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The BEST Material to Build Your Cabinets Is...

When looking for new cabinets, you have to consider everything, including the size, the color and even the material you would like your cabinets made out of. Not all cabinets are made from wood anymore and it's time to find out which material truly is the best to make your perfect cabinets.


Before we get into the alternatives of cabinet components, let's start with the basics: wood. Wood cabinets are still a great choice for cabinet construction, but there are a few things to consider. From an economical standpoint, wood cabinets are more expensive than cabinets that use an alternative, meaning if you are on a budget, you may want to look into something else. Wood cabinets are also not as durable as some of the alternative materials susceptible to water and bug damage. As long as you are not careless in your kitchen and with your cabinets, however, this will not turn into a major issue.

While wood cabinets are resistant to heat, dents and dings, sometimes things happen. The good news is that if something does occur, it is very simple to fix the doors. When something happens to cabinet doors using alternative materials, you have to replace the entire door, whereas with wood, you just have to sand it out and refinish it. A big reason people choose to stay with a wood cabinet is because you can't beat the original wood grains. They add a beautiful element to your space that is second to none.


Looking for a cabinet door that look just as great as wood cabinets but does not cost nearly as much? You may want to look into melamine. Melamine cabinets are great for kitchens because they are resistant to heat, moisture, stains and dirt. Melamine is also extremely easy to clean and maintain. Since melamine is more consistent than solid wood grains, it is much easier to achieve a uniformed finish. By using melamine cabinets, it is possible to use just about any color for your cabinets.

As with anything, not everything is perfect with melamine cabinets. Melamine is a lot more heavy than wood is, which means that you have to use stronger hinges and hardware in order to support your cabinetry. This also means that you need a professional to install your cabinets in order for them to be stable. Unlike wood cabinets, melamine can chip and in order to fix them, you have to replace the entire cabinet door.

Laminate Veneer

Another alternative option for cabinetry is laminate veneer. Laminate is great because it gives the appearance of real wood cabinets, but they do not cost nearly as much. In fact, you have to look really close and pay a lot of attention in order to see that the cabinets are not real wood. Like melamine, laminate cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. They are non-absorbent, so they can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth. A great thing about laminate cabinets is that you do not have to worry about them warping or expanding.

Laminate veneer cabinets do have a few similarities to melamine cabinets. Like melamine, laminate veneer cabinets are very very heavy, so strong brackets are required in order to support them. If strong brackets are not used, you run the risk of the cabinets falling. Aesthetic-wise, some people find that laminate cabinets give off a clinic-type vibe as opposed to natural wood cabinets that have more of a welcoming vibe to them.

Rigid Thermofoil

Rigid thermofoil is another great low-cost option to wood cabinets. Thermofoil material is non-porous and very easy to clean and maintain. Like melamine, rigid thermofoil responds well to just about any paint or stain. This means that it is easily customizable and that whatever finish you do choose, you will receive a beautiful finish that is consistent throughout. Addtiionally, thermofoil doors are resistant to warping and expanding.

One of the biggest downfalls with choosing a rigid thermofoil doos is that it is heat and water sensitive. If you cabinets that are close to the oven, for example, you have to have a heat shield to protect the cabinets. If you do not, the thermofoil will start to blister and peel. If thermofoil doors crack, you run the risk of water getting into the cabinets. If enough water gets in, the cabinet will start to bubble and deteriorate. The only way to fix this is to completely replace the cabinet, which will contribute to the cost.

Truthfully, there is a lot to consider when thinking of cabinet material. There isn't necessarily one that is better than the other. It all depends on your preference and what you would want in your home. To learn more about the different types of cabinet materials and what would work best for you, call (515) 310-1070 or schedule an appointment with one of our designers!

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