Kitchen Cabinets: What is the Best Material?

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If you are in the market for kitchen cabinets, you may be wondering what material is the best when it comes to long-term beauty, functionality, and durability. Kitchen cabinets are typically made from hardwood or wood-based materials such as plywood, MDF, particleboard and fiberboard. But aluminum, stainless steel, and even glass are available as well. While there are many quality materials available, the option you choose usually comes down to personal preference and budget.

Kitchen Cabinets:  What is the Best Material?

  • Hardwood. Hardwood is considered the most durable material on the market and hickory and maple have the reputation of being the most scratch and dent resistant. Walnut, mahogany, oak, birch, beech, spruce, cherry and pine are other types of hardwoods to consider, each with their own unique characteristics. Hardwood is beautiful and is the most likely to stand the test of time, but it is also among the most expensive.
  • Plywood. Plywood is made of solid wood that is glued and laminated and then overlaid with a hardwood veneer. It comes in different grades ranging from AA down to E, with AA being the best quality. Plywood is a relatively low-cost material and is resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets.
  • Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). MDF is a composite material made from resin and wood fibers. MDF is smoother than plywood and is a great material to use if you want to paint your cabinets or shape the edges. While durable, MDF may not be the best option for certain areas of your kitchen as it can be susceptible to moisture damage.
  • Fiberboard and Particleboard. Fiberboard has gained in popularity recently and is a cost-effective cabinet material, largely seen in big-box stores. It is made from recycled fibers, resin, and wax that is pressed together under high pressure. Although it offers sufficient strength, fiberboard is susceptible to damage from moisture and therefore not the best option when it comes to kitchen cabinets. Particleboard is a very inexpensive material made in a similar fashion to fiberboard, by pressing together recycled wood products which are then formed into sheets and topped with a layer of laminate or wood veneer. It is even less durable than fiberboard.
  • Less Common Materials. For the more contemporary or unique homeowner, there are a variety of other materials available such as aluminum, stainless steel, and glass. Aluminum and stainless steel are durable materials, but they are also prone to fingerprints and scratches. Glass cabinets are beautiful and offer the ability to display your china or other precious possessions but are subject to breakage, so should only be used with care.

Kitchen cabinets are often constructed using a variety of materials, depending on the specific needs of the homeowner. Do your research and choose the best option for your budget and individual taste. Be sure to consider the interior components as well as the more visible features. If you think custom kitchen cabinets could be a wonderful addition to your home, our group of professionals has the passion and creativity to help make your dream a reality. Please give us a call at The Cabinet Guys today!