What materials can be used to make your kitchen cabinetry?

What is the best material to make the carcass (boxes) of a kitchen?”, is a question that is asked to us almost everyday. What our customers fail to realise is that it is a trick question since the answer changes with each person’s requirement. In this article we will define the different kinds of material that can be used to make the boxes of your kitchen. Broadly the composition, termite resistance, screw holding capacity, durability, price, and the site condition that the material is most suitable for will be discussed.

Through the composition of material we will explain what is it made of and how it is manufactured. This will help us explain the pros and cons of that material as well as give a reason for it. Since we are talking about durable Indian kitchens we have to add termite resistance as the criteria for judging the material grade. It is important to throw some light on the screw holding capacity of the material because a modular kitchen needs accessories to reach its optimum utility. The durability of the material discloses its strength and its life. The las point that we will discuss is the most important because they are the best solutions depending on the conditions under which they will be used. So now that we have our basis covered lets dive into the first material that we will be discussing.

MFC

This board is like the Shahrukh Khan of kitchen making material. You might love it, you might hate it but you are definitely familiar with it. MFC whose full form is Melamine Faced Chipboard and since it is a mouth full it is often referred to as a chipboard. The name explains the composition of the material that is wood chips pressed together under extreme pressure. It comes in different brands and pre-laminated with different colours and finishes. It is internationally used in making  furniture by big brands like Hacker, Ikea, Ebony, Gautier, Hultsa and others.

The quality of the MFC board is defined by its manufacturing process. The best ones that stand upto international standards have been manufactured by using great pressure because of which the destiny of the wood is good. This makes the material termite resistant, water resistant and has good screw holding capacity with a life of 8 to 15 years.

I know what you are thinking, that this has a range of seven years. But that is the difference that comes in because of external factors like environment, utility and maintenance. The Indian manufactured chip board is not of great quality and has low water as well as termite resistance because of which they do not last more than 6 to 7 years.

The advantages of this material are that good quality MFC can stand warping over time because it is one block of wood and it comes in pre-laminated colours which give the cabinetry a seamless look. The screw holding capacity is good. Hence to conclude international standard chip board has medium

MDF/HDF

The next material that we will discuss is made in a similar way as MFC but using much finer materials. The process of manufacturing is quite similar to that of MFC. But the material used is a finer proportion of chip-board and is made under much higher pressure than MFC. The high pressure under which the material is made ensures that it has a strong screw-holding capacity as well as water resistance. It is termite treated as well. The reasons enumerated above adds up to its life being more than ten years if used in a area where there is little or no water  seepage. This material is also the most appropriate for making shutters with a glossy finish because their surface is completely flat which prevents any unnecessary haziness that might come if the laminate is not pasted properly. Further more it is a good material to use for long panels since it does not warp under moderate pressure. This is also one of the major reasons why it is one of the best materials that the shutters of your kitchen can be made of.

  So the verdict on this material is that it is a great material if your site does not have a lot of termite problem or water seepage and if you are looking for a kitchen that will last you close to 10 years. This material is like one of those underrated actors that no one talks about but their work is brilliant.


Plywood

This wood is like the Amitabh Bachan of all kitchen making material. One of the most experienced, versatile and evolving materials. The quality varies to a huge degree from manufacturer to manufacturer but the basic structure consists of one millimetre thick sheets of wood being compressed together to form eighteen millimetre thick plywood boards. Each layer is treated with chemicals so that it is termite resistant and water resistant to a great degree. It is one of the best materials to make furniture and kitchen cabinets from because it has a great load bearing capacity.

To top it all off the layering of the wood  in the material makes sure that the screw holding capacity is better than the other materials that we have discussed so far. Generally a good ply has a life of more than 10 years, if not exposed to extreme moisture or constant water seepage. The quality of the ply varies because of its thickness and the material that is being used to make the layers of the ply. For instance the thickness of the architects ply is more than the normal plywood that is used and the wood is compressed under great pressure because of which this materials life is boosted to more than twenty years.

HDHMR 

This is a new product that has been introduced into the construction industry a little less than 2 years ago. This product combines the strength and screw holding capacity of plywood with the water and termite resistance of WPC to make up one of the best materials in the market right now for all modular kitchen and furniture products. The fun form refers to high density board which is not to be confused to MDF which is a medium density fibre board. The density of the wood is so high that it is not possible to screw anything into it without a drill machine. This also demonstrates that the screw holding capacity of the material is comparable to that of Century plywood.

The wood is treated to the extent that the material becomes water proof and termite proof. We experimented with the wood to test its water resistance by submerging it in water for more than 168 hours. There was no perforation or change is weight of the material after it was taken out of the water. To top it all off the surface of HDHMR is smoother than plywood because of which the finish of PU paint as well as pasted laminate. Most German and imported kitchens use shutters of quality similar to this one.

I know what you are thinking, that this material is too good to be true. It is termite resistant to the extent of being termite proof, same with water resistance, has a great screw holding capacity, does not warp under pressure and is great for shutter finishes? The only drawback is that it is upto 15% more expensive than plywood. But a kitchen of this material will last you for at-least 15 years. We give a warranty of 10 years if we make cabinetry in this material.

 

WPC

The composition of this material is a combination of wood and plastic because of which this material is termite proof and water proof. But this huge advantage is trumped by the fact that WPC has one of the lowest screw holding capacity making it a bad product to use in kitchens and wardrobes. The second reason why it should not be used in making kitchens or wardrobes is that they warp under weight. Since both kitchen and wardrobe are heavy areas of storage and use this material will not be suitable for it since it warps over time and under load.

This product is also not very versatile as laminating and painting on this material is more costly but less polished finish as compared to other products in the market.

The only place it can be used is for building vanity cabinets.These cabinets have minimum storage and are exposed to high level of moisture at all times.

There are some good quality WPC material which have better screw holding capacity but i believe within that cost one can access much better qualities of plywood and HDMR boards that will solve all the problems of warming, better finishes and longevity.

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