“What is the difference between solid oak kitchen cabinets and oak-veneered plywood alternatives?” Question of the Week 22.01.17
“What is the difference between solid oak kitchen cabinets and oak-veneered plywood alternatives?”
This week, our customer question has been sent in by Asad in Sileby. Asad is weighing up the benefits of solid oak kitchen cabinets over plywood.
“I’m interested in purchasing new cabinets for my kitchen but I’ve seen a lot that are labelled as solid oak veneer. What is oak veneer? And what is the difference between solid oak kitchen cabinets and the oak-veneered plywood alternatives?”
Thanks for getting in touch, what a great question! We’re passionate about solid oak kitchen cabinets and as such think that they’re the superior option, but we’ll give you the facts and let you make up your own mind.
An oak veneer is a veneer that has been constructed from a thin layer of solid oak. It will usually be applied to engineered wood to give the effect of solid timber. Products with oak veneers can look very realistic, but unfortunately don’t possess the same qualities as items that are constructed entirely from solid oak.
Plywood is a sturdy material to use when constructing kitchens. It is created by sticking layers of solid wood veneer together (a different methodology than is used when manufacturing MDF and chipboard, resulting in a much stronger product). There are benefits to using plywood when building a kitchen, as high-quality options can be extremely strong and durable, and plywood does not need time to acclimatise to its environment. It can be painted or varnished in much the same way as solid wood products, and when using a solid oak veneer, can look similar to solid oak kitchen cabinets – though any exposed edges will clearly show that the material is in fact plywood.
There are variances in quality when it comes to both solid wood kitchen cabinets and oak-veneered plywood, which is important to remember when making comparisons. People will often look at plywood options and assume that these will be cheaper than solid wood, but this is often not the case. High-quality oak-veneered plywood can cost just as much – if not more – than a solid oak option.
Natural timber is much easier to work with and requires a less-intensive finishing process if any adjustments need to be made. Any damage to solid oak kitchen cabinets will be much easier to repair, as wood can be gently sanded and refinished using matching paint or lacquer. Damage done to oak-veneered plywood will usually need to be filled and then sanded down; however, it is difficult to achieve a finish that will blend well with the existing material.
Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we hope that we have provided the details required to make an informed decision! If there is anything else we can help you with, please feel free to contact us again.
The Team @ Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets
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