What is in your kitchen or bathroom?

Kitchens and bathrooms today are constructed from many different parts. Materials in these parts can be imported or made locally. These can include solid timber, reconstituted timber, rock, metal, plastics, and even glass can be used in the construction of cabinets, cupboards, carcasses, and benches. If not the building its self.

This document deals with the materials that are used in kitchen, cabinet, carcasses, cupboards, kickers, bulkheads, bench-tops, materials, and even in building construction. This is a story that has been written for the KitchenPages. If any offensive meaning is made to you, or taken by you the reader, it is suggested you exit this document that has offended you.

In many remote areas of the world kitchens are made from solid rock to cement. What ever people can get, they will and do use. Many richer western cultures use solid timbers. Many are grown locally but generally in most country’s big business import’s raw materials from other countries. Cedar, Ash, Red gum, Teak, Pine, Jarra. This also includes other materials for cabinets or decorative surfaces of items within, or even on the building its self.

Here in Australian kitchens to bathrooms in our buildings today we can use solid timber, reconstituted timber's, marble, plastics, and many other decorated surfaces. some of these are listed below:


PB - Clipped Pine Board, is Pine tree’s and timber’s that are chipped, sprayed with a resin and then compressed under about 180 Degrees Celsius of heat into a solid board. After cooling, the boards are stacked to allow the resin glue to dissipate from the boards’ surfaces. Then a decorative covering can be applied. This type of board is best used in horizontal applications.

MDF - Medium Density Fiberboard, is almost the same as Pine Board except it uses smaller chips (like dust) that are made from higher-graded timbers. This gives a lot more strength in vertical applications under compression. Usually this board comes in a light brown colour or with decorative coverings.

TIMBER - Includes: any timbers, generally cut from a tree, or reconstituted from smaller timers that are glued into a bigger piece of timer. Can be used in buildings, door rails or styles, solid timber doors. Decorated with lacquer, varnish, or wax.

LAMINATE – Laminates are a decorative surface on a thin backing. Like thick papers, they are bonded in layers to a certain medium thickness. Thickness allows the decorated surface to be more durable (harder). A decorative covering is applied one surface of the backing, see paper.

ROCK - Includes tiles, cement, rock, and marble. These can be man made surfaces or pre sized items to decorate a kitchen or bathroom. These mediums are even used in construction of the overall building. Glass is made from sand, see glass.

METAL - Includes hinges, handles, lead, copper, tin, chrome, galvanized iron/alloy, polished stainless steal, aluminum, brass, zinc, paints, glues, containers, frames and many more objects that are in electrical items and the building.

PLASTIC – Includes vinyl, melamine, hinges, handles, kitchen/bathroom items, or even items in your kitchen/bathroom. Mainly transport packaging or coverings. These range from decorative coverings to glues, paints, and even storage containers.

GLASS - Includes: lead lighting, and decorative glass. Used to display items in your kitchen or bathroom. Mainly to allow light into an enclosed space but can be used with metals or timbers to make cabinets.

PAPER - Includes: Instructions, transport boxes, Kerf papers (laminate backing), and Melamine (decorative surface). Melamine is fine paper that is coloured and then covered in glues. After drying, the converted paper is applied to a medium under heat and/or pressure to create a decorated surface.


All the above materials can be decorated into a decorative surface. Decorative mediums are applied to an exposed or seen surface. You can look at boards as being a medium that we can buy pre-made with a decorative surface or we can physically apply a decorative covering from paint, metals, glass, laminates, vinyl, varnish or wax for timber/s.

The pre made items are better for the cabinet manufacturers. In they only have to manufacture the cabinet or kitchen. Exposed timers are finished with a covering to prevent decay while others are purchased in kit form for manufacture by the cabinetmaker.

Buildings in Australia are build to the Australian Building Standards. The different board grades are due to the resin glue additives that can be used in their manufacture. Even the way the medium is manufactured has an affect on the weight of each board, the boards lifetime, and even where it can be used within the building.

All MDF or PB boards have some type standards. An example could be a sheet sized at 2.4 meters x 1.2 meters by 16 millimeters thickness of white Melamine PB should weight around 25kg per sheet. Some others are:

Colours and building styles do change from year to year. All decorative surfaces will decay over time. Wear and surface scratches may not be removable unless the surface is replaced. The kitchen cabinet industry here in Australia buys and sells according to the current market styles in our society. Colours are changed to meat demand. Generally 30 pigments of colour difference may be measured at a per-inch rate from supplier to supplier. Colours are different because of the many paint and pigment supplies that may be used for the board suppliers to match their colour ranges.

Written by Jason Robinson for the ‘Kitchen Pages, computer software’ Copyright 2000-2008, All rights reserved. See the ‘DISCLAIMER’ at www.KitchenPages.com for more information. Written for private use only!

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