Choosing the Best Material for Kitchen Cabinets
The look of a kitchen cabinet sets the tone of your space. But this goes beyond appearance, your choice of material for the cabinetry will determine how long it will last.
Before you start the makeover, set some clarity on your goals so that you’ll be satisfied with the end result.
Are you planning to stay long term in your home?
If you are planning to stay indefinitely, consider stretching your budget on durable construction and high-quality materials.
Take a look at these suggestions that will help you with choosing the best material for your kitchen cabinets.
Medium Density Fireboard (MDF)
Medium Density Fireboard (MDF) is a fabricated wood item made of recycled wood strands that is mixed with wax and a resin binder, compressed into flat boards under high temperature and pressure.
Medium Density Fireboard does not have knots or rings that make cutting and using easier than natural wood. The solid, even surface is perfect for veneering, painting and other treatments. An excellent building material that can be glued, dowelled, plastic-coated, and works well with nails and screws with minimal chance of fracture. Because it is less expensive than natural wood and accepts paint and other treatments so well make it a popular choice among construction companies for kitchen use.
It is a very dense material making it heavier than plywood. Cut MDF outdoors it emits dust, wear a respirator to avoid inhaling dust and resins. MDF bends when exposed to moisture, it swells and loses strength.
Hardwood is a solid material that is a natural product from trees. Each hardwood has its own natural variation that adds to its natural beauty and distinctive appeal. Every piece of wood is distinct in color, consistency, and grain patterns.
In kitchen cabinetry, it is used in the face frame and the front door and not the whole cabinet because it is pricey and heaviness.
It is sturdy and easy to repair. Marks like stains, scratches or dents can be removed by sanding making it look like new and extending its lifespan. Hardwood reacts to changes in temperature and humidity it contracts or expands.
If you are a fan of culinary shows, you will notice that the setting has kitchen cabinets, shelves, and countertops are all made of stainless steel. It found its way to homeowners because it is firm, easy to clean, durable and corrosion-resistant. But quality has its price, it has a much higher price point than engineered woods.
Plywood is a board of wood that is produced by stacking thin sheets of wood and binding them together with glue, heat and pressed under high pressure. Of all the wood products it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio, holds screws securely, and resists moisture. It can withstand sagging and dents work best as cabinet sides, backs, shelves, and bottom drawers.
Expect more rigidity from thicker plywood. When using it for sides and bottoms choose a thickness of at least 1/2 inch and 3/8 inch on the back.
Block board is a type of plywood that is specially engineered where softwood strips are covered between two layers of the wood veneer in the center of the sheet and pressured. The softwood strips secure nails and screws.
It is lighter than plywood but they will not bend easily under heavy objects. They do not split, splinter or crack easily when cutting. Easy to maintain and can be lacquered, painted or veneered.
However, it absorbs and keep moisture and cannot be used for exteriors.
Wood veneer is a thinly sliced wood, less than 1/8inch thick, that is used to create a wood-finish appearance in interior trim work. It is bonded to a less expensive veneer, paper, or plastic to achieve the look of an expensive solid wood for interior trim.
Particleboard, or chipboard, is made from wood chips and particles, sawdust, wood fibers all bonded together with glue under heat and pressure. It is not sturdy and composed of fragments of little pieces of wood held together with adhesive. This is an option for homeowners who are tight on a budget where cost is important than quality and aesthetics.
When it is not covered with paint or sealer it is prone to discoloration and expansion due to moisture.
Now that you’ve got a better understanding on the various materials available for kitchen cabinets, we hope that these suggestions will help you with choosing the best material for your kitchen cabinets.
Author Bio: Owen is a content marketing specialist at Majestic Cabinets. Having several years of experience in home improvement field, Owen is keen on sharing his knowledge and secrets with others. Doesn't matter if you’re a homeowner with little to no knowledge in the field or an experienced contractor, you can always learn something new and interesting from his stories. Owen hopes that his articles will give you a bit of insight on home improvement.
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