Millwork Materials

The cabinets you choose for your kitchen can make or break your design. You could go with prefabricated store-bought stock cabinets, but many people are looking to custom millwork for something with a bit more character. Custom cabinets can not only be customized to your personal tastes but are generally of much higher quality. You also have your pick of materials. To help you choose the right one for you, here are some of the most common millwork materials.


The benefit of using hardwood is the fact that every piece is different. There is a natural appeal that compliments many interior design schemes. More durable than other materials, hardwood is also easy to maintain. By sanding hardwood down, you can quickly eliminate scratches and other minor damage over the years.

However, it is essential to note that hardwood is typically not used to construct entire cabinets. If the whole unit is made out of hardwood and you risk the cabinet warping. It is also often considered too heavy to use for an entire cabinet.


Generally made by layering at least three layers of wood and gluing them together, plywood has a different visual appeal than hardwood but is one of the most popular materials used. Plywood cabinets are lighter than hardwood but don't compromise on strength. Plywood works well with commercial properties and can be made to look neutral. A lot of custom millwork design options use plywood due to its versatility. It is also hard wearing, which is one of the reasons it is so popular.


Otherwise known as chipboard, particle board represents a more cost-effective option. As with many materials in this bracket, it has a different level of durability and performance than more expensive options. Particleboard isn't advisable if you want your cabinet to last. It is more likely to bend over time, giving you a different longevity than other options.


Popular because it can be customized in many ways, vinyl is a plastic material generally used for the front of cabinets. It is available in just about every color you can imagine. The main issue with vinyl is how it reacts to heat. In warmer months, it may peel away and look untidy. In terms of humidity, it performs well, though.

Medium-density fibreboard (MDF)

Made from wood fibers, MDF is mainly used for the exterior of cabinets. It is smooth and hard-wearing, making it a common choice for many. Due to how it is made, it can deal with the elements better than hardwood. MDF can be made to resemble wood finishes, which is why so many people choose it.

With so many choices, millwork can be made to look how you want. It doesn't matter what your room looks like; every style has a finish. By understanding the benefits of each, your choice should be made more accessible.