What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen Counter with Subway Tile, Stainless Steel oven stove, Shaker Cabinets

Cabinets are a huge part of kitchen design, taking up most of the room’s visual space and receiving everyday use. The materials you choose will not only affect the overall look of the room but also how long your cabinets will last.

That makes it all the more important that you find the material that will work best for both your space and your lifestyle. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular kitchen cabinet materials to find out which offers you the best durability, longevity and value for money. Madera is proud to offer the best Arizona cabinets, we hope you enjoy this article.

Solid Wood

One of the most commonly used materials for kitchen cabinets, solid wood has plenty of properties that make it an excellent choice. Solid wood is naturally strong and durable, with the potential to last you a lifetime. However, because it is a natural material it is also prone to water and moisture damage and can warp and crack in changing temperatures. With that being said, most forms of damage are fairly easy to fix, and warping can be prevented with proper sealing.

Solid wood can give your kitchen more of a traditional look, however as there is such a wide range of styles available you should be able to find something that suits your tastes. It also allows for some versatility as it is fairly easy to resurface, paint or stain, meaning you can change your kitchen aesthetic without shelling out for brand new cabinets.

Composite Wood

Manufactured woods like MDF, chipboard, plywood and laminate are often seen as second-rate materials for kitchen cabinets, but the truth is that they come with plenty of benefits. Don’t let their low price point fool you, many composite woods are actually almost as durable as solid wood and are also less susceptible to damage.

The key is to opt for better quality composites like MDF, hardwood plywood or really anything with a hardwood core. The hardwood gives better strength to the composite, making it much sturdier and longer-lasting. One thing to bear in mind is that, unlike solid wood, once scratched composite woods tend to be very difficult to repair, though you will not have to worry about warping. Composites are also highly customizable, and as it’s man-made it comes in a huge variety of colors and shades.


Foam board PVC is lightweight, easy-to-install and is both fire, corrosion and moisture resistant. This affordable kitchen cabinet material is perhaps the easiest to clean and maintain, requiring no specialist cleaning products, and is also available in many different colors without the need for any expensive finishing.

However, while PVC is a budget friendly option, it’s far from the most durable and is rather prone to damage and scratches. If you do opt for PVC, foam board is much sturdier than hollow board (which is also not thermal or fire-resistant). If you are not planning on staying in your home for many years to come, PVC kitchen cabinets can still be a great temporary solution that won’t break the bank.


Stainless steel and aluminum used to be found only in professional kitchens, but thanks to their contemporary look they are becoming more and more popular in home environments. Metal has inherent properties that make it a great option for kitchen cabinets. It is naturally highly durable and easy to clean, and unlike wood, it doesn’t expand and contract with the temperature.

However, stainless steel and aluminum cabinets do tend to come at a higher price point than the other materials on this list. They are also susceptible to scratches, though these can usually be concealed, and they can be dented if accidentally knocked with a heavy pot or pan.


There is no one definitive answer as to the best material for kitchen cabinets, as what works best for you will depend on your circumstances, budget, desired aesthetic and lifestyle. For materials, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to go for the best quality you can afford, as you will usually be rewarded with greater durability and a much longer life.

With this in mind, solid wood or metal are top of the list, with high-quality composite woods coming a close second if budget is one of your top concerns. For a short-term fix, PVC is still a great choice as long as you don’t expect for it to be in tip-top condition several years down the line. Every material, no matter how expensive, has its pros and cons. As long as you go into your decision being aware of both, then you can feel confident that you’ve made the right choice. Please contact us if you are interested in kitchen remodeling in Scottsdale or the surrounding areas.

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Sat – Sun: Appointment Only

Licensed, Bonded, and Insured. ROC # 335-337