Pros And Cons Of Kitchen Cabinet Materials

The material you choose for your cabinets will depend on your budget, style, and long-term use of your kitchen. Which options are best for you and your budget? Our design experts have broken down some kitchen cabinet materials’ pros and cons, to help you make the right decision.

Custom made vs pre-made cabinets

Buying pre-made kitchen cabinets is possible. In fact, pre-built kitchen cabinets provide some cost benefits. However, they’re typically of lower quality than custom cabinets. Given that they come in standard sizes and colours, pre-made cabinets might not properly fit in your kitchen or their colours might not mesh well with the rest of your home. As such, getting custom cabinets and working with a kitchen designer would be your best bet.

Kitchen cabinet materials pros and cons

1. Solid wood

Kitchen cabinets are mostly made from wood and wood-based materials. Most solid wood kitchen cabinets are made from non-toxic and renewable materials.

Pros

To start with, wood is available in a diverse range of grains, colours and textures. Besides this, knicks and scratches are easily repairable. Wood cabinets can also be painted or re-stained to recreate a new look. Keep in mind that high-quality wood cabinets add timeless beauty to your home, which will always be on-trend. Moreover, wood cabinets are strong, long-lasting and resistant to damage.

Cons

One of the biggest drawbacks of wood cabinets is cost. Solid wood cabinets tend to be expensive. Wood also reacts to humidity and may warp or crack. Finally, wood cabinets can be high-maintenance, requiring regular treatment with a waterproof finish.

2. Melamine

Melamine cabinets are one of the most affordable kitchen cabinet options on the market.

Pros

Firstly, melamine cabinets are an affordable option if you’re looking to renovate your kitchen and stick within a budget. Secondly, melamine cabinets are easy to clean and won’t require re-staining or sealing over the years. Melamine is also available in an enormous assortment of colours and patterns.

Cons

Melamine is more fragile to damages and scratches as compared to other materials. Moreover, melamine also weighs significantly more than real wood or plywood cabinets which can lead to sagging.

3. Polyester

While similar in look and feel to melamine, polyester cabinets are the more elegant option. This material is composed of melamine blended with pine fibre, then coated with a polyester film. While slightly pricier than melamine, it’s still very affordable.

Pros

Polyester cabinets are more resistant to scratches compared to melamine, making them more durable. In addition, polyester is an appealing choice for homeowners as it can achieve wood-style cabinets at a low cost.

Cons

While you can achieve an elegant look, polyester scratches are hard to touch up as you can’t paint them like you could with a wood material.

4. Lacquered

Similar to melamine and polyester cabinets, lacquered cabinets are made of a pine fibreboard that is finished with lacquer.

Pros

The beautiful finish of lacquered cabinets tends to keep its new appearance for many years. Besides this, lacquered cabinets are also easy to clean and scratches can be repaired relatively easily by adding another coat of lacquer.

Cons

While easy to clean, these cabinets can be quickly dirtied by handprints.

5. PVC

Poly-vinyl chloride sheets are composite plastic sheets that give a tough finish. This kitchen cabinet material is inexpensive and easy to install. Being waterproof and oil-proof makes it a wise option for kitchen cabinetry.

Pros

This material is termite-proof, anticorrosive and easy to maintain. Just like laminates, PVC sheets are easy to source and replace. PVC is an economical and sound alternative in comparison to laminates and wood-based products.

Cons

PVC sheets do not come in a wide variety of colours and patterns. These sheets are not fire-resistant and they yellow with age.

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