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A guide to understanding PVC kitchen cabinets in modern modular kitchens

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Designing an aesthetic yet well-functioning kitchen that is perfect for your daily needs can be a mammoth task. One of the most convenient and popular options for kitchen design is to go in for modular kitchens. In this article, we focus on one particular material that is becoming quite popular in modular kitchens - Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. PVC kitchen cabinets might not be the first material to pop into your mind when designing your modular kitchen so we break down the various ways you can use it and the pros and cons of each.


PVC is a very popular and widely used synthetic polymer of plastic. It is a very durable sheet made of plastic composite. Due to its light-weight and durability, it has many uses including plumbing pipes, cabinets, countertops, window and door frames, etc. With modular kitchens gaining popularity, PVC is becoming the go to material for kitchen cabinets and decorative laminates used on kitchen cabinets.


Currently, there are two types of PVC boards used to make PVC kitchen cabinets – PVC hollow boards and PVC foam boards.

PVC hollow boards are hollow on the inside and are the more flexible type. Being the more economical option out of the two, they are also light-weight. Unfortunately, this type has a few negatives. They have a low thermal resistance and are not termite, moisture or fire resistant. They are also less sturdy than PVC foam boards.

PVC foam boards are more expensive but have a lot of good qualities. They are thicker, broader and more durable than hollow boards. They are also insulated against heat and may sometimes require detail finishing. PVC kitchen cabinets made from foam boards are more reliable and stronger; they are a better option for your kitchen cabinets.

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Features of PVC kitchen cabinets made from PVC boards

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●    The thickness of PVC foam boards ranges from 1 to 30 mm.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets made from PVC boards, especially foam
       boards, are fairly sturdy and durable.

●    PVC material for kitchen cabinets is lightweight as compared
       to other kitchen cabinet materials like solid or engineered

●    PVC kitchen cabinets made from foam boards are fire,
       moisture and termite resistant.

●    They are a great option for shorter term projects like rented apartments.

●    PVC kitchen cabinet boards come in ready-to-fit boards.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets are available in a variety of colours; however, the range may seem limited in comparison to other kitchen cabinet
       materials available in the market today.

●    PVC foam boards for PVC kitchen cabinets are also available in glossy and matt finishes. They smooth, high-gloss surface has a mirror-like,
       reflective finish.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets will not easily chip and break off.

●    You need to choose hinges and fittings that are compatible with PVC kitchen cabinet design.

Understanding the pros and cons of PVC material for kitchen cabinets

There are many benefits to using PVC kitchen cabinets in your modular kitchen. As with every kitchen cabinet material, there are drawbacks as well.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets are fairly sturdy. However, it is important
       to note that both PVC hollow and foam boards sag over time
       and the damage is generally irreversible. Hollow boards will
       see sagging and damage much sooner than foam boards.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets are much easier to replace than other
       kitchen cabinet materials like plywood, aluminium, acrylic, etc.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets made from foam board are non-toxic in

●    PVC kitchen cabinets made from hollow boards are not fire,
       insect or moisture repellent. Foam boards are a better option 

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       for PVC kitchen cabinets as they are resistant to insects and humidity as well as thermally insulated.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets are easy to work with and install. However, they are quite susceptible to scratches, especially from abrasive cleaners
       and cleaning equipment.

●    They do not require surface finishing like laminates. However, with PVC foam boards, detailed finishing is necessary; otherwise, there might
       be irreparable damage to the cabinet.

●    PVC kitchen cabinets made from PVC boards are also prone to discolouration in the long term.


The following modular kitchen layouts are popularly available in PVC and can fit a range of kitchen spaces and sizes:

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●    One wall or straight-line kitchens use one wall for storage,
       sink, appliance and cooking areas.  Since these are short on
       space and storage, they need to be very well planned.

●    A peninsula layout is best for open layout homes where the
       kitchen is partially separated from the living or dining area by
       a divider counter which usually holds under-counter storage

●    A parallel kitchen has two parallel counters along the longer
       walls. These also included top, wall-hung cabinets along one
       or both walls.

●    An L-shaped kitchen needs to make efficient use of corners. 

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●    The most popular layout is a U-shaped kitchen. This type of
       layout features three walls at 90degree angles to each other
       (forming a U shape), lined with workspaces, storage and/or
       appliances. The work triangle perfectly fits within this ‘U’ and
       turns your modular kitchen into the epitome of functionality.

●    Finally, and island kitchen layout includes a kitchen island in
       the centre of a parallel, L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen. 


Modern PVC kitchen cabinets are becoming very popular, especially in rented apartments. Another way to use PVC in your kitchen is PVC laminates. Here the main cabinet is made from a material like plywood and topped by a decorative surface finish of PVC laminate. PVC laminates are laminate sheets made by compressing PVC, thin layers pf paper and resin under high pressure and temperature. The thin sheets range from 0.05 to 2 millimetres.

PVC laminates are very flexible and can bend to 90 degrees. This means they can be used around edges for a seamless look without the need for edge banding. They can also be used for more complex designs which includes ridges. They are durable and very easy to clean. They come in a variety of colours, patterns, finishes and textures.

Ranging from matte to glossy, they can also come in textures mimicking wood, stone and metal. They are resistant to moisture, heat, corrosion and termites. They are the economical option, perfect for PVC kitchen design & cabinets and humid areas. Mild detergents and cleaners should be used on PVC laminates. Abrasive cleaners like bleach and cleaning equipment like steel wool will damage the surface and leave scratches. 

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PVC material for kitchen cabinets is a versatile and useful option to consider in your modular kitchen but is does have certain drawbacks as well. If you are considering installing PVC cabinets or require expert advice on modular kitchen designs as well as kitchen cabinet materials, book a consult with Beautiful Homes Service. The dedicated experts will guide you through the process with innovate storage that complements your particular kitchen size and layout. 


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