Are Laminate Kitchen Cabinets Good? Pros, Cons & Comparison Guide

Last updated on May 7, 2024

Discover the potential benefits and drawbacks of laminate kitchen cabinets as we delve into their suitability for your home improvement project.

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If you’re in the market for new kitchen cabinets, then you’ve probably come across laminate cabinets. Laminate is a popular material for kitchen cabinets because it’s affordable and durable.

However, some people are hesitant to choose laminate because they believe it’s of lower quality than other materials like wood or metal. So, are laminate kitchen cabinets good? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of laminate cabinets and help you decide if they’re the right choice for your home.

What's Inside

Pros of Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Laminate White and Wooden Kitchen Cabinet Modern

Firstly, they are affordable and can fit into most budgets. Compared to other materials like wood or metal, laminate is much cheaper while still providing a sleek and modern look.

Secondly, laminate cabinets are durable and long-lasting. They can withstand daily wear-and-tear without showing signs of damage or fading in color over time.

This makes them ideal for busy households with children or pets.

Thirdly, laminate comes in various colors and patterns that allow you to customize your kitchen’s style according to your preferences easily. You can choose from different finishes such as matte, glossy or textured surfaces depending on the overall design scheme you want to achieve.

Lastly, maintenance is easy with laminates; they require minimal upkeep compared to other materials like wood which need regular polishing and oiling treatments.

Cons of Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Chipped or Peeling Veneer Kitchen Cabinet Door

One of the main concerns is that laminate can be easily scratched or chipped, which can make them look worn and dated over time. If the surface gets damaged in any way, it’s difficult to repair without replacing the entire cabinet.

Another disadvantage is that while there are many color and style options available for laminates today than ever before; they still don’t offer as much variety as natural wood or metal cabinets do. This means you may not be able to find exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to design.

Lastly, some people believe that laminate kitchen cabinets lack authenticity compared to other materials like wood or metal. While this may not matter much if you’re on a tight budget or just want something functional; those who value aesthetics might prefer a more high-end material option.

Types of Laminate Materials

laminate wood veneer kitchen cabinets

The outer layer is then coated with a decorative layer, which can mimic the look and feel of wood, stone, or other materials. There are several types of laminate materials available for kitchen cabinets:

1. High-Pressure Laminate (HPL): This type is made by fusing multiple layers together under high heat and pressure to create an extremely durable surface.

2. Low-Pressure Laminate (LPL): LPL is less expensive than HPL but not as durable because it’s only one layer thick.

3. Thermofoil: Thermofoil is a vinyl film that’s applied to MDF board using heat and vacuum sealing techniques.

4. Melamine: Melamine has similar properties to HPL but comes in fewer colors and patterns.

Laminate Cabinet Durability

Modern Cream Kitchen Cabinets

They are made of a composite material that is layered with a protective coating, which makes them resistant to scratches, stains, and heat damage. Laminate cabinets can withstand heavy use in high-traffic areas like the kitchen without showing signs of wear or fading.

One factor that affects the durability of laminate cabinets is the quality of materials used in manufacturing them. High-quality laminates have thicker layers than low-quality ones, making them more durable over time.

Another aspect that contributes to laminate cabinet’s longevity is proper maintenance. Regular cleaning with mild soap and water helps prevent dirt buildup on surfaces while avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners will help preserve its finish.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

cleaning cabinet

Unlike wood, which can warp or crack over time, laminate is resistant to moisture and stains. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your cabinets altogether.

To keep your laminate kitchen cabinets looking their best, it’s important to clean them regularly with a soft cloth or sponge and mild soap solution. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that could scratch the surface.

If you spill something on your cabinet doors or drawers, wipe it up immediately with a damp cloth to prevent staining. For tougher stains like grease or oil marks, use a mixture of baking soda and water as an all-natural cleaning solution.

It’s also essential not to let water sit on the surface for too long as this can cause damage over time. Always dry off any excess moisture after cleaning with a clean towel.

Cost Comparison With Other Materials

Cost Comparison Price

Laminate cabinets are often more affordable than other materials like wood or metal. On average, laminate cabinets can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 per linear foot, depending on the quality of the material and customization options.

Compared to solid wood cabinetry that can range from $100-$1,200 per linear foot or custom-made metal cabinetry that starts at around $500 per linear foot and goes up quickly with added features such as glass inserts or intricate designs; laminate is an excellent option for those looking for budget-friendly alternatives.

However, keep in mind that while laminates may be cheaper upfront compared to other materials used in making kitchen cabinets; they might not last as long due to their lower durability level.

Customization and Style Options

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Laminate can be made to mimic the look of other materials, such as wood or metal, at a fraction of the cost. This means that you can achieve a high-end look without breaking your budget.

Laminate cabinets come in various colors and patterns, making it easy to match them with your existing decor or create an entirely new style for your kitchen. You can choose from glossy or matte finishes depending on what suits your taste best.

Another customization option is adding decorative elements like handles and knobs to give them a unique touch. With so many options available, you’re sure to find something that fits both your aesthetic preferences and functional needs.

When choosing laminate cabinets for customization purposes, keep in mind that some styles may not be as durable as others due to their finish type or thickness level. It’s important also consider how well they will hold up over time with regular use before making any final decisions on design choices.

Laminate Vs. Wood Cabinets

Oak Kitchen Cabinet

Laminate cabinets have gained popularity in recent years due to their affordability and durability. So how do these two materials compare?

Wooden cabinets are known for their natural beauty and timeless appeal. They come in a variety of finishes such as oak, maple, cherry or walnut that can add warmth and character to your kitchen space.

Wood is also sturdy enough to withstand the test of time if properly maintained.

On the other hand, laminate cabinets offer more versatility when it comes to design options since they can be made with different colors or patterns that mimic wood grain or stone textures at a fraction of the cost compared with real materials.

While both types have pros and cons depending on your needs and preferences; one thing is clear: laminates are less prone than wooden ones when it comes down scratches from everyday use like opening drawers/cabinets repeatedly over time which makes them ideal for busy households where kids might be involved.

Installation Process

measure current kitchen cabinets

Unlike wood or metal cabinets, which can be heavy and require specialized tools to install, laminate cabinets are lightweight and easy to handle. This makes them a great option for DIY enthusiasts who want to save money on installation costs.

The first step in installing laminate kitchen cabinets is measuring your space accurately. You’ll need to measure the height, width, and depth of your cabinet openings so that you can order the right size doors and drawers.

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to assemble the cabinet boxes themselves. Most manufacturers will provide detailed instructions on how to do this yourself at home using basic tools like a screwdriver or drill.

Next comes attaching any hardware such as hinges or drawer slides before mounting them onto walls with screws through pre-drilled holes in both sides (cabinet box & wall). Finally adding finishing touches like trim pieces around edges completes this process!

Environment and Sustainability Impact

Sustainable Impact

Laminate is made from a combination of paper and resin, which means it’s recyclable. Many laminate manufacturers use recycled materials in their products.

When compared to other cabinet materials like wood or metal, laminate has a lower impact on the environment because it requires fewer natural resources to produce. It’s also worth noting that laminates do not emit harmful chemicals into the air during production or installation.

If you’re looking for ways to make your home improvement project more sustainable without breaking the bank, then choosing laminate kitchen cabinets could be an excellent option for you.

How to Choose Quality Laminate Cabinets

Reattaching the Cabinet Laminate

Not all laminates are created equal, and some may not be suitable for kitchen use. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when selecting high-quality laminate cabinets:

1. Thickness: Look for thicker laminates as they tend to be more durable and resistant to scratches.

2. Core Material: The core material should also be sturdy enough to support the weight of your dishes and other kitchen items.

3. Finish Quality: Check that there is no bubbling or peeling on the surface of your chosen cabinet finish.

4. Brand Reputation: Choose reputable brands with good reviews from previous customers who have used their products before.

5.Warranty Coverage : Ensure that you understand what warranty coverage comes with each product so you can make an informed decision about which one will best suit your needs.

DIY Vs. Professional Installation

hire a professional installer outdoor kitchen

While DIY installation may seem like an attractive option, especially if you’re trying to save money, there are some important factors to consider.

Firstly, installing kitchen cabinets can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires specialized tools and skills. If you don’t have experience with carpentry or cabinetry work, it’s easy for things to go wrong during the installation process.

Secondly, mistakes made during cabinet installation can lead to costly repairs down the line. For example, improperly installed cabinets could cause damage or wear on your countertops over time.

On the other hand, hiring a professional installer ensures that your new laminate kitchen cabinets will be properly installed according to industry standards and best practices. Professionals also typically offer warranties on their workmanship which gives peace of mind in case anything goes wrong after installation.

Common Concerns and Solutions

Choosing the Right Cabinet Hardware

Modern technology has made it possible to create high-quality laminates that mimic the appearance of wood or metal. Another concern is durability; some people worry that laminate cabinets won’t last as long as other materials.

While it’s true that laminates can scratch or chip over time, proper maintenance and care can help extend their lifespan.

Another issue with laminate cabinets is water damage; if exposed to moisture for extended periods, they may warp or swell. To prevent this from happening, make sure your kitchen has adequate ventilation and avoid leaving spills unattended for too long.

Some homeowners are concerned about the environmental impact of using laminates in their homes. While there are certainly eco-friendly options available on the market today (such as those made from recycled materials), you should still do your research before making a purchase decision.

Real-life Examples and Reviews

Many homeowners have shared their experiences with laminate cabinets, both positive and negative. Some people love their laminate cabinets because they’re easy to clean, durable, and affordable.

Others have had issues with chipping or peeling over time.

One homeowner shared that she installed white matte finish laminates in her kitchen five years ago and has been very happy with them ever since. She said that they still look as good as new despite daily use by her family of four.

Another reviewer mentioned that he had some trouble finding high-quality laminates at first but eventually found a reputable brand through research online before making his purchase decision.

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s experience may differ based on factors such as quality of materials used, installation process followed, maintenance routine adopted among others.

Material Options for Blue Cabinets

These brands offer a wide range of styles and colors to fit any design aesthetic. Some of the most well-known laminate cabinet manufacturers include Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite, Nevamar and Arborite.

Formica is one of the oldest and most respected names in the industry with over 100 years in business. They offer a variety of finishes including matte or high-gloss options for their laminates.

Wilsonart has been around since 1956 and offers an extensive selection of patterns ranging from solid colors to wood grains or abstract designs.

Pionite is known for its durability as they use advanced technology during production which makes their products resistant against scratches or stains.

Nevamar offers unique textures such as suede finish which gives cabinets a soft touch feel while still being durable enough for everyday use.

Arborite provides eco-friendly options by using recycled materials during production without compromising on quality standards.

Refacing Laminate Cabinets

Cabinet Refacing

Refacing involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts while leaving the existing cabinet boxes intact. This process can be done with laminate materials, which are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

One advantage of refacing laminate cabinets is that it’s much less expensive than installing new ones. It also takes less time since you don’t have to remove or install any new cabinetry boxes, making it an ideal option for those who want a quick kitchen makeover.

Another benefit is that you can choose from various styles and finishes when refacing your laminate cabinets, allowing you to customize them according to your preferences. You may opt for sleek modern designs or classic traditional looks depending on what suits best with other elements in your home decor.

However, keep in mind that not all laminates are created equal; some may peel off over time due to poor quality adhesive used during installation or exposure to moisture levels beyond their tolerance limit.

Laminate Countertops

install countertop

Laminate is an affordable material that comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it easy to find something that matches your style. Laminate countertops are low-maintenance and easy to clean.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider when choosing laminate countertops. They can be easily scratched or chipped if not handled carefully, which can affect their appearance over time.

They may not hold up as well as other materials like granite or quartz.

If you’re considering laminate countertops for your kitchen renovation project, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. Consider factors like durability needs and budget constraints when deciding whether this option is right for you.

Updating Kitchen Cabinets

Benefits of Repainting Kitchen Cabinets Without Sanding

If you’re considering updating your laminate cabinets, there are several options available to you. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to update laminate cabinets is by painting them.

You can choose from a wide range of colors and finishes that will complement any decor style.

Another option for updating laminate cabinets is by adding new hardware such as knobs or handles. This simple change can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen.

If you want to take it up another notch, consider refacing or resurfacing your existing cabinet doors with new materials like wood veneer or thermofoil overlays that mimic real wood grain patterns.

If all else fails and none of these options work for you, replacing just the cabinet doors themselves may be an option worth exploring – especially if they are damaged beyond repair.

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Brass Accents kitchen Hardware

Refinishing involves removing the old finish from your cabinets and applying a new one. This process can be done by yourself or with the help of professionals.

One popular idea for refinishing laminate kitchen cabinets is painting them in a different color or adding patterns to create visual interest. You can also add new hardware like handles, knobs, and hinges that complement your cabinet’s style.

Another way to refinish your laminate kitchen cabinets is by using adhesive vinyl wraps that come in various colors and textures such as wood grain or metallic finishes. These wraps are easy to install without any special tools required, making it an affordable DIY project.

Refinishing your existing laminate kitchen cabinets not only saves money but also helps reduce waste since you’re repurposing what you already have instead of buying new ones altogether. With some creativity and effort, you can transform outdated-looking laminated cabinetry into stylish pieces that match modern design trends while still being functional for everyday use!


What are disadvantages of laminate kitchen cabinets?

Disadvantages of laminate kitchen cabinets include their susceptibility to irreversible damage and potential for varying prices depending on the variety.

Is laminate a good choice for kitchen cabinets?

Yes, laminate is a good choice for kitchen cabinets due to its durability, scratch-resistance, and suitability depending on quality, usage, and maintenance.

Which is better wood or laminate kitchen cabinets?

Wood kitchen cabinets last longer and are easier to repair, while laminate cabinets are easier to clean and more resistant to scratches.

Are laminate cabinets as good as wood?

Laminate cabinets are more durable, easier to clean, and better at concealing scratches compared to solid wood cabinets.

How do laminate kitchen cabinets compare in durability to other cabinet materials?

Laminate kitchen cabinets are relatively durable, but not as strong as materials like solid wood or plywood.

What maintenance and care tips are recommended for laminate kitchen cabinets?

To maintain and care for laminate kitchen cabinets, it is recommended to clean them regularly with a damp cloth, avoid abrasive cleaners, and protect them from high humidity and direct sunlight.

Can laminate kitchen cabinets be refinished after years of use?

Yes, laminate kitchen cabinets can be refinished after years of use, ensuring an updated look and increased durability.

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