Kitchen cabinets face some of the most abuse that you can throw at a piece of furniture in your home. When you cook food with oil, some of the oil vaporizes and collects on your cabinets. Every time something you are cooking splashes, it can land on your cabinets. When the oven and the dishwasher are running, the heat and humidity in your kitchen changes dramatically. All of these different things occur naturally in a kitchen, which is why your kitchen cabinets need to be prepared for the stress. Here are a few different materials that are commonly used in kitchen cabinets.
Determining the different between hardwood and softwood can be tricky; a general rule of thumb is that softwoods come from conifer trees. Hardwoods tend to be more dense and harder than softwoods but that’s not always the case. The hardwoods used for kitchen cabinets, however, tend to be very resilient woods. Hardwood makes a great cabinet material because it is so dense. As stated earlier, the amount of heat and moisture can be a problem for your cabinets. That heat and moisture can seep into the pores of different wooden cabinets. That could cause them to swell and slowly degrade over time. A solid hardwood cabinet with a good veneer is usually effective to keep that at bay.
That veneer of protection can be vinyl which adheres to the surface of the wood, stain and polyurethane which preserves the natural grain of the wood, or paint that will make it waterproof. For its versatility alone, hardwood is a great choice. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you might consider a composite cabinet.
Hardwood is the most commonly used material even in a composite cabinet. In these cabinets, the outer veneer of the cabinet is a thin sheet of hardwood. Underneath the veneer is a layer of plywood or particle board. Plywood is made of thin sheets of a more affordable wood glued together. Particle board is actually chips of wood or sawdust that have been glued together to form a solid piece of wood. These cabinets can be very durable and can withstand kitchen pressures very well. The glue that holds them together helps to close up any pores and prevent them from absorbing moisture.
If the goal of your cabinets is something sustainable and long-lasting, solid wood is often your best option. If you want the look and feel of solid wood at a more affordable price, you should consider composite from a quality manufacturer.