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Open living and entertaining around the heart of the home- the kitchen- has become a staple in the lifestyles of Australians. Even when not entertaining, we eat our meals in the kitchen and may sit there and watch TV afterwards.
When undertaking kitchen renovations in Melbourne, it is vital to pay attention to the design and build of the kitchen cabinets. Putting thought into these key areas will ensure you have a space for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
In a kitchen renovation, the kitchen cabinets can take up as much as 40% of the budget and they are a key factor in defining the kitchen’s character. In many kitchen renovations Melbourne, it may appear that the whole kitchen is made up of cabinetry because today there is a tendency to hide fridges, freezers, washing machines, and so on behind doors that match the rest of the cabinets and everything is sleek and polished.
Not only is it about the appearance of kitchen cabinets, but the materials in which they are made as well. Cabinetry may be made of hardwood, MDF, plywood, and particleboard, and may have a timber veneer.
Hardwood may be the material of choice for the face frame and the door or drawer front, but it is hardly ever used for the rest of the kitchen cabinet because of its weight and also the cost. It is a natural product made out of trees, and each piece is unique with its own grain and pattern. However, changes in temperature and humidity can cause it to expand and contract and a kitchen has a lot of temperature and humidity changes. A heavy drawer made of hardwood could warp or move.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is a composite made from recycled wood fibres, resin, and wax pressed together under high pressure. It is very resistant to temperature changes and won’t peel or crack, and it has a very smooth surface which is easy to paint.
Our preferred option, plywood, is made from thin sheets of wood which are laid at right angles and bound together with glue under heat and pressure. It is rigid and stable and has the highest strength to weight ratio when compared with hardwood, MDF, or particleboard. It holds screws more securely than the other materials and resists moisture better. It doesn’t dent or sag as easily and is the preferred option for premium quality kitchen cabinets according to Consumer Reports.
Particleboard, also known as low-density fibreboard, is a wood-based product used as a substrate for benchtops and carcasses of kitchen cabinets. This material is made of wood chips and sawmill shavings pressed together to form them into sheets. It is cheap but can quickly degrade in contact with moisture. If used for kitchen cabinet shelves and drawer bottoms it is prone to sagging. It’s usually finished with a timber veneer or laminate to improve the appearance.
Timber veneers are made from solid hardwood peeled from a log in a similar way to peeling an apple. They are sheets that are usually less than 2mm thick and are glued to MDF or particleboard to produce a flat panel. Timber veneer is only a finishing material in the same way as a laminate or thermofoil.
Given that your kitchen cabinetry will play such a key role in the overall design and feel of your dream kitchen, it’s well worth doing your research before embarking on a kitchen renovation.