Construction Industrial Info
By Anna | 23 July 2022 | 0 Comments

Plywood Kitchen Cabinet or Particle Board Kitchen Cabinet?

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. There are usually two options for cabinet box construction: plywood and particle board. 



* What is Plywood?

Plywood is made up of layers of wood veneer glued together, alternating the grain of the wood for stability.


* What is Particle board?

 Particle board (also known as furniture board) is made of wood fibers glued and pressed together, sometimes using a mold. Each material has benefits to consider.

Plywood is generally thought to be the better product when building cabinets. Plywood has superior construction longevity because it holds screws and other mechanical fasteners more efficiently. It has superior tensile and shearing properties (meaning it resists pulling forces and side-to-side movement) and a slight advantage in compressive strength (ability to bear weight). Plywood also weighs less than particle board, which can be significant when hanging large cabinets. In addition, plywood holds glue joints together better than particle board and is more resistant to dents and scratches.

Particle board has its own advantages, including greater dimensional stability: it does not warp due to temperature fluctuations and other changes in the environment. Most notably, particle board costs less than plywood. Particle board is often made of scraps of wood that are considered waste. Many plywood manufacturers also make particle board from the leftovers. Because of this, particle board is less expensive. By using particle board, one can save between 8% and 12% on the cost of cabinets.


A major downside to particle board is its lack of moisture resistance. If moisture is absorbed through the end grain, particle board will swell—for example, if water on the floor comes into contact with the unfinished bottom edge of a cabinet box. To address this potential problem, VOUGUER seals the ends of all particle board pieces with edge banding. Plywood, though more water resistant, is also not very durable in continually wet conditions.
16mm Carb2 Melamine Laminated Particle Board Chipboard for Cabinet  Furniture - China Particle Board, Melamine Faced Particle Board |

An interesting thing is, that we found that many people choose the plywood to make the kitchen cabinet in the past decades. However, most of our customers prefer to choose particleboard kitchen cabinets now.


In the very beginning, we think our customers prefer to get particleboard kitchen cabinets since their gloss surface. After talking with them, we are surprised that they know more about cabinet box construction and materials than we would think.


Customers know cabinets made by expensive brands like Kraftmaid, are made from particleboard. If particleboard is good enough for premium European cabinet brands, it’s definitely good enough for the more affordable options.


As a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, VOUGUER would like to give some ideas to all of you.

Kitchen Cabinet Pros Cons
Particle board cabinet - Inexpensive
- Widely found
- Mostly stable if the veneer remains in place
- Damaged by moisture
- Heavy
- Can warp over time
Plywood cabinet - Strong
- Less susceptible to water damage
- Lighter in weight
- More expensive

Importantly, plywood and particle board can vary greatly in quality, making it hard to say that one is always better than the other. The quality of plywood depends on the number of plies and the thickness of the wood. Fewer plies are less stable, so quality plywood will have more plies. The quality also depends on how well the plies are glued together. Low-quality plywood will have gaps, making it less reliable. Plywood used for frameless cabinetry usually has between seven and nine plies and a thickness of 3/4 of an inch. For face-frame cabinetry, half-inch plywood is used for the sides, top, and bottom because the frame adds strength to the overall box structure; shelves are 3/4 inch plywood. So, though plywood is superior in general, there are many cases where particle board will perform well enough to justify the cost savings.

Particle board quality depends on the size of the particles that make it up, the glue that holds it together, and the density of the board. Because particle board can be made out of a lot of wood waste, its quality can vary quite a bit. Smaller particles make the board better quality, denser, and heavier. One of the best kinds of particle board is medium density fiberboard (MDF), which is high quality but can be very heavy, making it difficult to hang large cabinets. Particle board is also easily gouged or scratched; however, this is not as much of an issue if it is protected by wood veneer or laminate.

Because plywood is superior to particle board in many ways, it is usually the better choice if cost is not an issue. However, the fact that particle board is less expensive makes it a reasonable choice in many situations. If the cabinet is large and going to be hung, plywood may be the better option because it is lighter. In most other situations, particle board will work almost as well as plywood. When renovating, be sure to consider the benefits of plywood against the limitations of your budget to decide which choice is best.

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