The 5 best materials for kitchen cabinets & joinery

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4 min readYou can imagine that when I’m asked about materials for kitchen joinery, all the options, styles and textures excite us here at GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens.

It’s very hard to choose a favourite or single out just five, as it depends on your individual style, needs and budget. However, we have compiled a list of what we think are the five best materials for kitchen joinery in terms of practicality, budget and durability to help inform your next kitchen project.

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens


1) Solid timber

Using solid timber joinery in your kitchen provides the longest lasting finish with the bonus option of simply re sanding, staining or painting to change the look of your kitchen down the track.

There are so many additional benefits of using this material. Timber rarely shows dirt or ageing and its durable finish is perfect for busy high traffic family kitchens. Another pro of solid timber joinery is that the natural colour pallet of timber ties into almost any style of kitchen, flooring and home decor, instantly creating a feature that does not date.

For sale: 73 Irrubel Road, Newport, NSW


2) Laminate

You cannot go wrong with using laminate in your kitchen. Not only does this finish provide a very durable surface, it also has an extensive colour range and contemporary textured range to match any style or vision. It’s an extremely cost effective option and looks great in any style of kitchen.

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens


3) Black marine plywood

The timber edges of black marine ply are left exposed as a very impressive design feature. The sleek look is a result of how plywood is constructed – by pressing thin layers of timber together. This suits inner-city chic, industrial or ultra-modern kitchen designs and has the added bonuses of remaining a cost-effective option, as well as a very durable material.

Just to give you a little background on plywood, it’s made from thin layers of wood glued together, typically with the grains positioned at different angles for added strength. It’s available in sheets of different sizes and ply types. Though it is dearer than MDF (medium-density fibrewood), plywood is still generally more affordable than solid wood.

Plywood has the following advantages over MDF:

  • Strength
  • Screw support
  • Suitable for exterior jobs
  • Aesthetically better looking in its raw state

Image: Bodie & Fou Blog


4) Pre-finished veneers

Pre-finished veneers are also a favourite here at GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens. We explain to our clients that what you see is what you get, and that’s always the case! These veneers are ‘pre-finished’ so you don’t need to worry about what the actual veneer colour will result in.

You must remember that most veneers are ‘raw finished’ in the sample folders, so you’re often left surprised at how dark or even red the timber becomes once the two pack lacquer has been applied. Not only are pre-finished veneers very durable, specifically in vertical uses, it’s also great for statements or feature areas in the kitchen.

For sale: 64B Glenburnie Road, Vermont, VIC


5) Two pack

Two pack is renowned for being one of the best type of high gloss looks available. As a material, it’s very flexible in uses and can be applied to any material surface/style of doors. For examples; shaker, Provincial, plain, timber and even stainless steel. The most beneficial aspect of using two pack in your kitchen is that you’re able to do an exact colour match with your walls in the home. It’s a classic, high end option, that will always be appreciated.

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens


For more advice on getting your kitchen reno right check these 11 kitchen design tips and tricks and our kitchen lighting guide.

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Illan Elberg

Illan Elberg is the Sales & Marketing Manager of GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens. We are a specialist design & renovation company in Melbourne, with over 25 years experience, providing our clients with quality and customised transformation.

Follow GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens on Facebook and Instagram.

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  1. That’s a great idea to use solid timber joinery because you can change the look down the track like you mentioned. My house was flooded recently and it ruined all of the joinery. Although it was a disaster, I’m excited to redo my kitchen.

  2. I’ve been thinking about redoing my kitchen lately, and it is really difficult to decide on the exact material that I want to use! However, after looking at your suggestions here, I think that the two pack option would most likely be the best choice for me. It is really important to me that it matches the walls in my home, so it would be great to get it matched perfectly with the color I have. It’ll help keep my home looking simple but beautiful. Thanks so much for the great article!

  3. I think laminates….Many types of laminates are available in the market like glossy finished laminates, floral laminates, textured laminates etc. Nowadays, laminates are used as a decoration for the kitchen cabinets as well, Laminate panel is a type of manufactured timber made from thin sheets of substrates or wood veneer. Laminates are thin plates or sheets which are glued together in order to protect your furniture from pollution. Thanks.


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