A Complete Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Jan 16, 2022

Everyone wants a modular kitchen to ease their cooking experience. However, how much do we know about these kitchens? Unlike traditional kitchens, they are made by assembling different modules to fit the size and utility of the kitchen. Thus, these can be manufactured at a factory and then assembled at home. These kitchens can be dismantled and reassembled as each kitchen cabinet is an individual module and not a single fixture.

What are the materials used in the kitchen cabinet materials?

1. Base cabinets | 2. Sink unit cabinets | 3. Wall cabinets | 4. Overhead Cabinets

Solid Wood

Solid wood kitchens are a classic! When modular kitchens took over, the use of wood decreased. Why? Sourcing natural wood became difficult and although it’s highly durable with natural textures & grains, it came with a great cost. You gotta be rich to use natural wood!
Also flaws like knots, splinters, wraps and dents were a major threat that affected the overall design. However, if you use solid wood, it must be treated in advance to resist termite attack and care must be taken to keep the wood core from damaging with changes in humidity levels. To Maintain the aesthetic of the wood frequent polishing & smoothening is required.

Pro-tip - If you are on a budget, opt for wood for the outside of your cabinetry.
Also, the termite is not the only concern. we have warping issues, availability and cost


Engineered wood made with several sheets of veneer pressed with resins into a single board. This is the most preferred material in the kitchen for its strength. It has variants like Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) Ply, Moisture Resistant (MR) Ply and Boiling Waterproof (BWP) Ply which work well in kitchens due to their resistance to water. These plyboards can be finished with laminates, Pu coats for desired aesthetic.

Pro-tip - As kitchens are prone to water best choice of base unit cabinets would be BWP for its resistance to water & durability. MR / BWR for your wall and overhead cabinets.

Find the best suited boards for your cabinets!


A Medium-Density fiberboard is made of small wooden fibres glued together with resins and hot-pressed. This is a budget-friendly option and can have any finish fitted on top. Since this is an engineered wood, it has a better chance of resisting termites and has a smooth finish. The screw holding capacity of MDF / HDF boards is relatively low and this requires special technical assistance for longevity.

Pro-tip – Use MDF for your overhead cabinets where exposure to moisture/water is relatively low.

Particle Boards

The cheapest material available in the market, particleboard is made from sawdust and waste wood which is one reason why people question its quality. Since this material is not light it cannot hold onto more weight. It is suitable where the kitchen is used for light cooking only.

Pro-tip - Along with being economical, particleboard is also eco-friendly as it is made of the residue obtained in the manufacturing of other engineered woods, decreasing landfill. If you are environmentally conscious, then this is the option for you.

Find Material choices on Arkihive Application!


One of the best pocket-friendly kitchen cabinet materials, PVC is easy to clean and maintain. Currently, PVC boards for kitchens come in two kinds: hollow boards and foam. While the former is heavier and sturdier, the latter is light and economical. The main advantages of PVC kitchens are that they are easy to fix and available in an array of colours.

Pro-tip – Best suited for the base unit for sink / under sink units or utility cabinets where exposure to water is high.

Modular kitchens stand out when compared to the conventional carpenter-made ones because they are ergonomic, they maximize storage and are convenient to use. When it comes to design, from planning the layout to choosing kitchen appliances, optimizing storage, selecting materials and color combinations, lighting and deciding on kitchen accessories there is a lot to comprehend. So much!

Watch this space as we talk about finishing materials for kitchen & lighting solutions in the coming weeks!

For more questions and clarifications on material choice & selection download our app ARKIHIVE. We are now live on the play store & iOS!

And if this got you pondering more about finishing materials here’s the most pressing debate we always get asked.

How to select laminate or veneer without complications? They mimic the feel and look of wood which brings the question — veneer versus laminate, which is better?


Sriya Singh

Sriya brings the verities to the world by stitching her soul into the fabric of words. Making it to the ground, she is always on toes to plunge into new deals to discover the intricate folds of life.