A Simple Guide for Obtaining Superior Kitchen Cabinets for Less

It is possible to lend a fresh new look to your kitchen cabinets on a modest budget. Yet, careful planning makes it easier to save money and avoid falling prey to false economies. A poorly skilled installer has the potential to ruin the appearance of your new kitchen and incur additional costs. Therefore, engaging experienced and skilled cabinet installers is vital to accomplish the job correctly.

The Things You Want to Retain 

Before getting new cabinetry, consider how you currently use your kitchen. If you want to upgrade the layout, you might have to shift things like plumbing and electrical connections, which can add to the costs. So, if your current layout works well for you, it’s wise to keep it. You can update the kitchen without a complete overhaul and save money on suitable cabinets.

Choose Your Desired Cabinet Style

Suppose you don’t have enough time or enthusiasm to measure your kitchen and find flat-pack cabinet designs. In that case, you can look for kitchen companies that provide cabinet design and installation services. A representative will discuss the options with you and take measurements, and there may be a small fee for this service. 

Pre-assembled cabinets come with attached hinges and doors and are a step up from flat-pack designs. If you select this option, having an experienced professional install your cabinetry is recommended.

Find a Professional Installer

It is imperative to find a quality installer because the fit can make or break your new kitchen. It’s prudent to follow the retailer’s recommendation for installers. If you decide to find your installer, you should research and get recommendations. 

Never hire someone who only suggests cheaper options. Remember, the kitchen is an investment, and you should have the confidence to decide where to spend and where to save, as poor fittings or lousy design can lead to added costs over the long run.

Know About the Material You Choose

Most DIY and pre-assembled carcasses available are built from melamine-covered particleboard. Some people may consider this a lower-quality board, but this is not the case if the board’s density is good enough. If you need more clarification about the quality of the materials used in your selected cabinets, enquire with your chosen kitchen designer or retailer for more details about the products they have sourced.

Melamine-Covered Particleboard Cabinet Doors

Particleboard cabinet doors are an affordable choice, available in a basic ‘slab’ style, because particleboard has limitations for shaping. However, the design options have no bonds, and they are available in many colours and textured effects, like concrete, slate, and woodgrains.

Always inspect the edging of melamine-covered doors to ensure they can endure moisture and everyday impacts. Choosing PVC or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) edgings with a thickness between 1.3 and 2 millimetres is prudent.

Avert potential repair costs from moisture getting through the door-edging joins. Choose doors built with laser or infrared edge banding machines as they ensure better contact between the two surfaces, enhancing durability.

MDF (Medium-Density Fibreboard) 

It is a composite wood product shaped using wood-waste fibres connected by resin, heat, and pressure. MDF, with its higher density than particleboard, is beneficial for attaching hinges to cabinet doors as screws hold much better. Furthermore, MDF doors provide better design flexibility than particleboard; they can be constructed with patterns and intricate details on the front.

Choose Vinyl or Foil Wrap Finishes 

The most cost-effective finishes for MDF doors are foil wrap or vinyl. Both involve wrapping the front and sides of the door, described as an industrial-style clingfilm and offer a moisture shield. Nearly any finish, including wooden, can be replicated onto the wrap.

Remember, there are variations in the quality of the vinyl or foil used; however, you must take care when applying it to the MDF base. 

A poorly finished vinyl-wrap door often exhibits an ‘orange peel’ effect—you’ll notice small bumps or ripples on the door’s surface.


It is a cheaper alternative often used in low-cost cabinet doors. It is resilient and easy to clean, which makes it a popular choice for active households. As melamine is a synthetic material, it offers an array of finishes.


Consider veneer if you want an expensive timber appearance without the high cost. The veneer consists of thin sheets of natural wood pressed onto the MDF board, and it can be stained and lacquered to achieve different looks.

Painted Finish

While giving your kitchen cabinets a new coat of paint can be laborious, it’s a cost-effective way to achieve a new look. The cost of painted MDF doors is not higher than vinyl-wrapped doors. The pricing of a range of standard-sized painted MDF doors in various colours and finishes closely matches that of vinyl-wrapped doors.

MDF surfaces are very smooth and ideal for painting if you want a custom colour or want to update it. Painting also protects against moisture getting in through cabinet fronts and sides, so they are preferable around sinks.
If you aren’t confident in your DIY abilities, it’s prudent to consult an experienced painter for a quote. Additionally, seeking professional advice can ensure a more accurate assessment of the project.

Quality Matters

Before finalising your purchase, thoroughly inspect the quality of your selected kitchen cabinets. Run your hands over the door’s surfaces and edges to confirm they are straight and levelled. The edge quality significantly impacts the aesthetics and durability of your kitchen. Furthermore, check the doors for chips around corners and edges and any visible scratches. Look for panels that may have bent due to improper storage or transportation.

The Bottom Line

It’s wise to invest your time in evaluating the quality of your selected kitchen cabinets to achieve a successful and enduring kitchen upgrade. By ensuring straight surfaces, flawless edges, and intact panels, you not only contribute to the longevity of your kitchen but also enhance its visual appeal.

If you want fresh ideas on small kitchen designs on a budget, please feel free to drop by Konnect Kitchen’s showroom in Melbourne.

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