particle board vs plywood cabinets

A question we get asked often here at Apico Kitchens is, “Which wood is better: particleboard or plywood for my cabinets?”
The simple answer is Plywood. With that being said, particleboard has its benefits, for example, the price and the variety of colours and textures that are available.


Plywood consist of an odd number of layers or “plies” of thin veneered woods that are arranged with the grain, running against one another. This prevents the plywood from working in either direction. Each ply can also be made from a different type of wood, giving the plywood a unique and specific characteristic.

Plywood tends to be more durable than particle board. It does not easily crack or chip. When it comes in contact with water, it does not expand. The UV coating also helps with this.

Not all plywood is made the same. For example, some offshore plywood can delaminate when it comes into contact with water and release significant amounts of formaldehyde. The plywood Apico Kitchens chooses is North American pine which is Certified Formaldehyde Free.


The main benefit to using particleboard over plywood is the price; it costs less than plywood. Customizing particleboard costs less than customizing plywood. With particleboard, there are hundreds of options for finishes and colours with only a slight variation in cost, whereas with plywood, you would be adding a labor-intensive step to the cabinet building process (sanding and painting). In addition, the edges of the particleboard are sealed with edge tape, making it more difficult for water to come in contact with the raw product.