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Cabinetry Material Guide

Common Cabinet Box Material Options

White Melamine

This is the most common choice when budget is priority, its reasonably durable and cost effective. While there are many brands of White Melamine on the market, SVC uses only the best quality options even though the cost is slightly higher. Our preferred brands use a thicker “wear layer” over the color allowing them to last longer without showing wear. Also, our preferred brands also use more hardwood in the core of the sheets. This makes for a stiffer/harder material giving a little additional strength which will be noticeable on parts like shelving.

Colored or Textured Melamine

This is a common choice, while the material core is the same as the White Melamine noted above this is a great way to add a little higher end feel to your cabinetry interior.  There is a variety of price levels for these melamine options, but most will not make a huge difference to overall project cost. There are many solid colors or wood patterns and different texture options available.


Plywood cabinet interiors are great for the real wood lovers. Plywood will add durability both in strength and moisture resistance. Most times when a cabinet interior is made with plywood SVC will use a UV Cured Lacquer sheet that we order prefinished from the Mill. The plywood wood veneer that you will see is typically Birch. Plywood cabinets will be more costly than the other options noted above and is not very common in residential use although not unheard of.

MDF - Medium Density Fiberboard

Medium Density Fibreboard is very common in cabinet making. At times cabinet interiors will be made with MDF. When a cabinet interior is to receive a painted finish MDF is an excellent option as it paints well. However, contact with moisture can easily lead to damage.

Wood Veneer

Wood veneer is commonly used in cabinet making. Typically, the core of this material will be the same as a Melamine. However, some will also be available with a plywood core.  These wood veneers are often around 1/32” thick and can be stained and painted much like solid wood. This material is rarely used for making all your cabinetry but rather only used on the exposed areas not covered by doors or drawers.

Common Cabinet Door Material Options

Vinyl Wrap (Thermofoil)

This is the most common choice when budget is priority. It is reasonably durable and cost effective. Essentially, it is an MDF core with a while melamine on one side of the sheet (Back of door), the face of the sheet then gets machined to the door style/shape needed. After the machining is done, the vinyl is applied to the face using a combination of glue, heat and vacuum. This is a cost-effective option as there is no stain or painting needed. While there are many brands of Vinyl on the market SVC uses only the best quality options even though the cost is slightly higher. Our preferred brand is a thicker vinyl which leads to fewer deficiencies as it ages.

One Piece HDF - High Density Fiberboard

Making Shaker or flat panel doors with HDF is becoming very popular for a few reasons. Painted finishes are very common and HDF paints very well. HDF doors have several advantages over a wood framed door, as it is made from a single piece of HDF there are no joints to crack/show through the painted finish. A one-piece HDF door is also easier to clean as there is no sharp inside corners. When finished using high quality coatings, HDF doors and wooden doors are equally susceptible to moisture damage. These doors will be less costly than a framed wooden door.

Framed Wooded Doors

These are made up of Stiles, Rails, and a Center Panel. The Stiles and Rails are typically made of solid wood material and the center panel can be made of either wood veneer or solid wood pieces, depending on the budget and preference needed. Framed wooden doors have shown the test of time and not much has changed about these in the last 75 years.  These are available in many wood species, and most can be stained or painted to create the color you desire. Real wood doors with a stained finish will be more costly than a painted HDF.

Melamine/AGT Doors

Cabinet doors can be made from a variety of Sheet materials that are ¾” thick. Such doors would be cut to size from a large sheet and then Edge Banded with a matching color of PVC edge banding. Most often the edge banding would be 1mm thick, this allows for a small corner radius to be put onto the edge banded corners. SVC offers these with an optional upgrade to a “PUR” glue, this means the glue used to attach the edge banding is highly moisture resistant making for a durable door.  With our equipment and methods, it is very rare to have edge banding come loose from normal use.

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