Benefits of Wood Kitchen Cabinets versus Particleboard

Published: 24th September 2009
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A recent trip to the local building supply store turned into an awakening of sorts. I was in the market for new kitchen cabinets and assumed there were two types of cabinets. Pretty much all cabinets were either expensive or the complete other end - that would be cheap. Based on the prices of some of the name brand cabinets, I assumed that the more expensive cabinets would be higher quality wood and the cheaper cabinets might be a combination of wood and MDF or plywood. (Note - I actually found cardboard backing in some cabinets that were sold at Lowe's). But after some useful information from a local building supply employee I quickly learned that there is an entire world of variety in kitchen cabinets.

The first thing I learned is that solid wood faced cabinets were only the beginning; from there the quality and style grew to many different options. The way it was explained to me was that the large building supply stores (the chain store/big box retail stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, 84 Lumber, etc) have different lines of cabinets but because of the size of each cabinet, they do not stock them. So this not only increases the price, but it also adds about four to six weeks to the delivery time. How does this relate to the quality? Well, in these big box retail stores they will stock the cheapest line of cabinets - therefore if you want to pick up cabinets the same day or within the same week, you are forced to go with the lowest quality. This just added to the list of problems involved with buying from the national building supply stores.

Beyond the availability was the quality. Lowe's and Home Depot were charging up to sixty percent more (60%) than the online price for similar cabinets. Furthermore, the comparable product online usually had solid wood faced kitchen cabinets, plywood wood sides and no particle board, while most of the cabinets in retail stores still had particle board sides. To clarify - simply do not use particle board for kitchen cabinets. IKEA is known for selling them as do most of the other big stores. These cabinets might have a solid wood face, but the sides (that are made of particle board) will absorb water and eventually expand and breakdown. Even if you are careful about where your water goes, particle board will absorb moisture in the air and it will still end up in your cabinet walls. The problem is that once it starts, there is no way to fix it or repair it.

So at this point you might be thinking - where do I buy solid wood faced kitchen cabinets? And where do I find them at a reasonable price? As much as I try to support the local businesses, saving a couple of hundred dollars is hard to pass up. Shopping online for solid wood faced kitchen cabinets has become the standard when looking for quality and affordability. Do a Google search for RTA kitchen cabinets (RTA= ready to assemble). The range of choices in style and quality are truly amazing, but the one fearture that you will note about most RTA cabinets is that they DO NOT use particleboard like some of the name brand cabinets. You will quickly see that there are many solid wood faced kitchen cabinets out there - and if you compare prices you will also discover that the cost is much more affordable than buying retail.

Keep these things in mind when looking for solid wood faced cabinets - remember that there really is no such thing as all wood cabinets and most importantly, stay away from any particle board product. Even if it is "wrapped" in a foil covering, the concept of particle board has been proven to not hold up after a few years worth of use.

Looking for high quality kitchen cabinets Pennsylvania? RTA Cabinet Store, located in King of Prussia, can save you thousands on kitchen cabinets in Pennsylvania. As the direct importer of high quality cabinets, they are able to sell cabinets for 30-40% below retail. Follow the links to find out more...

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