What are Kitchen Cabinets Made of (and What Are the Best Materials)?


What are Kitchen Cabinets Made of (and What Are the Best Materials)?The kitchen cabinets you choose will have a huge impact on both the functionality and the aesthetics of your kitchen. That’s why it’s important to do some research to make sure you find the right cabinets.

This article should make that easier for you to do. Keep reading to learn what kitchen cabinets are made of and which materials are best.

What are Kitchen Cabinets Made of?


Hardwood is one of the most popular choices for kitchen cabinets today. It’s durable, beautiful, and available in many different colors and styles. The only major downside is that hardwood kitchen cabinets are also typically the most expensive kind that you can find.


Plywood is made out of thin layers of wood that are stacked on top of one another and glued together. In cabinet applications, it’s a super versatile material, which resists moisture and has a lot of built-in strength.

Plywood isn’t as strong or as beautiful as hardwood. But it’s cheaper and offers moisture resistance, which hardwood doesn’t. It’s a good middle-ground between hardwood and some of the weaker, more affordable materials covered below.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Many cabinets from IKEA are made out of MDF. This is made out of small sawdust fibers that are bound together with a chemical agent that makes them dense. MDF is affordable and super easy to paint. But it’s prone to swelling when not properly sealed and isn’t strong enough for many applications.

Wood Veneer (Finishes)

Wood veneer is a thin layer of hardwood that’s applied over the top of a cabinet to change its appearance. This lets you get the high-quality look that you want in your kitchen without necessarily having to pay for 100% hardwood kitchen cabinets.

But appearance is the only benefit you get with this option. The strength and durability of your cabinets will be dependent upon the material that’s underneath the veneer.


Particleboard is an engineered wood product that involves binding recycled wood products together into sheets. It’s a super affordable material that can be sturdy and durable if you purchase a high-quality option. But it’s prone to sagging and warping since it’s not moisture-friendly.

Other Materials

Other materials are less common in kitchen cabinets, but you may see options that are made out of laminate and thermofoil.

  • Laminate cabinets are made out of three resin-saturated layers, which you can use to give your cabinets a new appearance – similar to wood veneer. This can be a good choice if you’re looking to spice your kitchen up with uniquely-designed cabinets.
  • Thermofoil is another finish that’s similar to wood veneer. It closely resembles the look of real wood but at a more budget-friendly price point.

What is the best material for high-quality cabinets?

If you want the best of the best, then hardwood and plywood are the way to go.

Hardwood creates beautiful, long-lasting cabinets that will withstand the stresses that you put them through over time. Plywood kitchen cabinets are also very durable and can make a great aesthetic addition to many different types of kitchens.

If you’re willing to spend a lot to get the best-looking cabinets, then go with hardwood. But if you want a cost-effective alternative that will still get the job done, plywood is a great backup option.

Which cabinet materials should be avoided?

Particleboard is typically something you should stay away from for kitchen cabinets. It’s weak, not resistant to moisture, and isn’t durable enough to last for very long – especially in a busy kitchen. If you go with particleboard, you could have to replace it very quickly.

Caruso Kitchens Can Build Your Dream Kitchen Cabinets

Caruso Kitchens proudly offers semi-custom and full-custom furniture-grade cabinetry and storage units for any residential application. From kitchens and baths to entertainment centers and home offices, from wet/dry bars and computer armoires to children’s playrooms and libraries, we are your single source for highly functional, attractive storage for every room in your home.

Caruso represents 8 distinct cabinet manufacturers that meet any budget. We offer abundant choices in an unlimited array of finishes, door styles, and wood species — including hardwoods, veneers, and exotic woods — as well as a seemingly endless choice of colors.

But don’t take our word for it. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.