Cabinetry Construction: Furniture Core vs Plywood

Cabinetry Construction: Furniture Core vs Plywood

Cabinetry Construction Furniture Core Vs Plywood

If you are looking for new cabinets, then one topic that is sure to come up during your meetings with your cabinet supplier is your preference in terms of the material the cabinet will be made from. In general, most cabinets on the market are made of either furniture core or plywood. But which cabinetry construction method is better?

Plywood vs. Furniture Core: What’s the Difference?


Plywood is usually made of thin layers of wood no more than three millimeters thick. These layers are then glued and bonded together to form one board.

Pros of Plywood

  • Robust construction material
  • Quite light and sturdy
  • Resistant to cracking, deformation, and shrinking and more resistant to moisture
  • A great choice for wood paneling, cabinets, furniture

Cons of Plywood

  • The edges of the board are rough which have to be finished.
  • Not suitable for certain joints
  • May have natural defects such as knots due to the use of laminates

Furniture Core

Professionals create furniture boards by bonding together wood chips and sawdust by using an adhesive like resin. Depending on the manufacturing process, furniture boards can have different densities. It’s often preferred by furniture builders because of its low cost and flexibility.

Pros of Furniture Core

  • Cheaper than other construction materials
  • High-density boards are very sturdy
  • Seamless texture

Cons of Furniture Core

  • It’s not as robust as plywood, not even the high-density versions. You will probably need extra support if you plan on putting heavy countertops over furniture core cabinets.
  • Not water-resistant
  • Not as waterproof as plywood. (none of them are waterproof. Any major leak or flood destroys either type of wood).

What Should You Choose?

If you were to analyze the pros and cons of each material, you may conclude that plywood is better than furniture core. While furniture-board has many benefits and can be just as good, however, if your overall investment allows, then you should probably opt for plywood.

While researching the market, you will find that some cabinet manufacturers offer plywood as a standard option while others have plywood as an upgrade option. Usually, these upgrades are an extra 12-16% over the base price of the cabinet. At the end of the day, you can’t tell the difference between a box of plywood and a box of furniture boards with properly designed and built cabinets.

Consider all the above when looking for materials for your cabinets. Make sure you ponder the pros and cons of different building materials and keep in mind the design and features you would like.

Where you live matters just as much. If you live in a very humid area or one susceptible to flooding, moisture-resistant plywood cabinets are better. Hopefully, these tips will make you determine what the best option is for you.

Cabinetry Construction: Ask Renovation By Design!

RBD offers a full spectrum of home improvement services from design to installation and are here to guide you every step of the way. Contact our custom home renovation experts for a complimentary showroom consultation. Get in touch at (248) 260-7639.

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