Guangzhou Zhiwen Technology Co.,Ltd
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Cabinet Materials: Solid Wood vs Plywood vs MDF
In the cabinetry market, the sea of acronyms and options can be difficult to navigate. We’re here to help you understand common materials of construction and understand the properties and value they bring to you as a customer.
In the US market, 90% of kitchen cabinetry and bathroom vanities are comprised of wood-based construction.
The simplest wood material we’ll start with, is solid wood.
This is a homogenous cut of wood from a uniform piece of lumber. Common species used in cabinets are birch, oak and maple. One advantage of solid wood is that it is a low cost material. However, it is prone to warping and moisture. After applying subsequent treatments to mitigate these factors, the cost advantage of solid wood vs engineered products tends to slip away. You can typically find solid wood used for framing on face frame cabinets:
Plywood is an engineered product made from thinly cut wood veneers:
During manufacture, the wood grain of each veneer is oriented at 90 degrees between each ply.
This provides superior mechanical strength compared to solid wood, and utilization of WBP (Water Boil Proof) glues between each ply provides superior resistance to moisture compared to solid wood. While more expensive than solid wood, plywood is an excellent choice for cabinet boxes and shelves. The Discount Cabinet Shop uses plywood for all box and shelf components.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is another engineered wood product that is comprised of wood fibers mechanically compressed under temperature. As the fibers are held together by a moisture resistant resin, MDF also performs better in moist environments than solid wood. MDF is denser and heavier than other engineered wood products and provides for a smoother surface finish compared to solid wood or plywood. This property makes MDF an excellent material for cosmetic surfaces- and you can find MDF on The Discount Cabinet Shop’s door panels.