7 kitchen cabinet material to choose from

When designing or remodelling your kitchen, it’s best to put more thought into your choice of cabinets as it can make or break the room’s aesthetics, functionality and even your budget!

Kitchen cabinets help to keep your cooking space neat and organised while lending credence to the room’s style. When deciding on the material for your kitchen cabinets, it’s important to take note of cost, durability, and style because these babies basically anchor the entire room.

Stock and Custom Cabinets

In addition to materials, style, and finishes, cabinets also come in stock or custom purchases. Unlike custom cabinets which are made to the specifications of your home, stock cabinets are manufactured in standard sizes and are relatively more affordable. We’ve made the case for custom cabinets, and you can read all about it here.

Now, let’s dive into the seven materials types:

1. Chipboard

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, chipboards with a melamine finish is the way to go. This material is made out of wood chips that have been soaked and bonded by synthetic resin that is later compressed to form boards. This is the material largely used in IKEA furniture. The strong solid surface of the material makes it resistant to scratch, shock, and even fungus but high humidity levels can cause the wood to swell and chip.

2. Block board

This cabinet material is made up of softwood strips lined up side by side with a layer of melamine glued to the top and bottom. As chipboards have a low resistance to water, block board can be used instead in the interior of cabinets or storage that are exposed to humidity to avoid cracking.

3. Plywood

Plywood is made of many thin layers of wood glued together to form a hardboard. This board is usually laminated with plastic to give it a cleaner finish. Laminated plywood is more solid, abrasion- and moisture-resistant, and easier to clean and maintain. This material also comes in various shades and textures making the only downfall the lack of uniformity or consistency as no two boards together could match up perfectly.

Plywood also comes with wood veneer finishes so homeowners can get the look of solid wood cabinets without the hefty price tag. 

Read more: Hot kitchen cabinets ideas to try

4. Concrete

Aside from wood, homeowners can opt for an equally rustic look with concrete kitchen cabinets. These are more permanent additions to a home. Concrete is a very solid, heavy, and durable material and can be tiled over for added colour and design.

5. Stainless steel

If you like the rustic or industrial look, then you’ll also like stainless steel cabinets. Before, it was reserved only for commercial kitchens for that shiny and clean look, but it’s quickly becoming a favourite for contemporary and industrial homes. These cabinets are durable and easy to clean but can be quite costly.

6. Brick

Brick cabinets are coming back in style. What used to be a cheap and easy alternative for homeowners has become a trendy industrial option for homes that want a rustic feel. Bricks are used to create the shell of the cabinets while wood or laminate slabs can be used for the doors.

7. Alternative material & design

This kitchen opted for a wire and metal shelf that blends perfectly into the home’s industrial theme. If you love exposed storage, this is a great option for you.

Design and installation tips

  • Make a stockpile of everything you want to store in your kitchen before deciding on cabinet and storage options. When picking a colour, keep in mind that cabinets take up a large portion of the room. If you don’t want a kitchen that’s primarily red, don’t opt for red cabinets.
  • Ensure your cabinet installers know what they’re doing as what may seem like small mistakes can really affect your kitchen in the long run.

This article was originally published as A Guide to Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Materials and Design for Your Renovation by atap.co and is written by Lydia Lohshini.