Solid Wood: The Hallmark of Quality Kitchen Cabinets

We admit that here at AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re a little biased. We think fewer things are more beautiful than real wood, and that’s why it’s our job to make and sell wooden kitchen cabinets. But it’s also our job to explain to you why solid wood is so much better than any other alternative.

While metal and glass-front cabinets are legitimate style choices, those who decide to go with wood should understand why solid wood is superior to fabricated substitutes.

wood kitchen cabinets

Pressed Wood

You have likely seen what pressed wood looks like if you have bought some cheap furniture you have to put together yourself. One side has veneer glued to it, but on the underside, you can see what looks like many tiny pieces of wood pressed together — which is exactly what it is.

The process of creating pressed wood includes gathering scraps of wood and using heat to press them together with an adhesive to create a larger piece of wood.


This material is very similar to pressed wood and is created in very much the same way, but it is mostly made of sawdust rather than wood scraps. For this reason, pressed wood tends to have a yellow-brown mottled color, while particleboard has a smoother appearance and tends to have a lighter, more uniform color.

Medium Density Fiberboard

This building material, also known as MDF, is like particleboard, but much denser. The pieces of wood used to make it are smaller, so the result is that they are packed together more tightly. For this reason, MDF is noticeably heavier than other types of engineered wood.

Solid Wood v. Engineered Wood

All of these solid-wood substitutes can be good for different uses: furniture that doesn’t get much use, such as bookcases, furniture used in kids’ rooms that may take some abuse; furniture for a first apartment or dorm when money is a primary consideration.

However, the problem with using wood substitute for kitchen cabinets is that they will get a lot of use. The kitchen cabinets that hold snacks and glasses and plates may get opened and closed dozens of times a day. Engineered wood won’t hold up as long as solid wood kitchen cabinets.

Further, water is a death knell for engineered wood. If it gets wet, it swells, warps, wrinkles the veneer and is never the same.

It’s always best to try to avoid getting any wood wet — even solid wood — but solid wood will always recover from moisture better than engineered wood. It’s stronger, its fibers consolidated by nature rather than a machine.

Here at AWA Kitchen Cabinets of Salt Lake City, we think of our craft as a labor of love. We spend our days turning natural wood into utilitarian objets d’art. Every time we build a wall cabinet, a base cabinet, a utility cabinet or a vanity cabinet, we put in the same level of care and attention to detail.

Interested in making your home more beautiful? Call AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.