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Finding Safe, VOC & Formaldehyde Free Kitchen Cabinets

  • fixing kitchen cabinets
  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Steven in Texas needs some help with a cabinet project. What can we do for you?

    STEVEN: Yes. So my wife has challenges with chemicals like formaldehydes and glues and paints that they put in kitchen cabinets, the new ones. And I was wondering if you had any idea what a person could use that you could get away from those types of chemicals in cabinets.

    TOM: So you’re looking for a cabinet manufacturer that is sort of formaldehyde-free and VOC-free? Is that correct?

    STEVEN: Yeah, that’d be right. Yes.

    TOM: Steve, that’s an interesting question because when it comes to kitchen cabinets, so many of the products that go into kitchen cabinets have the potential to have VOCs or volatile organic compounds in them. Because you can start with the boards that are used to build the cabinets. If they’re a pressboard or a composite board of some sort, that may have formaldehyde in it, for example. Then you have the finishes and on and on and on.

    I think what you want to do is you want to look for kitchen cabinetry that is built to meet the new CARB 2 standard. That stands for the California Air Resources Board and that’s a standard that measures the level of those types of toxins in cabinetry. And so if you search for kitchen cabinets that meet that standard, I think that’s a good place to start.

    STEVEN: Well, generally, I do like maybe some metal cabinets, you know, that would look nice in a kitchen. Would you have any ideas on something like that?

    TOM: Well, you’d still have finishes on metal cabinets that would have some of the same issues.

    STEVEN: Yeah.

    TOM: I haven’t seen metal cabinets in a kitchen in forever. The Gladiator folks at Whirlpool are doing a really good job these days with metal cabinetry for laundry rooms and utility areas and spaces like that. But I don’t know if that cabinet line is going to extend to the point where you’d have enough flexibility to do it in a kitchen.

    LESLIE: Well, I can share with you a vendor of a no-formaldehyde-added cabinetry. They’re actually beautiful, handmade, wooden cabinets. I’m not sure of their price point but I am familiar with the fact that they are not adding any chemicals to it. And they are very responsible in how they utilize the wood and the products that they use to make their cabinets. It’s a company out of Portland and their name is Neil Kelly.
    And then, there was a metal-cabinet manufacturer that I was familiar with a while ago. It’s Fillip Metal. It’s sort of this new revival of some interesting, repurposed materials. And you might want to check them out, as well.  And one last thing: Since VOC-free is important to you, make sure to shop for chemical-free countertops, as well.

    STEVEN: OK. Well, thank you very much for the information. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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