In most cases, inexpensive kitchen cabinets are going to be made out of MDF with a veneer covering. MDF is made out of shredded pieces of wood that have been glued together and pressed to create a solid board. It is then covered in a paper veneer piece. Some are made with wood veneer,which is a thinly sliced piece of wood board which can be made out of any wood like oak, maple, pine, etc. These types of cabinets are commonly sold in Big Box Home Improvement stores and are advertised as plywood or veneer wood.
The second type of low quality kitchen cabinets is going to be laminate and thermofoil. Laminate and thermofoil cabinets are made out of a plastic like material similar to non stone counter tops. The difference in their name is because of the technique used to create them. They are composed of an MDF material as well, but instead of a veneer coating, Laminate cabinets have a plastic coating that is glued on. Thermofoil cabinets use a similar plastic coating, except it is heated at a high temperature and wrapped around the MDF board, making them a little more durable than standard laminate cabinets, and allowing for bevels and more interesting profiles than just a slab style cabinet door.
These cabinets are not necessarily the least expensive in price, which is why it is all the more reason to consider refinishing existing kitchen cabinets. Solid wood cabinets are becoming very rare in newly constructed homes. Please consider saving your cabinets. Even if you hate the style, the doors can be changed to something in a completely new style and you could save the solid wood boxes and frames from a landfill and from you needing new cabinets again in just five years from MDF wearing out.
What is the most durable material for kitchen cabinets?
The most durable material for kitchen cabinets is solid wood. According to a research paper done by Oregon State, wood “is a natural polymer consisting primarily of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in a matrix that provides structural support to the living tree and some resistance against microbial attack.” These cell walls are incredibly tough and remain bonded even when the tree is cut. This bonding makes wood durable for furniture use and has a natural resistance to decay under normal circumstances.
What is the average life of kitchen cabinets?
The average lifespan of kitchen cabinets made of natural wood is a minimum of 30 years. Consistent cleaning and the occasional restoration and refinishing of wooden cabinets can expand their life into multiple generations. Unfortunately, the average lifespan of cheaper materials like laminate and veneer cabinets are only about 5-10 years. Normal use wears down the thin layer of veneer that covers the MDF underneath, and frequent exposure to steam and humidity can unglue the laminate.
What kind of kitchen cabinets are easiest to clean?
Laminate and thermofoil cabinets are advertised as being the easiest to clean because they are made of plastic. However, Resurrect Wood Refinishing uses a final clear coat that is just as effective in making cleaning quick and easy. The product Resurrect Wood Refinishing uses for kitchen cabinets allows homeowners to wipe surfaces down with a damp microfiber and a small dose of mild dish detergent.