Kitchen Talk
November 21, 2008
Plywood base vs concrete base

In last weekend’s article, my husband chatted about the different upgrades we see today concerning all the major appliances in the Kitchen. I told him they are yet to invent a stove, fridge or range hood that we can simply “talk to” and they do exactly what we say. Those are the kinds I will like to have when we have our dream house.{{more}} I will be chatting from a different end this week, and it will be “The pros and cons of Plywood base VS Concrete Base” in kitchen cabinets.

When shopping for kitchen cabinets, most homeowners focus on the look of the cabinets, and not so much the durability of it. There isn’t a problem with having your cabinets looking extremely inviting from the outside but what happens when you open up those doors may be another story all together. We’ve seen before where a couple of our clients were having their old cabinets torn out to be replaced with brand new ones. Looking at the cabinets from outside, it’s very clean and dandy, and same thing on opening up the doors. The real test came in when cupboards began ripping off the walls and the plywood backing and plywood base came out. There were ants, roaches, and the worst of all were rat bedding and their droppings. Of course, there was no way of knowing what was going on behind the scenes of the cabinets since on the surface everything looked clean and alright. Clients tend to request the American look of their cabinets. This is to say, when you open up the doors they will prefer to see a plywood backing instead of seeing the plain wall, and so, too, for the base in the base cabinets. We tend to advise on the best possible way of having a functional kitchen and not forgetting durability and hygiene. If after such advice the client still wishes to go ahead with the plywood backing, that’s perfectly fine, because for some customers they wouldn’t have it any other way. Here we go:

Pro of Plywood backing:

1. Finished Look- Nothing beats the look of opening your cabinet doors and seeing the beauty of plywood instead of the wall or a concrete base with tiles on top of it.

Cons of Plywood backing:

1. Bedding for Insects- As mentioned in the article earlier, with the plywood backing, no matter how close you screw that plywood against the wall, eventually they will find a way to get in those cozy dark spots. Some folks say you can silicone the edges, which of course will reduce the possibility of insect infestation, but that is a tall order going up against insects whose MOTTO is “Where there is a will and a tiny space there is a way”.

2. Cleaning: There isn’t any way of cleaning behind that plywood because it is screwed against the wall and as for the base, there is a 4” space that you will never get access to clean which makes it a PERMANENT home especially for mice and any other insects.

Pros of Concrete Base:

1. Very Hygienic- with the concrete base, there is absolutely no where for anything to call home. In that space we recommend you throw some sand or gravel, and when you reach 1/2” to the lip of the wood base, you simple plaster it off with concrete instead of pouring full concrete. No space, No room, No Insects.

2. Durability- With this system your cabinets can last much longer instead of having it eaten out by termites or infested with rodents.

3. Water Breach- In case there is a water leak in your cabinet, you will have less damage than with the plywood base.

Con of Concrete Base:

1. Unfinished look- The look of the concrete base can be unsightly especially if it’s not done properly.

We’ll hook up next weekend.

Angelica and Rayan James
Exclusive Kitchens
494 2579 / 532 6756