Month: April 2019

Plywood Vs Particle Board Kitchen Cabinets: How to Choose

We face many decisions in any home renovation – not least of all is the kitchen. Aside from the tricky aesthetics such as countertops and backsplash, wall color, and front finish of the cabinets, there are all of the structural issues as well. Countertops and cabinets are great examples of where function and form need to be balanced just perfectly – we want them to last years to come, but we don’t want to sacrifice a beautiful kitchen for a durable one.

What’s behind the beautiful wood finish?

Behind the beautiful wood finish of the cabinets, or in many cases, the painted or glass doors, you have the cabinet box that holds it all together. This is behind the doors and under the counters, it makes up the back, top, sides, bottom, and even the shelves.

The main two options we typically see are plywood and particle board. How do you know which will work better in your home? If you are unfamiliar with the difference between these two, that is because they are actually quite similar in a way.

Each one relies on glue adhesive to gain their supreme durability. Glue is used in plywood to adhere several layers of wood veneer together with alternating grain to add stability, whereas particle board uses glue to connect smaller wood fibers together into sort of a pressed board, often with a mold used. Each type of wood has its own benefits and should be considered individually for your particular set of needs.

Plywood has long been thought to be a vastly superior construction material, particularly with cabinets. This honor was not given to plywood lightly by any means. It gets its durability from its layers, particularly with the grain being altered, which means that if each layer were to break it would do so in a different direction. Therefore, each layer resists breakage due to the opposing forces on either side of it.

Plywood is also advantageous in holding mechanical fasteners efficiently, meaning that a screw will stay in place very well within the plywood’s layers. Compressive strength is another advantage of plywood, meaning that it has a high weight-bearing ability, despite the fact that it is light in weight compared to particle board. Last, its tensile and shearing properties are superior, making it efficient in resisting pulling motions and side-to-side forces.

While it may seem as though plywood is quickly pulling ahead here, consider the advantages of particle board. It has dimensional stability that far outweighs that of plywood, due to its smaller pieces adhered together. This means that warping is minimized, even with fluctuations in temperature or other environmental factors.

Particle board has one extremely significant advantage, which is that it costs much less than plywood – or most materials for that matter. In fact, a homeowner can save approximately 8-12% on their cabinets when the boxes are made from particle board. This may or may not be outweighed by their lack of moisture resistance, which can also be addressed with a sealant.

MDF and HDF

Other types of material to consider include MDF and HDF material. You may wonder what is the difference between particle board, MDF and HDF?

MDF stands for medium density fiberboard. This is a wood composite made up of wood fibers. There is no visible wood grain, rings, or knots. Advantages are that it’s low cost, smooth, east to pain, and actually stronger than particle board. However, you can’t stain it and it can be quite heavy.

HDF which stands from high-density fiberboard. HDF is far denser than particle board or MDF, the density allows for minimal hairline cracking which occurs more on less dense materials. HDF fiberboard is a great choice solid painted finish. This and with the lesser dense but still heavy MDF board, make great choices for a solid painted finish for cabinet doors.

The truth is, these different types of boards can both vary in their individual quality, from one to the next. Keeping these advantages and disadvantages of each one in mind, along with your home’s needs and your budgets, it may be best to ask a professional at Cabinet Era to help steer you in the right direction. After all, the experience that comes from building and installing cabinets for years is a great tool to share with you, in order to help you with your dream kitchen.

Painted Vs Stained Kitchen Cabinets

Painted Vs Stained Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing kitchen cabinets is a good way to increase the value of your home and make the room look better. A newly redesigned kitchen can be more efficient with the cabinet placement more to your liking. The choice between painting and staining depends on the effect you want when the kitchen is completed.

The Effects of Painting

Paint will hide flaws in the cabinets that are the characteristics of the wood. Different grain patterns and knots will be covered with quality paint. This leaves a finish that is smooth and will blend in with the rest of the kitchen.

There are a lot more color choices if you decide to go with paint. Most stains will just accent the wood with different shades, from a dark, medium, or lighter color. Paint is thicker and sticks to the wood instead of blending in as a stain does.

Paint costs more than stain and is harder to match the color if it becomes chipped or damaged. Unless you paint the cabinets yourself and have leftover paint, touch-ups will be more easily noticed. If you want your cabinets to look flawless with colors that you can’t get with stains, painting is the way to go.

Staining is for Wood Lovers

Wood has a natural beauty that shouldn’t be covered with paint. The stain will soak into the cabinets and accent the features that paint will cover up. If you have natural wood floors, stained cabinets will blend in better with the flooring.

If a stained cabinet becomes chipped or damaged, it is easier to touch-up than paint. Since each piece of wood takes stain a little different, blending a touch-up will not be noticed as easily. Staining usually cost less than painting, saving you close to 15 percent.

The Double Effect

By mixing stained and painted cabinets, you will be able to blend them in together for a 2 tone effect. Painting the outer cabinets while leaving the center one stained will result in a unique look that will give you the best of both worlds.

Designing a new kitchen cabinet layout can be helpful with a professional opinion. They will help with cabinet placement and give you ideas on painting and staining. With a choice of many different cabinet designs to choose from, an expert’s opinion can solve a lot of problems by helping you visualize the kitchen, and using chosen cabinet faces in the design. 

Humidity is also a big enemy to the durability of your cabinets. If it is too low, the cabinets will dry out and possibly constrict and crack. With the humidity too high, it’s possible the wood will warp, swell, and split. Controlling the humidity in the kitchen will lead to a lot longer cabinet life. For more information on how you can get the best cabinets for your home, contact Cabinet Era today!

How To Maximize Kitchen Storage

A kitchen serves many varied purposes. Kitchens are where people make wonderful meals all week long and relax on weekends. They’re also where homeowners keep important things they use during any given week to cook. This is why kitchen storage is so important. Proper storage makes it easy to cook fast and delicious meals. Finding storage is easier than ever with these inexpensive, useful tricks.

Lazy Susan

The classic lazy susan is modern again. Today’s modern versions are streamlined and easy to keep on hand. They often have multiple tiers, allowing for maximum storage. This is a good place to keep things that are in frequent use such as foods that get eaten a lot. Place nuts, dried fruit and fresh fruit on hand at all times to encourage children to keep to healthy snacks.

Roll Out Trays

Increase your kitchen’s functionality with roll-out trays. Roll out trays also makes it easy to reach each item in your kitchen. Nothing gets pushed to the back and left there for months. They’re also helpful for people who may have mobility issues. Like the shelving with beautiful shelf paper to catch any potential food leaks.

Pot Rack

A pot rack is a flexible thing that can be attached to just about any surface in the kitchen. Put one on the ceiling that comes down on top of an island. This is an excellent way to show off beautiful copper pots. They can also be hung on a spare wall so you can keep large soup pots and everything you need to cook within easy reach.

Mug Hooks

Show off your favorite mug collection to everyone else. Mug hooks are easy to install under any form of shelving. A single hook may hold as many ten or more mugs. Beautiful, brightly colored mugs add color to any kitchen. This is a good way to keep the mugs from breaking. If you feel the urge to buy more mugs, all you have to do is place a few more mug hooks and you’re good to go.

Sink Cutting Board

The sink is one of the most useful spaces in the kitchen. If you have a smaller kitchen, you can make the sink do double duty. A sink cutting board can be fitted on top of the item. This makes it easy to do all sorts of things including chop vegetables and meat. Many sink cutting boards also come with a colander along one side. Use this feature to wash anything before you start to cook it.

Cabinet Doors

Cabinets help keep things organized in all parts of the kitchen. Homeowners should take full advantage of all areas of the cabinets. One place to find useful additional storage is on the interior sides of the cabinets. Many stores sell easy shelving. Shelving can be placed on the sides. This is an easy way to add storage without spending a lot of money.

Installing Roll Out Trays

Storage is crucial in any kitchen. People need space to store important items like silverware cooking utensils. One way to add additional storage to your kitchen is with the use of rollout trays. These are trays that make it easy to find things in your home. All you have to do is pull them out. This is a lot easier than reaching down and looking for items that are deep within the recesses of the cabinets. The same is true of items that might larger or have fallen back. The user can take advantage of these trays to locate everything they might need when making a simple lunch or three-course meal. People can choose to buy ready-made trays. They can also find rollout trays that can be installed in their own home. Installation is easy and simple.