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Kitchen Cabinets in Particle vs. Real Wood

March 8, 2017

Most kitchen cabinets are technically made with “wood.” However, there’s a big difference between real wood and particle board.

Homeowners who are new to flipping houses, doing renovations or building from scratch sometimes hear the word “wood” and assume that means the kitchen cabinets are high quality. After all, as long as cabinets are wooden, that’s good, right?

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets made of particle board are lower quality, won’t last as long, won’t hold as much weight and don’t look as high-end as genuine wooden cabinets. At first glance, particle board might look like the real deal because it’s created to do just that. Sometimes, particle board is even covered in a thin veneer of real wood so it feels genuine, too.

However, particle board is all surface. On the inside, where it matters, it’s weak compared to solid wood. It was originally designed to fake the look of genuine wood, providing consumers with a cheaper alternative. With kitchen cabinets, you get what you pay for.

Why Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Solid Wood?

Choosing solid wood means more than enjoying gorgeous grains, carvings and knots. Solid wood has the strength most kitchens need to hold up heavy dishes for decades. Kitchen cabinets should be made of a particularly tough wood, like maple, that can stand up to changing hardware and increasingly heavy dishes. From drilling to sawing, sanding and repainting, kitchen cabinets must be durable.

Solid wood can be expensive, and some consumers demand low-cost alternatives. Particle board is the answer, and it even comes with a few bonuses. For instance, it doesn’t contract or warp like real wood, as long as the laminate is intact. It doesn’t dent, it’s tough to scratch and you can paint it. As long as homeowners aren’t expecting a long-lasting product and don’t load the shelves with anything heavy, particle board is a decent-looking, short-term fix.

Luxury Leanings

America enjoyed a few decades of embracing manmade materials. However, the era of Formica countertops, laminate floors and particle board cabinets is over. Homeowners are demanding lasting, quality in products like kitchen cabinets, which make up the heart of a home.

Particle board can crumble. It’s porous, and starts looking like cardboard after a few years of wear and tear. You can’t save particle board that’s been water damaged.
Homeowners looking for gorgeous kitchen cabinets that are tough and durable prefer solid wood. Today’s finishes increase the strength of genuine wood, making it nonporous and water-resistant.

Upgrading kitchen cabinets is one of the fastest and best ways to increase the value of a kitchen — and a home. Start designing your kitchen cabinets today — call Swirl Woodcraft to connect with a cabinet expert.