Solid Wood Cabinets with Plywood Sides versus Cabinets with Particle Board Sides|Plywood vs. Particl

Published: 13th November 2009
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I have been looking for kitchen cabinets for about two months when I came across RTA kitchen cabinets. I thought RTA was just another brand name, but it turned out that RTA is an acronym in the building supply industry. It stands for ready to assemble cabinets. These cabinets not only surprised me because of their low prices, (I found that RTA kitchen cabinets online were about 35% percent lower than retail cabinets), but also the quality of these cabinets was just as good or better than comparable cabinets in the same price range.



While price was important, the biggest difference seemed to be the fact that some of the name brand cabinets used particle board for the construction, while most RTA cabinets were using plywood for the cabinet box. After researching it online, I had some serious questions about using particle board for something like kitchen cabinets. I mean it seems to work fine for stereo stands and book shelves? So then why is it bad for a kitchen?



What I found out was that particle board is made of crushed wood or "particles". It is then mixed with glue and formed into the boards that make the panels for the kitchen cabinets. This sounds like a good idea until you find out that particle board naturally absorbs water. From this the kitchen cabinets will take on water in many different ways. Including spills in the kitchen, splashes from the sink, and believe it or not, particle board absorbs water from the air. With these facts, it became apparent that no matter how great these cabinets looked -- I was not going to buy something made of particle board. To clarify, I would buy a stereo shelf made of particle board, but nothing that would be near water.



Next I found that there is no such thing as all solid wood cabinets. This simply means that the better kitchen cabinets are made of solid wood faced fronts and plywood sides. A cabinet made entirely of wood is a special made custom cabinet that is usually not found in any home in this day and age. The RTA kitchen cabinets that I discovered online were made of the plywood sides, solid wood fronts and were also the same cabinets that I found in retail stores - the only difference was the price. The online RTA kitchen cabinets were considerably less money and this made for an easy choice.



Through all of this I realized that a particle board cabinet is not the best idea for a kitchen. Many stores sell these cabinets and there is no argument with the fact that they look great, but unfortunately they will eventually absorb water and start falling apart. I was initially looking for a good cabinet at a reasonable price, but what I found was even better when I factored in the quality and price of the ready to assemble or RTA kitchen cabinet. So overall a cabinet with plywood sides and a solid wood front is a good investment: it will fulfill all of your kitchen cabinet needs and it will also save you money. The only thing now is to shop around, look online by doing a few Google searches for RTA kitchen cabinets, and also compare prices at a local store. Hopefully through all of this you will find a good deal and make an informed decision on your kitchen cabinets.

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