Home Improvement

5 Different Types of Cabinet Materials for Your Home

Ready to start remodeling your kitchen? A big part of doing that is finding the right type of cabinets for the room. It’s not all about the style, it’s finding the right material for them too. Which material type is right for you and your home? Here’s what’s available to you.

1. Particleboard

This is one of the most affordable options for you as a homeowner, and that means that particleboard is a very popular option. These are made with scrap materials, which are pressed together to create the sections needed for your cabinets.

Advantages: As particleboard is very affordable, you can buy these and not break the bank. If you’re on a strict budget, it’s good news for you. You can save up to 10 to 20% on mid-grade particleboard cabinets.

Some may feel that particleboard is quite fragile, but in fact, some types are sturdier than you’d think. Look for high-grade particleboard when you’re shopping around, and you’ll get what you need.

When it comes to cabinet and drawer interiors, particleboard is very lightweight and easy to use. It’s easy to fit into those spaces, so it’s a favorite for these uses.

Disadvantages: If you don’t buy high-grade particleboard, you’ll see that it isn’t very durable. As such, you won’t get as long a life from your cabinets as you would with another material.

You’ll also see that it can’t cope with moisture well, and can degrade and discolor when it comes into contact with water.

2. Hardwood

For those that want a harder-wearing cabinet, then hardwood will be a good option for them. These are made from full planks of hardwood, which gives you a lot of advantages as a homeowner.

Advantages: As hardwood is a natural material, you’ll see there are slight variations in the natural finish. Many homeowners love this in their kitchens, but you also have the option to stain or paint them to your desired color, too.

Hardwood is very durable too, as any scratches or dents can be easily sanded out and refinished. As they’re hardwearing, they will last for a long time in your kitchen.

You can pick from lots of different hardwoods, that all have their own color and character. That ensures that your kitchen will have a unique overall look.

Disadvantages: As you’re probably already aware, hardwood is very expensive, and so it makes your kitchen renovation quite costly overall. They often start at about $80 per linear foot.

Wood is heavy too, so you need to be sure that the floors and structures have been made to support the weight of all the cabinets you install.

You’ll have to take care with the type of wood you select too, as some, like pine, are a lot softer than woods like red oak.

3. Plywood

Plywood is a material you’ll see a lot of when you’re looking into new cabinets. It’s a versatile material, made from thin layers of wood laminated together with glue, heat, and pressure.

Advantages: This is another more affordable cabinet material, as it’s less expensive than hardwood. You’ll get very strong and resilient cabinets too, thanks to the unique construction of the plywood itself.

Plywood is very easily repaired or replaced, should you ever need to. It also stands up to drilling very well, so you don’t have to worry about damage as you install them.

Disadvantages: When creating cabinets from plywood, you need to be sure that you’re using the right thickness for the right part of the cabinet. If you don’t do this, then you may not get the strength that you need.

There also can be some inconsistency in plywood cabinet construction. You may see gaps or holes where boards were combined, as you put the cabinet together.

4. Wood Veneer

Wood veneer is a material that aims to give you the same benefits of hardwood while being more affordable. The material is made up of a board of particleboard or medium density fiberboard, and a very thin layer of hardwood that’s pressed on top of it. You’ll get the look of hardwood, without the price tag.

Advantages: A wood veneer is a much more affordable version of hardwood, so you can get the look without having to blow the budget on it. It’s also more lightweight and stable than true hardwood.

Disadvantages: As the wood veneer is a finish, it’s not advised for cabinet interiors or drawers. As such, you’ll only use it on the outward-facing portions, such as cabinet doors. You’ll have to find another material for the interior sections.

5. Laminate

Laminate is another affordable cabinet material that you’ll be seeing a lot of in modern kitchens. A laminate board is made of layers of paper, which can be printed, colored or transparent. These are pressed together with resin to create the final product.

Advantages: When you buy a higher quality laminate, you’ll see that they are quite durable and resistant to damage. You’ll also see that you can get all kinds of colors and styles that suit the look of your kitchen.

Disadvantages: Like wood veneer, laminate is a finish rather than an actual building material, so you’ll need to find other materials to make the rest of your cabinets out of. If you go for a low-quality finish too, they are more prone to damage.

6. Thermofoil

This is another method of applying a finish to a substrate board, this time using vinyl. The end result is a light-colored wood.

Advantages: Gives you a fresh look for your kitchen, with bright colors. It’s also highly affordable.

Disadvantages: It’s another finish, so your cabinet interiors need a different material.

Wrapping Up Cabinet Materials

These are just a handful of the cabinet materials that are available to you as a homeowner right now. Any of these will work as cabinet material, so you’ll need to consider what will work for you, what will look good in your kitchen, and what’s within your kitchen remodeling budget.


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