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Kitchen cupboard materials: The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

[ecis2016.org] This article will help you decide the best kitchen cupboard materials and kitchen cabinet finishes by exploring all options available in the market

Remodelling and modifications are not always possible in a kitchen once it is constructed. So, one must pay attention while choosing kitchen cabinet materials and kitchen cabinet finishes, to have a good modular kitchen. This article will help you select the best materials for kitchen cabinets and kitchen cabinet finishes by exploring all kinds of kitchen materials available in the market.

You are reading: Kitchen cupboard materials: The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Kitchen cupboard: Best materials 

Material Cost Maintenance Popularity
Solid wood High High High for premium kitchens
PVC Low Low High
Laminate Medium Low High
Wood veneers Low Low High
Steel and aluminium Medium Low Low

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Kitchen cupboard: Solid wood kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials 01

Nothing can match the charm of solid woods. In case it is readily available, incorporate solid wood material in your modular kitchen. Solid woods are perfect for both, traditional, as well as modern kitchens. Wood remains the most popular choice among ecologically sensitive people.

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Solid wood: Pros

  • Matchless look
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Good range of grains, colours, and textures
  • Non-toxic
  • Renewable

 

Solid wood: Cons

  • Highly expensive
  • High maintenance
  • Prone to termite attack
  • Susceptible to heat and moisture
  • Lacks durability offered by other kitchen cabinet materials
  • Time consuming installation

 

Ply design for kitchen or wood veneer kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Wood and plywood are two different materials. Plywood is an illusion of wood. This engineered wood is made up of slices or sheets of solid wood, pasted over a composite substrate. Plywood is stained and polished to achieve a desired colour and texture.

 

Plywood: Pros

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Available in matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes

 

Plywood: Cons

  • Susceptible to discolouration due to heat
  • Need polishing from time-to-time
  • Prone to stains
  • Not scratch-resistant

 

Kitchen materials: Laminate kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Modern modular kitchens are mostly embracing laminates – layers of kraft paper put together with a printed layer of patterns or designs, bundled together with layers of plastic resin and finally wrapped under a tough plastic film. Available in a variety of patterns or designs, laminates can be used seamlessly in modern modular kitchens.

 

Laminates: Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Available in a variety of textures, and colours
  • Durable
  • Heat and moisture-resistant
  • Not prone to scratches
  • Low maintenance

 

Laminates: Cons

  • Needs expert installation
  • Lacks aesthetic appeal of woods
  • Toxic
  • Non-renewable

Kitchen material: PVC kitchen cabinets

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Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Easy on the pocket, poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) sheets are composite plastic sheets, available in a variety of light colours. Easy to fix and maintain, PVC sheets can be installed without a substrate. Available in two types – hollow boards and foam – PVC sheets offer the luxury to install both heavy and light boards. The waterproof and oil-proof surface makes PVC sheets an ideal choice for kitchen cabinets.

 

PVC sheet: Pros

  • Easy to fix
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Termite-resistant
  • Anti-corrosive
  • Easy to source and replace

 

PVC sheet: Cons

  • Limited variety of colours and patterns
  • Prone to fire damages
  • Discolouration

 

Modular kitchen material: Stainless steel and aluminium kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Wood and its alternatives are being widely replaced by steel and aluminium to give a sturdy look to modern kitchens. Unlike wood, steel and aluminium kitchen cabinets can be one-time investments. These materials are low maintenance and an ideal choice for modern kitchens.

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

 

Stainless steel and aluminium kitchen cabinets: Pros

  •   Heat, moisture, termite-resistant
  •   Unaffected by kitchen grime and dirt 

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Stainless steel and aluminium kitchen cabinets: Cons

  • Prone to noise
  • Prone to rusting and oxidisation
  • Prone to denting and scratching
  • Show smudges and fingerprints
  • Not aesthetically appealing
  • Expensive

 

Kitchen cabinet finishes 

Material Cost Maintenance Popularity
Acrylic High High High for premium kitchens
Laminate Low Low High
Membrane Medium Low High
Ultraviolet (UV) finish Low Low High
Glass Medium Low Low

 

Kitchen cupboards with acrylic finish

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Those who want a unique look for their kitchens would eventually fall for acrylic finish despite being expensive. A non-toxic, high-gloss finish, acrylic provides a sophisticated yet reflective appearance without any semblance of being tacky or loud. Available in a wide range of colours, the acrylic finish kitchen cabinets give a mirror-like sheen to the entire area. 

 

Acrylic finish kitchen cabinets: Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Scratch-resistant
  • Provides a luxurious and sophisticated look
  • Available in a wide range of colours and finishes

 

Acrylic finish kitchen cabinets: Cons

  • Very expensive kitchen cabinet finish

 

Kitchen cabinet with laminate finish

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

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The laminate finish for kitchen cabinets is manufactured by combining thin layers of flat paper and plastic resins. These two materials are first pressed together under high pressure. Then, the upper layer of the sheet is printed with a decorative pattern or colour.

 

Laminate finish: Pros

  • High durability
  • Heat and moisture-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Comparatively affordable
  • Variety of finishes (matte, glossy, and ultra-glossy)

 

Laminate finish: Cons

  • Lacks lustre offered by acrylic finish

 

Ultraviolet (UV) finish for kitchen cupboard

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

The super glossy UV finish is achieved by coating the engineered wood boards with nine layers of UV coats in a span of more than 10 days. Highly durable and available in variety of colours, ultraviolet (UV) finish kitchen cabinets are increasingly becoming popular in Indian households.

 

Ultraviolet (UV) finish: Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Heat and moisture-resistant
  • Not prone to denting and scratches
  • Available in many colours and gloss options

 

Ultraviolet (UV) finish: Cons

  • More expensive than laminate or membrane

 

Membrane finish for kitchen cupboard

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

The membrane finish for your kitchen cabinets can be achieved by pressing PVC foils together on medium density fibre panels under high pressure. Available in matt and high gloss finishes, the membrane finish is traditionally popular to build modular kitchens in India. 

Membrane finish: Pros

  • Available in a wide range of colours and textures
  • Cost-effective 

Membrane finish: Cons

  • Not durable
  • Vulnerable to sunlight

 

Kitchen cupboard glass finish

Kitchen cupboard materials The merits and demerits of different kitchen materials

Gone are the days when glass was not preferred to make kitchen cabinets, as they are brittle and fragile. With the availability of high-strength glasses in the market, this material is often used to get a mirror-like finish in modern kitchens.

 

Glass finish: Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Makes spotting of materials easy

 

Glass finish: Cons

  • Not durable
  • Not suitable for all types of kitchens

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Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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