If you’re considering installing new kitchen cabinetry, or cabinet drawers, you’re faced with deciding between materials. Homeowners have the choice for cabinetry between MDF, solid wood species, and Melamine. Read on to understand Melamine kitchen cabinet pros and cons.
What Is Melamine Wood?
Before we get started talking about the pros and cons of Melamine it’s important to understand what it is. Melamine wood is a combination of compressed wood particles at the core. The core is then encased in a resin and paper finish that is water resistant and durable. As the outer layer is a covering it comes in a plethora of colors and can even have designs. This makes it an incredibly popular option for cabinetry in bathrooms and kitchens worldwide.
Melamine Cabinet Pros
Melamine is a popular option for cabinetry for a number of reasons. It is durable, comes in a wide variety of colors, is inexpensive, and has a uniform finish. These characteristics add up to make Melamine a serious contender to solid wood and MDF.
One of the major benefits of Melamine is its durability. Melamine is resistant to the normal conditions common in kitchens such as heat, moisture, and stains. It is easy to clean due to the tough outer coating that encases the compressed wood core. The combination of the durable coating and quality core make the material great for use in cabinetry and even cabinet drawers.
Melamine is also popular as it comes in virtually any color imaginable. The outer coating is where the color or design is applied as the melamine coating is fabricated. Just about any design or color is possible with melamine including faux wood grain and wood tones.
The cost to build or remodel cabinetry is frequently a concern for homeowners. Unless you’ve struck it rich, you’re likely wanting the best products at the lowest prices. Melamine offers homeowners a lower cost option that’s durable and visually attractive. This means that you’re not going to have to pay the extra money for cabinet drawers or cabinetry made in solid wood styles.
Today’s modern minimalist kitchens many times are filled with clean lines and simple color schemes. While traditional homes many times look best with the warmth of real wood, modern kitchens are outfitted with the clean look of Melamine. Melamine delivers a simple and uniformed finish instead of having color or grain variations throughout a section of wood.
Melamine Cabinet Cons
While Melamine does have great benefits there are some cons to using Melamine in your bathroom or kitchen cabinetry. Some of the cons include weight, difficulty to install, chipping, and water damage.
Melamine cabinetry weighs more than some other types of cabinetry materials. This means you may need to install heavy duty hinges or drawer glides. Hanging Melamine on light weight hardware can result in damage to your cabinetry and the doors or drawers you’ve installed.
While all cabinetry requires a steady and knowledgeable hand to install correctly there is a greater risk of splintering the melamine than wood or MDF. If the melamine splinters it not only will show the compressed wood core but also be much more susceptible to moisture penetration.
Chipping Melamine Finish
Melamine is created by applying a resin to the exterior of compressed wood particles. This means there is a hard coating on top of a wood product. Hard impacts to the surface of Melamine can result in chipping or cracking of the surface material. If this happens it might require the refinishing or replacement of the door, drawer, or cabinet face section.
Melamine & Water Damage
In the event that there is splintering, chipping, or cracking in the surface layer of Melamine water will do much more damage than solid wood. While solid wood does absorb some water it is nowhere near the amount that Melamine does. When Melamine core absorbs water it might swell and lose much of its structural integrity.