Our 12 Best Modern Kitchen Cabinet Materials

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Last updated: July 7, 2023

You might think wood veneer is the best material for common cabinet materials. However, there are many other materials to consider if you’re planning new kitchen cabinet doors and wall cabinets. More and more homeowners are choosing the go the route of custom cabinets beyond natural wood. Home kitchens (especially small kitchen), requires the right cabinet materials that are a good option for the limited space.

Let’s look at some other modern kitchen cabinet materials that may be a good choice if you’re looking for that sleek look.

Table of Contents

Aluminum Composite Panels (ACP)

ACP or composite material panels are composed of ACM or aluminum composite materials that are usually flat panels consisting of two thin aluminum sheets coated in a coil and bonded to the strong core that is non-aluminum.

ACPs are currently used in external facades and cladding as well as for signage and insulation. This material is also available in various shades, textures, colors, and finishes such as stone, wood products, sand, and more.

One of the critical strengths of ACPs is that you can easily bend, turn, fold, and shape them into various forms according to the design and utility with no constraints. Their flexibility to develop and shape makes them the best option for many interior designers, carpenters, and architects in the entire kitchen. It is popular for most designers because it offers more freedom in design. 

ACPs are also the ideal materials to use for a modular kitchen, thanks to their durability, flexibility, moisture and fire resistance, and numerous available options.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is your best option if you want to have a modern design for your kitchen, even on a limited budget. MDF or medium-density fibreboard consists of tiny wooden, hot-pressed fibers and glued together using resins under high pressure. It can provide the look of wood or a contemporary look for any cabinet style but won’t be as good as solid wood cabinets containing the best wood for new kitchen cabinets.

This choice of material for modern kitchen cabinets is not only easy on the pockets because you can also fit any finish on top. Being a form of engineered wood, this can better resist termites and boasts a smooth surface. You also have many options for neutral colors for your next kitchen renovation such as beige, taupe, gray, brown, black, or white.

The medium-density fiberboard is denser and heavier than plywood, and the material folds better, can last for a long time, and is more durable. MDF doesn’t contract, expand, or even wrap once exposed to high temperatures or temperature changes, unlike hardwood cabinets.

Particle Board

Particleboard is the cheapest material you can use for your kitchen cabinet design; since it combines waste wood and sawdust. It is essentially manufactured from wood chips or jute stick chips. Many people wonder if it is even a durable material in the first place.

Since the material is light, it cannot hold additional weight; yet, it is one of the more common materials for kitchens since it is helpful for light cooking.

The good news is that particleboard is economical yet eco-friendly because of its material, a residue obtained through other engineered woods (sawmill shavings or wood fibers from softwood or hardwood residue), which helps reduce landfill waste.

Particleboard is an excellent choice to consider if you want to update your kitchen space and are environmentally conscious at the same time. Particleboard is also available in various colors, grain patterns, so you can be sure to find something that suits your personal preference.


Plywood is a type of engineered wood produced using veneer sheets pressed with resins. Even if this material is somewhat more expensive than others on the list, it is still a popular choice that an interior designer can use because of its strength for modern kitchen cabinetry.

Plywood comes in different variants such as moisture resistant or MR plywood and boiling water-resistant, or BWR plywood. It is ideal for any kitchen design because of its water-resistant quality.

Since kitchens often get exposed to water and steam, it is best to use BWR ply in place of commercial ply. While BWR is a bit pricier, this is an excellent choice for modern kitchens thanks to their durability and ability to resist not only water but even fungal attacks.

Plywood essentially is wooden boards that are layered together then bonded by heat and pressure. Plywood is a great option and helps make kitchens more appealing, beautiful, versatile, and aesthetically pleasing.

PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is a popular modern kitchen cabinet material, which is easy on your wallet too. It is an easy to maintain and easy to clean material. PVC boards used for kitchens today are available in two forms – foam and hollow boards. While the latter is sturdier and heavier, the former is lighter and more economical.

The primary benefit of PVC for kitchens is that the material is available in many colors and is easy to fix. But, PVC doesn’t have the same level of durability as other materials on this list. PVC material is only a short-term solution and not a permanent one.

Stainless Steel

There are different kitchen cabinet materials but for a fabulous modern look, many homeowners now use stainless steel for their modern kitchen cabinets. It is popular because of the antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties of the material. Stainless steel cabinet doors are easier to clean, more resistant to rust and water, and more durable.

Stainless steel offers a modern, classy look to today’s kitchens. It tends to be more suitable for industrial professional kitchens with large-scale cooking and where cabinets face daily use and handling.

Stainless steel cabinets could resist termites, moisture, and spills that would have resulted in wrapping and swelling if you used other materials. The stainless steel material is an excellent choice to revamp your storage space, drawer fronts, and stock cabinets and is available in a textured, matte, and shiny finish.

Stainless steel remains a favorite material for the best kitchen cabinets that offer a different look that is well-accepted by some of the best restaurants and modern homes today.


Actual wood is not cheap, but this is a very durable material used for building modular kitchens. Solid wood kitchen cabinets are often the top choice for kitchen drawers and cabinets because of the quick installation. Popular materials include white oak, red oak, or even variations that use a thin layer of solid hardwood.

Also, keep in mind that solid wood material can last forever with proper care. Hinges and screws hold well which provides essential strength and structure, even with thin layers of wood. The face frame for cabinet boxes in wood, plywood, and particleboard also provides essential strength and structure.

You can choose different colors and textures, and I am sure you will find something that suits your taste and aesthetic preferences. It remains the most preferred material among people who want a more traditional look and there are many cabinet manufacturers that make them.

However, even though wooden cabinets can resist scratches, dents, and stains, the material is more prone to resizing and wrapping, commonly the result of dampness and moisture that are pretty common in all kitchens.

Other flaws, such as splinters and knots, can also affect their overall design. Termites also pose a costly challenge for wood material.

Different Finishes for Modern Kitchen Cabinets

There are different finishes for contemporary kitchen cabinets too. For example, you can use vinyl film wrap for kitchen cabinets. It is durable, lasts longer, and requires little management. As a result, it is a popular refurbish option for the kitchen.

Interested in white cabinets? Sold on Amazon, Yenhome’s Glossy White Adhesive Vinyl Cabinet Liner is waterproof and can be used in the kitchen for countertops, base cabinets, frameless cabinets, tables, doors and can be used for furniture renovations in the living room or bedroom.

Below, some other important things to consider.


If you have always wanted a kitchen that looks stunning, acrylic finishes can give this part of your home a more luxurious touch with a glossy finish. Just remember, though, that it means stains, dirt, and fingerprint marks will be more visible.

Do keep in mind, your kitchen cabinets with an acrylic finish will require more frequent cleaning. It is also a more expensive variant compared to other finishes.


Glass can brighten up your kitchen in many ways, not to mention that it is also straightforward to clean. A glass finish can make kitchens look and feel airier while ensuring more effortless cooking. You can choose for your glass shutters either in frosted or plain variants so you can have a better and more accurate view of your groceries and other items.


If you prefer a more enduring finish, laminate cabinets are practical options that are also budget-friendly at the same time. This finish can resist moisture, stains, scratches, and heat. This makes it an excellent choice for kitchens. Plastic laminate is used for custom cabinetry, tabletops, and surface counters.

Laminate kitchen cabinets have straight lines, are sharp but have square corners. Most condos, apartments, and newer homes will have these modern cabinets because of their durability and resistance to scratches and damage. It’s a unique look but very common nowadays.

Did you know high-pressure laminates are essentially kraft paper, at about 6-8 layers? This is glued and bonded together under heat and high pressure to create a durable product.

Low-pressure laminates like melamine are pre-finished board and use a single, thin melamine paper that is bonded with resin sealant (chemical compound) to craft wood or particleboard (substrate) through heat (approximately 338 and 374 Fahrenheit) and pressure.


For elegance and durability, a membrane finish is your most feasible choice. Membrane finish is effortless to clean using just a piece of wet cloth and is relatively easy to maintain aIt is also cheaper than an acrylic finish.

Polyurethane (PU)

You can opt for a PU finish to achieve a classy look available in different colors. You paint PU finish over the shutter that can be matte or glossy.

What essential aspects should you consider when designing your kitchen?

It is crucial to ensure that your kitchen is spacious enough and can accommodate everything you need. You also need to use suitable materials depending on the specific use of your kitchen.

What are the best materials for modern kitchen cabinets?

ACP, MDF, particleboard, plywood, PVC, stainless steel, and wood are the best and most common materials that you can use for modern kitchen cabinets.

Many ask, what is the best modern kitchen cabinet material?

Hardwood and plywood are known to be the best materials for high-quality kitchen cabinets. Their aesthetic qualities and durability are usually unmatched. However, these will be more expensive for these very reasons.

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