The Kitchen Cabinet Material You'll Want To Avoid If You Plan To Sell Your Home

Whether you are doing a complete kitchen remodel or are building a home, you want to make sure to choose a kitchen cabinet material that increases the value of your home. The material you choose in your kitchen can make the difference between a home that sells fast for a great price and one that lingers on the market without interest. More than 50% of home buyers surveyed by Rocket Mortgage said the quality of a kitchen could be a make-or-break factor when it comes to their final decision. 

It makes sense to try to avoid certain kitchen cabinet materials. While solid wood cabinets are well known as the highest quality you can buy, several cabinet materials are hardwood lookalikes that don't measure up to the mark. If solid wood is out of your budget, you can talk to a qualified contractor about alternatives that will still bring value to your kitchen and home while cutting some corners on the budget. Don't let anyone talk you into using substandard materials in your kitchen.

Particleboard is a low-quality kitchen cabinet material

Quality kitchen cabinets can be one of the primary features that increase the value of a home. One of the lowest-quality kitchen cabinet materials you can use is particleboard. Particleboard is also known as chipboard and is a product made of compressed wood chips and resin. It is really difficult to paint or stain as it has an uneven and unattractive textured surface. It also absorbs paint into the wood fiber, requiring pre-priming. It is not resistant to any kind of kitchen humidity. Particleboard can warp and sag over time, especially if too much weight is added to it.

Particleboard is one of the most affordable kitchen cabinet materials, but it's also among the least durable. Prospective homeowners are looking for value in a kitchen, and many contractors recommend that you never use particleboard in a remodel or build — it simply doesn't typically hold up to the test of time and can degrade very quickly. And because it is difficult to paint, it adds very little to a well-designed kitchen space.

Melamine cabinets look cheap and outdated

Another kitchen cabinet material to avoid at all costs is melamine. Melamine cabinets are just a slightly dressed-up particleboard. They are similar to laminate cabinets and are made by heat sealing particleboard and decorative paper with a thermal resin. While melamine can be a budget choice, it has lots of quality issues that do not make it a good choice if you ever plan to sell your home. 

Melamine cabinets are extremely heavy and must be installed into strong wall studs so they won't pull out of the wall. Since the base of these cabinets is particleboard, they can swell if exposed to any kind of water. The melamine surface can chip off the surface of the cabinet, exposing the unattractive chipboard underneath. And because the material doesn't hold screws or other fasteners well because of the weak particleboard base, the doors tend to sag. From a design standpoint, melamine does not give the elevated look today's home buyers are looking for in a new house.