The 5 best materials for kitchen cabinets & joinery

You can imagine that when I’m asked about materials for kitchen joinery, all the options, styles and textures excite us here at GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens.

It's very hard to choose a favourite or single out just five, as it depends on your individual style, needs and budget. However, we have compiled a list of what we think are the five best materials for kitchen joinery in terms of practicality, budget and durability to help inform your next kitchen project.

 Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

1) Solid timber

Using solid timber joinery in your kitchen provides the longest lasting finish with the bonus option of simply re sanding, staining or painting to change the look of your kitchen down the track. 

There are so many additional benefits of using this material. Timber rarely shows dirt or ageing and its durable finish is perfect for busy high traffic family kitchens. Another pro of solid timber joinery is that the natural colour pallet of timber ties into almost any style of kitchen, flooring and home decor, instantly creating a feature that does not date.

2) Laminate

You cannot go wrong with using laminate in your kitchen. Not only does this finish provide a very durable surface, it also has an extensive colour range and contemporary textured range to match any style or vision. It’s an extremely cost effective option and looks great in any style of kitchen.

 Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

3) Black marine plywood

The timber edges of black marine ply are left exposed as a very impressive design feature. The sleek look is a result of how plywood is constructed – by pressing thin layers of timber together. This suits inner-city chic, industrial or ultra-modern kitchen designs and has the added bonuses of remaining a cost-effective option, as well as a very durable material.

Just to give you a little background on plywood, it’s made from thin layers of wood glued together, typically with the grains positioned at different angles for added strength. It’s available in sheets of different sizes and ply types. Though it is dearer than MDF (medium-density fibrewood), plywood is still generally more affordable than solid wood.

Plywood has the following advantages over MDF:

  • Strength
  • Screw support
  • Suitable for exterior jobs
  • Aesthetically better looking in its raw state 
 Image: Bodie & Fou Blog

Image: Bodie & Fou Blog

4) Pre-finished veneers

Pre-finished veneers are also a favourite here at GIA Bathrooms and Kitchens. We explain to our clients that what you see is what you get, and that’s always the case! These veneers are 'pre-finished' so you don't need to worry about what the actual veneer colour will result in.

You must remember that most veneers are 'raw finished' in the sample folders, so you're often left surprised at how dark or even red the timber becomes once the two pack lacquer has been applied. Not only are pre-finished veneers very durable, specifically in vertical uses, it’s also great for statements or feature areas in the kitchen.

5) Two pack

Two pack is renowned for being one of the best type of high gloss looks available. As a material, it’s very flexible in uses and can be applied to any material surface/style of doors. For examples; shaker, Provincial, plain, timber and even stainless steel. The most beneficial aspect of using two pack in your kitchen is that you’re able to do an exact colour match with your walls in the home. It’s a classic, high end option, that will always be appreciated.

 Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

Image: GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens

For more advice on getting your kitchen reno right check these 11 kitchen design tips and tricks and our kitchen lighting guide.

Author bio:
Illan Elberg is the Sales & Marketing Manager of GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens. We are a specialist design & renovation company in Melbourne, with over 25 years experience, providing our clients with quality and customised transformation. 

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Company bio: 

GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens provide a completed design & construct service. We provide clients with customised designs, and quality workmanship, with ou start to finish service. For further information, please visit

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