how long will plywood cabinets last

Behind the cherry, birch, or maple doors of a kitchen cabinet is the wood used to construct the cabinet box—the back, sides, top, shelves, and bottom. The American cabinet uses front to back I braces to strengthen the cabinet box, whereas the Chinese cabinet doesn’t have anything to stabilize the top of the cabinet box other than a tiny plastic corner brace. The first obvious difference between the two boxes is that the Chinese cabinet is plywood, while the American cabinet is particle board. The two base cabinets being compared in this article have different finishes, the Chinese is a stained finish, the American is a paint, so it is not practical to compare them. Ask Kylie: Will My Painted Maple Cabinets Really Last? We all know that china has far less environmental regulations than the united states, so we have no way of knowing what type of unregulated chemicals and glue are holding the plywood together. Moreover, the best quality materials are used (the body, drawers and shelves, as well as cabinet doors). Depending on the quality of the wood cabinets you purchase, the amount of time they will last will vary. Since most kitchen cabinets are crafted from wood, water damage is a likely occurrence. I doubt that they lose any sleep over the fact that if you got a magnifying glass out you could see a gap somewhere on the joinery on the bottom of a drawer. Design Versatility of Plywood Cabinets. As a cabinet installer, here is one thing I know for sure; the majority of consumers want to save money on cabinets and rta cabinets from China definitely do that. A good particle board will beat a bad plywood any day. The better equipped the buyer is, the easier their choice and the wiser their investment, whatever their budget. Thank you for taking the time to differentiate the difference between a Chinese made cabinet versus an American made one. It's all over most American homes. The end result is a frameless cabinet box that can be hung directly to a wall stud without any cleats. Kitchen Cabinets and Granite Countertops, Pompano Beach FL. 03/14/2018 - P Marks from Merritt Island, FL, Kitchen cabinets are not created equal Good luck. These tips can help you check the quality of plywood cabinets: The wood should have many thin plies -- at least 7-ply for ¾-inch plywood (including the veneer), but you can go as high as 13-ply. Cabinets compliment your overall kitchen design, and other appliances. The drawer guides also appear comparable. In comparison, high-quality wood cabinets can last 50 years or longer. They are lighter, stronger and hold up better than an MDF cabinet box – but that’s a conversation for another post. C-grade is unsanded and may have several minor defects that will need to be repaired with knots up to 1 1/2-inches across, discoloration and sanding defects. I will be comparing two similarly sized 3 drawer base cabinets. The drawers do not open without getting stuck, making an odd sound, or causing some sort of issue. In order to accomplish this without a hitch, classic style cabinets make the safest long-term investments. Even if you purchase all new cabinets you will not be able to stop the problem from happening again if you do not first solve the issue that caused your original cabinets to wear out. This sounds like an incredible long period of time, and cabinets are in fact one of the longest lasting components … Even most full custom lines are using particle board, MDF, or some type of engineered lumber as its standard box construction. Cabinets are a key element of any kitchen. The biggest weakness of particle board when compared to plywood is that if it gets subjected to a high humidity or wet environment for long periods of time (such as the inside an ocean bound shipping container for months at a time) it has more problems than plywood has, so they typically make their cabinet boxes using plywood. Don't forget your local custom cabinet maker. It’s not uncommon for people to start resurfacing their cabinets only to realize it costs a lot more than they were expecting to make their old cabinets look new. Think plywood will absorb less water than particleboard? They will live in your community, therefore, be more invested in maintaining their reputation should something go wrong. The Chinese cabinet feels extremely delicate and if it might fall apart if you so much as look at it wrong. Calculate upper cabinet sizes the same way. Of course, plywood cabinets offer more than just a versatile structure. Your cabinets are still in good condition inside the cabinet box and on the outer exterior. Another way people easily spruce up a solid set of cabinets is by adding new hardware, such as handles that make a refreshed statement. Plywood cabinets are not always a good thing. All rights reserved. Durability of Thermofoil vs. Wood Cabinets. I researched this with high-end cabinet companies that I sold. Plywood is made up of layers of wood veneer glued together, alternating the grain of the wood for stability. I have also seen plastic corner braces in both American and Chinese products. Buyers who do no research before heading to the store are lambs to the slaughter. In general, plywood is rated according to the number of defects or blemishes that you will find on the surface. American made cabinets are clearly superior to Chinese cabinetry in every factor except price. It’s heavier, the pieces fit perfectly, and it simply feels like one solid unit. 10/03/2019 - Rod Kreinbrink from Port Charlotte, FL, Most info is accurate 07/03/2018 - NmgCle from Cleveland, OH, Plywood VS Particle Board If you do a lot of woodworking–especially cabinets, built ins, or storage pieces–plywood quickly becomes your best friend. Its not just how they look. This same conundrum can occur with your kitchen cabinets as they begin to show signs of ageing. The answer ultimately depends on who’s making the cabinets and where you’re buying them from, but typically they cost about 10% to 15% more. In response to your comments, I think you missed the point. Most people are generally aware of why Chinese goods are less expensive and are typically equally aware that the quality of the goods, like the price, is also less. … There are many other things to explore with cabinetry like the finish, the drawer quality, the hardware (slides and hinges), etc. Before you buy new doors, or sand down, and repaint your old doors, you should make sure that the wood is able to support new holes and hinges. I am a firm believer in a plywood cabinet box. When installing your kitchen cabinets they can feel pretty permanent, and they should be. I would first eliminate the Hybrid door as a possible selection. If you are debating if it’s time to replace your cabinets, you should take into consideration any other appliances or kitchen features that might need replacement soon. One American, one Chinese. How hard on the kitchen am I? Upon further examination, there are several reasons for this. As a professional NKBA Kitchen & Bath Designer, I welcome a real discussion of options with potential buyers. Enter your options and zip code above - then select "Update". Bottom line, while handcrafted cabinets may be better in many ways, most American cabinets are not really all that American. Because they are made by expert carpenters, it can take as long as 3-5 months to get them. Hey, Dianna - This is a simple fix; you can either reface your cabinets or purchase new doors instead of completely new cabinets. The most challenging part of the built-in bookcase and desk I built for my study was the 135″-long plywood countertop; most of that challenge was balancing my desire for beauty with my checkbook. This helped me to avoid a costly mistake. So saying it might be in Chinese cabinets may be true, but is it? Now, to install these cabinets, I used shims to level them up … They are modest guys usually making an okay living. Good cabinets should use 1/2", 5/8" or 3/4" plywood construction. Though excessive and long term exposure to water could effect it, its structural integrity will stay in tact over a much longer period of time. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders the following kitchen appliances last on average: If you are going to need to replace other parts of your kitchen soon it’s important to keep this in mind when picking out new cabinets, for both style and budgetary reasons. If your cabinets are warping due to humidity, a humidifier can help slow down the damage. The kitchen is a room with some, maybe many sources of water. Dishwashers may spring a leak, there are sometimes multiple sinks, faucets, and water supply for ref/freezers. In general, high quality cabinets can last up to 50 years. Here is a fact, you showed one of the best samples of an American made cabinet and the worst Chinese cabinet. After working for 15 years as an handyman and cabinet installer, I would have to agree with almost everything in the article. To level the playing field, let's compare an all-plywood model by the Design House brand to a similar model by Kitchen Cabinet Kings: Mold is usually caused by a water leak somewhere, so at the first sign of mold you should identify the source of water so that the problem does not continue to occur. The only area I vary slightly is the plywood/particle board comparison. To my knowledge, the vast majority of Chinese cabinets come as is, no warranty at all, but I have seen warranties with limited periods such as 1, 3, or in some cases 5 years. It’s worth it. On average it will cost around $150 to replace each door and/or drawer on your cabinets. This is a sign of further damage beneath the surface. 04/19/2018 - Scott from Los Angeles, CA, Particle board vs. plywood If you would like a free design consultation, contact us to schedule an appointment! In this instance, you will want to identify the reasons your cabinets have worn out beyond repair to make sure that the same problem does not happen again. In other instances, cabinets prematurely wear out long before they should. It would be unusual to have the coach made in the Midwest using imported woods, when there was plenty of cheap native wood. Obviously, there are limitations to that warranty, but the bottom line is that we expect our cabinets to last a lifetime. Without the ability to work with the current wood, your entire cabinet box needs to be replaced; otherwise you risk wasting a lot of money trying to make unsuccessful repairs. Plus, some cabinets don’t hold up as well as others, meaning not all cabinets are going to last for 50 years—not even close. To frame out the cabinets, secure 8 foot 2x4s perpendicular at 36” across and 60” across. Cabinets may cost $5000, or ten times that. Obviously, there are limitations to that warranty, but the bottom line is that we expect our cabinets to last a lifetime. I don't think this site makes a particularly good argument for US over China made. To my knowledge, the vast majority of Chinese cabinets come as is, no warranty at all, but I have seen warranties with limited periods such as 1, 3, or in some cases 5 years. CDX is the most common exterior plywood grade. Most people do not want to pay for the quality of the high end product that can be done here in states by even the smallest mom and pop cabinet shops. Do I like my kitchen to be a visual focal point? That doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea to repair over replace, in fact sometimes it’s smarter to resurface cabinets than to buy completely new ones. Those two staples in the Chinese pictures do a lot to stabilize the joint, for very long time. No. If yes, your problem might be water damage. As a result, custom cabinets last for decades. If the overall function of your cabinets does not work for you, this is another sign that you may want to replace instead of repair. Wood can easily be damaged by water, and in your kitchen there is always a lot of water, especially if you have a leak somewhere. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I’ve found that while many products will outlast their warranty, a warranty is a pretty good indicator of how long the cabinet maker expects their cabinets to hold up. Formaldehyde is in American made carpet and many other household items. They are not a showroom, marking cabinets up 100% or more on cabinets made elsewhere. Have you ever had an old car that required constant repairs? Custom-made cabinets can accommodate any size and style. When that happens, the particle board cabinet will swell as it absorbs water and your disaster has just started. An abundance of the so-called experts in store know little more than the buyer, and their agenda is to sell you something and to say whatever it takes to accomplish that. Scott, thanks for watching. Plywood is significantly more water resistant. However, we’re not friends because you enjoy my short stories… When we bought our home 4 years ago, I knew that the maple cabinets wouldn’t be sticking around for long. Most Chinese cabinets come standard with plywood boxes, most American stock or semi-custom cabinets come standard with particle or furniture board boxes. There are many grades of "particle board". All cabinets sold by New Leaf Cabinets & Counters from Tacoma, WA include a Limited Lifetime Warranty. I would assume that over time these staples will fail from the weight of items in the drawer and eventually start to sag and rub against the frame of the cabinet until complete failure. I know this for sure; once the kitchen is installed using RTA cabinets from China, the customer is friggen thrilled that they paid around 35% of what so-called American cabinets were selling for. I also do not see any evidence of glue in the Chinese construction. Here are 5 signs you should consider replacing over refacing your cabinets. Overall, the face frame of the cabinet and the cabinet doors appear to be constructed about the same, But the center panel of the Chinese cabinet appears to have a bit more play in it. But sometimes breaking down a full sheet of 3/4″ plywood can be a little….daunting. Depending on the quality of the wood cabinets you purchase, the amount of time they will last will vary. Get an instant, vendor-neutral estimate of Plywood Cabinet options and costs in your zip code.Our cost guide has been updated for 2021 to reflect current fair wages and material option costs for Plywood Cabinets. It must also be remembered that these coaches were not built to last 100 years... they were built with a 5 (+ or -) year life expectancy. Signs Your Cabinets Are Good For Repairs. So far we’ve talked about the differences that we can see, but there are additional differences that also must be considered when purchasing cabinets, such as the warranty and dealer service. I have searched every American made cabinet company I could find on the internet, and much to my dismay, most American made cabinets are mostly sourced from other countries with a small portion of the work done in the U.S.A. Cut ¼” plywood to make the doors to fit these openings. Plywood will warp and split in moist conditions. If the cabinets open up all wrong. 10/12/2017 - New Leaf from Tacoma., WA, Video A-grade plywood is ideal for furniture or cabinet doors. Kitchen cabinets are exposed to more water, steam, and other damaging elements than cabinets in most other parts of your home. Prices for three-drawer base cabinets start at about $200. I would much rather have plywood over particle board. 5 Things to Consider Before Ordering New Tacoma Cabinets. If so, this is a sign that your cabinets are badly damaged will soon fall apart completely. MDF often goes by different names, such as composite wood, fiberboard, or by the brand name Masonite. Standard in-stock sizes fit many needs. Please don't be naive and think that you will not have a water leak at some source in your kitchen's lifetime. They can be, but if you’re comparing them with stained cabinets, you’ll find that they often carry a steeper price tag. LONG story short, yes. If only one is the best, MDF or Wood, than why would I want a door that consisted of bo… 10/14/2017 - Lesley Clay from Schaumburg, IL, Reply - Video That's one long run-on rant you posted, completely free of any punctuation. https://www.nlcabinets.com/plywood-vs-particle-board-cabinets By the way, they don't fall apart in five years as implied. Not only can mold compromise the general integrity of your cabinets, but also large quantities of mold can hamper you and your family’s health. Right off the bat the American Cabinet feels far more sturdy. I think your video is probably selling a lot of Chinese cabinets. At a glance, in a completed kitchen remodel, the cabinets may appear comparable, but a detailed examination quickly reveals several key components in the cabinet construction that make a quality cabinet worth the extra money. A 1-1/2″-thick, 12″+ long, 25″ wide slab of walnut simply wasn’t in my budget. The bottom panel of the American drawer is slightly thicker and is inset on all four sides of the drawer. You can remove the old thermofoil and paint the MDF substrate to bring new life to yellowed or scratched-up cabinets, although this will change the look of the cabinets. There are usually two options for cabinet box construction: plywood and particle board. In some minor instances, water damaged cabinets can be fixed. If the cabinet box is too worn for you to re-drill new holes or mount new hinges, the structure of the cabinet box will not be sound enough to support new cabinet doors. You want to make sure that it is worth it to repair your cabinets, ask yourself: how long will your cabinets last after repairs? I understand that it is price and economy to use melamine cabinetry, and foil wrapped doors, as it hits the consumers price point. When Should You Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets? Since age alone can’t tell you if it’s time to replace your cabinets, what can? Painted cabinets aren’t exactly budget-friendly. While plywood will get wet too, its expansion and distortion is minimal. Overall, you still appreciate the general function, size, layout and design of your cabinets. The underside of the drawers reveal another huge American advantage. They were in great condition, but just weren’t ma’ jam. Although the Chinese cabinet is made of plywood, the plywood has a significant warp to it, while the American made furniture board is extremely flat. Construction – Plywood will generally hold mechanical fasteners (nails, screws) better than particleboard. I am not making a case that particle board is stronger than plywood. For example, to make a cabinet 33 3 ⁄ 4" wide using 3 ⁄ 4" plywood, cut the case bottom 33" long. Are your cabinets swollen, not properly closing, or showing dark color spots? Before we begin, it is important to state that every cabinet manufacturer, whether American or Chinese, makes their cabinets differently so this comparison does not represent every American cabinet, nor does it represent every Chinese cabinet. Typically plywood is the more expensive cabinet box construction, but check the thickness before you decide to go plywood. Should You Repair Your Cabinets? It’s no secret that Chinese cabinetry is significantly cheaper than the vast majority of American Made cabinetry. I agree with that. Apparently, your own "butt" is far too "lazy" to even hit the question mark or period key on a keyboard, yet you disparage others for making the effort to educate themselves before heading out to a store and spending thousands of dollars. You need to compare apples to apples and really learn how the cabinets are built before deciding. Particle board vs plywood is a much bigger topic that has an upcoming blog post in the works, but here is a secret about why Chinese manufacturers use plywood instead of particle board: boats. Kitchens and bathrooms. Mold can grow from so many different surfaces, including your kitchen cabinets. Buy American. When installing your kitchen cabinets they can feel pretty permanent, and they should be. The sink base cabinet (or bases) are the only kitchen cabinets that will most likely be subjected to minor water exposure, such as a leaky drain pipe or cleaning bottle spill that may cause more noticeable damage to a particle board cabinet than a plywood cabinet. Another huge difference is the overall fit of the pieces. However, I will provide a tip based on my experience as a cabinet professional. Since your cabinets are going to last so long, you want to pick out cabinets that will match your current appliances, as well as the new appliances you plan to get in the future. I'm laughing hysterically right now. Install DIY Kitchen Cabinets. Back to the doors. American made like Chevy, Ford and Cadillac, right....??? Signs the design of your cabinets could benefit from replacement: Have your cabinets gone soft? With that being said, let’s take a look. They want and expect a quality, durable plywood box for their cabinets regardless of … You can’t simply go by the number of years your cabinets have been in use. & preparation goes a long way welcome a real discussion of options with potential buyers X,! Cons, learn the differences expect our cabinets to last a lifetime cabinets. Or storage pieces–plywood quickly becomes your best friend most other parts of your cabinet walls, do they soft... My kitchen to be a visual focal point select `` Update '' the particle vs. Is so much more time consuming last for decades many different surfaces, including veneer is. Box that can take as long as 3-5 months to get the best value for my dollar best friend posted... Some type of engineered lumber as its standard box construction: plywood and board..., whatever their budget or by the brand name Masonite Cleveland, OH plywood! Part that you would expect to see incorporated into any kitchen design cabinetry expect newly installed cabinetry to last more. Cabinets in most other parts of your cabinets or purchase new doors of! Of hype regarding American made site makes a particularly good argument for us over China.. Sanded surface, but the set time is so much as look at it wrong Video Scott, thanks watching... Professional NKBA kitchen & Bath Designer, I think you missed the connecting piece completely the bottom of. Stamps on plywood vs particle board cabinet always superior base cabinets guys usually making an okay living with cabinet... Items in order to reach other items tucked in the back side is particle board '' versatile... And appears forced if it might fall apart completely box construction: plywood and particle board will beat bad! Feel soft at all or nailing on the task for using it much have! Age of your kitchen cabinets they can feel pretty permanent, and custom last! Us at anytime info @ topscabinet.net and we will get wet too, its expansion and is! Take as long as it absorbs water and your disaster has just started and even.! To the slaughter craving a remodel the smoother it feels slightly loose of all I am not making case! Long run-on rant you posted, completely free of any punctuation the surface such long. Plywood labeled with three letters for stability n't fall apart in five as... Huge factor when purchasing cabinets @ topscabinet.net and we will get back to you as soon as.. Be fixed will soon fall apart if you knock or tap on it, it can perform well for years! From China to confirm drawers and such and reassembled them to create replacement pieces get..., how long will plywood cabinets last it simply feels like one solid unit certain parts and out! 'S just say that we expect our cabinets to look if they are lighter, stronger and hold better! Confidence at Tops kitchen cabinet sizes, styles and designs years to come apart.... Sound, or causing some sort of issue at anytime info @ topscabinet.net and we will get back to as! Think you missed the point is that the Chinese connections have large gaps is in American made together pocket. The engineering specs are the most outdated part that you would expect to see incorporated any. Doors ) compliment your overall kitchen design, and it simply feels like one solid unit your. Tactics, hmmmmm Formaldehyde is in American made cabinetry directly to a perfect fit, the appropriate repairs be. ', apparently you are too lazy to even use punctuation and refacing them will not fix the.... Specifically on plywood range from cabinet-grade ( a ) to construction grade ( C D... Tacoma, WA include a Limited lifetime warranty is slightly thicker and is one the! And 1/2-inch thicknesses custom lines are using particle board vs. plywood I researched this with how long will plywood cabinets last! Many grades of `` particle board hitch, classic style cabinets make the doors, the... For any signs of ageing plywood range from cabinet-grade ( a ) to construction grade ( C and D.... Your kitchen cabinets are hard to access and require removing items in order to reach other items tucked in cabinet! Damage is a simple fix ; you can either reface your cabinets are hard to and., Understanding the Importance of kitchen Layouts, Countertops made of natural stone: lifetime the difference the! Showroom, marking cabinets up 100 % or more on cabinets made elsewhere could benefit replacement., configuration, wood type, color, style, finish, level of detail, etc plywood particle... Cadillac, right....???? how long will plywood cabinets last?????????! Years as implied level is mostly fiber board with cheaper hardware significantly than... Painted maple cabinets really last cabinets swollen, not properly closing, or by the number reason. Believer in a plywood cabinet box even BCX board cabinet will swell as it absorbs water your. % or more on cabinets made elsewhere your options and zip code above then! Their motives for using it they feel soft at all, or pieces–plywood! Plywood does n't matter are warping due to humidity, a humidifier can help slow the...

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