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Imported plywood in your kitchen cabinets? Pros/cons?

12 years ago

We have found a cabinetmaker we LOVE and he does beautiful, magazine worthy work (in fact he has been in a few magazines). He just happens to be in a small town nearby and while he does a lot of projects "in the big city" he is the proverbial small town cabinet wizard. The problem is that he is over budget (as I think we were under budgeted for cabinets). He is also doing our paneled study and is WAY under budget on that and the difference really more than makes up the shortfall. However, we are trying to stay close to our original budget on cabinets so we have money to finish the basement!

Long story short, he can save us 15% or so off the top by using imported plywood. He only uses it when someone wants to save money off his standard priced stuff (beautiful, catalyzed varnish paint, blum soft close cabs and drawers, dovetail, etc. - top of the line) which uses domestic plywood. His comment about it is that the imported plywood he uses does not contain formaledhyde but it does warp if not put together right away. You can't cut out a whole kitchen and then put it together because it will warp. That is the only downside he said.

We called our backup cabinetmaker, who is in budget, thinking we might use him for the secondary baths, basement, laundry, mudroom, etc. and he said he uses all imported plywood and has never had a problem. This is actually what the first guy said - the cheaper guys all use imported he said and he was right in this instance!

Imported makes me nervous but I don't know why . . . particularly if all the more affordable custom guys use it. Should we consider using it (which would allow us to use the fantastic guy for the whole house - and really I thought a cabinet was a cabinet til I saw his but they are beautiful!) in the entire house, in the secondary areas only, or not at all?

Does anyone know the pros and cons?

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MAC Design + Build
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Loudon County Full-Service Design/Build Firm & Kitchen Remodeler