BEND YOUR NEEDS: CHOOSING THE RIGHT WOOD FOR CABINETRY

In this special segment, we are excited to welcome Carpenter Goh, our very own carpentry enthusiast, to our blogging community, who has drawn upon his knowledge of cabinetry by bringing us closer to the most fundamental element: WOOD


Cabinetry may seem frivolous in comparison to other structural elements of your home but as cabinetry professionals and home owners ourselves, we can say that high-quality cabinets do make a huge difference to the level of sophistication to your space.

Unlike electrical works in renovations, constructing a cabinet isn’t rocket science nor do you need to understand every minute detail. It does, however, require a little knowledge on material selection. More important than style and functionality, choosing the right wood for your cabinetry will accomplish its practical purpose of high possible standard for the finished product.

As wood is a hygroscopic material that absorbs and releases moisture from its environment, it pays to know which type of wood are suitable for certain projects. Hence, to help in your consideration, we have put together this comprehensible guide to assist you to select the perfect engineered wood or solid wood furnishing for your home.



Type of Wood

It is not a surprise that wood is one of the most valuable and abundant organic material used across various industries. Especially in interior design, wood is simply a very good construction material that is versatile and easy to manipulate.

1. Plywood

Considered a premium option amongst other engineered wood, plywood compromises of thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together to form a composite material. It can be composed by soft woods (eg: Pine, Redwood or Cedar) or hard woods (eg: Teakwood, Gurjan). As an extra factor, an exposed wood laminate coats the outside for added protection


Quality

What qualifies plywood as “Cabinet grade” is in fact the quality of the veneer faces. An A-grade often has twice the number of plies, better lamination and a smoother finish.

In higher quality solid plywood like the ones used in all our cabinets, the cross-grains (wood grains layered perpendicular to the adjacent layer) provides extra strength in multiple axes, which reduces the tendency of the wood splitting when nails are used on the edge.


Thickness

Cabinet plywood comes in variant thickness, ranging from ¼ to ¾ inch, albeit many manufacturers, like ourselves, gravitate towards using ¾” thick plywood in cabinetworks for its durability and structural rigidity. As cabinets are one of the longest-lasting expected components in your house, it is imperative that the cabinet face framing, sides and shelving are ¾ inch thick plywood. These panels can be used without bracing or nailing, resulting in a frameless cabinet box. Moreover, thinner plywood will not be structurally strong enough to withstand the heavy load and stress, well over prolonged period of time, which creates potential call-backs after installation.

On a contrary, drawers and pull-out shelves call for a different type of construction than the cabinet box. While the drawer sides are nominal ½ ” thick plywood, the bottom should generally be ¼ inch thick inserted into the dado joint to hold the bottom and provide support.

Pros

· Long lifespan- High quality, Strong & Durable

· Flexible – able to bend to design curved surface

· Versatile – Varies densities for different purposes

· Moisture Resistant - less susceptible to damage by water.

· Cross-grains of layers holds nails and glue very well

· Good surface for paint, polish and even adhering laminate

· Available in large sheets, hence can cover huge areas without joinery


Cons

· Comparatively more expensive than other wood-based materials