All About Cabinets
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Cabinets make a huge statement in a kitchen or bathroom, here is a guide to a few of the materials offered for cabinets to make your kitchen or bathroom stand out.
A cabinet is normally a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors or drawers for storing miscellaneous items. Some cabinets stand-alone while others are built into a wall or are attached to it like a medicine cabinet. Cabinets are typically made of wood or, now increasingly, of synthetic materials. When manufacturing exposed parts can be finished with laminate, veneer or painted to look like wood grains and are engineered material not real wood.
Identifying engineered wood products:
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in defibrator, combining it with a wax and a resin binder, and forming panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is more dense than plywood. It is made up of separated fibers, (not wood veneers) but can be used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is stronger and much more dense than normal particle board.
Oriented strand board (OSB) is an engineered wood product formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations. It is manufactured in wide mats from cross-oriented layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips compressed and bonded together with wax and resin adhesives (95% wood, 5% wax and resin). The layers are created by shredding the wood into strips, which are sifted and then oriented on a belt or wire cauls. The mat is made in a forming line; the layers are built up with the external layers aligned in the panel’s strength axis with internal layers cross-oriented. Finished product has similar properties to plywood, but is uniform and cheaper.
Plywood is a type of manufactured wood made from thin sheets of wood (wood veneer). It is one of the most widely used wood products. It is flexible, cheap, workable, recyclable, and can usually be locally manufactured. Plywood is used instead of plain wood because of its resistance to cracking, shrinkage, and twisting/warping, and its general high degree of strength. Plywood layers (called veneers) are glued together with adjacent plies having their grain at right angles to each other for greater strength. There are usually an odd number of plies so that the sheet is balanced — this prevents warping. Because of the way plywood is bonded (with grains running against one another and with an odd number of composite parts), it is very hard to bend it perpendicular to the grain direction.
Veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch) that are typically glued onto core panel’s typically wood, particle board of medium-density fireboard to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. Plywood consists of three or more layers of veneer, each glued with its grain at right angles to adjacent layers for strength. Veneer is obtained either by “peeling” the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced.
Making the right choices:
There are many other wood species in the market such as Ash, Birch, Cedar, Hickory, Pine, Plane, Rosewood, Spruce, Sycamore, Teak and many more. In our industry, the preferred five are listed in making the right choice.