Just as having a centrepiece is important to a living room, a kitchen is not the same without a quality set of kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets are central to storing kitchen accessories and dried food stuff. If you’re a foodie, you probably have a collection of pots and pans for different uses and dishes. Add this hobby to a small kitchen space in your HDB, shelving overstuffed with crockery and utensils is not too farfetched a reality.
So, what’s the solution to having plenty of kitchenware, without a collapsing shelf?
Space maximization aside, it boils down to choosing the right materials.
In this article, we’ll share our years of experience building kitchen cabinets. Learn the basics so you’ll be more confident designing and living in a space you’ll love to cook in.
Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Materials
Kitchen cabinets are made from wood as the basic material. You will learn about the most common types of wood as you read on.
Made from compressed bits of recycled wood, chipboard is a good option for homeowners who want cost-effective quality.
This is most commonly used in mass manufactured cabinets, like those from IKEA. The main reason why you’ll find IKEA carrying products made from chipboard is because of the specialized manufacturing process. Specific tools are needed to cut and shape chipboard materials into the specific dimensions. This is something not easily obtained by local and regional suppliers, and therefore not often offered.
Since the pieces of woodchips are tightly compressed, chipboard is sturdy and reliable when made into shelves for your kitchen cabinet. The relatively lower cost of making chipboard also makes it affordable for wallet-conscious homeowners.
While you can enjoy the feel-good factor of using environmentally sustainable materials for your home, you will want to know two important facts about chipboard…
Chipboard also doesn’t hold screws well. Joining separate pieces is not advisable given the poor overall end quality. One shelf plus one shelf, will equal one big structurally unsafe shelf.
Furthermore, its porous nature allows water to seep through easily. Choosing chipboard for your kitchen shelf is not the best idea as cabinets will be subject to large amounts of water and moisture.
If you are still keen on chipboard, there are many ways to modify it for use. One way is to have green addition into the grain to make it waterproof.
Another common modification is to fireproof chipboard with red resin.
As you do more research, you’ll find that chipboard quality varies over many grades for different purposes.
But for now, you’re more aware of what to expect with IKEA kitchen cabinets. You’ll notice a difference in quality and build as we discuss the following types of wood.
Sourced largely from Indonesia or China, plywood also varies in tolerance of moisture. This could significantly affect your choice of wood for your kitchen cabinet. In Singapore, there are 3 main types of solid plywood used.
First, is the three-ply board. It is more costly since it consists of 3 layers of alternating types of wood. A softer wood is sandwiched by tougher woods in the outermost layer.
Since it holds screws well, you can be sure of minimal gaps within the three-ply boards. This will help ensure the pieces of wood join together firmly without feeling loose.
However, you should take note that three-ply boards warp easily if it exceeds a length of 1.5m.
image from: 55jia.net
Second, is jointed plywood. It is most commonly used in situations where sustaining a piece of wood is not possible because of its sheer length. In this case, jointed plywood patches pieces of wood together, making it ideal for long kitchens prevalent in many HDBs today.
For this type of plywood, a little bit of gaps between the layers can be afforded and almost necessary. The gaps don’t give in to gravity as much, resulting in a much lighter overall weight.
At last, the lumber core plywood. Waterproofed by a PVC layer on top, lumber core plywood is most suitable for kitchen cabinet doors and surfaces. The nature of the wood remains consistent, showing little signs of warping over time.
However, its density makes it difficult for hinges to easily attach to this type of wood. A good set of skills from your carpenter is needed to set this up in your kitchen. (Did you know Juz Interior also provides personalized carpentry services? We have our own team of craftsmen working to work on your project.)
Lumber core plywood
Now that you have an appreciation of what goes into the kitchen cabinet, you will be better equipped to care for the longevity of kitchen storage for your pots and pans. Enjoy a lifetime of whipping up good meals for the family in a wonderfully equipped kitchen that doesn’t cut back on kitchenware because of improper storage!
Know someone who’s renovating their kitchen? Share your newfound knowledge with them!