Home Improvements

Kitchen Cabinet Materials That Contractors Love

Solid cabinetry is one of the essential components of a functional and beautiful kitchen. Ask any local cabinet maker and you’ll learn that some cabinet materials are favored more than others. 

Quality, durability, and versatility play a huge part in how craftsmen choose the best materials for kitchen cabinets. And if you’re wondering which materials to purchase for your kitchen construction or remodeling project, we’ve got you covered. Here are some cabinet materials that contractors love. 

Original Hardwood. Known for its durability and classic appeal, solid hardwood exudes luxury. Some of the most commonly used hardwoods for kitchen cabinets includes cherry, oak, maple, walnut, and birch. These high-end wood materials are typically available in semi-custom and custom kitchen cabinetry options. Each type of wood has its different color variations and natural textures — which you can custom cut and finish to get the aesthetics that you want (e.g. Rustic, contemporary). 

Natural Softwood. If you want your kitchen to have a farm- or country-style appeal, softwood cabinet materials are the way to go. Popular choices are pine, cedar, and spruce — which are lighter or paler in color compared with traditional hardwoods. Keep in mind that their softer surface makes them more vulnerable to dents and moisture. 

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Made of pressurized fibers from recycled wood, MDF board is a good choice if you’re looking for a cabinet material that can withstand peeling and cracking. Most often MDF is used as an inside cabinet material, where natural first cut wood doors are used to finish the cabinet. Because MDF is easy to paint over, it gives property owners that much-needed versatility when it comes to aesthetics. 

Cabinet-grade Plywood. Many local cabinet makers prefer plywood because it’s economical and highly resistant to moisture. Compared to MDF, it also has greater stability, thanks to its composition: each layer or board is glued sandwich-style using a special adhesive. 

Stainless steel. Giving a more modern or commercial appeal to your kitchen, stainless steel is a material that comes in ready-to-assemble or semi-custom options. They’re mostly used in commercial settings because of their high resistance to moisture. The downside is that it won’t give you the certain warm, homey aesthetic appeal that wood materials evoke. 

What Are The Different Cabinet Quality Grades

There are various options if you’re looking for the best materials for kitchen cabinets. But apart from picking which type of material you’ll use for your dream kitchen; you should also decide which quality grade you will utilize. 

The four main categories are Ready-to-assemble (RTA), stock, semi-custom, and custom.

RTA cabinets, as the name implies, are designed for DIY kitchen improvement projects. Available in a variety of styles and sizes, these can be assembled and installed even without the help of professionals. 

Stock cabinets, on the other hand, are already constructed from modular units and arrive at your home pre-sized. Compared to RTAs, they’re available in a wider variety. However, keep in mind that sizes are already fixed, so you can’t alter them to fit into your available space without some carpentry skills. 

If you’re looking for more variety and something that can be modified, semi-custom kitchen cabinets are for you. Semi-customs don’t just allow size adjustments once the order has been placed but are often better made by skilled cabinet makers. 

Custom made kitchen cabinets are the superior choice among the four categories but also the priciest. Custom cabinet makers will customize your cabinets including your preferred material, style, finishing, plus, accessories. 

It is hard to find local kitchen cabinet makers today. Many of the custom cabinet makers in New Jersey got gobbled up by larger cabinet manufacturers. The best place to buy kitchen cabinets today are through a kitchen designer that has those relationships already established.

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