Kitchen Cabinets: Is Plywood the best?

The wooden fronts are created to fit perfectly to the original fittings, and are designed to appeal to those working within a limited budget but wanting different finishes to those provided by Cuisine & Boiserie

Plywood is generally thought to be the better product when building cabinets. Plywood has superior construction longevity because it holds screws and other mechanical fasteners more efficiently. It has superior tensile and shearing properties (meaning it resists pulling forces and side-to-side movement) and a slight advantage in compressive strength (ability to bear weight). Plywood also weighs less than MDF board, which can be significant when hanging large cabinets. In addition, plywood holds glue joints together better than MDF board and is more resistant to dents and scratches.

A major advantage to plywood board is its resistivity to moisture. For example, if water on the floor comes into contact with the unfinished bottom edge of a cabinet box. Therefore, plywood, though more water resistant, is durable in continually wet conditions.

Importantly, plywood can vary greatly in quality. The quality of plywood depends on the number of plies and the thickness of the wood. Fewer plies are less stable, so quality plywood will have more plies. The quality also depends on how well the plies are glued together. Low-quality plywood will have gaps, making it less reliable. Plywood used for frameless cabinetry usually has between seven and nine plies and a thickness of 3/4 of an inch,. For face-frame cabinetry, half-inch plywood is used for the sides, top, and bottom because the frame adds strength to the overall box structure; shelves are 3/4 inch plywood. So, though plywood is superior in general.

Plywood is superior to particle board in many ways; it is usually the better choice if cost is not an issue. If the cabinet is large and going to be hung, plywood may be the better option because it is lighter. When renovating, be sure to consider the benefits of plywood against the limitations of your budget to decide.

Click to view our plywood Kitchen Cabinet collections