3 Reasons We’d Never Use Veneers on Your Cabinets

Veneers can be an affordable option if you’re looking to reface or refinish your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, but they aren’t the way to go if you want a quality, long-lasting cabinet finish.

Our experts at Cabinet Coatings would never use veneers on your cabinets for 3 reasons:

  1. They damage easily
  2. The material beneath them has a short lifespan
  3. They don’t look as good as other, high-quality finishes

Before we go over why we’d never use them, let’s go over what veneers actually are.


Want a free quote to upgrade your cabinets? Schedule an appointment with our experts online or by calling us at 480-641-9611. We’ll give you a no-obligation quote to reface, refinish or remodel your cabinets using our quality finish.


What are veneers?

Veneers are super-thin sheets of wood or melamine (a type of plastic laminate also called thermofoil) that are attached to plywood, particleboard or other material.

Wood veneers are cut and glued to cabinet boxes, doors and drawer fronts. Melamine veneers are heated (almost melted) onto them.

Cons of using veneers on your cabinets

Now we’ll get into why we prefer coating cabinets with our factory-grade finish instead of veneers.

Con #1: Veneers damage easily

While melamine veneers are typically more durable than wood, both types of veneers are prone to:

  • Chipping. Being so thin, veneers can easily chip (especially at edges and corners), exposing the plywood or particleboard beneath. If this happens, you’ll likely need to replace the entire surface, as it’s hard to patch veneers.
  • Water damage. Since veneers are fixed to a surface, water can eventually get between the veneer and base material. Water can even seep right through melamine veneers. This can cause the plywood or particleboard beneath to become waterlogged and warp, making the veneer surface peel or bubble.
  • Cracking. Wood expands and contracts with the climate or surrounding elements (water from a sink, for example). The problem is that wood veneers typically expand and contract at a different rate than the wood material beneath them, and melamine veneers won’t expand/contract much (if at all) since they’re plastic. So when the base plywood or particleboard expands and the veneers don’t, the veneers will eventually crack from the tension.

Being so prone to damage means veneer cabinets won’t last as long as other cabinet materials.

Con #2: Veneer cabinets have a short lifespan

Even if your veneers don’t show signs of damage, the material beneath them won’t last near as long as solid wood cabinets.

As we mentioned above, veneers are usually attached to one of the 2 materials below:

  • Particleboard: Made from discarded wood shavings and pieces that are glued together, particle board is very porous and tends to sag, ripple and eventually shred when it comes in contact with water. The average particle board cabinets will last roughly 5 years.
  • Plywood: More durable than particle board, plywood is made from layers of thin wood sheets glued together. The sheets are rotated 90 degrees to alternate the direction of the wood grain, making the overall piece of plywood stronger. Plywood cabinets can also break down when they encounter a lot of moisture, but can last anywhere from 10–25 years.

That might sound like a long time, but not compared to solid wood cabinets, which can last up to 50 years.

That’s why we only install solid wood cabinet doors and drawer fronts for your refacing or cabinet remodel.

On top of that, we use only the highest quality finish for your cabinets.

Con #3: Quality finishes look better

When it comes to cabinet work, you get what you pay for.

Veneers are known for being an inexpensive cabinet finish, which means they’re going to look like an inexpensive cabinet finish.

Having worked on cabinets for 20+ years, we know what quality cabinets look like.

That’s why, in addition to using only solid wood cabinets for refacing or remodeling jobs, we apply 2–3 layers of our ultra-durable acrylic coating. Unlike veneers, our factory-grade coating doesn’t crack or peel when the wood beneath it naturally expands and contracts.

Our coating process gives your cabinets a smooth, timeless look, keeping them looking new for years to come.

We’ll also teach you how to properly care for your new cabinets, helping them retain their high-quality look for that much longer.

Ready for a quality cabinet upgrade?

If you’re looking to give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a new look, contact us online or call us at 480-641-9611 to schedule an appointment.

We specialize in cabinet remodeling, refacing and refinishing services. Our cabinet experts will show you a wide selection of cabinet finishes to help you design the kitchen or bathroom you’ve always wanted.

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