Should You Install Melamine Cabinets?

Prefabricated melamine cabinets are used everywhere. They are perfect for garages, kitchens, offices, pantries, bedrooms, and everywhere in between. In general, they are a great substitute for real wood cabinets. This article compares melamine and wood cabinets.

The Drawbacks of Wooden Cabinets

Most custom wood cabinets are made out of paint grade wood. The wood can be stained and painted pretty much any unique color that you want. In reality, this is probably the best argument for actually installing a wood cabinet. You can always change the color of the cabinet when you want to.

But, that are some major disadvantages that you need to consider. First of all, not only can you repaint would, you also have to. This means that the integrity of the wood will be compromised if the finish, whether it is a solid latex paint or a clear oil stain, rubs off and exposes the wood after some time. The wood stain protects the wood and gives it color and identity. This is very important because it wood, when it gets wet, can change shape and the grains can even warp a little bit.

Additionally, wood is much more difficult to clean because it is a rough, granular surface. You should not clean wood cabinet shelves with your everyday all-purpose cleaner. These are all problems you basically don't have with melamine.


Melamine is waterproof, with a slick, water resistant surface. The white finish on melamine is permanent, waterproof and smooth, meaning that it is very easy to clean and you do not need to refinish it. Melamine cabinets actually do have composite wood cores. So, they have a similar weight and feel. The melamine cap over the composite completely protects and seals it. If you melamine does somehow get scratched off (which is unlikely) it can be patched with a variety of products to preserve the wood integrity.

While many homeowners would love to have real wooden cabinets, if only so they could say that, it just isn't the wisest choice if you aren't willing to handle the upkeep. It's more expensive, requires more intense maintenance, and won't last as long as melamine. This is why it's so much better for most people to install a cost effective and stylish prefabricated melamine products.

You should be reasonable about your cleaning and maintenance ability. If you don't know if you will have the patience to take care of wood, you should avoid it. Get in touch with a cabinet refacing service for more information.