The kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where families come together to cook delicious meals, to chat over a cup of coffee, and to get ready for busy days ahead. Given that it's such a high-trafficked area, it's also one of the parts of the home that is most frequently updated.

When it comes to updating your kitchen cabinets, there are a wide variety of materials you can choose from. The specific material that you choose will play a role in both the overall style and functionality of your space.

In this blog post, we will highlight some of the different cabinet material choices you have to pick from. These include solid wood, high-density fiberboard, plywood, stainless steel, wood veneer, and more. Let's get started with this kitchen cabinet material guide.

Solid Wood

Seen as a classic choice, solid wood is among the most popular materials for kitchen cabinets. Of course, there are many different reasons why this is the case. Solid wood is highly durable, aesthetically pleasing, and versatile for many different styles.

Because solid wood is tough, it is able to withstand the weight of heavy objects inside cabinets without the risk of breaking or warping. There is a variety of grains, colors, and finishes available with solid wood and it's easy to customize cabinet door styles. Another benefit of solid wood cabinets is that they can be painted to change appearance.

Solid wood is a premium option and that is reflected in the higher cost. It may also darken or fade with light exposure, though we would say that the benefits far outweigh any potential drawbacks to this material choice.


Another highly common cabinet material is plywood, which is less expensive than solid wood. Despite the lower cost, it remains a durable option that is well able to hold heavy items and is the strongest of the engineered wood options.

Plywood consists of layers of thinly sliced wood slabs that are bonded together with adhesive. To give the appearance of wood, plywood is often covered with a decorative wood veneer, which enhances its look and style.

There are different grades of plywood available, which affect its durability and price. Some of the low-quality plywood options are not recommended as they can splinter easily, so we suggest that you pick a good-quality grade of plywood for your kitchen cabinets.

Wood Veneers

Wood veneers are typically made up of a very thin layer of natural hardwood, which is then bonded to a stable composite base material, such as medium-density fiberwood, plywood, or particle board. The result is that it creates beautiful wood-like panels that are less expensive than solid wood.

Homeowners are able to achieve the same wood look without the additional cost of paying for solid wood. They are also lightweight and thin, resistant to warping, and easy to maintain. Note that wood veneers are susceptible to water damage.

Medium-Density Fiberboard

Above we touched on another common engineered product, medium-density fiberboard. It is a highly affordable option, even among the many engineered wood types that are available.

It is made from pulverized wood fibers that are blended with resins and pressed into sheets under pressure and temperature. Outside of cost, some of the other benefits of this material option are that it is lightweight and easy to paint.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to medium-density fiberboard. For example, it cannot be sanded, it cannot hold nails or screws, and it may warp and swell when wet.

Another option here is high-density fiberboard, which is stronger and denser than medium-density fiberboard. It is extremely durable and can be painted. However, it is susceptible to water damage and cannot hold nails or screws, either.

Stainless Steel

While stainless steel is traditionally more commonly seen in commercial kitchens, it's still a material that is worthy of your consideration. That is because stainless steel is incredibly easy to maintain, is highly durable, and is both heat- and water-resistant.

If you are looking for a very clean and minimalist aesthetic in your kitchen, stainless steel may just offer exactly what you are after. That said, it is a niche style and it won't suit everyone. It is also on the higher end in terms of price, so it won't suit every budget, either.


Melamine is a chemical compound used in many products, including in tableware and cabinets. It is a byproduct of the coal industry and is a good option if you are looking for an affordable material for your kitchen cabinets. Melamine is a durable choice and is highly versatile, available in a range of designs, patterns, and colors.

Another material worth highlighting is particle board, which is a low-density fiberboard. Again, it is an inexpensive option that is versatile in its appearance. However, it is not the most durable material for cabinetry and is susceptible to moisture damage. It is also easily chipped and may sag under heavy dishes.

Get the Right Material for Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you are looking to give your kitchen cabinets a new look, the above options are also worth your consideration. If your budget allows, solid wood is a wonderful choice that is incredibly durable and beautiful. However, there are also many other kinds of cabinets that don't cost as much.

Nuform Cabinetry is your premier choice when you are planning to give your kitchen an amazing makeover. Check out our wide range of kitchen cabinets here.