Although anyone loves a good deal, if you are choosing new cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project, you can be certain “You get what you pay for” applies. In today’s world, kitchen cabinets that have been manufactured in China are steadily gaining popularity, as they are simple to order online and have reasonable pricing.

Although anyone loves a good deal, if you are choosing new cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project, you can be certain “You get what you pay for” applies. In today’s world, kitchen cabinets that have been manufactured in China are steadily gaining popularity, as they are simple to order online and have reasonable pricing. However, a lower cost often means lower quality when compared to cabinets built in the US.  Lower quality cabinets can make a major impact on your kitchen in both the long and the short term.

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Read below to learn how to ensure you select the best cabinets for your kitchen.

Pay close attention to materials utilized: 

The main difference between cabinets made in China and cabinets made in America is that Chinese cabinets are made of plywood and US-built cabinets are made from MDF or particleboard.  Although this may not appear to be a detail that is important, it may have big implications for your cabinetry in the long term.

Chinese companies do not utilize plywood because they consider it a better material for cabinets— it is definitely not. They utilize plywood because each of their products is subject to a long journey overseas and must be able to withstand wet or moist environments without becoming destroyed. For homeowners, the negative side of this is that plywood is made of thin wood layers that have been glued together, and formaldehyde is generally used in its manufacturing (potentially weakening the glue). Plywood is quite thin, meaning it can break easily and is likely to warp as time passes.

American-built cabinets use MDF (medium-density fiberboard) that is made up of wax, resin, and wood fibers. MDF has higher density than plywood and is the most affordable, highest-quality alternative to the attractive yet expensive option of solid wood.  MDF does not warp, is more durable, stronger, and features a surface that is smooth and has no wood grain, making painting it easy, providing a finished look that is both polished and clean.

Be careful of environmental issues: 

Many of the environmental regulations in place in the United States are absent in China, triggering suspicions as to just what glues and chemicals are utilized in Chinese cabinet construction. Nobody is looking to install potentially dangerous chemicals in their kitchen.

The PPA (Pollution Prevention Act) and the TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) are acting as safeguards in the United States, in order to monitor any chemicals that may present a major risk to either the environment or human health or both. Thanks to these regulations, it is easier to make sure that any final product installed by kitchen remodeling contractors does not contain any known toxins. However, China is just getting started with the proposal of these types of regulations, and it is impossible to know when they will be implemented and how strict that implementation will be. Without the existence of these regulations, no one can guarantee the safety of any of the chemicals utilized by Chinese manufacturers in the construction of kitchen cabinets.

As Chinese cabinets are built from plywood, they must be stained.  However, without chemical safety regulations, concerns are raised regarding which products have been utilized for cabinet staining.

The safety guarantee is among the reasons that we recommend kitchen cabinets made in the United States for kitchen remodeling.  American cabinet companies like Wood-Mode, Crystal Cabinet Works, Design Craft, and Medallion work hard to obtain environmental stewardship through local sourcing as well as maintaining the highest possible standards in craftsmanship. When selecting any of these companies, rest assured the product you are purchasing is not only of the highest quality but is also safe!

Take the smaller details into consideration:

 Cabinets that are built in the US utilize glue and pocket screws.  Cabinets made in China are built with staples.  For this reason, Chinese cabinets will not be as durable or as sturdy as cabinets made in the United States.

When kitchen remodeling contractors install kitchen cabinets, they must be cut on-site or fixed in order to ensure a perfect fit.  As Chinese cabinets are made in mass-production and have not been assembled carefully, they may turn out smaller or larger than the size they were intended to be and may require adjustment. The associated mess and difficulty of cutting plywood complicates the installation process further, often meaning your cabinets may be additionally susceptible to damage or harm. No need to worry about this with American-built cabinets as they are generally manufactured by smaller companies, made-to-order and with better control of quality. Whenever American-built cabinets require some minimal trimming in order to fit, it is easier and less messy to trim the MDF they are made of.  Their quality construction also ensures they remain strong.

On average, kitchen remodeling is performed every 30 years.  However, the majority of low-cost cabinets have a warranty of no more than five years and occasionally do not even have a warranty.  

American-built cabinet brands tend to back their products up with a lifetime warranty. Chinese cabinets, although less expensive, are not likely to save you any money when their poor construction may require that you replace them in just a few years.

Upon your first look, Chinese and American cabinets could even appear comparable.  However, upon further examination and a comprehension of the manner in which they are built, you may discover that the quality of American cabinetry is significantly higher than that of their Chinese equivalents. 

Be sure to research properly prior to committing to a specific cabinet manufacturer and do not let price alone make your decision. Check out their website to find out details about their warranties, environmental standards, finishes, and materials. Take a look at material samples in person whenever possible. If you would like some reliable guidance during the process, discover the superior feel of working with our company’s experienced kitchen remodeling contractors.


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