Kitchen Cabinets

Today’s homeowner has a lot of choices when it comes to their kitchen cabinets. Modern cabinets come in a wide variety of materials, offering virtually limitless options. The decisions can sometimes feel as overwhelming as they are exciting. How do you figure out which type of kitchen cabinet materials are right for you? We’ve taken the most popular options and whittled them down to fit three important categories: Comparative Cost, Level of Maintenance, and Style.

Wood Cabinets

A classic material that offers many options in wood type, finishing, and styles. It is extremely long-lasting and stronger than cabinets made from particle board, making it a preferred choice for those living in earthquake zones.

  • Cost: High End. Cost can vary based on the availability of certain woods and the intricacy of the desired design.
  • Maintenance: Durable, but some types can be prone to scratches and other surface damage that may need to be buffed or otherwise concealed. Can be more difficult to clean depending on the complexity of surface features.
  • Style: Wood is considered a classic and timeless material that can be easily designed to match any interior style.

Lacquered Cabinets

These are made from lacquered wood fibre boards for a smooth and glossy finish. The most common type is white, but other colors can be found regularly as well.

  • Cost: Middle-to-High End. Price may be affected by color choice as well, depending on availability.
  • Maintenance: Prone to smudging with fingerprints, but it’s easier to clean and repair than other materials.
  • Style: The smooth and sleek finish makes it easy to pair with a wide range of appliances and accents. It has been a popular choice for modern homes for years and is predicted to remain popular.

Thermoplastic Cabinets

Made from wood fibre and PVC, thermoplastic can be made in a large variety of styles and colors. It easily mimics higher-end styles, particularly that of lacquered looks. It is also more durable than other materials in the same or lower price bracket.

  • Cost: Middle Range.
  • Maintenance: Extremely easy to clean. Durable against shock and scratches, and easy to repair the rare scratch or other damage.
  • Style: Unlike other materials that offer relative ease of refinishing or painting, once thermoplastic is treated it can’t be changed.

Polyester Cabinets

A cost-effective solution for those who want a modern, stylish remodel without the price of more high-end materials. These combine wood fibre, melamine, and polyester film to create elegant finishes.

  • Cost: Low-to-Middle Range.
  • Maintenance: Is more scratch-resistant than other materials in lower brackets, however, damages can be very difficult to repair when they do happen.
  • Style: Can be a highly customizable material, used to mimic higher-end styles and finishes at a greatly reduced cost.

Melamine Cabinets

Made from very affordable pressed wood with a paper-resin finish, melamine is the lowest costing material on the list. However, it is also the most fragile material.

  • Cost: Low End. Very affordable for almost all renovation budgets.
  • Maintenance: Easy to clean, but more prone to scratches and shock damage than others on the list. Very difficult to repair.
  • Style: Comes in a variety of colors and imitation finishes, however, door styles are greatly limited to mostly flat and square.


All credit goes to Alex Chong Building – Kitchen Cabinet Expert in London Ontario