts growth rates and surface roughness for each of diamond types consistent with experiment. In the absence of defect formation and renucleation the average surface diffusion length, ℓ, is a key parameter controlling surface morphology. When ℓ<2, surface migration is limited by the lack of availability of surface radical sites, and the migrating surface species simply hop back and forth between two adjacent sites but do not travel far beyond their initial adsorption site. Thus, Eley–Rideal processes dominate the growth, leading to the rough surfaces seen in NCD and UNCD. The maximum or “intrinsic” surface roughness occurs for nominally zero-migration conditions (ℓ=0) with an rms value of approximately five carbon atoms. Conversely, when migration occurs over greater distances (ℓ>2), Langmuir–Hinshelwood processes dominate the growth producing the smoother surfaces of MCD and- - SCD. By extrapolation, we predict that atomically smooth surfaces over large areas should occur once migrating species can travel approximately five sites (ℓ∼5). β-scission processes are found to be unimportant for MCD and SCD growth conditions, but can remove up to 5% of the adsorbing carbon for NCD and UNCD growth. C1Hx insertion reactions also contribute <1% to the growth for nearly all conditions, while C2Hx (x<2) insertion reactions are negligible due their very low concentrations at the surface. Finally, the predictions for growth rate and morphology for UNCD deposition in a microwave system were found to be anomalous compared to those for all the other growth conditions, suggesting that carbonaceous particulates created in these plasmas may significantly affect the gas chemistry.