Melamine Kitchen Cabinets have advanced dramatically in recent decades. Melamine was once thought to be a low-cost, low-quality material, but like the laminate countertop (which has also changed) of the cabinet world, it has evolved into a popular choice for kitchens.

Melamine Kitchen Cabinets offer options to fit any budget or design style, whether you’re doing a low-cost kitchen renovation project or designing your dream kitchen. Let’s explore the benefits and different types of Melamine kitchen cabinets!

What Are Melamine Kitchen Cabinets?

Melamine is made of raw particleboard with resin-infused decorative paper permanently glued to both sides. The resin is activated by heat and pressure to successfully seal the substrate and make cabinet doors. Melamine boards are made to look like actual paint, wood grain, concrete, metals, or material patterns.

Styles for Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

In recent decades, melamine kitchen cabinets have advanced significantly in several ways. It is no longer mocked as an inferior or “cheap” construction material. Melamine’s appearance and durability have improved dramatically.

Modern melamine kitchen cabinets offer a high-quality, high-performing option that satisfies the aesthetic demands of modern styles with a simple slab door shape.

Although melamine kitchen cabinets are frequently used to mimic different wood textures, they can come in pure colors and even be customized to match the surface and texture of existing décor. Hundreds of distinct melamine kitchen cabinets are available from most manufacturers.

Options for Different Melamine Kitchen Cabinets:

textured melamine kitchen cabinets

Textured melamine kitchen cabinets

The most popular design of melamine kitchen cabinets is textured melamine. An artificial object can employ rich, consistent wood grain appearances thanks to textured melamine.

Since these types of melamine kitchen cabinets are made from printed pictures, they may faithfully imitate the grains of many types of wood or other surfaces. Melamine will produce a wood grain that is more uniform and consistent than a natural wood species.

Due to the inherent nature of hardwoods, no two melamine kitchen cabinets will have the same grain patterns. Melamine definitely will. If you wish to have absolute consistency in a wood grain effect, you want to choose this option.

You get a real tree with flaws and inconsistencies when you dye raw wood. A stain will not permanently adhere consistently across the wood slab, resulting in an uneven or sometimes even blotchy surface.

These appear to be wood, but they will not be as convincing when touched. Because the decorative paper is covered with plastic resins, the surfaces will have a plasticky feeling, depending on the product’s quality.

European textured melamine kitchen cabinets

Standard textured melamine is available on the market, as well as a premium, high-end product known as European Textured Melamine (ETM). It’s called European since it was only available in Europe until 2021. However, producers are now producing ETM in North America, benefiting customers.

ETM melamine kitchen cabinets are a better-grade, premium type of melamine. ETM creates a premium material with richer textures and colors, a more realistic-looking wood grain, and even looks and feels closer to actual hardwood.

Unlike normal textured melamine kitchen cabinets, ETM is a richer and more believable replica of natural wood. If you want a beautiful, consistent hardwood look, ETM is the finest quality alternative on the market today.

Solid color melamine kitchen cabinets

Although solid-color melamine kitchen cabinets are not as popular as wood grain melamine, they provide a great alternative to classic melamine wood grain aesthetics.

Solid melamine kitchen cabinets are available in a wide range of blacks, greys, beiges, and whites. Some manufacturers will provide a few colorful possibilities, such as a deep blue or green, but solid “colorful” melamine cabinet selections (excluding whites and blacks) often center on grey and beige tones.

High gloss

High gloss Melamine is regular melamine that has a high gloss finish. Manufacturers are producing these boards in various colors that you can choose from. They offer a superb high gloss finish with good reflective qualities.

Super matte surface

As the producers put it, it is affordable, durable, and never gets peeled or delaminated, and they have a super matt finish. Melamine-faced chipboard has an edge on all four sides. They have low light reflectivity and usually have anti-fingerprint properties. They feel soft when touched.

Melamine Kitchen Cabinet Quality

Melamine kitchen cabinets are among the most resilient materials available today, with exceptional resistance to humidity, heat, and stains. Melamine will not rip away since the resin-filled paper is permanently glued to the particleboard base. It will also not delaminate like other fused goods like thermofoil.

Whereas textured melamine and European textured melamine look pretty similar, ETM is of superior quality. It’s thicker and more resistant to daily knocks and damage. While standard textured melamine kitchen cabinets are still long-lasting, problems might develop. Corners, for example, are susceptible to chipping.

The substrate will be exposed as a result of chips. Depending on the size of the chip, the door may appear faulty, and the exposed particle board will be prone to water damage that can extend throughout the material.

In terms of water damage, melamine varieties are resistant to liquid due to the plastic covering. If the doors become wet, thoroughly dry them, and you should be fine.

However, the foundation substrate is particularly susceptible to water damage. If the particleboard gets exposed due to cracks, scratches, or other damage, any liquid that enters the substrate will spread like wildfire, even at the molecular level.

Water should not be a concern as long as the surface of the doors is not damaged. As the TFL name suggests, melamine kitchen cabinets have a laminate, making them more “stable” than a wood veneer or solid wood.

This implies that as the temperature or humidity changes, wood will naturally breathe (expand and compress). Because veneer is a natural product with a wood finish applied over a base, it will constantly shift. Melamine kitchen cabinets won’t.

Melamine’s durability is one of the reasons it is such a popular choice for a uniform, consistent wood grain finish.

Cost of Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

When estimating the cost of industry-wide items such as kitchen cabinets, it is critical to recognize that price will vary depending on the material’s quality or grade, market circumstances, and manufacturer. Even the different Types of Melamine Kitchen Cabinets can differ in price.

Standard melamine kitchen cabinets are substantially less expensive than luxury options such as painted MDF or natural wood cabinets. There is a significant price difference, and it’s why melamine is worth considering if your only concern is the visual appearance of your cabinets.

Melamine’s low cost is one of the reasons it is such a popular and cost-effective choice for kitchen cabinets. Pricing for ETM is significantly more than for standard melamine.

European textured melamine is a premium, high-end product with a high price tag. It is not uncommon for the cost of ETM to be comparable to that of painted MDF or tinted natural wood.

Limitations of Melamine Kitchen Cabinets?

Melamine has design restrictions when compared to other cabinet materials.

For starters, melamine doors are nearly always slab (flat) in form. Some manufacturers may produce 5-piece doors, but they are few and far between, and the product quality is significantly inferior to MDF or natural wood 5-piece doors.

Because melamine is only available on slab doors, everything else will be flat. Any cosmetic crown or trim molding will be flat, with no way to change or personalize the design. Melamine, unlike a customizable natural wood like maple, only offers slab cabinets instead of range hoods.

Choosing a finish might also restrict melamine cabinet ideas. While there are many solid colors and deep, textured wood textures to choose from, you will be limited to what the manufacturer offers.

That implies if you don’t like a particular color or wood stain, you can’t change it with a new shade or hue. Melamine offers far fewer possibilities than natural wood stains.

You may choose a specific species with wood and then paint it as dark or light as you desire. On the other hand, melamine will only be available in predefined stain levels, limiting the choices for wood grain cabinets.

Therefore, melamine’s consistency and variety of wood grains are advantageous, but the lack of stains and colors might be restrictive the more specific you wish to be.

How to Clean Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

Melamine kitchen cabinets don’t need much upkeep, which is another important quality. It must only be quickly cleaned to remove any dirt or minor stains. Cleaning them is as simple as it gets because they are slab doors!

Make sure to thoroughly dry the doors after cleaning them with any liquid or water. As you know, drying your melamine kitchen cabinets as soon as possible can prevent water damage. Water and moisture may spread like wildfire if they get into the particleboard substrate.

The upkeep and cleaning of genuine wood need a little more effort. In particular, cleaning joints and gaps in 5-piece cabinet doors can be difficult.