Rubio Featured Gray Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets Materials Guide

Cabinets are an essential part of any kitchen design. Not only do they provide us with ample storage space, but cabinets play a key role in the aesthetics and flow of your kitchen area. Whether planning a new construction project or remodeling your current kitchen, choosing the right cabinet materials to fit your specific needs and style is one of the first steps you should take.

 Cabinets Direct USA offers a wide range of beautifully designed and cost-effective cabinet materials to make your kitchen stand out. Here’s a complete guide to the various kitchen cabinet materials available in NJ, as well as the pros and cons of each type. 

Types of Cabinet Materials


Hardwood, also known as solid wood, is easily one of the most popular cabinet materials and has been in use for decades. Hardwood is resistant to denting and scratching, but it does cost more than any other material because of its high durability and overall quality. Some hardwood types, such as maple or hickory, will resist damage more than softwood species like walnut and mahogany.


Particleboard, also known as low-density fiberboard (LDF) or chipboard, is an engineered wood product made by pressing together recycled wood products and forming them into sheets. Particleboard is sealed in with laminate or wood veneer to give it a more aesthetically pleasing finish. While it is inexpensive, it is not very durable. Particleboard is among the weakest cabinet materials and does not take well to moisture.

Stainless Steel

For modern and industrial-style kitchens, stainless steel cabinets are installed as complete drawer and cabinet sets. This material is very durable and less expensive than many other materials, however, maintenance can be difficult. Some homeowners prefer stainless steel cabinet doors with wooden frames for a more contemporary look and feel. Stainless steel doesn’t contract or expand like wood, so it is a good option for high-humid areas.


Melamine is primarily made of paper with polymer resins that are rolled out into thin, flat layers. These thin sheets are then fitted over the particleboard. Melamine kitchen surfaces are paired with wood veneers to make them more durable. Since melamine is made from pressed wood, it is one of the least expensive cabinet material options available on the market.


Another solid wood type, plywood, is glued and laminated wood that is overlaid with a hardwood veneer. It is available in many different grades, with grade AA being the most expensive option. Grades D and E have a lower quality appearance, however, a good cabinet manufacturer can usually work around their defects.

Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) Wood

If you’re looking for quality between plywood and particleboard, medium-density fiberboard or MDF is a great option for your doors and drawers. MDF is made from smaller fibers than particleboard, thus giving it a diner and heavier texture. Medium-density fiberboard is a composite material engineered from recycled fibers, resin, and wax pressed together under high pressure. Just like particleboard, you can’t paint or stain MDF surfaces since the board or panel has no grain.


Laminate kitchen cabinets are made of three resin-saturated layers: a base layer of paper, a printed and colored layer, and a protective transparent layer. These three layers are fused to create a heavy, durable alternative to wood. Laminate can be used as a cabinet material to cover doors and drawers, as well as some interior surfaces. They have a greater tendency to crack, chip, and scuff, but laminate is a great choice for those who are on a budget and looking for easy-to-clean cabinets.


Similar to laminate, the creation of thermofoil involves the application of a vinyl film to a substrate. Thermofoil closely resembles the look of wood at a reasonable price, which is preferred by many homeowners. Thermofoil finishes are generally white or light in color and provide a fresh look to your kitchen remodel. They are also durable, easy to clean, and less prone to damage. You can even opt for a cost-effective interior such as particleboard and finish the surfaces with thermofoil or laminate.

Kitchen Cabinet Brands Available

Cabinets Direct USA offers the following kitchen cabinet brands for homeowners throughout NJ:

Ready to Get Started?

Our professional kitchen designers are proud to help NJ homeowners simplify their kitchen design process with a complimentary consultation. It is highly recommended that you gather as much information about what you are looking for before the appointment, including style preferences and basic measurements. If you don’t know how to measure your kitchen, we have provided a resource for your reference. We are also proud to offer 12-month interest-free, no down payment financing with Synchrony Financial. After your home is professionally measured by a team member, final designs and drawings for your kitchen will be created. Fill out the form below to get started on your dream kitchen!