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Cabinets

DEFINITION
CONSIDERATIONS
COMMERCIAL STATUS
IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES
GUIDELINES


CSI NUMBER

064 100


DEFINITION:

This section pertains to interior storage cabinets.


CONSIDERATIONS:

Most conventional cabinets are made of plywood with interior grade glue, particle board, or medium density fiberboard all of which outgas urea formaldehyde. The use of solid wood, metal, or formaldehyde-free materials will mitigate a potential indoor air quality problem. A low pressure laminate such as melamine can seal in urea formaldehyde.

The costs of employing these alternative materials are higher than conventional materials. An additional option is to seal the particleboard, interior plywood, or medium density fiberboard (MDF) components with a finish that prevents outgassing. This should be done prior to installation since it is necessary to access all the edges and backs.

Solid domestic hardwood cabinets use a wood resource (domestic hardwood trees)which has a positive growth/removal rate on a national basis (trees are growing at a faster rate than they are being removed). Any solid wood components of cabinets using MDF or plywood can also be specified to be a domestic hardwood.

Commercial
Status
Implementation
Issues
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Solid Domestic Hardwood Satisfactory Satisfactory in most conditions Satisfactory in limited conditions Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Least Toxic Material Satisfactory Satisfactory in limited conditions Satisfactory in most conditions Satisfactory Satisfactory Satisfactory
Satisfactory Satisfactory
Satisfactory in most conditions Satisfactory in most conditions
Satisfactory in limited conditions Satisfactory in Limited Conditions
Unsatisfactory or Difficult Unsatisfactory or Difficult


COMMERCIAL STATUS

TECHNOLOGY:

Well-developed for solid wood cabinetry. Least toxic alternatives are early in development.

SUPPLIERS:

Kitchen cabinet suppliers and architectural mill shops supply solid cabinetry. Formaldehyde free cabinet material must be ordered from out of the area and put into custom built cabinets.

COST:

Costs for solid cabinetry exceed conventional cabinet costs in varying amounts according to wood type.


IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES

FINANCING:

Available.

PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE:

Solid wood cabinets can be considered a “healthy home” issue and would have broad-based appeal. Solid wood cabinets are highly valued as an aesthetic and quality enhancement.

REGULATORY:

None.


GUIDELINES

Standard practices apply to installing solid cabinetry.

Plywood without urea formaldehyde or medium density fiberboard can be used as part of the cabinets to help offset high costs.

If sealing particleboard or other urea formaldehyde containing components, be certain to cover all surfaces. This is best done before the cabinets are installed.