Johor Kitchen Showdown: Plywood vs. Melamine – Which Wins?

melamin plywood kitchen cabinet

Speaking about kitchen remodel or kitchen renovation, wood is always a typical material to be associated with kitchen cabinets.

In today’s market, melamine and plywood kitchen cabinets are two of the most popular choices for solid wood products. Before homeowners make a decision on which type of cabinets to choose for their dream kitchen, it is important to compare the differences between melamine and plywood kitchen cabinets.


The Process of Plywood and Melamine Fabrication:


Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

Melamine wood is a composite wood made by compressing wood particles together at the core. The compressed wood particle core is then covered with a resin and paper finish to form an outside layer. It is important to note that although melamine is a type of laminate, not all laminates are melamine.

Melamine kitchen cabinets are a popular choice for homeowners and interior designers alike, thanks to their versatility and ease of maintenance. These cabinets are made from melamine, a type of plastic material known for its durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and moisture. The material is available in a wide range of colors, designs, and patterns, making it easy to match any decor style.


One of the biggest advantages of melamine cabinets is their affordability. They are often less expensive than their solid wood counterparts, making them an excellent option for those on a tight budget. Additionally, melamine cabinets are relatively easy to install, and they require minimal maintenance compared to other cabinet materials. (However, this is not very true in Johor context. Solid Plywood tends to be cheaper or similar price here)


Melamine is not just limited to kitchen cabinets; it’s also widely used in many other applications, such as bathroom cabinetry, display counters, office furniture, whiteboards, and flooring. In fact, melamine is often preferred over other materials for its versatility, resistance to wear and tear, and cost-effectiveness.

When it comes to cleaning melamine cabinets, you can use a mild detergent and warm water to wipe down the surfaces. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, as they can scratch the material and cause it to lose its luster. With proper care and maintenance, melamine cabinets can last for many years and continue to look great.

Overall, melamine is an excellent choice for cost-effectiveness, low maintenance, and versatility in cabinetry. Its availability in different colors, designs, and patterns ensures that you can find the perfect match for your home decor style.


Plywood Kitchen Cabinet

Plywood is a type of wood that is made by layering thin sheets of wood on top of each other perpendicularly, and then gluing and pressing them together to create a hard board. This process typically involves three to seven layers of veneer strips, resulting in a strong panel that can withstand nailing and splitting. 

One of the main benefits of plywood is that it is less prone to splitting when nailed at the edges, making it a popular choice for carpentry and cabinetry projects. Additionally, its ability to resist warping, breaking, and surface damage makes it a top choice for furniture makers. Because of its stability, plywood is also suitable for outdoor use and is commonly used in roofing, flooring, and other structural construction projects. 


One of the key advantages of plywood is its construction method. Unlike melamine kitchen cabinets that require a thermal compression process, plywood is made by layering thin sheets of wood, which are then glued and pressed together at a high temperature. This results in a strong and durable material that is less likely to split or warp. 

Plywood’s resistance to moisture is another reason why it is often used in outdoor projects where exposure to the elements is a concern. Its stability makes it an ideal choice for outdoor use, as it is less likely to absorb and release moisture, which can lead to warping and splitting over time. 


In summary, plywood is a versatile and durable material suitable for various applications. Its construction method and moisture resistance make it a popular choice for outdoor projects. In contrast, its ability to resist splitting, breaking, and warping makes it a top choice for furniture makers and carpenters. 

Melamine has a high nitrogen content by nature, so it is heat-resistant and flame-retardant. It is also highly resistant to scratches, oil, and mild acids and is easy to clean. Melamine kitchen cabinets are popular as an ideal option for kitchen countertops. 

If you want a natural wood grain look, perhaps plywood is a better option for your kitchen cabinet. It is a very close substitute to solid wood, but it does not promote as much deforestation. This can be illustrated in this project, which involves European-style plywood kitchen cabinet installation with a sleek and minimalist design. 

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Plywood vs Melamine Kitchen Cabinets in Installation

Melamine Kitchen Cabinets


Image credit: OppeinHome


The reason for choosing melamine kitchen cabinets is melamine offers an array of choices and a wide range of selections.  Melamine offers many different designs, colours and patterns which you can choose from based on your liking, whereas plywood has very limited designs and they look similar in common.

As far as the constructions and installation in kitchen remodelling are concerned, the tendency of melamine to bend under load is higher than plywood if you are likely to subject it to heavyweights for a prolonged period. The installation of melamine kitchen cabinets must be done with extra caution to prevent damage, especially the hinges and the glides are strong enough to hold. 

While both plywood and melamine are durable materials, plywood is lightweight yet strong. Hence, it is a better option for upper cabinets in dry kitchens. Plywood has strong and durable properties, so the cabinets have a very extended and long life.  In addition, plywood is more significant when hanging large wall cabinets.  It is less likely to run into the risk of collapsing under its own weight. It has a good screw and nail holding capacity which is easier to handle. The surface of the plywood is less smooth than the melamine.

Question: plywood vs melamine – which is easier to clean?  To associate this aspect with both materials, melamine is easier to clean than plywood.  This is because melamine has a flat and smooth surface.  Despite the differences in both materials, melamine and plywood can be applied for a similar variety of purposes such as cabinetry, making furniture, and even flooring.  Both materials are relatively versatile.


The Price of Plywood and Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Johor Ampquartz


When homeowners are trying to choose materials for their kitchen cabinets, the budget is usually the primary aspect that they consider. Melamine is generally less expensive than plywood because it is thinner. If your main concern is the durability of the material and your budget, then melamine could be a good option. However, if you are looking for flexibility or wear resistance, such as the ability to change colors based on your preference, painting melamine can take some effort.

If your main considerations are lightweight, durability, and water-resistant properties, especially for wet kitchens where cooking, cleaning, and maintenance are involved, plywood might be a better option.

Many factors can affect kitchen renovation projects, including the cost and functionality of each material. Therefore, it is important to consider all aspects before making a final decision about your ideal kitchen cabinets. Ultimately, the choice often comes down to personal preference.

At Ampquartz, we offer free consultation services to help you design your dream kitchen. If you need professional kitchen cabinet ideas and consultation, Ampquartz is the right place for you.

When it comes to installing kitchen cabinets, choosing between plywood and melamine depends on your design preferences, how durable you need them to be, and how much weight they’ll hold.

Melamine cabinets come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making them popular for different styles. However, they may bend under heavy loads, so you need to be careful when installing them to avoid damage.

Plywood is known for being strong and stable, yet lightweight and sturdy, making it a good choice for upper cabinets and areas that need to hold a lot of weight. While plywood may not have as smooth a surface as melamine, its durability and longevity make it a better option, especially for large wall cabinets, where the risk of collapsing under its weight is lower.

Despite these differences, both materials are versatile and can be used for various purposes, including cabinetry, furniture making, and flooring. When deciding between plywood and melamine, homeowners should consider factors like ease of cleaning, budget constraints, and personal preferences to make an informed decision for their ideal kitchen cabinets.

AmpQuartz is the preferred choice for kitchen cabinets among Johor homeowners. Our direct factory connection ensures competitive pricing for custom designs.

We offer flexible payment plans, including 0% interest installments. Explore our spacious showroom featuring kid-friendly displays and wheelchair accessibility. Choose from wood, aluminum, and premium countertops (quartz, porcelain, Kompacplus, and more!).

Beyond kitchens, we specialize in custom wardrobes, shoe cabinets, TV consoles, and window solutions.

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