How to select the right kitchen

May 20, 2020

How to select the right kitchen

by Renovations | May 20, 2020 | Kitchen Renovations, South East Auckland

When it comes to kitchen design, there are many options to choose from, but not many sources offering information on what the options are.
Are you planning a kitchen renovation at your property?
We have put together the information on the most commonly used kitchen cabinets in NZ and give you tips on which ones may be right foryou.

Types of Kitchen Cabinets:

Solid Wood
Melamine Particle Board
Melamine MDF
Ply Wood

Melamine particle board and Melamine MDF are the most commonly used materials in New Zealand. MDF is an engineered wood composite that is similar to particle board but is much denser and stronger than particle board and more resistance to water damage.

Plywood is the other option but because of its high price is not very popular for residential use.

Ply Wood is a material manufactured from thin layers or “plies” of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. Plywood is stronger and more water resistant compared to Particle board or MDF board.

To give you a better idea about those products have a look at attached photos.

Particle Board

MDF Board

Ply Wood


The inside of the most kitchen cabinets in New Zealand are constructed from Melamine particle board. This is a product manufactured from a wood bi-product core sandwiched between two layers of melamine material.

To increase our product quality, we use Melamine Plywood for our under sink cabinet which is most resistance of all three options against water and moisture damage.


Melamine doors

The greater percentage of kitchens installed in New Zealand still consist of coloured Melamine doors and drawer fronts. Melamine doors are durable and still affordable.

When buying a kitchen, you should check with the supplier if their product is Melamine particle board or MDF. Melamine MDF doors are more expensive but considering life time of product, it’s recommended to use MDF doors.

Melamine MDF’s are available in more than 100 colours from main NZ suppliers, Best Wood and Prime Panels. You can check their website for available colours.

Gloss Finish Doors

Gloss finish doors are similar to melamine MDF but by far a better finish. They have a longer life span, better finish quality, are easier to clean, and will make the space appear bigger because of their light reflection. It’s more suited to a contemporary-style kitchen with flat cabinet fronts than it is for a traditional-style kitchen.

Kitchens with Gloss finish doors are at average 20% more expensive than melamine doors.

Thermofoil Wrapped Doors

This is a thin, tight, heat-sealed plastic wrap used to mould over an MDF board. Thermofoil cabinet doors can be a solid colour or imitation wood grain.

An advantage of having Thermofoil doors is there’s no visible line around the edge of the door and can be used on a patterned door. It’s a good option to be used on farm house or old villa style houses. Price wise, it’s in the same range as Gloss Finished doors.

Paint Finish doors

This is a two-pot paint finished MDF door. Their advantage is that they can be organized in Gloss, Semi-Gloss or Matt finish and almost any available paint colour on the market.

Paint Finish doors are more expensive than the other options but have a very definite place in more expensive homes. It does require more care than other products. For that reason, it’s not recommended for rental properties or families with busy children.

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