7 Kitchen Cabinet Materials and How to Use Them

by Sneha Virmani | February 25, 2024 | 5 mins read

Kitchen cabinet materials for your home

All you need to know about the most popular kitchen cabinet materials available today.

How important could kitchen cabinet materials even be? Much to your surprise, your choice of cabinet material forms the foundation of your kitchen. Today modular kitchens are assembled to fit the space available and your requirements. When modules are assembled on the site, you have the leverage to choose the best possible material available for each piece. It sounds expensive, but it’s a one-time investment that stands the test of time and saves you money in the long run. 

Your budget and lifestyle determine the material best suited for your home kitchen. There are seven popular modular kitchen cabinet materials that we swear by, and trust us when we say it’s the best in the market. Use this guide to make the best use of these materials in your kitchen: 

MDF – Best Material for Kitchen Cabinets 

MDF, also known as medium-density fibreboard, is one of the best budget-friendly options for kitchen cabinets available today. Made using small pieces of wooden fibre that are then glued together and hot pressed with resin for a smooth finish. This engineered wood is easy to customise with grooves and designs, making it a popular material choice in modern-day kitchen cabinets. 

MDF as a kitchen cabinet material is the best budget-friendly option
MDF is better due to its clean finish sheen

HDF- Waterproof Material for Kitchen Cabinets 

Among the latest material for kitchen cabinets in modular designs, HDF or high-density fibreboard is an optimal choice in high moisture areas. HDF is your best bet if you live in a city prone to heavy rains or have plumbing near your kitchen cabinets. Slightly more expensive than MDF, the material is moisture resistant and prevents moulding or seepages in your kitchen. The material is also more durable than wood, MDF and plywood, making it a long-term investment worth every penny. 

Pro Tip: If you want to work on a budget, try to make the cabinet carcasses with MDF and shutters with HDF. 

HDF as waterproof kitchen cabinet material is the most durable option
Durable kitchen cabinets that last decades

Solid Wood- Best Wood Material for Kitchen Cabinets 

When you think of modular kitchen materials, we rarely think of solid wood. It’s expensive and swells with moisture. So why was solid wood such a commonly used material traditionally? Because solid wood is durable and lends an elegant vibe to the space. If you have the luxury of overspending and are careful about maintaining your cabinets, solid wood cabinets are an excellent choice. 

Solid wood as a kitchen cabinet material adds an elegant vibe to the kitchen
Wooden cabinets with a matching island
Revamp your home with modular kitchen interiors

Plywood- Modular Kitchen Cabinet Materials 

Plywood, or engineered wood, is known for its durability and strength. Made using stacks of veneer sheets, plywood cabinets are sturdy and shine beautifully when finished. Unlike wood or MDF, plywood cabinets have no scope for carvings. On the other hand, it offers moisture resistance for up to 72 hours, found in neither wood nor MDF materials. 

Plywood as a modular kitchen cabinet material adds durability and strength
Use plywood with printed acrylic laminate for strength

Particle Board- Budget-Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Materials 

Made using sawdust and waste wood, particle board is the cheapest kitchen cabinet material available in the market today. Fairly decent strength for the price offered; opt for particle board only if you use your kitchen occasionally. The material is not recommended for daily wear and tear. 

Particle board for kitchen cabinet is a budget-friendly option
Colourful particle board shutters and an HDF carcass is a smart choice

PVC Material for Kitchen Cabinets 

PVC-like particle board is a very economical material choice for kitchen cabinets. Available in two types: hollow boards and foam, the material offers ample colour options and is extremely easy to change if you like keeping up with trends. Easy to maintain and wipe clean, PVC kitchen cabinets are stylish but not water resistant, so choose wisely. 

PVC material for kitchen cabinets is a economical choice for the kitchen
Foam board PVC is more durable for busy kitchens

Stainless Steel- Kitchen Cabinet Material Options 

One of the latest materials of kitchen cabinets slowly making its way into Indian homes is the good old stainless steel. Steel being steel offers durability, is water resistant, and easy to wipe clean with warm soapy water. What’s not to love about this material? 

Stainless steel as a kitchen cabinet material is a durable and water resistant option
Use stainless steel cabinet frames for durability

Choosing the best kitchen cabinet materials is easy when you know your requirements. If you want to design a cost-effective, stylish, and durable space, try mixing materials. Need help? Reach out to us at DesignCafe, and let us help you create the long-lasting kitchen cabinets of your dreams.

Also, check out Modular Kitchen Materials And Finishes

FAQs On Kitchen Cabinet Materials

1. Are there any specific considerations for selecting kitchen cabinet materials in humid environments?
Since kitchens are naturally humid, solid wood will expand and contract, making you consider renovations sooner than expected. In such situations, engineered wood is the best material for your kitchen cabinet.

2. What are the maintenance requirements for different kitchen cabinet materials?
Follow this guide to increase the shelf life of your kitchen cabinet materials:

  • MDF/HDF- Wipe with a soft damp cloth
  • Stainless Steel- Bacteria and corrosion-free wipe with a cloth to clean debris
  • Solid Wood- Treat with a waterproof finish and clean with a non-abrasive cloth
  • PVC/ Particle Board- Wipe with wet and then dry cloth

3. Can kitchen cabinet materials be refinished or repainted?
Refinishing or repainting over wood, wood laminate, veneer, particle board, and even stainless steel kitchen cabinets is possible.

4. Can I install glass inserts or panels in cabinets made from different materials?
Yes, it is possible. However, it is advisable to call for professional help to avoid hurting yourself or damaging the cabinetry.

5. What are the considerations for selecting sustainable or non-toxic materials for kitchen cabinets?
Conventional kitchen cabinet materials are stuck with toxic glues that contain formaldehyde. Choose natural wood options finished with natural oils and varnishes if you want sustainable materials. This will be a more expensive choice and difficult to maintain in a busy kitchen. Stainless steel is a non-toxic material that is a classic and hygienic choice for sustainable kitchens in India.

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Sneha is a content writer at designcafe

Sneha Virmani

Sneha Virmani Gupta is a content creator and strategist. She writes about design trends, marketing ideas, growth hacks, and consumer behaviour to help brands create a more engaging relationship with their audiences.

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