Laminate Over Plywood for Cabinet Boxes

Cabinetmakers report their results using laminate on plywood for cabinet carcases. August 8, 2008

I have a client who wants cabinet carcasses built using plywood laminated with Formica. I am concerned about chipping and the overall exactness needed to make them look good. Is this a disaster waiting to happen?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
We do it all the time with commercial contracts. Try to talk them into thermofused melamine. If you have a lot to do you can have sheets already laid up for you from your supplier.

From contributor B:
I would state in your contract that you can not warranty any laminate over a plywood substrate. MDF is the way to go. If it calls for it in the plans, ask the builder to call the architect or customer to see about changing it to MDF. If you use plywood, then you will have to warranty against the chance that the plywood from your supplier (made by another company) will not delaminate, which would cause your laminate to buckle. If your laminate buckles or starts to peel because of faulty delaminating plywood, your customer/builder will call you to fix it. I make it a habit as often as possible to not guarantee anyone else's work or products if I can help it.

From contributor M:
We buy laminating ply from Columbia. Never had any problems with delaminating or buckling.

From contributor L:
We laminate plywood all the time. We do a lot of commercial work for hospitals that spec laminated plywood cabinets. If the laminate is applied correctly, it won't be a problem.