I’m often asked why some brands of pre-fabricated cabinets are so expensive when they are made of particle board. Most quality cabinets use a material that does resemble a low-grade particle board but is actually much more durable. The higher quality material, sometimes called engineered wood, weighs about three times more than common particle board because it’s bonded together with a high quality poly-resin.
This also means that it can be completely submerged in water without damaging effects. Something you can’t do with typical particle board. Often the wood grain that is printed on engineered wood is applied in several stages to assure a long-lasting outer shell or a true wood veneer is bonded to it to enhance the appearance of an all wood cabinet.
Of course, the reason for all of this is that engineered wood is less expensive, and though it can’t be fairly compared to all-wood construction it is a viable alternative for those of us on a budget.