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iceman536 02-15-2011 11:28 PM

Kitchen Cabinet Construction
I am looking for kitchen cabinets in the mid price range but the more people I get quotes from the more confused I get. Any suggestions on the following?
  • Plywood construction - I want all plywood construction, minimum 1/2" sides (3/4" preferred). Now today a local cabinet builder asks me "Why no mdf or particle?" and says plywood will warp. Most everyone else offers plywood boxes as a premium upgrade. Under what circumstances would mdf or particle board construction be considered a "higher quality"?
  • Inside cabinet finishing - What is the preferred method for finishing the insides / shelves? Some talk about a "baked on coating" to protect the wood from moisture / spills. Another told me he uses melamine. Is that something they would glue onto the plywood?
  • Drawers - I want solid wood, dovetailed drawers. One person told me to avoid dovetailed drawers, that they are likely to fall apart. I have always thought dovetailed joints were amongs the strongest. What gives?
  • Finished ends - One shop offers miter-locked joints where the face frame is attached to the side. This has a very clean look. Is this a good method, i.e. is is strong? Other options are face frames integrated (dadoed) or face frames that are flush mounted with pocket screws. These methods leave a protruding edge (a strip) which I find less aesthetically pleasing.

If I wanted cheap cabinets I would keep what I have! Any info or opinions related to my points above is appreciated. Thanks.

nealtw 02-16-2011 08:24 AM

Im no expert but, dovetail would be top grade in my book and melamine is a painted partical board and is probably the baked on paint the other people talked about. Plywood is not likely to warp.
That said i would spend the money on doors and drawers and face frames and use the melamine for the boxes.

iceman536 02-16-2011 06:18 PM

How would the exposed side of the melamine look next to the wood face frames and doors? Would it discolor/fade over time, and age differently than the real wood?

nealtw 02-16-2011 09:21 PM

the inside is white and any outside parts are covered with wood matching the doors

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