Kitchen Cabinets: A Guide to Help You Select the Perfect Material
Whether you’re contemplating a full-blown kitchen renovation or you only have enough money (or only need) to make one significant change to your kitchen’s current design, kitchen cabinets are an important consideration. Visually, they occupy a significant amount of space and can have a considerable impact upon the overall aesthetics of your kitchen and they are obviously vital in a practical sense too since they are the feature that keeps everything tidy and organised. If you break it down even further, the main thing you need to think about when buying new kitchen cabinets is the material they are made from. This material will impact upon how well the cabinets perform, how long they last and how attractive they look. There is a range of materials available these days, all of which have their own various pros and cons, and during this article we are going to take a look at some of the main options.
What Material Should Your New Kitchen Cabinets be Constructed From?
You should have a set budget in mind when undergoing any kind of kitchen renovation and in terms of kitchen cabinets that budget will often dictate the material you end up selecting, since some are relatively cheap while others will require a larger investment. If you contact a kitchen renovation company in Toronto they will most probably introduce you to the following options:
- Solid Wood – Solid woods have long been considered the “default” choice for kitchen cabinets. It’s important to point out that there is a wide range of different hardwoods that are typically used to construct kitchen cabinets. Red oak is one of the more common choices due to its aesthetically pleasing pronounced grain patterns, its strength (and consequent durability) and the fact that it’s one of the cheaper hardwoods that can be used. White oak is similarly popular, and while it has a more subtle grain pattern, it does boast additional strength that often provides a longer lifespan. Then there’s hard maple, which features a fine grain pattern and a light colour, which is often a perfect fit if you are planning a contemporary style kitchen. The main thing to remember with kitchen cabinets constructed from solid woods is that in order to resist frequent exposure to moisture (which is likely in the kitchen area due to cooking), they must be periodically re-sealed and properly cared for.
- Plywood – If your budget doesn’t allow for kitchen cabinets made from a solid hardwood, plywood can be a good alternative. It’s a man-made material that’s produced using a specialized manufacturing process that essentially joins many “sheets” of lower quality wood together, which lowers the overall cost of the material while increasing its strength and durability at the same time. It’s also possible to stain plywood, it’s more resistant to moisture than other options (which is important in the kitchen as already mentioned) and it’s well known for being able to hold screws very tightly.
- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – Just like plywood, MDF is an engineered material, but is much “denser” than standard particle board (which is generally considered the lowest quality option), giving it added strength. MDF is made from millions of small wood fibers that are combined with wax and a resin binder before being pressed together at extreme temperatures. The end result is a material that doesn’t have a visible grain (hardwood are your only option if you consider this a “must-have” feature of your kitchen cabinets), but it also doesn’t have the huge voids that you see in standard particle board, as the particles are compressed together much more tightly.
- Stainless Steel – Commonly used in commercial settings due to their hygienic qualities, kitchen cabinets produced from stainless steel are the next most popular option after those listed above. As you would expect, stainless steel is extremely durable, ideal for food preparation and storage areas, but does tend to highlight any scratches and marks that are accidentally made.
The material you choose for your kitchen cabinets can impact upon almost all aspects of performance and your kitchen’s aesthetics, and due to the wide range of different options that are made available nowadays it can be difficult to know which way to turn.