The functionality of a kitchen is sometimes only as good as its design. But, did you know that this doesn’t just end with your layout and appliances? For a kitchen that stands the test of time, you will first need to identify the right materials for kitchen cabinets that can guarantee this. What’s more, there are several types of kitchen cabinets materials available for your choosing which can make the process a lot easier. 

However, your choices can also lead to consequences if you do not make an informed decision based on these materials. Whether you choose the best materials for kitchen cabinets or something more cost-effective, it’s best to know what exactly these options bring to the table. To help you make a well-thought-out choice, we’ve put together a simple list of the various types of kitchen cabinets materials you can consider for your home. Read on to find a reliable match!

What Types of Kitchen Cabinet Materials Might Work Best for You?

While there are many varieties to choose from, let’s first look at a few popular options you can consider. On the basis of durability, affordability and function, these types of cabinet materials are sure to work wonders depending on your needs.

#1: Go for Melamine Kitchen Cabinets for an Affordable Design

You are spoilt for choice with ample options when it comes to melamine

Melamine kitchen cabinets are made of compressed wood particles that are then encased in resin and paper for a clean finish. This process helps make melamine kitchen cabinets water-resistant, which, in turn, ensures that it’s a useful material for kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinetry. 


  • Melamine kitchen cabinets are available in a wide variety of colours and designs, making this material an adaptable choice for any interiors 
  • Known for its durability, melamine materials for kitchen cabinets ensure that your cabinets are water-, heat- and stain-resistant
  • It is relatively easy to maintain as you only need to wipe the surfaces down to keep them clean
  • As materials for kitchen cabinets go, melamine is also a comparatively affordable option for homeowners on a budget


  • This material is relatively heavier than some of its counterparts and could require additional support to install it
  • Melamine kitchen cabinets require professional installation to avoid splintering
  • Among the more durable materials for kitchen cabinets, melamine can incur chipping with heavy impact

#2: Plywood Kitchen Cabinets Offer Durability

Hardwood can be expensive to invest in, so go for engineered wood instead

In terms of build, plywood kitchen cabinets are made of multiple sheets of engineered wood that are bonded together. Similarly, there are a variety of different types of plywood materials for kitchen cabinets you can explore. 


  • Plywood kitchen cabinets are known to be durable
  • Unlike the heavier materials for kitchen cabinets, plywood is more lightweight, making installation easier 
  • Plywood kitchen cabinets are easy to repair and replace
  • In terms of drilling and fastening plywood during installation, plywood materials for kitchen cabinets can hold onto nails/screws well. This makes the drilling process more convenient 


  • Since plywood kitchen cabinets use engineered wood, they are less expensive than hardwood; however they are slightly more expensive than the other materials for kitchen cabinets 
  • Plywood kitchen cabinets are not stain- or scratch-resistant unless you choose the right finishes and maintain them regularly

#3: Love Eco-Friendly Materials? Particleboard Is the One for You! 

Particleboard is a great option for homeowners who want to live sustainably

Much like plywood, particleboard also falls under the engineered variety of materials for kitchen cabinets. Particleboard is one of the more eco-friendly materials for kitchen cabinets because it is made of recycled wood. So if sustainability is high on your list of priorities, particleboard might be one of the best materials for kitchen cabinets for you.


  • Particleboard is a more cost-effective option
  • Due to the smooth surface of particleboard, you can get an even finish for your cabinets 
  • Particleboard is one of the low-maintenance materials for kitchen cabinets and easy to install


  • It is not moisture-resistant and can discolour and expand once it comes in contact with moisture 
  • Particleboard runs the risk of sagging if the drawers or shelves are overfilled
  • It is not the most durable kitchen cabinet material and can get damaged with time if not maintained properly 

Also read: Want a Beautiful IKEA Kitchen? Here’s How to Design One

#4: Marine Plywood Kitchen Cabinets for a Superior Kitchen Experience

Tired of letting high humidity and wet kitchens ruin your cabinets? Marine ply can help!

There are multiple types of plywood materials for kitchen cabinets that you can explore besides regular plywood. One such example is marine plywood kitchen cabinets as they offer superior levels of water resistance compared to other materials. 


  • Highly water-resistant and guards against fungal build-up, making it ideal for wet kitchens 
  • Not all types of plywood have a smooth finish; however, marine plywood kitchen cabinets come with the most superior finish among the lot


  • It is known to be on the more expensive side of plywood materials for kitchen cabinets
  • The edges of your marine plywood kitchen cabinets need to be covered with wood to prevent splintering or loose particles from fraying

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes You Can Explore for Your Kitchen:

Now that we’ve gone through the various materials for kitchen cabinets you can experiment with, it’s time to look at finishes for them. Just as there are many types of kitchen cabinets materials there are also a handful of finishes that complement them. Here are a few to consider:

#1: Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Laminates have always been a popular crowd-pleaser for cabinet finishes

Kitchen cabinet laminate finishes are known to be a popular choice especially in Malaysia. The reason being that they are affordable and come with a variety of benefits that suit our kitchens. Whether you prefer a matte or glossy look, both can be made possible with kitchen cabinet laminate finishes. 


  • Among the materials for kitchen cabinets and the finishes that cover them, glossy-finish laminates are easy to clean
  • Kitchen cabinet laminates are durable and affordable especially for budget renovations 


  • Though it is one of the more relatively heat-resistant materials for kitchen cabinets, it still runs the risk of peeling off under very high temperatures
  • Kitchen cabinet laminates are also prone to damage and can be difficult to repair

#2: Acrylic for Kitchen Cabinets

Love the luxurious look of high-gloss cabinets? Acrylic can help you achieve this

If you’re considering acrylic for kitchen cabinets, you can rest assured that it’s a non-toxic finish that offers a stunningly smooth texture. What’s more, acrylic for kitchen cabinets also tends to be shatter-proof, which is ideal for a reflective glass-like look. 


  • Acrylic leans towards one of the more aesthetically pleasing materials for kitchen cabinets due to its glossy finish
  • It is a fairly durable material that comes in a variety of designs and styles
  • Acrylic finishes are also resistant to UV light, moisture and scratches


  • Though acrylic finishes are easy to maintain, they also require frequent cleaning to prevent fingerprints and dirt from smearing the surface
  • This finish leans towards the premium side of finishes for kitchen cabinets, which makes it less budget-friendly
  • Acrylic is not as easy to replace as other materials

#3: PU Finish Kitchen Cabinets

Take your pick of glossy, satin or matte finishes with a PU-finish spray

Based on the kitchen cabinet material you choose to go with, you can also consider using a PU finish for it. Polyurethane or PU is a type of acrylic paint that is not only durable, but also easy to apply. You can spray this over your cabinets to get a glossy, matte or satin PU finish for your kitchen cabinets.


  • PU finish for kitchen cabinets keeps them scratch- and stain-resistant 
  • Cleaning this low-maintenance finish is easy


  • This finish can be slightly more expensive than other finishes in the market
  • It can have issues with bubbling from wear and tear as it is not entirely waterproof or heat-resistant

How Can Livspace Help You?

We hope you found this list of finishes and materials informative! For more ideas, check out 10+ Brilliant Kitchen Ideas That Will Make You Want to Redo Yours. If you’re exploring different types of kitchen cabinets materials to try in your home, Livspace can help you! 

To get the best materials for kitchen cabinets all you have to do is book an online consultation. If you prefer meeting in person, you can also find Livspace designers at the IKEA Damansara store. Hurry up and get quality home interiors from the best in the industry!