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Best Kitchen Cabinet Materials and How to Choose the Best Material for Your Needs

The color and style of the kitchen cabinets you choose have big impacts on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. However, the materials that your cabinets are made from also make a big difference in how they perform on a daily basis and for the long-term.

This article will provide an overview of the different types of materials available for kitchen cabinets and offer tips for how to choose the best material for your specific needs.

Solid Wood

The most common type of cabinet material used in kitchens today is wood, but there are various types of wood that you can choose from. Popular wood choices are white oak, red oak, maple, hickory, ash, and cherry. Each of these types of wood has its advantages and unique colors and grains. For example, red oak is durable and less expensive than other types of wood, while hickory has a rustic look and cherry appears more elegant and formal.

Wood Veneer

Wood veneers are an economical choice compared to solid wood that can look very nice when placed over a composite substrate. Veneers can take on high-gloss, semi-gloss, and matte finishes; however, they are subject to discoloration over time when exposed to lots of sunlight.


Laminate is another popular cabinet material choice because it is durable, affordable, and can take on the appearance of wood and metal. It is easy to care for and doesn’t require extensive polishing. It is also moisture-resistant, which is good to know if you have children in your kitchen.


You can also buy kitchen cabinets that are made with plywood, a material that is strong and typically less expensive than solid wood options. Cabinetmakers place thin layers of wood next to each other to create plywood. This material is typically covered with a wood veneer or laminate to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Medium-Density Fiberboard

Medium-density fiberboard is a solid wood-alternative for cabinets that is durable and cost-effective. It is a substrate material that is made from small fibers and that holds screws well. You can shape and paint the edges and create smooth surfaces with this material.


Thermofoil is a vinyl film that is applied with heat and pressure to a substrate. It resembles wood with greater wood detail than other synthetic materials, such as laminate. What’s great about thermofoil cabinets is that they don’t chip easily and are easy to take care of.

Stainless Steel

For a unique and modern look, you can also use stainless steel materials for cabinets. This type of metal is very durable and is resistant to stains and rust. They’re also easy to clean. However, stainless steel cabinets tend to be more expensive than other options, they may scratch or dent with regular use, and you might notice fingerprints on them frequently.


Alternatively, aluminum can be used as a kitchen cabinet material for cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Doors are often made with high-quality anodized aluminum and come in finishes like brushed stainless aluminum, polished chrome aluminum, or natural aluminum.


Polyethylene is often used for exterior cabinet doors for outdoor kitchens or even kitchens on boats. This is because polymer doors are resistant to UV rays and can withstand rain and other weather conditions without fading or becoming yellow over time.

No matter which type of cabinet material you choose, make sure to stop by one of our beautifully appointed New York showrooms to browse kitchen design products that will pair perfectly with your cabinets. In the meantime, visit the online gallery of our showrooms for some inspiration!

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