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Kitchen Cupboards: Melamine vs Polyurethane


Kitchen cupboards play a crucial role in defining a kitchen’s overall aesthetic and functionality. Among the many options available, two popular choices often leave homeowners in a predicament are melamine and polyurethane cupboards. While both materials serve the same purpose, their characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks differ significantly. In this blog post, we will delve into the differences between melamine and polyurethane kitchen cupboards, shedding light on what makes each option unique and suitable for different preferences and needs.

Composition and Material Properties

Melamine cupboards are constructed using a pressed wood particle board as the base, covered with a thin layer of melamine resin. The melamine resin is a thermosetting plastic with exceptional durability, moisture resistance, and easy maintenance. It is available in various colours and finishes, imitating the appearance of natural wood grains and other materials.

On the other hand, polyurethane cupboards feature a solid wood or medium-density fibreboard (MDF) core coated with a polyurethane finish. Polyurethane is a synthetic polymer known for its remarkable toughness, resistance to wear, and superior colour retention. The coating provides a smooth, sleek, and glossy appearance, making it a popular choice for modern and contemporary kitchen designs.

Image Credit: Polytec - Ligurian Walnut


Melamine cupboards offer an extensive array of colours, patterns, and textures, making it easier to match with different kitchen styles. Whether you prefer a classic or a contemporary look, melamine cupboards can be tailored to suit your taste. While the grain patterns may not be as authentic as solid wood, melamine is an excellent choice for budget-conscious homeowners looking for a wide range of aesthetic possibilities.

On the other hand, polyurethane cupboards exude elegance and sophistication with their glossy, mirror-like finish. The seamless appearance adds a touch of luxury to the kitchen, making it a popular choice for high-end and minimalist designs. However, colour options might be limited compared to melamine.

Durability and Maintenance

Melamine cupboards are highly durable and resistant to scratches, moisture, and stains, making them suitable for busy households and areas with high humidity, such as the kitchen. They are also easy to clean with a simple wipe-down using a mild cleaning solution.

Polyurethane cupboards are also highly durable, and their smooth surface makes them easy to clean. However, they might be more prone to scratches and chipping than melamine. Proper care, like using soft cleaning cloths and avoiding harsh chemicals, is essential to maintain the glossy finish.

Image Credit: Polytec - Empire Oak


Regarding cost, melamine cupboards are generally more affordable than polyurethane cupboards. The materials used in melamine cupboards are relatively inexpensive, making them a budget-friendly option for homeowners looking to renovate or remodel their kitchen without breaking the bank.

Polyurethane cupboards, on the other hand, are considered a premium option and often come with a higher price tag due to the cost of the polyurethane coating and the labour-intensive finishing process.


In conclusion, melamine and polyurethane kitchen cupboards have distinct advantages and are suitable for different kitchen designs and budgets. Recent technological advancements in the industry have allowed a far higher-quality melamine product than we’ve seen in the past. A superior range of colour and design options makes melamine cupboards hard to miss.

At BlueTongue Homes, we’re proud to include Polytec’s high-quality melamine cupboards as a standard inclusion in all of our builds. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that your new home is exactly what you dreamed it to be, and with our melamine cupboard inclusions, we’re sure we’ll hit the mark.

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