Plywood Kitchen Cabinet BenefitsWe use plywood kitchen cabinets for a number of reasons, with the number one being longevity. Sustainability means many different things to different people; to us here at Sustainable Kitchens, sustainability is about creating quality products that will last a lifetime whilst keeping the environment at the core of all decisions and principles. We want to ensure that we are creating products that won’t need to be replaced, which is why we create beautiful kitchens using plywood kitchen cabinets.
What is Plywood?Plywood is formed by pressing and binding many layers of thin wood together and is often made available in a range of thicknesses. Because of the lamination procedure from which plywood is constructed, plywood kitchen cabinets are incredibly durable and can therefore withstand heavy weight and ultimately, last for many years. Although it remains a popular choice for modern kitchens, plywood kitchens as it is used today actually started in late 1920s America, and the practice of using layered woods to build one structure can be dated as far back as ancient Egyptian times.
Why are plywood kitchen cabinets so popular?
Birch plywood is the choice of material for all of our kitchen carcasses, given its superiority of robustness and strength in comparison to the cheaper MDF or chipboard substitutes. Due to its natural finish and the exposed edges, birch plywood ensures those who prefer lighter wood kitchens are left inspired, and therefore makes it the perfect choice of wood for Scandinavian-styled kitchens.
Low-cost alternatives such as High Density and Medium Density Fibreboards (HDF/MDF) are engineered woods often used for more economical kitchen cabinetry. These often aren’t moisture resistant, which is key in withstanding the test of time in busy kitchens, and therefore begin to show signs of ageing early on in its lifetime. Because of this, fibreboard remains a much weaker carcass material compared to its more capable and desirable birch plywood counterpart.
Particleboard, otherwise known as chipboard, is the most affordable cabinetry option for a kitchen. Built through compacting sawdust and waste materials, this makes it an incredibly lightweight and often short-lived material for your kitchen that may well need replacing.
Plywood Kitchen Cabinet Benefits
One of the main benefits of using birch plywood is that it’s considered a sustainable choice of material with fast-growing tree qualities. Although the practice of cutting down wood in large quantities can be a contributor to deforestation, the plywood sourced should be FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC ( Programme for the Enforcement of Forest Certifications) meaning they are responsibly grown in sustainably managed woodland areas.
The accreditations ensure that the wood used in our kitchens is responsibly sourced; from conservated woodlands with efficient maintenance in place whilst enhancing value; and that the forests are restored correctly with accelerating forest recovery programmes.
Furthermore, plywood is manufactured with very few chemicals, containing low levels of formaldehyde and VOC which highlights the importance of understanding both the adhesives and materials used throughout production.
We touched earlier on the durability of plywood and how it makes for a strong, long-lasting kitchen. Choosing a hardwood ply such as birch will mean the wood is resistant to warping and rotting, leaving you with a beautiful kitchen that will often last a lifetime.
Plywood Kitchens Vs MDF
If you are currently renovating your kitchen and unsure what materials to choose, it is important to dig deeper into the materials used in the manufacture of your kitchen along with where exactly it’s made.
Whilst MDF carcasses and cabinets may appear to be budget-friendly in the short term, MDF can be prone to breaking and snagging, meaning it is more likely to need replacing after a few years. Additionally, MDF is more vulnerable to moisture damage, meaning it can swell and warp and lose its structural integrity.
Plywood has a significantly longer life expectancy thanks to its incredible durability, allowing it to withstand damage from impact or heavy loads.
What’s more, plywood is relatively resistant to moisture making it the ideal material for busy kitchens.
Choosing plywood kitchen cabinets over MDF or chipboard carcasses will ensure that your kitchen will last for many years to come.