Your Guide - Plywood Kitchen Cabinets

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We have seen plywood kitchen cabinets surge in popularity over the past several years and with good reason. Not only does plywood create a stylish and unique look, it's also hard-wearing and has wonderful eco-credentials too. 

So if you are considering plywood kitchen cabinets, we have all of the information you need, as well as some inspiring plywood kitchens and suppliers for you.

If you need help finding a local kitchen designer specialising in plywood kitchens, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find a kitchen designer


What is plywood and how is it made?

Plywood is formed from layers of thin, compacted wood which are glued together. Due to the lamination process where each layer is rotated at 90°, modern plywood is incredibly strong.

Birch plywood kitchen with Formica facings by Matt Antrobus Bespoke Furniture.


What is the best species of wood to use?

Birch plywood is the most popular choice by kitchen designers as it's superior in terms of quality and strength when creating your plywood kitchen. It also has a really beautiful finish and is naturally light, which will give a beautiful Scandi look if left untouched. 

For a darker look, you can choose oak or walnut.  Bamboo is another option as it's a strong material and is sustainable too, growing back in around 3-5 years once it's been harvested.

Birch plywood kitchen by Wood & Wire


What are the benefits of plywood kitchen cabinets?

Sustainable

One of the biggest benefits of plywood kitchen cabinets is that it's a sustainable option. 

Birch is the most popular species used to make plywood kitchen cabinets and is sustainable owing to the fact that it's a fast growing tree. Bamboo plywood is also a good option if you are looking for an alternative material with strong eco-credentials. 

Plywood is manufactured with minimal chemicals which further adds to the sustainability. Chat to your kitchen designer around the sustainability of their specific product, including the materials and adhesives used in the production.

Strong 

Not only is plywood easy to work with to create the perfect finish, it's also a very strong material which creates a solid kitchen. Using a hardwood ply such as birch will mean the wood is resistant to rotting and warping and should last for decades.

Cost effective

Although it is more expensive than basic MDF and chipboard, it's a cheaper option than a solid oak kitchen or oak veneer. 

Stylish finish

A plywood kitchen can create the ultimate contemporary look and works so well if you like a streamlined, minimalist look. Normally the panels are left flat with cut out handles or pulls adding to the simple style. 

Birch plywood kitchen finished in a deep green. The units look perfect with the concrete floor. Kitchen by Uncommon Projects.


How much does a plywood kitchen cost?

Plywood is a more expensive alternative to using a material such as MDF, however the strength, quality and environmental credentials make up for the additional cost.

A bespoke plywood kitchen with the units and cabinets made from birch plywood will cost anything from £10,000 for a small kitchen up to around £30,000 for a large kitchen.

To save on the costs further, you can combine IKEA units with plywood cabinets. HØLTE design, who specialise in making cabinets for IKEA carcesses, estimate that a HØLTE + IKEA kitchen will cost around a third of the cost of the equivalent fully bespoke kitchen.

Deep blue plywood kitchen with a stainless steel worktop by HØLTE


How do you best maintain a plywood kitchen cabinet?

Plywood kitchen cabinets are fairly low maintenance as it's a water resistant material. Your plywood kitchen is likely to be finished in an oil which makes it easy to wipe down and gives it an extra layer. 

If you have a painted kitchen then you can touch up over time, as you would with any painted kitchen. If it's finished in a veneer such as Formica, then you can simply wipe down.

Raw plywood kitchen in the home of two.men.and.a.semi on Instagram



What are the options for finishing a plywood kitchen cabinet?

If you want to create a Scandi style look, then choose to leave the plywood kitchen cabinets uncoloured and opt for a birch-faced ply which is naturally light in finish and will give you a wonderful simplistic look. With the walls and worktops painted white, this will create the ultimate minimalistic kitchen which will feel calm and airy.

Many people choose to paint their plywood kitchen cabinets in anything from a contemporary white to bright colours for a more playful look, normally combined with some exposed plywood. 

When we think of plywood kitchen cabinets, often a quintessential mid-century style springs to mind, with the plywood kitchen creating this look perfectly. Teamed with terrazzo on the worktops or floor, painting plywood in bold colours such as teal and orange will create this wonderful look. You can combine a lovely blend of colours and expose some plywood for a wonderful, bright and fun looking kitchen.

Another popular option is to finish the plywood cabinet with a veneer face which can be finished in any colour. Staining is also a popular choice to create a deep contemporary style.


We adore this light and joyful kitchen in the home of _lisa_dawson_ on Instagram


What style of worktop should I choose for a plywood kitchen?

Really anything goes here and we have seen so many wonderful options to really make your kitchen stand out. A popular choices would be a light quartz which works well for a streamlined, modern style.

Terrazzo worktops looks striking, particularly if you want to go for a strong mid century look. Terrazzo combines colours of glass, marble or granite and casts them in cement, creating an original look.

Cement is also a popular choice and can give a strong industrial look for the kitchen.

Another popular option is combining the plywood kitchen with stainless steel or brass for a modern style...we love the brass worktops in the kitchen below which creates a warm effect. 

Beautiful plywood kitchen finished with brass worktops in the home of cluelessrenovators on Instagram



If you need help finding a local kitchen designer specialising in plywood kitchens, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find a kitchen designer

Published: September 22, 2020


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