A Buyer’s Guide to the Best Cabinet Materials

When you’re in the market for new kitchen cabinetry, the most important factor worth considering beyond the design or color is the quality.

Whether or not your new cabinets are high quality and built to last comes down to the materials that are used in their construction, which varies greatly depending on the manufacturer. The material will ultimately determine the lifespan and durability of your new cabinets, so it’s key to weigh your options carefully.

At RTA Cabinet Store, the materials we use – like hardwood, fiberboard, and plywood – make our cabinets high quality and also incredibly easy to assemble, taking away any guesswork for homeowners.

To help you make the right decision that meets your needs and expectations, here’s our comprehensive buyer’s guide to the best cabinet materials available—all available at RTA Cabinet Store.

Dove White Frameless Cabinets

Tried-and-true hardwood

Perhaps the most popular material for kitchen cabinetry, solid hardwood, is known for its sturdiness and long-lasting durability. Hardwood does an excellent job at creating a framework or foundation for a cabinet that will stand the test of time. Plus, the versatility of this material and the many colors it comes in means hardwood works well with a wide range of design styles. It’s also your best bet for those who want to make an environmentally-conscious choice, as solid wood is generally better for the environment than manufactured materials.

Many of our cabinet doors and door frames at RTA are made of hardwood, for this material will maintain its beautiful, natural appearance for years, if not for decades. Because it is a natural material, hardwood can expand and contract with humidity changes, which is why we combine our hardwood products with other components (like plywood) to account for this and certify their durability.

Storm Gray Frameless Cabinets

Engineered wood: HDF & MDF

Another option that is typically less expensive than hardwood but still top quality is the engineered wood variant known as HDF (high-density fiberboard). HDF is made with wood fibers tightly mixed with resins and glue, offering the appearance of hardwood cabinets without the price tag or susceptibility to the effects of varying temperatures. Much more dense than solid wood, HDF is extremely hard and often heavy.

Similarly, MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is another engineered wood variant that is not quite as dense as HDF. This makes this material more flexible and lighter weight, resulting in an even less expensive option for homeowners on a budget. MDF Is commonly used as a substrate for cabinet surface layers like laminate and veneer. Perfectly smooth and moisture resistant, this material works particularly well for cabinet panels, shelves, and drawers – and it’s a favorite of homeowners for being super easy to clean!

Springfield Slab Cabinets

Many-layered plywood

The last material we utilize in our cabinet designs at RTA is plywood. While you may hear the word ‘plywood’ and immediately think of a cheap, perhaps even low-quality construction material, the truth is that plywood is just as suitable for cabinetry as it is for subfloors thanks to its versatility, durability, and attractiveness.

Think of plywood as a multi-layered cake of lumber and glue. The word ‘plywood’ itself stems from the French word plier, meaning “to fold,” which is a reference to the many layers that make up plywood. We use plywood at RTA to construct our cabinet boxes, as it’s a champ at making resilient frames and boxes that can easily withstand the weight of stone countertops or the daily use of the kitchen.

No matter which of these options you decide to go with for your new cabinets, you can trust that our products at RTA are built to last and are made with only the best materials. Have more questions? Check out our top RTA frequently asked questions from our customers.

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