Should You Use Plywood When Building Laminate Cabinets
Should you use plywood or particle board when building kitchen or bathroom laminate cabinets? I prefer to use a combination of both. In the paragraphs to come, I will explain the various areas of the laminate cabinetry that I feel need to have plywood. I’ve been manufacturing cupboards for many years with no recalls at all.
My preferable material for manufacturing cabinets is to use Melamine for all of the cabinet parts except the toe bases, sink cabinet bottoms, rails, and center styles. The box construction that I use is called the European style cupboard.
Melamine board actually has a particleboard core and a very hard plastic coating on the outside comparable to Formica plastic laminate.
Why use ply-wood? Particle board expands and holds moisture. If water gets into the flake board it will swell the material and never shrink back to its original shape, leaving the appearance of the laminate cabinetry water damaged.
If you think about it the only areas that get exposed to water are the toe kick plates (bases) and the sink cabinet. All of the other areas of the cupboards should remain high and dry. Now the countertops are a different story all together. They are exposed to water all of the time.
Outside of guarding against water damage by using ply-wood, the only other reason you would need it is for strength. Let’s say that you had a cabinet shelf that was longer than thirty and a half inches, I would either add a center style (which customers hate) or make the shelf out of plywood and laminate it with Formica. This would be necessary to prevent the shelf from warping.
The rails of the cupboards should be manufactured using plywood construction to protect against breaking them prior to installing the plastic laminate cabinetry. This adds additional strength in these areas when building your kitchen cupboards. It’s necessary to do this because the rails are generally used to move the cabinetry around prior to installation.