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Wood vs Particle Board Cabinets

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: You can call The Money Pit with an educational question. Dora, who’s calling us, wants to know about the difference between wood and particleboard.

    LESLIE: Dora, what are you doing?

    DORA: Well, I’m doing my kitchen and they introduced me to the pressed wood.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    DORA: I was preferring the regular wood but the price is so high from one to the other and I was just wondering if the pressed wood is – you know, if it holds up as well or – it looked pretty in the store.

    TOM: Yeah. You know, they really have not made solid wood cabinets for many, many years. And I know what you’re talking about. I mean if the house was built like in the 50s or sometimes even the 60s, all of the cabinets were solid plywood and really strong. But of late – you know, of the last 20 years – most of them are made of some sort of composite.

    Now the advantage of a composite is it’s dimensionally stable, it doesn’t bend, it doesn’t warp. The disadvantage is that it’s not quite as durable. But generally, if you have a good installer – and I installed kitchens for years – if you have a good installer that knows how to put kitchen cabinets together, you’re never really going to have a problem with it. If the shelves are particleboard and they are like a 3-foot wall cabinet and you put really heavy plates on it, it’s going to sag. You have little things like that.

    But when you put the cabinets together, the best way to do it is to make sure that the installer attaches all of the cabinets to each other. So not only are they attached to the wall but the vertical pieces of wood – they’re called the stiles – should actually be clamped and screwed together and that makes the entire section of wall cabinets basically one piece.

    DORA: OK.

    TOM: And it makes it really strong. And so if you have a good installer, you’re not going to have a problem.

    DORA: Thank you for taking my call.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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