Choosing the Right Cabinets for Your Home: Exploring Different Types of Cabinet Materials

Cabinets are an essential part of any kitchen remodel or bathroom update. They not only provide storage but also add to the aesthetic appeal of the space. Choosing the perfect cabinets for your home can be daunting since there are various types and materials to choose from. When making your decision, you need to consider the style, quality, cost, durability, and maintenance of the cabinets. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different types of cabinets and cabinet materials to help you make the right choice for your home.

Kitchen Remodel results with custom kitchen cabinets made from high quality cabinet materials

Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Cabinet materials play a significant role in the durability, quality, and overall appearance of the cabinets. The most commonly used materials are:

Solid wood

Solid wood is the traditional material used to make cabinets. While it is the most durable and high-quality cabinet material, it is also the most expensive. For cabinets that will be stained or sealed with a natural finish, solid wood is an ideal choice, as it offers unique grain patterns. Solid wood kitchen cabinets can also be repaired and refinished, meaning they can last for generations and be moved between rooms or across homes. Care must be taken to maintain solid wood cabinets, as the wood can be prone to warping or expansion caused by temperature changes and humidity. Popular wood options for cabinets include maple, cherry, oak, and hickory.


Plywood offers the beautiful wood grain and durability of solid wood with added strength, thanks to the multiple layers. This material is made by stacking several thin layers of wood together with the grains alternately running in different directions. It is durable and resistant to warping, making it ideal for use in humid areas. Plywood cabinets can also be repaired and refinished just like solid wood cabinets. Although it is heavier than other kitchen cabinet materials, plywood is a versatile and durable option for cabinets in nearly any environment.

MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard)

MDF offers a less expensive option for cabinets, at the cost of durability and strength. This material is more susceptible to water and moisture than solid wood or plywood cabinets. It is made with wood fibers mixed with resin and is available in different finishes and colors. Typically, the box of the cabinets will be made out of MDF and the doors are made from a different material, such as solid wood. This cost-effective solution can be painted or stained to look very similar to the other wood options.

Thermofoil cabinets

Thermofoil cabinets offer an affordable alternative to solid wood cabinets, making them an attractive option for those working within a budget. The manufacturing process allows for efficient production, which in turn contributes to a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality or design.

Wood Veneer Cabinets

Veneer cabinets, a popular choice in modern cabinetry, offer a balanced blend of affordability and aesthetic appeal. Comprising a thin layer of authentic wood adhered to a plywood or MDF base, they emulate the look of solid wood cabinets without the associated cost. Their strengths include an extensive array of design options, mimicking various wood species and finishes, resulting in a natural and inviting ambiance.

Veneer cabinets can be almost as stable as solid wood, thanks to their base materials that mitigate warping and splitting. However, they are susceptible to wear and peeling from moisture and friction over time. In comparison to custom wood cabinets, veneer cabinets offer a cost-effective alternative with a slight compromise on authenticity. When contrasted with plywood cabinets, veneer cabinets often present a more refined appearance but can be less durable.

Meanwhile, when compared to MDF cabinets, veneer cabinets tend to boast a superior finish but may require more attentive maintenance. In essence, veneer cabinets occupy a middle ground, offering an attractive compromise between the elegance of custom wood cabinets and the practicality of plywood or MDF options, appealing to those seeking both aesthetic charm and affordability in their cabinetry solutions.

Types of Cabinets

There are three main types of cabinets: custom, semi-custom, and stock cabinets. Custom cabinets are built to fit your specific requirements and preferences. Semi-custom cabinets come with several standard sizes and features that you can customize to meet your needs. Stock cabinets are pre-built in standard sizes and are readily available for purchase. They are the most affordable option but offer limited customization.

Kitchen remodel finished product

Cabinet Finishes

Cabinet finishes not only add aesthetic value to your home but also protect the cabinets from wear and tear. Popular finishes include:

- Paint: This provides a smooth and consistent finish with various color options to match your home’s décor.

- Stain: This highlights the natural wood grain and enhances the beauty of the cabinets. It is also available in different shades to give a unique look.

- Glaze: This is applied over paint or stain to add depth and texture to the cabinets.

Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet hardware is the final touch and can greatly enhance the overall appearance of the cabinets. Popular hardware options include:

- Knobs: These are the most common hardware accessories and are available in various designs, sizes, and colors.

- Pulls: These provide a better grip and convenience when opening cabinets and drawers. They are also available in different shapes, sizes, and styles.

- Hinges: These are essential for cabinet doors and come in various types, sizes, and finishes.

Call a Licensed Kitchen Remodeler

Choosing the right cabinets for your home can be challenging, especially with the various types of cabinets and cabinet materials available in the market. However, by considering the style, quality, cost, durability, and maintenance of the cabinets, you can make an informed decision that will add value to your home. Whether you opt for custom, semi-custom, or stock cabinets, ensure that you choose high-quality materials that will last for years. Additionally, accessorizing the cabinets with the right hardware and finishes will add aesthetic value to your home and make them more functional.

If your next project calls for new cabinets, you can't go wrong by calling Raleigh Remodeling Company. They can either source the exact cabinets you want or create a set of custom cabinets in their cabinet shop located right here in Raleigh, North Carolina. We've been serving homes in the Raleigh region since 1994 and we have become one of the most respected contracting companies in the state. We will provide the skills and expertise to create your dream kitchen, bathroom, basement, or any other room in your home. Call us today at 919-271-3892 or send us a message to get an estimate using our online contact form.