In each of these choices, there are many options. Wood can be selected from numerous species such as oak, maple, ash and cherry. Metals can include aluminum, stainless, copper, or tin. Glass can be clear, frosted, leaded, or opaque. Wood-like is the most variable type. This can range from high quality composites that resist staining and fading to cheaper press board that has a wood grain paper glued to the outside.
Following Hurricane Katrina there was no shortage of media coverage about formaldehyde levels in modular homes provided to victims that lost their home. Where did this formaldehyde come from? This is not a new phenomenon. Formaldehyde has been known to off-gas or emit from pressboard products for decades. Initially this was an issue in offices where low quality products were selected for low cost office furniture. In today’s cost conscious environment, homeowners have been convinced to consider these products in their home furnishings as well.
This is not to say that all wood-like products are dangerous or inappropriate. There have been great strides in the production process and in the selection of ingredients. In addition, there are several organizations that evaluate the performance of these products along “Green” criteria. If you have a well-insulated and draft free home, the choice of green products may be a vital factor in your decision-making.
Making Your Selection
With so many products and styles to choose from, it is wise to partner with an experienced cabinet builder who has a strong relationship with a cabinet wholesaler. This will allow you to see first-hand the different options that are available, and ask questions about each one. These professionals can make sure you ask all the right questions so that you know you will end up with the right cabinets for all of your needs.