Expensive particle board

So like um I was going to these showrooms and there are some European brands, not IKEA I mean really expensive ones that looked amazingly modern but then I found out everything was made out of particleboard but costs I dunno, like at least 3-5 times as much as IKEA, maybe even 10 times and they say they do yachts or whatever.

On the other hand, I see some American brands not as cheap as IKEA but definitely cheaper than the fancy Euro stuff, but their things are made out of at least plywood, or even hardwood. Doesn’t look fancy, but the wood is wood.

My understanding is isn’t particleboard crap? Would cheap plywood/solid wood beat expensive particleboard as far as quality goes?

What products are you talking about? Cabinets, bookshelves, desks, countertops?

In general…

solid wood >> high grade plywood >> midgrade plywood >> low tier plywood >> MDF >> particle board

Lumber prices have skyrocketed this year (like tripled) . It’s a supply chain issue that will hopefully correct itself within the next year or two.



sales lady was like, woah before you knock it this isn’t like 70s particle board

and I was like uhhh yeah you keep telling yourself that

1 Like

I don’t know where you are at, but I suggest you look around for a specialty cabinet supplier instead of the Ikea/Showroom store.

I’ve never done a kitchen remodel before, but I have designed and paid for 3 bathroom renos over the last decade.

If I were to do it all over again, I would definitely not go cheap on the cabinets.

I see. We did go to a few custom builders, looked like they know what they’re doing. Problem is availability is like in March and uhhhhh, I kind of need to live somewhere.

Yeah I get it but I don’t get why a really rich person would buy particle board, or how a company that makes particle board furniture can charge more than solid wood. I thought they were rich enough to afford quality.

I sure as sh!t wouldn’t be buying MDF or particle board crap if I could help it.

1 Like

Last year when I sold my house my relator tried to convince me my kitchen cabinets, solid maple, were out of date and needed replacement or at least painting. I point blank told him no.

What do you think?

I mean, it’s not the most contemporary of cabinet colors, but I thought they look pretty damn good for their age. I just think the solid maple doesn’t really go out of style.

You can spend a lot of money on cabinets and they could look like crap after 5-7 years if you got the wrong ones.


That cabinet color/style is absolutely outdated.

There will be people who don’t mind it I’m sure. But if it were up to me I’d gut the whole thing.

1 Like

Well, I wasn’t going to spend 15,000 on cabinets and sell for the same price. My issue was that the cabinets themselves were in perfect shape.

Everything in that pic is new except for the cabinets (appliances, quartz countertops, hardwood floor, sink, faucet, even the yellow paint) & was picked out by the buyer.

You may be right, JSM, but my $0.02 is that solid wood quality is less out of style over the long haul than a trendy particle board style that fails after 5 to 7 years of use.

Well, you wouldn’t sell for the same price obviously. Cabinets significantly elevate the elegance of the unit. You likely would be able to raise the list price by double what you spent renovating.

That is absolutely false in my area.

Return on renovations is about 50% to 75% at most, not 200%

I put $40,000 into renovations in the months before the sale, and I don’t think that the price increased by that much. The sale time was short, however.

Over the 15 years I lived there I put well over $100,000 into renovations, and I lost money on the deal overall.

Not to sound condescending, but I’m not seeing $100000 in renovations in that picture. I assume this is the po? $100000 even in major cities can go a long way.

Honestly, if you don’t have the eye for this kind of thing, there are a lot of interior designers or students that can really help with this for a cheap price.

imo, They look pretty darn good - period.

imo, quality never goes out of style.

My two cents: price and quality aren’t as correlated as you might think. You can get designer shoes for $300, or Allen Edmonds. I’m an Allen Edmonds guy.

Particle board is fine. As long as it doesn’t get wet. Lots and lots of kitchen and bath cabinets are made from particle board or MDF and last decades. And they put a clear coat on it to protect it from minor spills.

Personally, I’m still old school and I like plywood boxes with solid wood for the frames and doors. And you can get that for not a ton of money.

I am about to start on a bath remodel. Here is the 42” vanity, I paid $2k for this. A man in Michigan made it for me and he drove it to my house in Kansas. It’s got some 3/4” plywood for the frame, but most of this is 3/4” quarter sawn oak. The drawers are all solid hardwood. If you’re going to pay ridiculous prices, then this is the kind of craftsmanship you should be getting.

The matching medicine cabinet is sitting on top in the pic, in case it’s confusing.

ETA: my house is a 1912 craftsman, in case you’re wondering about my choice of style. Baseboards and casings are quarter sawn oak, and I’ve matched the stain to what’s in my house.

1 Like


That yellow paint doesn’t work well with the color of the cabinets and counter top.

I think a nice backsplash and different color paint on the walls would make the kitchen look great.

The cabinet hardware could also be updated. Those look like builder-grade knobs.

I suspect OP is referring to MDF as particle board.
MDF has some bad properties, but some good ones as well. And it ain’t particle board.
Our custom cabinets are all MDF. better than real wood IMO. at least for that purpose.