The pros and cons of metal kitchen cabinets

There was a time when metal kitchen cabinets seemed to be everyone’s go-to. That brief moment in the mid-20th century ushered in a return to the popularity of wood. Now many people look back at those modernist metal cabinets and are thinking of going back to that style. Is it really a good idea? What are the pros and cons of metal kitchen cabinets?

Metal cabinets have a few things going for them. Initially, they feature a unique look. They’re reminiscent of the post-war “electric age” and have a cheesy, retro vibe that some people find completely irresistible. If you’re trying to recreate that look in your kitchen, you’ll no doubt consider buying metal kitchen cabinets.

Second, the cabinets are sturdy. They are made of metal, after all! While high-quality wood cabinets boast just as much (if not more) longevity, metal cabinets have an advantage over hardboard composites that dominate the lower price tiers of wood cabinets.

However, there are some drawbacks to metal cabinets. First, they have a tendency to dent. One could argue that wood has a tendency to scratch, making them comparable in that regard. However, that’s not really accurate. Small scratches in wood are almost imperceptible, and repairing a deeper scratch in wood is fairly easy. Even small dents in metal kitchen cabinets can be obvious and are often quite resistant to repair.

Second, wood offers more flexibility in terms of design. If you like the look of available metal cabinets, that’s not necessarily important. However, if you want to make your choice among the widest range of options, wood is clearly the building material of choice. Wood is also easier to cut and customize.

Third, metal can be quite loud. Even when the doors are properly padded, opening and closing metal kitchen cabinets can be a noisy proposition. If you’re not a big fan of the occasional squeak and metal-on-metal clash, you can opt for wood cabinets. They’re not quiet, but they don’t create the same kind of disconcerting rattle.

Finally, rust can be a problem with metal cabinets after several years have passed. If you’re not prepared to properly care for your metal cabinets, you can end up with unwanted rust and oxidation quite early in their life.

In general, most people will probably be happy to choose wood kitchen cabinets over metal. However, those metal cabinets can be a very strong alternative for those with very specific design ideas. If you’ve been thinking about metal cabinets, be sure to consider their negatives as well as their positives. This will give you the best chance of making a smart decision regarding your new and improved kitchen.

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