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How Thick Should Plywood Be for Cabinets? (Quick Answers)

Nowadays people tend to use frameless cabinets because they are currently a trend toward the European style.

That is why they do not prefer to use composite plywood as their cabinetry material. In today’s article, we will discuss the thickness of the plywood should be for the cabinets.

How thick should plywood be for cabinets?

Generally, the thickness of plywood used in cabinets varies depending on the cabinet type. So, the common type of plywood used in cabinetries should be 5/32 inches thick. The thickness for all types of frameless cabinets should have ANSI HP-1 nominal ¾-inch thick panels as an ideal option.

Plywood is considered an essential part of any type of interior project, as well as making shelves and cabinets. The quality of plywood depends on the thickness, and it plays a significant role to provide a proper finish to your cabinets.

The ideal thickness for a standard-sized cabinet should be around 5/32 inches. If you are willing to make a frameless cabinet, you can go for ANSI HP-1 nominal 3/4-inch-thick panels.

Thicker cabinets are durable and will strongly attach to the walls. It will be a cheap and convenient option as well. Below is a brief discussion on a different type of cabinets and their plywood thicknesses: 

Kitchen cabinets: 

The ideal thickness for the kitchen cabinets should be at least 3/4 inches. In some cases, people tend to use 1/2-inch plywood, its lighter than the 3/4-inch plywood.

However, many professionals recommend using plywood with a thickness of 1/2 inches. 

Hanging cabinets: 

To make the hanging cabinets, the thickness for the back of your hanging cabinets should be 1/4 inch thick because it will be able to support the weight of the cabinet on the walls.

For sides, front and backs, you can opt for 1/2 inches thickness.

Standard cabinet: 

The ideal thickness for making any type of standard cabinet should be around 5/32-inch. But using 3/4-inch-thick panels is also an ideal choice.

Arcade cabinet: 

The best part about the arcade cabinet is you can use plywood of any thickness and it would work properly. Many people recommend using 1/4 inch thick which helps to increase durability.

Upper cabinet: 

To make upper cabinets, you should opt for 1/4-inch plywood for the back of your cabinet. However, you can go for 1/2-inch-thick plywood for other sides.

Can you use 1/2 plywood cabinets? 

Building cabinets is not easy work. It is not like just designing them and joining the parts to finish the project. There are a few things to consider when it comes to the design so that it can be durable and attached to the frame properly.

The thickness of the plywood plays a significant role when making cabinets. Plywood with a thickness of 1/2 inch is recommended to use by many professionals. Because it is durable enough to build most cabinets.

In addition to that. 1/2-inch plywood is a lighter option compared to the other plywood. However, 1/2-inch plywood is considered a cheap, convenient, and efficient option for your cabinet projects.

Using thicker panels for your cabinet project will increase your project cost. As a result, going for the 1/2-inch plywood sheets will be the best option for your cabinet projects as they are lightweight, so they will attach to the frames strongly.

What is the plywood thickness for cabinet doors? 

Generally, it is recommended to use 1/4-inch plywood for the back of the cabinet so that it can support its weight of it.

In addition to that, you can select 1/2-inch plywood for drawer sides, fronts, doors and backs. But make sure to use 1/4 inch for drawer bottoms.

In most cases, it is recommended to provide the plywood cabinets to feature framing for additional structural support.

In addition to that, you need to decide the thickness of your plywood so that the cabinet can be strong and durable. 

What is the cabinet drawer plywood thickness? 

When you consider making a drawer for your cabinet using plywood, you need to figure out the thickness of the drawer sides, fronts, and backs.

It is important to use players of different thicknesses so that they can properly support the drawer inside the frame. It is highly recommended to use 1/2-inch plywood for the sides and front of your drawer.

The sides and Franz are not a that significant part of the drawer that needs to be made very durably using thick plywood.

On the other hand, it is recommended to use 1/4-inch plywood for the bottom of your daughter to make it more durable and support the weight of the drawer.

3 factors that determine the plywood thickness for cabinets 

Designing and building cabinets can be a task if you do not have proper expertise in them.

It is not just simply designing and building, but you need to keep a few factors in consideration so that you can make proper use of your cabinets.

When building your cabinets, you need to take care of the material and its thickness. Building cabinets using thick plywood will help you to provide support and efficiency.

In addition to that, it will attach to the frames strongly. Below is a brief discussion on a few factors that determine the plywood thickness for cabinets:

Life span: 

You need to determine the life span of your cabinets that are made using why you so that you can avoid unnecessary expenses and damages. In addition to that thicker, we last longer.


It is important to determine the grades of plywood so that it can be the most suitable option for your cabinets. There is plywood with a variety of grades available. 


The durability of the plywood is a key factor when you determine the thickness of your plywood. It will help the cabinet to attach to the frames properly and provide the best support for them. 

What grade plywood is used for kitchen cabinets? 

When you consider using plywood for your kitchen cabinets, you do not only need to determine the thickness of the plywood. Some other factors are significantly important when making cabinets for your kitchen.

Generally, plywood is categorized into different grades based on applications. So, when you are going to use plywood for making kitchen cabinets, it is highly recommended that you use BWR-grade plywood.

The reason why BWR grade plywood is recommended for kitchen cabinets is that. It is majorly waterproof and most suitable for the kitchen cabinets based on the kitchen environment.

BWR in BWR grade plywood means boiling waterproof plywood. BWR grade plywood is used to make every type of furniture for the home, find HR as well as office materials as well.

BWR-grade plywood is made from phenolic resins. It is highly water-resistant. In addition to that, it will last longer and sustain its quality when used in hot and humid kitchen environments.

What type of plywood is best for cabinets? 

When you are choosing plywood for your cabinets, you need to choose the best type of player that will provide you with maximum efficiency and longevity.

In addition to that, plywood is generally categorized into different grades or cores, so it becomes easy for you to choose plywood based on its application and environment.

Grades of plywood that are used in cabinets are discussed below: 

Grade A:

Grade-A is considered high-quality plywood which is quite costly. It has a smooth surface and can be painted. 

Grade B: 

Grade B is a bit lower grade compared to grade A. It has a solid base and it may have minor defects that are repairable. 

Grade C: 

Grade C is poor-quality plywood and it does have a few notes up to 1.5 inches in diameter. 

Grade D: 

Grade D is considered the cheapest plywood sheet. It also comes with basic defects that can be repaired.

How many cabinets will a sheet of plywood make? 

Generally, it depends on the size of the plywood sheet and how many cabinets it will be able to make.

If you cut a 4 by 8-foot plywood sheet in half parallel with the grain and then again cross-cut them by 35 1/4 inches, it will be able to make at least two pairs of cabinet jams.

In addition to that, using this cutting process, you can make enough material to make a single cabinet that is measuring 24 by 36 inches.

So apparently you can make a single cabinet that is 24 by 36 inches in or two pairs of cabinet jams by cutting a 4 by 8-foot plywood sheet.

However, there are different sizes of plywood sheets that are available in the market. Having larger sheets will be able to make more cabinets.

Final Thoughts

The common thickness of plywood that is used in cabinetries should be around 5/32 inches. This is mostly used by most professionals as this size is perfect for a substantial cabinet and makes it safe for all attachments. However, you can use ½ or ¼ inches thick plywood as well.