As you browse a catalog of bathroom cabinets, you notice that some are made of plywood, while others mention solid wood. Yet others list MDF. What does all of this mean and which material is best for your bathroom cabinet or vanity?
There are a number of factors you should take into account when deciding what type of wood to choose for your bathroom cabinets. Below, learn what you need to consider when choosing the best wood for your bathroom cabinet:
3 Main Choices
Most cabinet manufacturers use 3 main materials. Whether you choose a pre-made cabinet or work with a carpenter on a custom-made piece, you’ll probably come across the following terms:
- MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard): This type of wood is man made. MDF is made of lots of wood fibers that are smashed together along with binders such as wax and resin. It is popular for building cabinets, shelves, and other indoor furniture.
- Plywood: Plywood can be made of softwood or hardwood. It features thin sheets of wood that are glued together. The layers are glued, alternating the direction of the wood grains.
- Solid Wood: Solid wood is basically natural planks of wood made of just one type of wood like oak, pine, or maple.
When you’re bathroom cabinet shopping, one of your main concerns should be the durability of the material. Why? The conditions in a bathroom are hard on many materials, and wood in particular. Fluctuating temperatures, high humidity, and moisture can put even well-constructed bathroom cabinets through the ringer.
Which are the best materials? Plywood and solid wood are the best performers in the face of high humidity. You should avoid MDF because it tends to warp and soak in moisture. When researching pre-made cabinets, make sure you read the fine print. You don’t want to find out too late that the inside of your cabinet is made of MDF, and only the doors are made of plywood.
No matter what material you choose, make sure that it has been properly treated and sealed for best results.
Solid wood is a gorgeous choice for any project involving wood. There’s nothing that matches the beautiful look that natural birch, maple, poplar, and other natural woods offer. Specifically, the particular hardwoods listed are also close-grained, which is ideal for the bathroom environment.
However, the cost may be prohibitive for some. If that’s the case, you might opt for using a hardwood plywood for the hidden parts of the cabinet, such as the sides and shelving inside. Then, you can use the natural solid wood for the cabinet doors, drawer faces, and facing. If you’re on a strict budget, plywood can be dressed up nicely with paint or stain and still provide a durable and attractive bathroom cabinet.
Everyone has their own personal preference in terms of style and wood type. However, in the bathroom, make sure you opt for quality materials to limit warping damage related to humidity and moisture. You’ll be glad you chose solid wood or hardwood plywood when your new bathroom cabinet proves that it can stand the test of time, even in a harsh bathroom environment.