Choosing the cabinetry materials you are going to use in your kitchen can be a big job. For cabinet refinishing or installing brand new cabinets, there are a number of different options.
Hardwood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, wood veneer, laminate… These are all options for kitchen cabinet materials. How do you choose the best one? There are so many different considerations whether you are looking to replace pantry cabinets or any other part of your kitchen.
You’re probably left with lots of different questions. Which are easiest to clean? Which are the most hard-wearing? What will last the longest? In this guide, we’re looking at all of the mainstream cabinetry materials and exploring the pros and cons of each. This way, you will know which is best for use within your new kitchen.
- Hardwood is high-quality and should last a number of years.
- This type of wood is sourced from the best natural resources.
- The solidity of the wood makes it resist water damage so you
don’t have to worry too much if it gets wet.
- It looks fantastic without too much treatment or paint.
- It’s relatively simple to repair if anything goes wrong with it in the future.
- It’s very expensive, using hardwood can drive up the price of cabinet refinishing or repair.
- Can be tough to repair if anything does go wrong with it, and sourcing the right wood can be a big challenge.
- Good-quality plywood can be very resistant to water. They can also be treated to enhance this resistance.
- They’re pretty hard-wearing and can last a long time.
- They hold nails and wood glue very well.
- More expensive than MDF and some of the other options on the list (even though not as expensive as hardwood).
Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)
- Relatively affordable, especially compared to some of the hardwood options.
- Due to being so popular and easy to customize, there are lots of different design options for MDF.
- MDF does not tend to warp or crack whereas many wood options can, especially if they are getting older.
- Doesn’t have a wood grain (this can also be a pro, depending on what look you are going for in your kitchen).
- Naturally, it doesn’t have a good look, so this needs to be painted or covered.
- Low cost. Particleboard is made to be a cheaper option.
- Doesn’t tend to distort very easily when hit or knocked.
- It can withstand light dings within everyday kitchen use.
It’s lightweight which makes it easy to transport, this is another reason why it is cheap.
- Can absorb moisture which is not ideal for use in a kitchen. If it does this it can also expand.
- Can’t support heavy loads so it can’t be used to support significant weight in your kitchen or form a big part of your cabinet design.
- Doesn’t have a good look naturally, so needs to be added with a different finish or covering.
- Veneer provides a seal which can be fantastic for keeping moisture out.
- Veneer gives a consistent grain and a classy look to your kitchen.
- It can be repurposed after use elsewhere! An eco-friendly option in this regard.
- A veneer may chip around the edges.
- Can be hard to make repairs and get it to look good if anything should go wrong with a veneer finish.
- Laminate is one of the best affordable options, great if you are working on a budget.
- It’s pretty resistant to any damage from everyday use. Even hitting a pan against it will probably be okay!
- Though most laminates are lighter colors there are actually a lot of different choices so you can get the ideal finish for you.
- If If you want darker finishes you may pay more or struggle to find them. The people who go for laminate are often searching for kitchen cabinet materials that are lighter.
- You get cracks or unwanted cuts and dings in your laminate cabinet that can be impossible to fix.
Naturally, when you are looking to make changes to your kitchen cabinetry you have some decisions to make about the materials and how you plan to approach the remodel. Hopefully, remodeling is not something you do too often so it is key that when you do, you get it right. This means possibly listening to professionals, but definitely taking the time to think about your cabinetry materials, whether you are going to go for a full refit or just a refinish, and the way you want your whole kitchen to look.
Some cabinets can give a really modern feel to a kitchen whereas others have more of a farmhouse feel. Materials play a big part in this, and also, don’t forget that you need to think about all of the elements that will also play a part within your kitchen such as changes in heat and moisture. The right kitchen cabinet materials will help to ensure that you don’t suffer from cracks or warping.