So what is the Right material to choose for Woodwork?

So you have made your first visit to the market to decide on your interiors, visited @Home, HomeStop, Hometown, Home Center, Nolte, Veneta Cucine, checked out the neighborhood Modular Furniture & Kitchen Wala, spoken to the carpenter who did the house of so and so…….etc. etc……..Means that you are now more confused than you were when you started off, well…. welcome to home making :).

In my earlier posts I have tried to help sort this very confusion offering inputs around
1. how to create a budget,
2. what to look for when you are making specialty artifacts like a sliding wardrobe & a modular kitchen.
3. good & reasonable places to shop for interiors in Bangalore.

Last week while answering a number of customer queries I realized that I have yet failed to answer one of the fundamental questions that home makers have i.e. with all the choice available in the market, what is the right material to use for one’s woodwork?

So this post is dedicated to answer just that … lets start with the Kitchen:

Carcass or the boxes:

If you are someone who does not plan a 3 year “refresh” of your kitchen then the only choice for the Kitchen carcass is Warterproof Marine Ply (Technically called BWR 303 Grade Ply….ISI Marked preferred). Many not so scrupulous will talk about using “Water Resistant” Ply, Laminated Particle Board, Marine Ply in wet areas and Particle board in dry areas etc. etc. for the carcass but trust me anything other than Waterproof Marine Ply means that you giving birth to something that will not last beyond its 3rd birthday, it is another matter that from a price perspective using Waterproof Marine Ply will lead to approx. a 20-25 % increase in the overall cost of the kitchen.
The interesting thing to know however is that while the Waterproof Marine “Ply” will be “Waterproof”,  the (white) “laminate” that you put on top of it will still come off if one continuously pours water on it.
The intelligent amongst you will then ask – “So if even Waterproof Marine Ply carcass will eventually spoil (laminate coming off) due to high moisture, why use it at all” ???

The answer is that (1) The weight of the entire kitchen – Hardware, Drawer Channels, Kitchenware, Wall units etc. rests on the Carcass (Both Bottom and Wall unit boxes) and the bolts & screws that hold all this together need a pretty strong “base” to dig into. (2) Waterproof Marine Ply (ignore the laminate) is simply the best “base” that is available in the market that stays good even in the worst of moisture conditions. (3) Using any other “base” is simply amounts to compromising the life of your Kitchen.


Frankly each of MDF + Membrane, Hardwood as well as Marine Ply/MDF + Laminate work well. You will ask “Why is Marine Ply + Laminate not better than MDF + Membrane here then”??…well remember we said that anything (even the laminate on the Marine Ply) will spoil in high moisture conditions, so the assumption is that we are not using the kitchen as a bathroom. Secondly….the shutters do not hold the entire Kitchen weight, only their own. Hence in normal Kitchen use conditions both MDF + Membrane & Marine Ply/MDF + Laminate work well, however particle board shutters are not recommended.

I personally prefer MDF Membrane or Hardwood shutters as these give a finish that is much more chic than laminate. I have also noticed that most carpenters do not recommend MDF membrane and go with Marine Ply + Laminate. As I said from a durability perspective both are fine, perhaps carpenters do not recommend MDF Membrane & cite durability issues because these require external procurement (compared to the comfort & ease of making onsite) and very precise measurement (in millimeters) that carpenters abhor.

Wardrobes and Hall Units, Crockery Units, TV Units, Sideboards etc:

The Carcass for the above can be made with any material as in most cases the carcass has wall support from 2 or more sides. Hence if budget is a constraint and there is good wall support then even pre – laminated Particle board works here.

The panels/ shutters however are key here and need specific attention
The recommended material to use for panel/shutters in Wardrobes & Hall Units depends entirely on the size of the panel /shutter that you are going in for. If it is 9 feet tall (all the way to the roof) or a 7 feet tall sliding shutter (which is usually broader than a standard hinged shutter) & needs to resist bending forces, then use Block Board ONLY (preferably a 19mm + a 6mm (or more) sheet stuck together).

For a 7 foot hinged panel/shutter either a 19mm Block Board/ Marine Ply with Veneer/ Laminate or MDF + Laminate (membrane not recommended) should work fine.

For less than 7 feet panel/ shutter anything will work.

That covers it I guess….will welcome any bouquets and brickbats

Happy Homemaking


PS: If you have a question to ask then please noteThe Q&A/ Comments interface on this blog below is unable to scale to the number of questions that we have been getting. Hence even if you post a question I will be unable to reply to it due to technology limitations. To do away with this issue we have launched the Q&A module on The Studio website

Hence if you have a question or if you posted a question earlier and did not get a response then please post it again at so that I am able to see and answer it


Author: Nandita Manwani

Nandita Manwani is among the most respected Interior Designers in Bangalore and is the founder of The Studio by Nandita Manwani- a design & interior-works company focused exclusively on Residential Interiors. She is the author of the most read blog on home interiors in the country ( and over the last 9 years her blog has touched over one and a half million home makers & hosts over 3500 questions and answers that real home makers have asked on different aspects of home making and design. Nandita is a regular guest columnist with Deccan Herald & her work has featured across various national and international print & digital media. She was recently ranked among the top women interior designers in Bangalore and as one of the top upcoming interior designers in India. Her work has won the Best of Houzz acclaim for the last 2 years in a row and she is recognized as amongst the top Interior Designers to follow by the magazine. Over the last decade helping people realize their dream called home has been her passion, much more than just a profession. PS: If you have a query or question regarding interiors for your home then you may please leave a comment under any of my blog posts by clicking on the "Leave a comment" link. I go through each comment that comes in from the readers and endeavour to respond asap.

578 thoughts on “So what is the Right material to choose for Woodwork?”

  1. NM
    Have you researched on Kitchen Chimney types – most of models start making noise after a couple of years of usage – awaiting your comments

  2. Chimney Type: I would recommend Faber or Kaff. Both brands have models to suit one's budget. Have not had a good experience with some of the other popular brands in the market

  3. Hi NM, I am planning to get my kitchen done and looking for info in details. Thanks a ton for your valuable post.
    I have been given two options by my interior designer i.e.:
    Wardrobes: plywood with veneer/MDF with laminate
    Kitchen: waterproof ply with membrane shutter/waterproof MDF with laminated shutter.

    Which one you think is good???

  4. Wardrobes: plywood with veneer/MDF with laminate – Either is OK

    Kitchen: Waterproof ply with membrane shutter/waterproof MDF with laminated shutter – There is nothing like Waterproof MDF (MDF is either Exterior grade, which is not as good as Waerproof marie ply, or HDF (Hi Density Fibre- which is again not WaterPROOF) – Go with Marine Ply & Membrane

  5. Thanks alot for your reply.
    Just wondering for kitchen slab is coral top (mix of PVC & fibre, germany made)a good material or only granite is best.

  6. For the kitchen slab either material (Corian/ Hanex or Granite) is ok. Corian or Hanex is however more expensive and requires higher maintenance. Rgds – NM

  7. Hi Nandita

    Lot of useful information on interiors on your webpage. It really gives good idea to a layman as to how to go about doing interiors.

    Could you put some light on difference between tandom box, meta box, SS baskets for pullouts and suggest what works best based on uses, cost, durability etc.



  8. Priyanka – The answer to your question (what works best) really depends on one's specific requirements and usage habit – your designer should be able to suggest based on your needs.
    On the cost as a thumbrule SS Baskets will be approx 70 – 80% in cost compared to a tandem box & Metabox is one fourth the cost of a tandem box…again the decision needs to be based on usage pattern & needs and not just on cost.

  9. Your blogs are pretty interesting and would appreciate if you can throw some light on the below

    What is the prevailing costs ( per sft) for a modular kitches with membrane shutters + marine ply boxes.

    What is the prevailing costs ( per sft ) for a wardrobes with membrane shutters + ply wood boxes.

    am seeing huge variations in the quotes that i have received so far. Also can you recommend the preferred brands for membrane, marine ply and ply wood laminates…thx Valli

  10. Hi Nandita,
    Excellent insights. Thanks.
    Couple of questions.
    1. For Kitchen I am going with Marine Ply carcus as you advised. However, can you advise for kitchen shutters – what is better between the following two options (a) Marine ply with Membrane (b) Marine Ply with Laminate ? What are the Pros / Cons?
    2. Any advise on the relative assessment of brand names while buying Marine Ply? Green Ply, Kit Ply, Century, Forrester.
    Thanks a lot for your advise.

  11. @ Murthy: On choosing the material for shutters – this is already mentioned in the post above.

    On Marine Ply: Go for any ISI Marked product of IS 303 Grade (Boiling Water Proof).

  12. i thnk u doin some grr888 work..will use info 2 d full
    i saw dis post of comparision b/w granite n corian for kitchen slabs..i believe corian is soft n scratches it so? also wanna compare granite n quartz for my kitchen top..wht do u thnk abt concrete kitchen top?
    also is granite d best option 4 bathroom slabs as well?

  13. Monna: The decision depends on your personal choice..each has its pros & cons.
    Corian does scratch, is expensive but looks good…can also be rebuffed to remove scratches. If you find a colour of your choice then Granite is good & not too expensive especially in Bangalore


  14. Nanditha – I’m so impressed seeing your blog. I’ve trying to gather all these information for my kitchen and going in circle because each vendor has something unique to share.

    I’m looking to have my kitchen done after having maximum research done. Also, willing to pay only when it’s worth not because I don’t understand underlying concept and make myself fool.

    Few questions:
    For shutters I’m planning to go with MDF Membrane but unable to determine where I can get it done? Getting different stories for rates. Few are saying that it would come from Jaipur and cost aprox. Rs. 350 – 500 per sq.ft. Any idea where I can get it done in Bangalore? I’m interesting in buying material by my own and paying for labor cost.

    Where can I get German made accessories? What are the good brands?

    Any contractor you know who does it without materiel? As I said earlier, I’m planning to give my own design & materiel and willing to pay only for workmanship.

    Thanks for advising.

  15. Mukesh: Its a personal choice. Paint & Polish has a smell that takes time to go away. Cost wise polish & laminate will be approx the same, paint will be cheaper. I personally prefer the finish & ease of laminates.


  16. Hi Nandita, Thanks for the quick response. I have another question.
    Is ply+veneer a good choice for kitchen cabinet shutters? Veneer gives much better finish than laminates but I am apprehensive how does it perform in the kitchen in the presence of all the moisture/water and also rough use.

  17. Hi Nandita,
    Is the Duco paint finish suited for kitchen environment – say Marine ply/MDF + Duco ? Does it deteriorate with years and need newer coats every few years ?

  18. Hai Nandhita,
    Very impressed with your post on right material to choose for kitchen n wardrobe.Even we are planning for our kitchen and wardrobe. I am planning to go with ISI 303(BWP) as you said n for wardrobe with blockboard.Thank you for your suggestions.

  19. Steel carcass should be ok provided that your walls do not have too many offsets etc. (wood has the flexibility of minor modifications onsite which steel does not). ON the overall look of a steel kitchen versus Wooden my personal preference is Wood.


  20. Bhaskar – Membrane shutters are made from MDF. Long MDF panels are prone to bend hence it is ok for Kitchen (small shutters) and not ok for Wardrobes

  21. Hi Nandita,

    Nice reading your blog. It's really very much informative and lot of knowledge we gained by your blog. Thanks a lot for that.
    We have one query regarding kitchen. In apartments what's the normal and safe place to keep gas cylinders. Could you please provide some details along with alternatives.
    Expecting your quick reply. Thanks a lot in advance.


  22. Nandita, Much thank for this service that you are doing. I had few questions, so I would really appreciate if you could help..

    1. Are there shops or agencies in Bangalore that would just laminate plywoods, in small numbers, to our measurements and requirements. For example, I might require something as small as 12"x16" plywood to be laminated. Are there places that do that in Bangalore.

    2. Are there agencies that specialize in bathroom furnishings, like cabinets and stuff, and what would the right material for bathroom furnishings.

    Any pointers would help.


  23. Bhaskaran, Don't know of anyone dealing in small pieces….the costs will be prohibitive anyways. You can however get a complete unit (however small) through anyone doing modular work.
    Bathroom fittings – Hometown, @Home & EVOK have a good enough collection to choose from

  24. Hello Nandita, Great blog and very informative. We have a query. We are shopping around for our interiors. We have decided to use Marine Ply but it is confusing to choose which finish to use. As we understood (?), there are 4 finishes – Laminate, Post forming Laminate, Membrane & Melamine.

    Though your article covers Laminate vs Membrane, do you have any recommendation in choosing between the 4 finishes for the kitchen & wardrobe?


  25. Decide based on what visually appeals to you. Technically speaking
    1. Material under Membrane is MDF and NOT Marine Ply. Hence not recommended for long shutters, if not designed right then these tend to bend
    2. Post forms will give you rounded edges…thats a limitation – however on the positive side you dont need to bother about polishing or banding the edges which is an issue with flat edge shutters/ panels.
    3. Melamine is basically polished wood – u need a good polisher/ painter if you are going in for Melamine

    Hope I did not confuse more than clarify


  26. hi nanditha,

    great blog.Can u pls suggest which will be good for my kitchen BWR ply carcass with ply postform shutters or with OST veneer shutters.And do suggest for my wardrobe too.
    thks in advance,

  27. Go with Veneer only when you have a very good polisher available to you, else if you are hell bent on the polished wood finish then u could also explore pre polished hardwood shutters.
    Postform or Edge Banded Laminate shutters shuould be fine either way.

  28. hi nanditha,

    great job and very informative.can u pls give me suggestion to choose among different shutters available for kitchen.
    which will be good & last for long
    postform or
    laminated or
    painted or
    My choice is painted shutters but jus need ur guidance.


  29. Thanks Nandita. It actually clarified a lot.

    One of the interior promises to use Membrane shutters with Kit ply Gold (Marine Ply) for kitchen units below granite. This means carcass is Kit Ply Gold but the shutter itself is MDF?

    We also want to use Membrane finish in our wardrobes (as it looks much better than plain post forming).
    How many years does Membrane finish last – Kitchen & Wardrobe (provided normal usage)?

  30. Thanks for such a definitive guide, I'm happy to find the right information at right time.. I was going to decide on materials for my kitchen (in Kolkata).

    From what I understood, the two major choices are membrane (usually over MDF) and laminate (can be over anything – ply, MDF). While you clearly explained the pros and cons for both, I have 2 more doubts.. if you'd comment on those that'd be great:

    [1] Which one gives better look-n-feel at the edges ? I guess laminate/sunmica sheets have to be cut at edges and that gives a discontinuous / torn look at the edge-lines of the rectangular shutter boards. But membrane will give more smooth or "Wrapped" look at edges.
    For the same reason aren't the laminated shutter frames' corners prone to chipping by small accidents ? Then how do you generally treat the edges .. with aluminium-finished edges ?

    [2] While I love the membrane option, I was recommended to use Duco/spray paint as My design has red-black vertical bands in white kitchen wall which I want to replicate down the Corian-slab and as well as the shutters/cabinets. Is it possible to have two or more colors in a typical 'membrane'-ed MDF board ? say three vertical sections (black red black) on same piece of panel ('palla') ?

    Much appreciate your effort and response.

  31. Go for polished only if you have a very good polisher available to you. Painted are no longer used in kitchens (except Duco which works out quite expensive & again needs a very good painter). Laminated & Postform (they are one and the same except the treatment of the edges) are the safest bet. I personally prefer (good quality) Membrane Shutters as they give a pretty good finish.

  32. You answered Question 1 yourself….apart from aluminium edges you could duco or polish the edges. Factory made shutters will come with a PVC edge banding. Also 1 mm laminate usually will not chip if the carpenter has done a good job.

    Question 2 – Membrane comes in specific shades….cannot customize

  33. Membrane will last as long as you get tired of it if you maintain it carefully and keep it protected from water (i.e. wipe immediately if it gets wet).


  34. nanditha,
    when i go with mdf material there is a lot of cost coming up.. so will that be enough i use the marine ply for the cabins where it may get wet (places like utensil cabinet) .. or do u suggest t go for marineply for all the cabinets down?


  35. I will not suggest MDF or Particle board for the bottom cabinets. There are cheaper brands of Marine (BWR) ply available. Go with any brand that suits your budget – just ensure that it is ISI Marked 303 Grade BWR Ply


  36. Hi Nandita,
    I am planning to buy ready made kitchen cabinets and give it to the carpenter.Will this model work, what are the practical difficulties ?
    Where do i get quality shutters in bangalore ?

  37. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for the awesome post…

    I got greenply BWR grade ply for Kitchen…Is this OK…I just saw your post else i would have got marine grade ply 🙁
    Also my carpenter is suggesting to go with boards (not sure which board) for the doors and shutters (for both kitchen and wardrobe) than plywood. The reason he give is plywood tends to bend and is not suitable of 7 feet tall doors. What he suggests is Ok?

    Also I have one more question – what type of hinges to be used for wardrobe doors – as they are long and huge will the Concealed hinges is better or butt hinges are better or suggest anything which you feel is good…

  38. Hey Nandita….

    Whatever u said in this article is what I learnt while renovating my new house and believe me all information is so correct… My house just got completed but I feel I did lots and lots of blunders….I m happy with Kitchen coz I got all water proof marine ply….
    Everything is so expensive…..
    Bye Nandita… U r doing a great job…. keep it up…. like me there r many new guys who need this kind of help…

  39. Hi Nanditha,

    Very detailed informative posting fom you.

    As is usual, will request advise on my foll choice:

    1. Kitchen – BWR ply Carcass with Membrane (or Postforming ?) shutters

    2. Bedrooms – MDF carcass with Postforming Shutters


  40. Hi Nanditha,

    I really liked dyour blogs and its very informative. However, I am still confused about making a decision on what to be used.

    here goes the suggestion by various interior guys. please suggest me the best out of these

    Carpenter 1) Suggests rubberwood for Kitchen, Ply with Veneer for TV cabinets, wardrobes, book shelf etc. He charges approx 850 – 1150/-sft

    carpenter2) Suggests PLY with Membrane across all except that he uses water proof ply for kitchen charges 950/-sft

    Carpenter 3) Suggests PLY with Laminate and is strongly against of using Rubber wood for kitchen cabinets.He charges 1200/-sft for laminate finish

    Please could you suggest me on this as we are in the stage of finalising it. Also, it would be great of you if you can share some pictures of staircase units, TV units and book shelf.

    Appreciate your help on this!


  41. Either of Membrane or postformed are OK for the kitchen.
    Personally do not recommend Postformed for Wardrobes as postforming is done on MDF/ Particle Board or Ply and all these have some chance of warping. Ideal choice for tall shutters is Laminate/ Veneer on "Block Board"


  42. Shilpa,

    The right material to use is already there in my blog post above. I will refrain from commenting on the costs quoted as this would not be ethical since I am in the same field.


  43. Hi Nanditha, Wonderful article and its truly a crash course on "wood works". Hats off to you.

    I've a query…
    * My designer has given me a quote for 3 different materials to be used in the kitchen. One of them ofcourse is marineply, the second one is rubberwood and the other one is rubberwood with MDF laminate. I am not still sure about the 3rd option which i'll have to clarify with him.Interestingly, that is the most expensive option.

    My question is how good is rubberwood when compared to marine ply? Pls throw some light on the pros and cons of using rubberwood for kitchen.The quality spec of the rubberwood he gives is,
    "Rubber wood shutters, goes following treatment, 3 coats of sealant, 2 coats of stain, 1 coat of PU (polyurethane)"

    Will be helpful if you can help me out with this.

    Thanks a lot…

  44. Hi Nandita,

    Your blog is extremely useful and informative even for a novice like me who doesn't know much about this field. I am planning to do woodwork for my house and these are combinations suggested by my carpenter. Just wanted to check your advise on the below in terms of longevity and budget as i am looking for something which is a long term solution though economical.

    Kitchen – BWP Plywood + membrane shutter (on MDF)
    Crockery and Living area – Plywood + Veneer
    Master bedroom – Plywood + membrane shutter (on MDF)
    Other Wardrobes – Plywood + Post Laminated MDF

    Also, if you could suggest some good places in Hyderabad to get the material etc.

    Thanks in advance,

    Amit Kumar

  45. Choice of material looks ok except that MDF is not recommended in tall shutters for Wardrobes as it is likely to bend. If your wardrobe shutters are 7 feet tall than its better to use block board (with veneer or laminate) for this.


  46. Hi NM, was really happy to see an Indian blog/forum with so many insights on woodwork.. googling mostly throws up results abroad, so was finding it difficult to adapt to Indian scenario!
    I scoured your blog and the comments section to see if the issue i am facing has already been discussed, but couldnt find any.
    I am getting my kitchen refurbished entirely and my carpenter has offered to do teak and deco (or duco?) for my kitchen with water-proof ply, claiming that this is the best option in the market. The teak word had me floored and i am seriously considering it, but was not able to evaluate the pros and cons. I'll be extremely grateful if you could help me out here.
    Thanks in advance.

  47. Frankly I have heard "Duco on teak" for the first time. It also does not seem logical as Duco is a "coloured" paint hence if you put it on teak nothing of the teak will be visible – better do duco on MDF which will be far cheaper. If your carpenter meant "polish/PU" when he said Duco then that would make sense, however if you go for that then please ensure you have a very good polisher.

    Would definitely like to know what your carpenter meant – probably I would learn something new 🙂


  48. NM,

    Thanks for all your valuable inputs here.

    What is lacquered finish of kitchen ? Is it same as Duco? If so which product should I use to get it done. I have used Marineply for partition, base and even shutters. Can I go with this finish on top of it. Inside of box/shutters, I have used laminates. Please help asap, need to make a decision.

    tia, VH

  49. VH – Lacquer is a type of finish/ polish – best example is the shiny finish you see on the body of a guitar. It should be used on the exterior of the shutters. You should ideally put a veneer sheet (as per your choice of colour)on the shutter and then do the polish. These decisions are usually made before starting construction of the kitchen/ wardrobe etc. as it determines the overall material to be used, also, the designs get affected accordingly.
    Duco is a type of paint – example – the paint on your car is Duco. It can also be done on Wood/ MDF.


  50. Hi Nandita,

    I am reading all your blogs since last few weeks to have an idea for the interior work for my same. My carpenter suggests me to go for Royal Pine wood for wardrobes in bedroom and hall unit , where as marine pine wood for kitchen. But discussing with my friends, they suggests to go for plywood(MR graded). I'm totally confused. Please suggest me which one would be an ideal choice. And it would be really helpful if you could share the per sft price of Pine wood in current market.

    Thanks in advance

  51. BG – My post above already has "prescriptive" recommendations on what material to use for each application (Carcass, Shutters, Wardrobes, Kitchen etc.). The more people you ask the more confused you will get 🙂


  52. HI..

    Let me first thank u for ur highly informative blog..Pls clarify one doubt. My interior designer is suggesting to go for 18mm BWP marine plywood (anchor brand)for kitchen boxes. Is it a good choice?

  53. Hi Nandita,

    1) What is the difference between IS 303 and IS 710 specification and which is better?

    2) Is there a difference between Boiling Water Proof (BWP) and Boiling Water Resistant (BWR)?

    3) How to identify the quality of plywood? Each vendor has different brands with different prices. Not sure if I can go with the one who quotes less for the same specification… I also read article that says 90% of marine ply is fake in the market. That is even more annoying.

    4) What is Gurjan ply? Would you recommend this?

  54. 1) 710 Grade is Marine Ply used for making Boats & Ships. 303 Grade is loosely mentioned as "Marine Ply" for Home Applications. When a carpenter says Marine Ply he should mostly mean 303 Grade. 707 Grade is definitely "better" but then you don't need a rocket engine in a city car.

    2)There are some minor technical differences between BWP & BWR but for all practical applications you can assume it to be the same. The big difference is between MR Grade & BWP/ BWR Grade. MR is Moisture resistant and cannot withstand water…only moisture.

    3) It is tricky to identify good plywood, the fact that there are fakes of branded plywood available in the market makes it all the more difficult. If you have an interior designer working for you he/ she will have a reliable supply chain, else you just have to stick to regular brands like Greenply, Century, Frontier etc. & hope that you don't get a fake.

    4) Never used Gurjan Ply the "Brand" therefore cannot comment. Gurjan is the wood that all plywoods are made from see -

  55. Nandita, you are doing a great job. First time home furnishing people like me (end user) is greatly benefitted by these knowledge. Thank you!


  56. Thank you Nandita.

    You are doing a great job. Please let me know, if you have any plans to expand your services to Hyderabad. It would be great to partner with you

  57. Hi Nanditha, this is great piece of information. Need some clarity on the folloiwng
    Kitchen : BWR carcass, MDF postform shutters
    Wardrobes: Partcile board box and MDF postform shutters
    TV unit : pls advise whats the best material
    Is the above good enough.
    What is the difference between postform and laminate. Appreciate your help and advise.
    I am keen on finalising my interiors

  58. Hi Nandita, Thanks for an insightful info. I came across what is called "Bhutan wood" for wardrobe. Considering that my wardrobe would be 7 feet high, do you recommend this material?

  59. Jags,
    Bhutan Board is a brand of particle boards owned by the government of Bhutan – refer If you are ok to use particle board for your wardrobes then Bhutan Board is ok to use. Also there are a number of Bhutan Board fakes available in the market so just take care to buy from a trustworthy vendor.


  60. Hello Nandita madam,
    First of all I admire you for sharing the knowledge on home designs. Your blog and the comments by readers helped me to understand the basics of interior design and now I can confidently ask questions to the interior designer I am going to finalize for my own flat.

    I am just researching on the interiors for my flat. I asked a professional guy. He suggested waterproof ply (greenply, 19mm) with mica laminate finish for Kitchen (both carcass & shutters). For the wardrobes, he suggested 18mm laminated commercial ply (greenply) with melamine finish shutters. When I asked why not block wood for wardrobe he said it has the tendency to bend. Pls spare few minutes to comment on this.

  61. Would you advise in using block boards for kitchen carcass? It is my understanding that plywood is used for making carcass and not block board. kindly advise.

  62. Sorry for the wrong question in the thread,

    I want to know in the kitchen, before putting the carcass, on the floor there is cement bed which is usually laid in indian kitchens, but I want to know is it Okay to put for modular kitchen as well, or its not advisable,


  63. Advisable to remove the platform – a modular carcass stands on legs that help "level" the carcass, also to avoid water/ moisture contact with the bottom plank.

    That said, a modular kitchen carcass can still be made to rest on top of the platform if it is impossible to remove it.

    Also read



  64. Hi Nandita,

    Thank you so much for the detailed information, My carpenter is suggesting me to go for RajPly and I am insisting him to use KitPly Vista (MR for wardrobes and BWR for Kitchen); Can you please suggest me if I can go with RajPly or KitPly;


  65. Dear Nandita,

    Kindly advise on the below solution suggested by my carpenter ..i am not able come to a conclusion from the previous threads to decide as i am totally ignorant on this subject…my apologies if my question is repetative…

    Base module made of 18mm BWR ply laminated on both sides with PVC & shutter is made of 18mm Rubber wood

    Bedroom Wardrobe-
    18mm commercial ply laminated on both sides with PVC finish & shutters made of MDF post form finish.

    Also i understand carpenter is using Kitply instead of Marine Ply as its cost effective . Will it be a too much of compromise ….pl suggest ideal solution..


  66. Don't recommend MDF for Wardrobe shutters – this is also mentioned in my post & in multiple Q&A's above – please go through in detail.

    Marine Ply is just a specification for plywood (BWR IS 303 Grade), even Kitply has ply under this specification. However there are a number of Kitply fakes available in the market – make sure its bought from a reliable source.

    Rest looks ok


  67. Revathi,
    I usually go with regular brands like Greenply & Century primarily due to their range, standardization of shades, quality, availability & after sales.
    Cannot comment on the "Natural Veneers" brand as I have not used it


  68. Hi Nandita,
    My kitchen designer recommends Action Tesa High gloss laminated hdf shutters For kitchen cabinets but I feel marine plywood with laminate could be better as our kitchen is severely loaded feeding 10 people and handled by 2 maids.please clear my dilemma .

  69. hi Nandita,

    Great Blog and very informative.
    I am planning to do my apartment interior, the choice of material is as below


    2)wardrobe –> century commercial ply + century BOARD DOORS
    Please advise if my wood selection is correct or not ? does century board is okay for kitchen doors ?
    can i use BWR GRADE PLY for doors instead of board ?According to Carpenter PLY might bend. but i already read on your above blog that up to 7 feet ply doors are fine. looking for your suggestion before i confirm.

    I am in a confusion whether to go with veneer finish or laminate for Kitchen doors.please advise ?
    i really like the veneer finish than laminate, but which will be long lasting ?


  70. Hi Nandita,

    Kindly advise which is better ie., to complete Modular & wood work first and do painting of walls else finish painting first and do wood work later.


  71. Century is fine. Either Board or Ply is ok for the shutters – Board is however better if you are going for handmade (carpenter making it on site).
    Kitchen doors should ideally not be in veneer as it is not quite resistant to moisture.


  72. Hi Nandita,

    Thank you so much for this highly informative blog. We have three questions:
    1. For kitchen top cabinets, what type of laminates need to be used which will look good as well as can be used in kitchen environment.
    2. Can we use neem ply for wardrobe or should we go with MR commercial ply.
    3. Will edge bending laminates give better look? Which brand we should choose?


  73. 1. Any type of Laminate is OK – there are no special ones better suited for kitchens
    2. Never used Neem Ply hence cannot comment.
    3. Yes edge banding will give a better look – go with the brand that matches best with your laminate


  74. Hi nandita,

    One carpenter talked of Polymer finish (factory) on Marineply shutters. What is Polymer finish ? Do you know.?

  75. Hi,
    We are planning to contract the wood work for our new appartment in Bangalore. That guy is laying pinewood for the cabinates. below is the quotation he gave us. please confirm, if it is worth paying so much.

    Quotation with materials

    SI.No Particulars SFT Rate Amount
    1. Cupboard-7’0x8’6”-1nos 59.50 800.00 47,600.00
    2. ” -7’0”x7’0”-1nos 43.00 800.00 39,200.00
    3. ” -2’6”x4’0”-1nos 10.00 800.00 8,000.00
    4. Lopt-2’6”x3’0”- 2nos 15.00 450.00 6,750.00
    5. Lopt -2’6”x11’6” -1nos 28.75 450.00 12,937.00
    6. ” -2’6”x11’0”- 1nos 27.50 450.00 12,375.00
    7. K.Lopt-2’6”x17’0”-1nos 42.50 450.00 19,125.00
    8. Kitchen Top – 2’6”x18’0”- 1 nos 45.00 950.00 42,750.00
    9. ” Battom-2’6×18’0”-1nos 45.00 950.00 42,750.00
    10. Book box-2’0”x4’0”-1nos 8.00 800.00 6,400.00
    11. T.V.Showcase-7’0”x7’0”-1nos 42.00 ——— 9,000.00
    12. Arch-22’0”x1’6”-1nos ——– ——– 12,000.00
    13. Crockery-7’0”x5’0”-1nos 38.50 850.00 32,725.00
    14. Box-2’0”x2’6”-1nos 7.50 800.00 6,000.00

    TOTAL 2,97,612.00

    • All plywood brand national water proof & 100%commercial pine wood
    • Inside laminate white/ half white
    • Front door laminate price range 1000 to 1800
    • Basket/inches/ telescope channel brand

    • Extra work extra charge

  76. Ragini – Being in the same business I refrain from commenting on other folks' quote as this would not be ethical.
    I am however publishing the quote that you forwarded so that other readers can benefit from this. Let me know if you want me to take it off



  77. I usually use Merino, Greenlam or Century – Not to say that the other companies are any worse – as a designer I need to look at not just longevity & variety but also availability & after sales


  78. Hi Nandita,
    I am looking for some help from you to make my mind on carpenting work for my new flat…

    which approachc will benefit individuals from below:
    1. Give the contract(material+labour) for carpenting work
    2. Material will be taken care by me engage carpenter for daily based labour
    3. I am residing in Bangalore
    4. requirement is 3 wardrobes with loft, Moduler Kitchen,TV/entertinement


  79. If you are ok to run around to get the material then you could explore the Labour only option – but note that its going to be extremely painful with almost daily trips to the site & the market – so you might save some money but if you add up the cost of "your" labour then it might just work out the same.

    Also know that Bangalore has this typical issue of the Contractor/ Labour running off mid way through the project – whoever you deploy should therefore be someone reliable.


  80. How do I verify the quality of block board. The section of block board used by contractor shows saw dust kind of particles inside along with wooden block. Is it a good block board.I understand that blockboard should be having only wooden block. Is any other metrial also used inside? Secondly are there black boards also used in interior. Contractor was mentioning about using black board. Is it different from Block Board.Can you recommend the good block board for wardrobe shutter

  81. My carpender is suggesting to use GreenPly BWR + 4mm water resistent MDF + Deco paint for the kitchen. Basically the Deco paint is applied on the 4mm MDF which is pasted on the 19mm BWR grade greenply. My carpender is saying that the Deco paint would give a rich color to the kitchen. How about the life of the deco paint?. Is it advisable to for Deco paint in the kitchen compared to the Laminate/Veneer?
    Please advise.

  82. Am planning to go for Greenply for Kitchen and wardrobe. But am confused on what is the best medium range brand of ply within the Greenply like OptimaRed, Ecotec or Gold? I guess, OptimaRed is a good brand? Would you please suggest on this?

  83. Hello, I am planning for interiors. Like you said ISI marked 303 grade BWR Ply. Just want to know should i use BWP instead of kitchens or just BWR will do


  84. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for this informative blog!

    What is your take on Birch wood being used for shutters in the kitchen?

    And secondly, when the modular kitchen dealers say they provide "five or 10 year warranty and life long warranty for hardware" – are they for real? Does this really makes sense to approach a dealer rather than doing it on our own and forego the warranty?

  85. Nandita,
    Thanks for quite useful information. I am new joiner to this blog and looks like I joined just in time when I am about to start interiors for my house in couple months.
    A couple queries – (a) How about rubber-wood shutters in kitchen? (b) If concrete lofts are not made and then what should be the thinkness of board to make 2'lofts above 7' wardrobe?


  86. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for sharing very useful information.

    I have got 2 options from vendor:
    1)Entire kitchen of Marine Ply with Laminates i.e. Carcuss and Shutters
    2) Carcuss in Marine Ply and Shutters in MDF with Membrane.

    In Option 1 they are giving PVC edge bending factory fitted laminates.

    Which option do you suggest ?

    Thanks and regards

  87. Hi Nandita .Your blogs are really help full ,giving lot more info ,I have just started work in my Apartment and very much confused ,you are Saying that to go for Waterproof marine ply for kitchen BWR ,But what I geather the information is that There is BWR(IS-303 and BWP (IS-710) .and one should go for IS-710 .so which one you are taking about ..Thanks

  88. Hi Nandita,
    I have bought greenply gold for my interiors. I asked my carpenter to provide soft close kitchen cabinets. He says, the channels used for them and the fittings are very costly compared to SS baskets. I want him to prepare wider kitchen cabinets, but he tells, it cannot be done with SS baskets. He can provide a maximum of 20 inches outer width and the SS baskets would be 17 inches max. He also tells that I need to go for tandem box or fully ply drawers if I want wider kitchen cabinets, which is very costly compared to SS. What is the price difference between fixing a SS cabinet compared to having a soft close option.


  89. Thanks so much Nandita for your valuable information. I have hired a carpentor and planning to get my wood work done at my new apartment.

    My carpentor asked to choose pine plywood. What is pine plywood? Can we use them for kitchen and wardrobes? I enquired in the shops and they say it as pine board? Can we use them for wood work or normal ply wood is preferred?

    Which one is better?

  90. Hi Nandita,
    Excellent service. Thanks! I have a question.
    My carpenter says Commercial ply(carcass and shutter) than PLPB+MDF for wardrobes and commercial ply is available in various rates starting from 45 psft to ~100 psft. Which type(grade) of ply should I choose and appr. market rate psft.


  91. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for the post ,
    I have question on Termite, borer proof ply
    Are all material mentioned are Termite and Borer proof. or do we need to do something addtional

  92. Hi NM

    I have started woodwork before painting and my painting wiil be done after i finish the polishing etc. so is there any problem??


  93. Hi Nandita, you advice using mdf + membrane for shutters because it gives better finish than laminate and also because shutters don't need the strength provided by marine ply as they are not supporting any weight.

    But is it the case that the holes drilled into the shutters for fixing handles and hinges tend to get bigger and loose with use and this I believe is irreparable damage. And marine ply being stronger material delays this much more compared to mdf. My designer says that he puts a thin layer of mdf on marine ply and then the membrane of mdf. This way I can get the strength of marine ply and finish of membrane for the shutters at some extra cost. Do you think its worth it to install such shutters?

  94. Hi Nandita,
    I am going for Green ply BWR optima red for my kitchen. But for my wadrobe i confused which brand to select because green ply and century ply is costly. Can u pl suggest some brands for Commercial ply and block boards.

    Thanks in advance

  95. I have not come across ply reinforced MDF Membrane shutters from any reputed brand.
    I assume that is so because sticking two different materials (MDF & Ply) together may lead to warping of the shutter as each material has a different coefficient of expansion.
    However I would like to be proven wrong – so if such shutters are coming to you from a specific brand then do let me know as well as it will be a learning for me too.
    If you have a self managed medium to low traffic kitchen then pure MDF shutters should do fine. If however you have a maid managed Hi traffic kitchen then I would recommend using ply + laminate shutters.


  96. Hi Nandita,

    First of all thanks a ton for this beautiful blog, which helped me a lot to take my decision to choose the material for my kitchen work and also material for wardrobes,
    But still there is one query for what I request for your expert opinion, I am using marine play for all kitchen work but for shutter my vendor recommended me for HDF board+Super

  97. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks a ton for this wonderful blog. It is really very informative and useful.
    My carpenter is suggesting Marine Ply+Membrane for kitchen shutters and not MDF+membrane.
    Is it fine? How is Marine ply+membrane different than MDF+Membrane?
    Thanks for your help

  98. Membrane Ply shutters are a new addition to the range of shutters available in the market – they cost nearly double compared to Membrane MDF Shutters. They will definitely have more durability but I am not sure if its worth paying double the price as MDF shutters themselves don't have much of a downside.


  99. Hi Nandita,

    I have access to rose wood and teak wood (on our land, so free except for govt fee), but since the doors etc are provided by the builder, not sure what I can use them for.

    Is there any type of woodwork or furniture that these can be used for (and look as good as factory-made)?

  100. Teak & Rosewood are the best types of wood available for making furniture – you can use it in each & every component including Dining Tables, Crockery unit, Show case, Beds, Panels … everywhere.

    The fact that you have it available for free is a good "problem" to have


  101. Hi Nandita- am making a bookshelf which i will be using for heavy medical books (average book weight 1 to 1.5 kg). For the shell am planning BWR ply + Veneer. What would you recommend for the shelves considering the weight of the books? Would block board have the best material for the shelves considering the weight? Note that i am in Goa so humidity is also a problem.

  102. Read your blog about home design. Must say it was really helpful.
    I needed 1 more help.
    Can you please tell me what type of hinges are best suited for wardrobes?
    We wanted to use concealed hinges. Will it be good?


  103. Hi Nandita – in a dilemma for my wardrobe size. The inbuilt space provided by the builder for wardrob is 8x4ft. If i go for wardrobe + loft (6.5 +1.5) the loft appears very small then standard sizes. If i decide for only wardrobe then i need to opt for blockboard. What would u suggest scenarion 2 will a 19 mm blockboard suffice or do i need to go for 25mm for 8ft hight.

  104. Type of hinge is decided based on the design of the wardrobe.
    I guess the comments above or in another post also had a similar question on hinges – you may want to go through the same as well.


  105. Hi Nandita,

    Awesome Blog, I must say.

    I'm about finish my 12th and have keen interest in architecture. I have a couple of really basic doubts. You have explained the advantages of MDF+Membrane Shutters, MDF+Laminate Shutters, Post-Form Shutters and Ply+Veneer. But what I fail to understand is the core difference between laminates, membranes, postforming and veneers. Would be grateful if you fill me in with your knowledge.



  106. Hi Nandita

    Thanks for the post …
    Question is regarding Sharp edges on handmade laminate over plywood

    My carpenter is saying he is going to use 2mm PVC banding to reduce the sharp edges. will that help to reduce sharp edge and to what extent ?also do i have an alternate to aviod sharp edges in handmade plywood( for warbode & kitchen)

  107. Hi Rahul,
    With the pace at which the industry is moving, these things will change by the time you are through a professional interior or architecture course.

    However if you are still keen then your answers are only a google search away.


  108. Hi nandita,
    Could you suggest

    Wardrobe carcasses are made out of mdf and shutters with Membrane finish , is this ok?

    Kitchen carcasses made out of 18 mm pre-laminated water proof marine plywood (BWP)
    and all exposed area to match the shutter colour, fixed with Membrane shutters,
    using imported auto close hinges and necessary hard ware items.
    The glass shelf will have 8 mm thickness.

  109. Hi Nandita, I have a quote from our interiors designer who is planning to give us Orange Ply. I havent seen any posts around Orange Ply, could you pls comment on this and if its durable enough? thanks, Asha

  110. Hi Nandita,

    I am planning to use marine ply for Kitchen. I am going to use Commercial ply wood for other areas. Is that fine?

  111. Hi Nandita ,
    Can u please let me know on what material I can put Duco paint…? What is PU coating or paint…? Can I only use Duco Paint on MDF…?
    Where can I get laser cut Motifs for wall decoration….?
    On what material lacquer finished is made of…?
    Thank you..
    Satavisha & Himadri

  112. Most of your questions are already answered in the Q&A above, please go through.
    Laser cut motifs are available at most good interior showrooms – you can try Samavesh, Stone Art, Gallery In etc.


  113. Hi Nandita,

    First of all thanks a ton for this beautiful blog, which helped me a lot to take my decision to choose the material for my kitchen work and also material for wardrobes,
    But still there is one query for what I request for your expert opinion, I am using marine play for all kitchen work but for shutter my vendor recommended me for HDF board+Supergloss UV…. What you suggest MDF+Membrane or HDF+Supergloss UV


  114. Hi Nandita,
    I need an opinion from you.i m planning to do interiors for my house.My designer is suggesting me to put MDF laminated shuters & particle board racks inside for bedrooms.for kitchen he is telling he will put water proof HDF shutters & inside silver/steel carcasses.i asked him for marine ply.he said it will give trouble in the form of dissolving powder material after sometime & cost is double.after reading your blogs i felt what he is suggesting is that ok?
    is there any difference in appearance of look between MDF & marine ply?

  115. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for your informative blog.

    Here is my question. For kitchen, a vendor told ma that they use UPVC for carcass and MDF membrane for shutters. Is UPVC good for carcass?

  116. Marine (BWR) Ply has no issues around dissolving/ powdering etc. Also look wise everything appears the same.
    Choice of material is dependent on your budget. Prescriptive recommendation on the material to choose is already in the post above….also please go through the Q&A in the comments above – these have rich information that you can refer.


  117. Hi Nandita

    My interior designer is saying he will get everything done in the factory and fix here in the house, they need 15 days time to fix.
    Is it Okay, to get shutters and carcass and all the units ready in the factory and fix in the house. Or doing onsite is better? what say you, please?


  118. Decision on what furniture should be modular (factory made) and what made on site is based on the design. Some designs sometimes just cannot be done in the factory – that said, there is nothing wrong with modular furniture as such.


  119. Hi Nandita

    for my kitchen interiors in chennai i came across a designer who is claiming to use imported poly panel and imported membranes. ( – he claims that this is 100% wood free and hence very durable. What is your view on this?

    Further their modular kitchens are carcase free (i think they use steel frames) and hence the walls of the kitchen are exposed – they claim that this allow circulation of air and there will be no stench. Again your view on this pls.



  120. I have not used polywood and hence cannot comment.

    I will however recommend a closed carcass – circulation of air means circulation of dust and you definitely dont want that.


  121. Hi.. Does a membrane finish go with Marine Ply ? One of the carpenter is giving an option of this combination for Kitchen. As it will be durable and will give nice looks by having some curves at the shutter edges.

  122. Hi Nandita, I'm getting my Kitchen & Wardrobes done. I've selected Prestige BWR Grade Waterproof Plywood for Wardrobes & Greenply Gold Marine Plywood for Kitchen. I've decided on getting lamination (Green Lam) done for both Kitchen & Wardrobes, but my confusion is whether I should go for MATT Finish Laminate or High Gloss Finish Laminate. I liked the High Gloss Lamination very much, but my Carpenter says the High Gloss Laminate will get scratches easily when we clean and would look ugly very soon. Kindly request you to please give your inputs/suggestions when compared to MATT finish & High Gloss Laminates. Thank you so much!!

  123. Hi NM,
    your blog is very very helpful.
    I have been through all the questions but I still linger with following question
    would u suggest commercial ply or waterproof ply for wardrobes if commercial ply is used is it borer/termite proof.would it get spoil with moisture in the wall or is it better to go for waterproof(which is costlier)to overcome the moisture problem.
    I have gone through your website thoroughly please help
    also regd the hinges..are th L hinges better than cut hinges?
    I am not a person to change my woodwork every 5 yrs or so I am looking at a longer perspective how long will plywood on laminate last if I use good quality ones.
    please advice

  124. If you dont have a budget constraint then go in for BWR ply/ board.
    In terms of Life good quality BWR & Laminate will last longer than you are willing to bear it.

    The type of Hinges to be used is based on the design


  125. Thanks for your prompt reply Nanditha,
    Budget is definitely a constraint for me.if commercial ply (marine ply)is used for wardrobes will it have termite problem and will this last as long as BWR ply.I am totally depending on ur suggestion.Will spending %on BWR justified .Please suggest.
    Thanks again for ur help

  126. Hi Nandita,
    I had a got a few negative suggestions on laminates on marine ply (for shutters). ie there are chances that laminates may not stick for long time on to the ply. pls advice.

  127. Hi,
    Regarding laminate on Marine ply, which adhesive is recommended. Fevicol SH or Fevicol SR.
    thank you,

    Varghese, Cochin

  128. Laminates will come off only if they are not stuck properly or when stuck on poor quality plywood/ board. Also if they are exposed to water the adhesive gives way…however nowadays you also get water proof adhesives as well


  129. Hi Nandita,
    Can you please help me out to choose from Melamine shutter and post form laminated shutter for kitchen interiors.
    My basic requirements are maintenance(ease of cleaning, stain proof etc) and durability.

  130. Hi Nandita,

    Great knowledge sharing via this blog, thanks a lot. Read almost all posts which makes people like us quite knowledgeable in grey area of home interiors

    Can you share your views/comments on using Greenpanelmax MDF prelaminated for wardrobes of 6.5 or 7 Feet.

    Also can you share from durability point of view MDF is better or plywood for hinged wardrobes.

  131. I trust by Melamine you mean Melamine polished shutters – these are not recommended for the kitchen as the melamine polish tends to come off in "Kitchen Use" conditions


  132. For 7 feet shutters regular MDF is generally not recommended as it may bend. Block board is the best option for 7 feet shutters. I am tempted to use Green Panelmax and test the output specifically for the product as Green Panelmax helps save time effort and cost but am yet to get a customer who wants to share the risk 🙂


  133. Hi Nandita,

    i am looking for your suggestion of doing my kitchen wood work. Manual carpentary work is better or a factory made postforming wood work is better. since i have received negative comments on modular such that it will have gaps in between the doors in which termites and insects will move in.kindly suggest, eagerly waiting for your reply.

  134. Hi Nanditha,
    I am from Cochin & my query is regarding wardrobes shutters with louvers/ventilation.
    This requirement is for my clothes that are worn once & that requires to be on hanger inside the wardrobe.
    Request your kind advice on the same. Wardrobe shutters with louvers/ ventilation used? Ready made louvers are available?. Also this requires to be prevented from insects.
    can you please guide.
    Thanks in advance.

    Thomas Varghese

  135. Nandita, What should be normally preferred at shutters in kitchens and wardrobe, between Inset type and Overlay type?
    What are the advantages and dis-advantages of both?

  136. You mentioned ….take "Waterproof Marine Ply (Technically called BWR 303 Grade Ply….ISI Marked preferred)…
    Marine Ply is IS:710…while BWR is IS 303 grade. When someone says he is using marine ply…what exactly is being used

  137. Hi Nandita,

    As mentioned in above post "If budget is a constraint and there is good wall support then even pre – laminated Particle board works here" Can you please share some more light on fixing carcass sides of wardrobe on wall?

    At the end of post I see we can use MDF+laminate for shutter below 7 feet. So In this way can I opt for particle board of branded company for carcass(pre-laminated) and shutter(pre-laminated) only for Greenpanelmax. I can restrict height of shutter to 6 feet.

  138. Hi Nandita,

    Awesome work! You are right said, the more people you speak to the more confused one will be. And so am I… I have a question

    1. I have decided to use to Marine Ply for Kitchen Carcas, and MDF with Membrane for shutter based on the various permutation and comibnation.

    My carpenter is hinting at 2 problems with that

    a. Membrane may peel of in the heat in the kitchen. He suggest Laminate instead.
    b. Also he says since shutter are the place where there will be more moisture content, and MDF cannot stand moisture for long. He suggest shutter should not be of MDF. Rather the reverse can work i.e Ply+Laminate as shutter and MDF as carcas.

    So he turned me on the head. Can you help? Should I go with my option or the one carpenter suggest.

    I have a budget constraint of 2 lacs for Kitchen,


  139. Hi Nandita,
    Your blog is extremely helpful! Thanks for all the information provide here.
    I'm making some wardrobes in my bedroom, and was wondering how to achieve that shiny glossy white finish that u see in the ones in furniture stores. My carpenter has told me its called polycoat finish but costs exorbidant. he showed me a sample of it too, but it did not have that mirror like shine.
    Could u suggest what finish I can use n how much should it cost? The whole framework is made of 19mm plywood with plywood shutters

  140. All the 3 brands have a range of plywood available and all three will broadly be the same in quality when compared across the same segment
    There are a number of Kitply fakes in the market so ensure you buy from a trustworthy vendor.


  141. How do I know that the plywood that the dealer is providing is genuine? As I cam to know, there are fake ones with ISI mark and stamps of companies used widely only to find that they are not the genuine plywood sheets. Do the company provide any way of identifying if the plywood is genuine?

  142. It appears that in Membrane shutters the color options are limited.My wife wants an ivory color and i am unable to find the same.Should i go for postforming or laminate with matt finish ?
    Also for Kitchen countertops is Quartz better than granite ?

  143. Glossy finish can be obtained through different options like Hi Gloss Laminate, Acrylic, PU Paint, Membrane etc… price points vary and you may check with a local supplier. The white ones in the picture look like acrylic.


  144. Hi Nandita,

    My carpenter suggested to go for UV coated high gloss lamination, any idea abt this, we want high gloss/ glass kind finish for our kitchen, I have seen number of pics on net, but not sure which material they use to get that glassy finish, whethernits available in India, if yes how much they cost.

    In short if I need to get Nolte kind of finish, is it possible?

  145. Hello Nandita

    We are planning to go with Green for interior for our home. we are confused which companies 19mm board Commercial shutter we should use. My carpenter is telling me that Green does not manufacture 19mm board. what do you suggest for shutters with laminates.


  146. Thanks for the excellent information Nanditha. We are considering some readymade wardrobes for our home. Due to budget constraints we are not going with plywood.

    We have a choice of
    1) full particle board wardrobe
    2) full MDF wardrobe
    3) MDF wardrobe with Membrane doors (the wardrobe with this combo had good looks).

    The shopkeeper said he would recommend full MDF over MDF + Membrane. Would that be your recommendation too?

    If we go with full MDF, how do we bring some good looks to the furniture.


  147. Greenply definitely has 19mm Commercial board…ask for MR grade board – MR Grade = Commercial.
    Also for Laminated Kitchen shutters 16 or 17mm ply or board should do.


  148. For lower budgets both Pre Lam Particle Board or Pre Lam MDF are nearly equivalent as each has pros and cons.
    Also – Membrane also has an MDF base..hence if the membrane quality is fine then that should be as good as Pre Lam particle board or MDF, the cost of membrane however will be higher

    Looks have nothing to do with the material inside, you just need to choose appealing colours and finishes.


  149. Hi Nanditha,

    Your Blog is very useful.
    One of our friend suggested to go for a Galvanised steel carcass manufactured by one of the Brands. Is it good to have this with BWR Ply + laminate shutters.


  150. Hi – My carpenter has given two options for modular kitchen. Option 1 is MDF Exterior Grade Board and option 2 is Plywood water proof grade board. Am confused which one is best. Could you please advise.

  151. Hi Nanditha,

    But one of my friend's kitchen, there are full of cockroaches in the bottom space left for untouching the floor. Any precaution for such an issue?

  152. Apparently formaldehyde is a carcinogenic substance. Plywood is known to emit out this chemical. There is no alternative substance yet. What is the alternative?

  153. Hi Nandita

    I have a query on pine wood. Why pine wood + paint is not preferred for woodwork ? Is it because pine wood can not carry weight ? I heard in europe it is used. It seems in europe in extreme snow weather also, it is not spoilt and also it is termite proof.


  154. Hi Nandita,
    Your posts are very helpful. I see that you have to repeatedly answer the same questions. I feel it will be great if you publish a simple template kind of for materials to be used for boxes, shutters, Sliding Doors. At least for modular kitchen as they are becoming more popular and affordable by most of the people.
    Thank You so much!!!

  155. Hi Nandita,
    What a fantastic blog that I have come across yesterday ! I wish I would have found something similar 4 years back when I actually had to go around places to get the zest of which wood to use. Kudos to the gr8 work.
    I am planning to once again furnish my apt albeit kitchen and hence focusing only on MR ply. I read your post yesterday and have following query
    a) I used ALPINE before but my carpenter is criticizing it, any suggestion on ALPINE ply and if it falls in the same range as of Greenply Ecotek and Century Sainik ?
    b) What is your feedback on Greenply Ecotek ? Is it advisable to use it
    c)How to ensure that the plywood is authentic and not fake (stamped) ?

  156. Hi, can you suggest if one should use High Gloss laminate in kitchen or should go with SF finish.

    Also if we will like to suggest any specific brand to go in laminates will be really helpful

  157. Hi Nandita,

    I planning to use laminate + BWP block board for my wardrobe shutters. Is is costlier than laminate + commercial ply from same brand? My carpenter is charging 15% more for it. When I checked the price(not up to date) in the net ( commercial ply(19mm) cost and BWR block board(19mm) cost is almost same. Please advice


  158. Hi,
    Thanks for your detailed view about interior work.I have been suggested to go greenply hdf for both kitchen and wardrobe.Is hdf is ok for kitchen?please suggest

  159. HI Nandita,

    I would like to know the price differences & advantages/disadvantages if we go for modular kitchen + wardrobe work manually doing from "carpenter" with respect to placing orders with factory like @home, big bazaar or home town etc.,

    -N Murthy

  160. I am building an environment friendly house, and i would like to use marine ply with E1 emission standards (to avoid formaldehyde emission). I found couple of options like KleanWud etc in market. Do you think it would increase the cost drastically? (say, 20% more than normal marine ply0?

  161. Regular carpenters are usually not good at modular work. Modular work has some definite advantages (read Also carpenters are wary of using ready-made shutters hence the overall fit & finish of carpenter made stuff is usually lower than that of factory made stuff.

    That said there are some designs that cannot be done in the factory and have to be executed by a carpenter on site. Also if you use exactly the same material, the cost of the factory made stuff will on an average be higher.


  162. Hi nandita,
    i am looking to build wardrobes (full wall minus window)
    for my bedroom.
    i am looking for 2 options MDF+laminate/ Ply+laminate.
    Please tell which is the better option. we have not used MDF before. Please through some light on this.

  163. Hi Nandita,

    I'm thinking of using a white laminate in my kitchen and also for wardrobes in bedrooms. Would you advise against using white laminate in Indian kitchens? Will white laminate scratch and stain easily? Will it start looking old and worn out earlier than darker laminates? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  164. Hi Nandita, thanks for such a informative blog. I have a question…For my modular kitchen, I am planning for 19MM Board (Centurey/ green ply for Carcase and Action Tesa High gloss laminated hdf shutters. Please guide, if my selection is ok…or should i go for Marine Ply for boxes and Membrane / Laminate on Board for shutters.

  165. White Laminates should be fine for the kitchen and wardrobes just that in the rooms the colour selection for the rest of the decor will need to be done carefully when choosing white. Also there is a fairly broad range within white hence choose the one that appeals to you the most.


  166. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for the information shared on this blog- really superb and useful content.

    I have a couple of questions which I believe have not been discussed in any of the earlier Q&A.

    What are your views on the Charcoal+Polysterene decorative interior mouldings from Maria Decor? Specifically (a) are these are long lasting and maintain their look for several years, and (b) do you reckon they are good value for money?


  167. Hi,
    Thank you very much for this very helpful blog. I have a question on Edge banding. Centuryply sells matching edge banding. Can this be applied by carpenter at home?. Is it similar to iron-on edge banding?.


  168. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for the descriptive post. We are planning to go for a ready made kitchen and they advising us to use – waterproof carcass in chipboard i.e.18 mm Melamine E5, HYDRO V100.

    Could you please shed some light / view regarding this ?

    Thanks in advance


  169. Hi Nandita, your blog was really helpful for me in choosing the material for wardrobes and kitchen cabinets.
    Can you throw some light on material for Beds. you mentioned Plywood or combination of teak and plywood. I wanted to go for a combination of plywood and teak. but my carpenter is insisting to go for complete plywood. Is it really better or is he just trying to make his work easier ?
    Can you differentiate them ? Appearance wise and durability wise.

  170. The choice of material for the beds is based on the design. For e.g. if you need rounded corners then it makes sense to use teak, if you dont need rounded corners then using teak will work out more expensive – and this is just one scenario, there could be many.

    If your design can be built out using Ply only then that is fine enough.


  171. Hi Nandita,
    I hod got few queries regarding veneer.Can plywood be laminated with veneer.Also what is use of veneer lamination.will it give wood finish.
    Actually i am planning to have a crocker unit(ply wood+veneer lamination) with color as that of teak wood.Please give your suggestions on if we can use veneer,how can that be used as lamination and will that give a wood finish look

  172. hi Nandita,
    Your posts have been very informative and useful in my search for the right interiors for my apartment. I'm planning to use BWR ply for kitchen with laminate shutters and I'd like to know if there is anyway for laymen like me to test whether the wood used by vendor is indeed BWR ply and not MDF.

    thanks in advance!!

  173. Dear Nandita

    We are moving to furnish our complete house with 16 mm marine ply only includes, Family living sofa, cot, wardrobes, modular kitchen etc. but my parents are confused about the quality of the marine ply and they prefer wood for the same. since my house is in contemporary style, the designs in marine ply altogether with veneer finish in some areas and cielings with spot lights as well. so i need to get a clarity only on the durability and quality of 16 mm marine ply. i am not using MDF at all. full house is going to do interior only with MARINE PLY

  174. The usage of wood versus ply depends on the application & the design, for e.g. you cannot use wood in places where one needs wide panels. For the right application & design there is nothing wrong in using Marine ply.


  175. Hi Nanditha,

    Does Green Ply Optima Red really reduces the formaldehyde emission? Other than that can we go for optima red MR for wardrobes and BWR for Kitchen. Is it ok to to go optima red?

  176. Hi Nandita
    I have been going through your blog for some time. It is very impressive and has a tonne of information for us. Thanks very much!

    I have the following two questions for you –
    1. We like the finish MDF gives, but have decided to go with Ply+Laminate. When we explored more, we have found a few vendors who heat-press laminate on ply to give it a machine finish. This looks impressive. However, the vendor is comfortable doing this with 16mm Ply as against the usually known 19mm. Is there any significance for this?
    2. What is your recommendation on engineered tiles for breakfast counter, kitchen slab etc as against granite/marble.

    Appreciate all that you are doing and look forward to your guidance.

  177. I frankly dont have any quantifiable proof apart from the manufacturers claim that Optima Red has zero/ less formaldehyde emissions. My personal take is not to bother about formaldehyde emissions…we have been living through it our entire lives till date


  178. 16 mm ply with both side laminate should be fine
    Engineered tiles for the counter will need good quality finishing (Workmanship) to do the edges or the design should be such that the tile edges are not visible

  179. Hi NM,

    Hello NM, i have become a regular visitor to you blog, every time with new questions in mind. I have seen acrylic shutters being used in kitchen, It looks elegant and eye catchy. I would like to know what are the pro's n con's of using acrylic shutters. If they are good what would be the price range and can you name some place of availability.

    Anil Kumar

  180. Acrylic is fine for shutters under 7 feet height. The base material in these shutters is MDF and all the pro's and con's of MDF as mentioned in the post above applies to these shutters as well. Additionally Hi Gloss on the acrylic is prone to scratches hence they it will need some bit of maintenance.

  181. How to identify laminated marine ply and commercial ply. Interior designer will say he will put marine ply but once he laminates(Veneer) on ply, it’s very difficult to differentiate.

  182. The weight of Marine ply will be more than commercial ply in general and someone in the business can find the difference. For a layman the best/ only protection is to go with a trustworthy designer

  183. Hi Nandita,
    It is a great blog to gather all information I need. Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge.

    I have decided to go with water proof marine plywood with laminate for Kitchen carcass. Need your help in kitchen shutters as below.

    What is the preferred option between MDF + membrane finish Vs. Marine plywood with Acrylic lacquer for kitchen shutters. Can you include inputs on durability, look and cost for comparision.

    Thanks in advance.

  184. Hi Nanditha,
    I am Remia from Bangalore. I would like to clear a doubt. We are about to start our interior work. One of the interior designers we approached told that, he is using Block board for kitchen and cupboards. He is using block board for boxes also. Is it ok?

  185. Hi Remia, If the boxes are factory made then it is recommended to use Ply and not blockboard because blockboard sometimes has hollow portions that create problems in assembly of the factory made components, if however you are making the boxes on site then blockboard is fine.

  186. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for all the information…
    What is your opinion on WPC board(Wood-plastic composites) for kitchen work. Though it costs more than ply but as par the shop-keeper and website it is water proof. Do you think it is worth spending extra money?

  187. Hi, apologize for gate crashing. I am confused in buying a 4 door wardrobe whereas by budget is less; since i am planning to buy it for my rented house. Its a movable wardrobe. I am confused which wood to buy. Bhutan & MDF costs less. Ply costs more. Pls advice 🙁

  188. Hi Nandita,
    My Interior designer suggested the following materials
    i)19mm blockboard with 100% water proof material .he suggested company like Wood Mark or Rock wood or Green Ply or Centurion.plssuggest smegood company with reasonable cost
    ii)Outside we can use lamination and inside what we can use Enamelpaint or mica sheet??

    i)19mm commesial ply or boards company is Wood Mark or Rock wood or Green Ply or Centurion
    ii)Outside we can use lamination and inside wat we can use Enamelpaint or mica sheet??

    thanks in advance

  189. Hi NM,

    I am planing for a 7 feet tall wardrobe with hinged shutters. Few carpenters are saying the new hinges (hettich style) won't withstand the weight and to go for the old style hinges. But I think the finishing won't be that good in case of traditional hinges. Need some expert's advise here.

    What do you say? Does using some good quality of new style hinges help?

  190. Hi, I went thru the blog. I have built a 4 apartment house for leasing. I have the kitchen shelves /bedroom wardrobe built in with granite slabs. To cover the kitchen shelves/wardrobes, One carpenter is saying that prelaminated MDF with beeding to prevent lamination coming out will be good enough for both kitchen + bedroom. (Doors or shutters only as shelves are already there). Second carpenter is saying that Kitply water proof plywood with laminated on inner and outer side with teakwood beeding. Please suggest which is the best option. The cost difference between the first and second carpenter is 1/3 more for plywood.

    Thanks a lot

  191. Hi,
    Your blog is very helpful for me!!
    Just wanted to know , my interior designed has suggested the following-will this be a right option?

    and For Wardrobes:PLY WITH LAMINATIONS Matt Finish.

    Please suggest will this be a right option or may other suggestion?

    Thanking you

  192. There will always be something "better" in the market. You need to buy based on what comes within your budget. The recommendation for the "ideal" material to be used are already in the post above.


  193. The "New Style" Hinges will just be fine..carpenters are sometimes not comfortable using them. Each hinge comes with a weight capacity and based on the weight of the door you can use 3 or 4 (or more) hinges per door


  194. Prescriptive recommendations are already in the blog post above. Specific to the material you have mentioned – it looks ok …only thing is that I am not a big fan of post form shutters because of their look.


  195. Hi Nandita,
    I had gone through all your comments. It was very useful. I have one doubt, in which I could not get clarity. I want to go for woodwork for my new apartment. I have two options now:

    1. We have a carpenter in my town, who makes wood work using green ply MDF and uses spray paint (not sure if it is duco) for shutters. He says, he can do good designs on shutters.

    2. We know a modular woodwork maker in Bangalore, who also suggests green ply MDF with lamination. I feel this is costlier than option 1 by around 30%.

    Now, I want to know, which of the above options give good look and stay for longer time. I am also constrained by cost.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestion.


  196. Hi Nandita,

    Thanks for the great post. I have a query on Kitchen material. We are going for Marine Ply + Laminate (Merino MR+ which is High gloss, scratch resistant) with steel biding (3mm thickness). Is this worth going or we should still think on Marine Ply + Membrane.
    Durable, Look and cost wise is are selection be good?

  197. Steel edge banding on all 4 sides may break the straight line look and make the Kitchen look like a stack of rectangles. Some folks however like that look…not me though


  198. Hi Nandita,

    I am starting woodwork for apartment. For the woodwork i need to provide materials. Could you please help me to find out what are the good brands for Commercial Ply, Commercial Block Board and Waterproof Ply.

    Thanks in advance

  199. Hi Nandita,

    My Interior designer is suggesting for KITCHEN – PLY & LAM with UV COATED SHUTTERS – ACTION TESA..Is this fine and how much life would u expect for this material?

  200. Yes, the material is fine. If you are able to avoid water spillage on the shutters it will last longer than how much you will be willing to bear seeing it :). Also UV coated shutters has MDF as the core & come in 2 grades – you might want to go in for the Exterior grade ones as these have better Moisture Resistance.


  201. Hi Nandita,

    Could you please throw some light on what multiwood means. I got to know about this from an interior designer that multiwood is better than marine plywood for kitchen as marine ply has formaldehyde which is carcinogenic. Please suggest if this is true.

  202. Hi Nandita i have a quick question, if i decide to chose Greenply BWR + Desinger vineer with PU Polish + Enox Hinges for MB Wardrobe apprx how much cost it will arrive per SFT. seeking your suggestion to validate the quote given by few interior guys for my flat interiors

  203. Designer Veneer rates range from Rs 100 per sqft to Rs 500 psft. Similar range exists for PU polish. Hence there is really no standard for comparison. You just need to find a designer that you trust & who can do the work within your given budget.


  204. Hi Nandita,
    nice to read all your blog for wood work and its very very informative..
    recently i made wardrobe. for doors of wardrobe i preferred block board and matte finished wooden textured sunmica. wooden texture on sunmica feels like veneer but matte finish looks dull so i want to apply polish on sunmica so that it will shine like veneer after my question is it possible to apply polish on sunmica??
    which type of polish??…
    waiting for your reply…
    hav a nice day..

  205. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks fro your wonderful site. I am continuously learning new things through your site everyday.
    I am getting the interiors done for my house. My carpenter is suggesting Block board for Wardrobe and Loft doors/shutters, which I have also read in your posts. However he bought Kitply Blockboard (in Hardwood material rather Pinewood material) due to cost considerations (I have given material contract also to him as I cannot do the running around for buying material. Obviously in my opinion the Carpenter would buy material wherein he would make more profit, so I guess thats why he bought Blockboard in Hardwood quality).
    I also did some research independently and found out that Pinewood quality for Blockboard is better than Hardwood Blockboard for doors/shutters. Is it true??? If yes, what are the drawback on using Hardwood material Blockboard???? will it be long lasting.
    Also do Blockboard come as BWR/BWP as I would need them for Kitchen shutters as well.
    Thanks in advance…

  206. Hi NM,

    My carpenter is suggesting for Actiontesa HDF shutters for kitchen and Marine ply for carcass..Is it it a better option? please suggest?

  207. Hello Nandita,

    Thank you for the super informative blog. I'm visiting different brands for modular kitchen. The difficulty I have is I'm not able to compare the MDF shutter types in this blog to what they are saying. They are giving options of MDF in Acrylic/Gloss/Laminate. Which of these is MDF Membrane? If none of those is membrane which one would you prefer among them?


  208. None of this is Membrane. You need to choose based on what "looks' good to you…the finishes are just for the look and the base material (MDF) remains the same for all

  209. Hi,

    Thanks for this useful blog.

    I have 2-3 questions.
    (i) What material should be used for Wardrobe? We have been to an Interior Designing Firm who is pitching to go for Particle Board on which we are not much convinced?
    Should we go for Particle Board for Wardrobe or Plywood would be a better choice for Wardrobe?

    (ii) How do you calculate Square Foot for a Wardrobe? Do you simply go by Length * Width? We are planning to go for a wardrobe which would be 6 Feet * 6 Feet , So Should I consider 36 SQ FT OR you need to consider its Depth also which is 3 Feet and Total SQ FT would become 108 SQ FT.


    Abhay Desai

  210. Hi Nandita,

    My carpenter is preferring AK plywood/ ECO Ply (ISI 710). Do you have any experience with these brands and are these plywood comparable with brands like century/ green ply etc.


  211. Hi Nandita… You post and comments really impressed me and thanks a lot for helping everyone of us here.. Even i have one main trouble in selecting the material for my modular kitchen.. The options that I have is as below: 1) Beth kitchen.. Entire doors and shelfs is made of GI coated with epoxy. Only the baskets ie 3 baskets are having stainless steel inside.. Look wise i found them very elegant.. I am afraid that it will corrode. What will be life of this kitchen? 2) To go for BWP ply and get it done with carpenter….. Among the 2 options above which one has more and better/durability life? Need your suggestion at the earliest please

  212. Hi Nandita,

    After reading such a big blog i am surprised how much experienced yoi are & sure you r the right person to ask this question.

    let me the advantages/disadvantages of post-forming.

    Thanks in advance.
    Padmanabhan C.N.

  213. The advantage of post forming is that there are no rough edges that are visible. The disadvantage is purely ergonomic – to some (including me) the rounded edges don't look good.


  214. Steel kitchens are limited only by their look ahd the noise that the shuters make on closing and not their life. I have not heard of Beth Kitchens hence cannot specifically comment on their quality and life. BWP/ BWR kitchens will last you longer that you would want to tolerate seeing them in your home 🙂


  215. Prescriptive material recommendations are already in the blog post above. If you do not have a budget constraint then use BWR ply for the wardrobe.

    SQFT area of the wardrobe for labour work calculation is Height X Width


  216. Hi Nanditha,

    A very interesting blog and nice pictures you have posted. What about lacquer laminate compared to artificial laminate for kitchen/wardrobe?

  217. Hi Nandita
    I am getting my kitchen done by a carpenter and he has suggested us to use BWP block board its k or will the BWR plywood will do?Can you also tell me price difference i will have between two

  218. hi

    I am planning to do some woodwork in home which is nearing completion.
    Planning to use Century Ply Architect Plywood

    I have placed granite slabs in bedroom wardrobes . It is just closing.Also same goes with kitchen.w ith some storage shelves above the counter top

    is it worth going for it ?

  219. Hi Nandita,

    My carpenter is suggesting to use KEEPLY board which is average board available at price of 52rs/sqft.
    But one of plywood vendor suggesting me to use MERINO ply board for modular kitchen which is BMR available at 72rs/sqft.

    Can you please suggest your input? I am 100% confused 🙁

    Amit Verma

  220. Hello nandita
    My designer has suggested me to put corian shutters in my new kitchen. He says it s some kind of hardened polymer plastic on ply. Is it durable and cost effective kindly enlighten me. Thanx.

  221. Thank You Nandita ji.. I have purchased BWR Century Ply for Kitchen work which cost me Rs. 110/- PSFT. No compromise with kitchen.

    Also I am using commercial board ply(KEEPLY) for wardrobes.

    I hope I am not doing any mistake.

    Thank you once again for your valuable suggestions.

    Amit Verma

  222. Hi Nandita,

    Is there any warranty provided by Kitply/Greenply/Century on the plywood for termite issues or manufacturing defects ?

    Please advise.

  223. No…also a warranty may not help because by then the ply would have turned into furniture. You can get termite treatment done on the finished furniture if you see an infestation


  224. Not sure if you mean Acrylic coated shutters when you say Corian shutters. Corian is a brand owned by dupont and so far its prime application is around making countertops, never heard of shutters made from Corian
    Acrylic shutters however are fine – understand that these will typically be hi gloss and will need higher maintenance than normal shutters. In turn they provide a good visual appeal.


  225. Thanx for the information. The another thing is that the shopkeeper has suggested acrylic shutters he says it's on ply not MDF but I went through ur blogs saying that acrylic is alway on MDF. Also he s giving me pre laminated hot pressed marine ply carcasses. Is it a good option.thanks for ur coop..

  226. Hi Nandita,

    Why do you suggest block board for carcass? As you mentioned in many places in your blog that block board is resistant to bends and since carcass is the one that will hold most of the weight of the kitchen doesn't it make sense to use block board for carcass in stead of Ply? Please give your inputs.


  227. Nowadays Acrylic as well as Membrane is available over Ply. Ply does not come in Pre Lam form, I assume he will be getting it hot pressed in a factory – which is fine.


  228. Hi,

    1. What is FRS (Fire Retarding Sheet)? Kitchen with FRS shutters- Aluminium framework. Would you suggest that?
    2. For flat's modular kitchen, many folks sending quotation/design based on flat's layout plan. They're looking visiting flat's in person for measurement and others. Is it ok?

  229. Hi Nandita,

    Why do you suggest block board for carcass? As you mentioned in many places in your blog that block board is resistant to bends and since carcass is the one that will hold most of the weight of the kitchen doesn't it make sense to use block board for carcass in stead of Ply? Please give your inputs.


  230. FRS is what the name suggests – sheets that resist catching fire. I recommend using regular Ply in Kitchens.
    The layout plan is good enough for a quote in case of apartments – a site visit is usually needed in case of villas especially when large scale paneling/ cladding/ flooring/ staircase etc. is involved


  231. Hi NAndita

    Could you pls advice on the thickness of the laminate used inside the wardrobe.
    Thanks & regards

  232. Hi Nandita ,

    what about galvanized steel cabinet with laminated BWR doors for kitchen?
    which is more durable for kitchen cabinet , galvanized steel or BWR 303 marine ply ? which is expensive ?
    waiting for your valuable advise
    with regards,
    ishan sujith

  233. Hi Nandita,
    I came across two options, Bhutan wood & Fibre, for modular kitchen and wardrobes. I see fibre option of very good quality and more lasting & durable. Bhutan wood vendor that i found also has a very promising feedback. They claim it to be water proof with 15 years warranty and have done many implementations in Bangalore. I checked the fibre made kitchen and wardrobes in one of the sample houses another vendor has shown and was quite satisfied, however finishing at some points like screws coming out was questionable. Which one out of the two would you recommend to go for? I am not in a position to go for costly woods hence looking to choose out of the above two options for my house. Kindly advise.

  234. I am not a big fan of steel cabinets – gives the feel of an almirah. From a durability perspective I done believe there will be any issues if you were to go with reputed brands.


  235. Bhutan Board is Particle Board and is absolutely not recommended for the Kitchen. If the woodwork is for your own use and you have a budget constraint I recommend doing the work in phases rather than compromising on the material quality


  236. Hi Nandita,

    For my wardrobes i selected Greenply Ecotec Commercial grade and 1mm merino laminate.Can you please let me know where in bangalore can both these sheets combined using machine instead of manually combining them using Fevicol SH??? Also what is the cost variation per sqft??

    Also is there readily available Pre-laminated greenply sheets in bangalore

  237. HI, Nandini…seek your advice . Plz suggest for kitchen carcases what to use either wood plastic composite or Century Ply..

    Want anti termite, anti water, anti rust, durable,with time and screw should remain intact. So which out of WPC & Century PLy contains all these qualities

  238. Hi Nandita,

    Are prefabricated kitchen shutters with MDF boards and membrane film durable? My kitchen has heavy traffic and a servant handling it.

    I was advised by someone to use block board and laminate for shutters and carcass both. However my designer calls for prefabricated shutters of MDF.

    1. Considering the high usage of the kitchen what would you advice for shutters and carcass between MDF, plywood and bloackboard?

    2. I am looking for wider baskets for utensils. What brand of hardware do you recommend which will be durable.

    Your advice will be highly appreciated. Thanks !

  239. For maid managed Kitchens Ply+Laminate or Block Board+Laminate shutters are recommended. Carcass should be BWR Ply.

    For wide drawers you can go for a tandem box from any of the known brands (Blum, Hettich, Ebco) instead of steel baskets


  240. Hi Nandita,
    One of the shop owner send me a quotation for plywood (19mm & 18mm) and he mentioned that 15 ply material & 13 ply material. what is 15 ply & 13 ply?

  241. Ply is the number of sheets stuck together that make up the plywood i.e. 15 Ply means it contains 15 sheets stuck together – you will be able to count these when you look at the cross-section of the plywood.
    For all "practical" purposes you may ignore the Ply rating


  242. Hi nandita, I am glad i found your blog at a time when i am so confused about setting my kitchen. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I hope you have time to clear a few of my doubts.

    (1) Regarding Duco paint, is there a need to polish it with lacquer or something to get the sheen. You said Duco paint was hi-maintenence. Can you tell me in which way.
    (2) I saw you mentioned edge bending laminate. Is that good? I am planning to use marine ply.


  243. If you are looking for Duco for your Kitchen shutters then its advisable not to risk doing the painting on site. You should ideally buy readymade duco painted shutters.

    Duco gets scratch marks similar to a car's surface over time. Also corners & edges might peel off.

    Edge banded laminate is fine however the look of Duco or membrane is relatively better


  244. I used marine ply(as told by the vendor) for my kitchen. Due to water leakage in my kitchen sink the wood is giving up i.e. it has become brittle.
    Any suggestion?

  245. Hi Nandita Ma'am

    They say that MDF is easy to Break.
    What are the pros and cons of using an MDF+ Membrame & Ply+Membrane?

    Thank you


  246. Membrane on ply is relatively new and since ply is a harder base than MDF only time will tell whether it causes any damage to the membrane film especially at the edges.Also Membrane on Ply is much more expensive than membrane on MDF.

  247. Hi Nandita
    I am planning for a island kitchen and I have been advised to go for marine ply carcass and same grade shutters with duco paint .
    I like to know
    1.either marine ply with duco finish or marine ply with lamination .which one is the best?
    2.what is the diff between duco and pu finish?
    Thank you

  248. The choice depends upon your individual taste. The positive about Duco is that the edges will be smooth and the trims will not show making it look slick while in Laminate the edge will show, at the same time Duco will develop scratches over time (similar to the ones you see on cars) while Laminate will not.

    Duco finish is what you see on cars while the transparent coated finish you usually see on boardroom tables is PU. BTW you can also do a PU coat on top of Duco…net net, it can get quite confusing 🙂


  249. Hi Nandita,

    Please could you help us to understand advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel modular kitchen and stainless modular wardrobes (e.g., Godrej) over wooden modular kitchen and wooden wardrobes.

  250. Stainless steel wardrobes are good for storing valuables etc due to the safety they offer. However in terms of the looks wooden wardrobes as well as kitchens definitely score higher.
    Also, steel is a safe bet for the kitchens if you are not sure of the quality of wood being used. However good quality BWR Ply should last as long as steel and without giving an almirah like feel to the kitchen cabinets


  251. Hi designer advised me to go for ply+ membrane for shutters & machine pressed laminate for carcass.or can I use solid wood for shutters in kitchen.and also ply+ machine pressed laminate for wardrobes ? Which one is better?

  252. Hi Nandita,

    I prefer PU Mirror finish / lacquer finish for wardrobe shutters because I am confident that I will maintain it .My carpenter is saying these finish will come only in MDF. He has to purchase in market because in Bangalore no one has machineries to do this. Is it true? or Can I get this finish in block board also? anything available in market? Where?
    Thanks in advance.

  253. Hi Nandita,

    Very informative blog.Thanks.

    I am interested to go for acrylic finish shutters in kitchen. Can we use this with marine ply BWR or only with MDF? I heard scratch resistant acrylic mirror sheets like plaskolite are available in market. Pls advice. Thanks in advance.

  254. Hi Nandita,
    Thanks for taking time out and replying to each question!
    Can you please explain as to why would you not go with Fire resistant ply?

  255. Hi Nandita. I just came across your blog. I am comparing commercial plywood, MDF & HDF. Could you please tell in order which would be good for interiors. One of the vendor suggested to go for full HDF with normal laminate for longer life. He is charging Rs.955/sqft for HDF. The complete quote comes to 3.6L for 415sqft. Is this a reasonable market price. Please help me to decide on this.

  256. The order – assuming each is topmost grade (because a good quality particle board will be better than the worst quality MDF) is
    1. Marine Ply/ Board
    2. BWR Ply/ Board
    3. MR Grade or Commercial Ply/ Board
    4. HDF
    5. MDF
    6. Particle Board

    If you are going for HDF then please use Pre-laminated only as sticking laminate on site may cause it to bend.

    I will refrain from commenting on the price as being in the same line of work that would be unethical


  257. Dear Nandita,

    Today I learned a lot and finally gaining confidence in choosing materials from your replies and various doubts and options raised by many

    I really appreciate your patience and answers

    Thank you very much

  258. I did my kitchen and wardrobes 16 months ago at Bangalore spending Rs 1,600,000/-. Estimate had mentioned borer proof commercial ply for wardrobes and water proof marine ply for kitchen and toilet cabinets. Borer attack started within one year and now 3 wardrobes and marine ply cabinet have vicious borer attack. The contractor says no one can give 100% guarantee for any material and refuse to change any furniture. Offered aluminum phosphide and such dangerous chemical treatment as remedy and I have to vacate house taking all my stuff inside for 1 week. I refused the same. Contractor says borer proof guarantee given by the supplier is just 24 hrs for return. Pest people say borer was inside the ply while job was done as the wood used was not treated quality brand. Could you please suggest me how to take it forward as I am working overseas. I have done totally 9 wall units + kitchen and expect attack on other furniture shortly.

  259. Sorry to hear that. Chemical treatment is the only real option – the other is to change the furniture. Check with the branded pest control companies like PCI, Terminix, HiCare etc.
    Also note that small kids will need to be kept away from the house for a min 10 days post the treatment


  260. Hi,

    I am having a little less than 7ft high sliding wardrobe. Have used 19mm block board only.still I am seeing some bending within a month of doing it.any reason why?

  261. Anonymous said…
    Hi Nandita, your insights are very valuable. I have two questions:
    1) is red sal good for beds?
    2) wardrobes – veneer with laminate? and how about duco finishing? is it worth the expense?
    3) are athangudi tiles worth the effort of procurement/laying?
    Appreciate your response.

  262. Responses in line below
    1) is red sal good for beds? – Its fine for the frame but not for the visible part as the wood may develop cracks over time. It may be ok for the exterior if you are planning a vintage look though

    2) wardrobes – veneer with laminate? and how about duco finishing? is it worth the expense?
    Veneer or laminate is a decision purely based on the look you want and in which material it is available. However there are pros and cons of each like you need a good polisher for veneers & laminates need good finishing at the edges.
    My personal take is that Duco on the wardrobes is not worth the cost/ time/ effort especially with so many alternatives like UV Coating, Acrylic, Membrane etc. nowadays available

    3) are athangudi tiles worth the effort of procurement/laying?
    Yes provided (1) the overall theme of the space is "traditional" and (2) you have a large area/ hall else the tiles might overwhelm the place…remember the tiles were originally meant to be used in palaces 🙂


  263. That sometimes happens due to the changes in weather & moisture or if the board was bent at the time of fixing the laminate/ veneer on top.
    You can install a door stiffener at the back – both Hettich & Ebco will have this. If that does not solve it you can try installing metallic edges on the sides


  264. Hi Nandita, Thanks so much for the info. I had a question: In types of plywood, how good are these companies: Sonear, Frontier, Sunrise compared to Green ply.


  265. Hi Nandita,

    How good/apt is babool wood for usage in cots and tables as a hardwood. I have been told that it is a good/economic alternative to teak. Any pros and cons?

    Many thanks in advance.



  266. Hi Nandita,

    We are planning to use either Birch Wood OR Rubber Wood shutters for the wall units in our kitchen. For base units we want to use Marine/BWR ply with laminate non shining.
    Please advise :
    1. Which wood is better for shutters in wall units?
    2. Good color combinations for shutters in wall units & base units.

  267. For cots & tables really any wood that can be cut into a 4/4 inch log should be ok. Most beds nowadays dont even need a wooden frame and can be made using ply/ mdf.
    Specific to your question – yes Babool can be used for making beds & tables.


  268. Both Birch & Rubberwood are fine – the choice really depends on the colour options and the finish available.
    Colour Combinations need to be looked at taking into account the colours of the entire space & the lighting. Any recommendation in this comment will be superficial.


  269. Hi Nandita,

    Wonderful blog.

    Would it be better to purchase loose furniture like dining tables and cots from good retailers (online or offline) or get them done by a carpenter? I personally feel that the finish from a factory for a dining table or a cot is neater than that of a carpenter. Also if one is planning to use woods like Sheesham then the retailers season them better. Pros with a carpenter are that you can be assured of the wood being used and quality of work in the unseen areas. Am not sure if my assumptions are right. Please correct/guide me on this.

    Many thanks.



  270. It makes sense to buy sofas from good retailers as sometimes its difficult to get quality finish. Dining tables can be done onsite in decent quality & finish but doing the chairs is difficult, hence onsite is recommended only if there are space constraints or a theme to match. If however there is no space/ theme constraint then its best to buy the dining set from known suppliers.
    Cots with headrests & sides are fairly easy and, if the budget permits, should ideally be done onsite to match the overall theme/size of the room.


  271. Hi Nanditha,

    Thanks for the valuable info. This really helps for a person who has zero knowledge on these things. I am planning to start my interior work for my flat and approached on guy and he has provided the quotation and the below material that he is going to use:

    Description Brand/Company Type Size (thickness)
    Wardrobes GreenPly BWP710(WaterResistant) 19mm
    Drawers GreenPly BWP710(WaterResistant) 12mm
    Backside GreenPly BWP710(WaterResistant) 6mm
    InsideLaminate Asis/Optus Halfwhite 0.8mm
    Laminate Greenlam/Optus 1550/- Sheet 1mm

    Kitchen Fittings:

    1. Channels Hettich/Enox/Ebbco Normal Closing
    2. Baskets SS – Life Time 9 No. of Baskets
    3. Hinges Hettich/Enox/Ebbco Normal Closing
    4. Handles SS Cost Rs 100/-
    5. Polish Only for beading
    6. Glasses Saint – Gobain
    7. Spoon Rod SS 1NO RS 600/


    Wardrobes Materials

    Description Brand/Company Type Size(thickness)
    Wardrobes MarinePly/Prestige Commercial/BlockBoard 19mm
    Drawers MarinePly/Prestige Commercial/BlockBoard 12mm
    Backside MarinePly/Prestige Commercial/BlockBoard 6mm
    Laminate Greenlam/Optus 1200 /- Sheet 1mm
    InsideLaminate Asis/Optus Half white 0.8mm
    Veneer Green/Legend 65 per Sq ft 4mm

    Can you please suggest whether the above material is good and long lasting?

    Wardrobes Fittings:

    1. Channels Hettich/Enox/Ebbco Normal Closing
    2. Locks Godrej/Europa
    3. Hinges Hettich/Enox/Ebbco Normal Closing
    4. Handles SS Cost Rs 100/-
    5. Polish (Beading) Selected color
    6. Veneer Polish Menamul Polish

  272. One of the carpenter told me that there is no such thing as Plywood + Membrane. He said Plywood can be with either Laminate or Acrylic. Please clarify. Arcrylic is even better than membrane? better finish but yeah high price…pls suggest

  273. Nowadays Membrane is available on Plywood. For Kitchen Shutters Membrane on MDF will be good enough as well as cheaper than Membrane on Ply or Acrylic. If yours is a high traffic Kitchen then membrane in general is not recommended, you will be better off with Laminate on Ply.

  274. The material in general is OK. Please check that the Commercial Ply is ISI Marked IS303 MR Grade.
    Edge Polished shutters with beading are passe nowadays and may not give a contemporary look. Edge Banding will be better but your Carpenter will need to have the skill to do it or you should buy factory made shutters.
    @ Rs 100 the handle quality will range from poor to average.
    I dont recommend baskets for the Kitchen in general as they are quite messy with the plates and cutlery sticking out causing the drawers to jam. Also I will recommend at least the main drawers to be soft closing.
    Also note that the above will take the budget higher than what you currently have from the vendor.


  275. Hi Nandita,
    Thank you very much for your warm response. Sorry to bug you for another question 🙂
    "I dont recommend baskets for the Kitchen in general as they are quite messy with the plates and cutlery sticking out causing the drawers to jam."
    Could you please suggest other option in place of the above?


  276. Almost all of the IPE flooring available in India are small time imported brands, mostly made in China. There is no major brand except Ego. The decision will hence need to be made manually based on the finish, look and feel of the planks


  277. Instead of baskets you can use Innotech drawers/ Tandem Box with a plate holder.
    Its difficult to teach a carpenter new tricks – especially through videos. I have tried but the results have been quite poor 🙂


  278. Hi NM,
    Your blog is of immense help to ppl like me! Thanks!!

    I have an apartment that I plan to let out. That would mean:
    1) Not for self use : So I don't want to make a huge investment for a let out property.
    2) Rough use by tenants : Not all tenants treat the house interiors as their own, so it should withstand rough use.
    3) Ease of maintenance : Between tenants, I want ease of cleaning/washing/maintaining the kitchen cabinets/wardrobes.

    So, I am looking for something durable, yet need not be the best of the lot. Keeping these in mind, I have decided on the following:
    1) Kitchen lower cabinets : Fully marine ply laminate
    2) Kitchen upper cabinets : Fully commercial ply laminate
    3) Wardrobes : Exterior – Block board. Interior – commercial ply.

    Can you please suggest any changes? Do you think I can replace the kitchen upper cabinets and wardrobes interiors with MDF instead of commercial ply? Thanks again.

  279. Hi Nandita,

    What should be thickness of the Ply + Laminates (inside and outside):

    1. BWR ply carcass in the kitchen
    2. BWR shutters in the kitchen
    3. MR overhead units in the kitchen
    4. MR lofts in the kitchen
    5. MR lofts in bed rooms
    6. MR wardrobes carcass (7 feet with 2.5 feet of loft above)
    7. MR wardrobe shutters (7 feet)


  280. Min 0.8 mm for places that are not visible from the outside (inside) and min 1 mm for visible ones (Outside). Finished shutter can be anywhere between 17 – 21 mm. Note that the hardware needs to be chosen based on the thickness of the finished shutter



  281. Hi nandita i m from mumbai i m confused on making kitchen i have few querrys pls try n help me
    1. is hettich brand good for modular hardware?
    2.from whom should i make the kitchen
    a. My regular carpenter whos goin to make other things or
    b. There r some modular kitchen shop who make the complete kitchen and give us with fittings shutters and carcas.

  282. Hi, Nandita.Great work to help others selflessly using your time.My 3 b/r house is getting ready in Mysuru.Mybudget is around Rs.six lakhs.It shoul cover kitchen,3 no.ward robes,lofts,study table with shelves, shoe rack, utility boxes-2 nos.,2 cots,a corner stand and a little panelling.Is the amount okay? Can you also suggest a trustworthy person to do this job.

  283. Hi NM, Thanks a lot for such enriching info.

    My carpenter is suggesting cement ply for carcasses under slab region. Would like to know its pro and corns.


  284. Hello Nandita,

    Thanks for sharing knowledge about which type of material to choose for home interiors. For a owner who hardly knows anything about Interior Designing and woodwork its really helpful to get the initial idea.

    Could you please let me know if Samrat Plywood is ISI marked? As my Carpenter is preferring Samrat ply MR PLYWOOD – IS 303 and BWP PLYWOOD – IS 710, so I am wondering should I say yes or stick to Greenply/Centuryply/Kitply as I have not heard about Samrat ply anywhere before?
    Is it reliable?
    Thanks in advance.

  285. Hi NM,
    Very Useful blog. I wanted to know your input on online interior designing website Would you recommend services from these vendors.


  286. I just went through their site…interestingly they seem to have copied some content from my blog :).

    That apart, one needs to evaluate what material they are using and what capacity they have to both execute and support post the sale & installation. If you are satisfied with that then there should be no issue.
    Holistically looking – the online medium will definitely improve upon being an option to "buy furniture". If you are looking at designing a "Home" in line with your lifestyle then you will still need a designer (who may herself be partly buying online :))


  287. hi nandita,
    Your page has come across at a very crucial time ,i m making my house at madhisland mumbai which is sea facing.i m making modern dining near kitchen counter as its an open kitchen the dining counter is near gas hob ,would like to know what all material options can be used to make counter top,as hot food n tea may come on table.your suggestion will be very helpful n appreciated.

  288. Depending on the overall theme of the home you may go with Stone (Granite, Marble, Natural Stone, Quartz) or with Acrylic Solid Surface. Wood and Glass are not recommended in your situation


  289. Hi Nandita,

    I am thinking of doing couple of wardrobes with sliding shutters with full length mirrors on them. What is the best way to do it – should the shutter frame be made on UPVC or something or can the mirror glass be pasted over a ply or MDF shutter board ? What other things should i consider while going for this ?

    thanks a lot,

  290. Hi,
    This is very helpful blog, I really appreciate you. You mentioned for sliding wardrobe doors use Block Board ONLY (preferably a 19mm + a 6mm (or more) sheet stuck together).
    1) It means 19mm board + 6mm veneer or
    2) 19mm board + 6mm ply on back side + veneer 0r
    3) 25mm board + veneer.
    I was confused and arguing carpenter for 2nd option but carpenter saying either 1st or 3rd option. It will be very helpful if help me here with advice.

  291. Hi Nandita ur blog is very useful.

    I need ur help, I have to start my interiors for my 4 bedroom flat in chennai but got struck & want ur guidance in choosing for veener finish or laminate finish for the bedroom wardrobes..
    And also which is good for edges, edge banding or which one??

    my Carpenter is suggesting me to go for Appleply water proof ply from Mangalore..can u tell me is it a good one?? Or Austin waterproof ply??

    I want to finalise so please help me which will be good in look, maintenance,& has life ?? either veener or laminate .. Carpenter is going to do the work in my house only..

  292. Hi Nandita…wanted to check your views abt WPC for kitchens? Please suggest, read through your blog and wonder if it is worth it. Thx

  293. If you are planning to use top running sliding hardware then it will be best to keep the weight of the shutter as low as possible – hence ideal to use 18mm or 19mm block board with Laminate or Veneer on the outside & 0.8 mmwhite laminate on the inside

  294. I have not used the said brands and hence cannot comment. However most ISI marked BWR 303 grade ply in the range of Rs. 120 – 160/- should work fine.

    The use of Veneer & Laminate depends on the kind of finish and the colours that you are looking for – each has its own pros & cons. Some of the other comments above have more input on this and you may wan to go through


  295. Hi Nandita ,

    I have gone through most of the sections in your blog before starting my woodwork and your suggestions are great help . Thanks for the same .
    I wanted to check with you about difference
    ( durability /appearance ) in use of " edge binding " to " teak wood bidding "( called patti ) .My carpenter is suggesting to use later he says edge binding has less life .
    can you please guide ?


  296. Hi! I am from gujarath. Appreciate you indepth replies. Can u pls suggest if Sintex cabinets are good for kitchen and other areas.

  297. Hi Nandita,

    I am from Pune. Went through the entire section. Learnt a lot. Still have some queries.
    I am planning to get some cabinet and crockery unit done in my kitchen.
    I discussed with various modular kitchen vendors.

    For the shutters/cabinet doors – i was told about the following materials – PVC Membrane (Matt/Gloss), PU, Laminates (Hi Gloss), Acrylic, Aluminium Profile (with frosted or back painted glass) and finally Glass Stuck on the Ply (4mm glass pasted on the entire ply used for shutter).

    Based on the various Q&A and your responses – i understand about Laminates, Membrane , PU , but i don't see any material on the aluminium profile or glass on ply.

    Can you please advise on using them for kitchen cabinet doors ?

    – Sandeep A

  298. Glass shutters are not recommended for the bottom units, they are fine for the wall unit. If you want glass finish you may use acrylic, hi gloss or UV coated shutters
    Aluminium profiles are available for all types of shutters

  299. Regular carpenters may not be able to use edge banding as they are used to using teak beading. In addition the gum used for edge banding is different.Edge banding, provided you get it in matching colour, gives a seamless appearance to the edge – that is its only advantage.


  300. Hi,Thanks for the info ..I am interested in Solid wood kitchen,I checked in Veneezacucine at marathahlli.They have one and if i need for 8/8 they said it willbe around 4 lakhs,which is very expensive to me.The had one designed already which they say 8 yrs old ready to sell for 50% off..Is it considerable..Can you plz advice me…

  301. I will not recommend buying anything that is 8 years old. Solid wood Kitchens will be expensive and if you are fixated on having one then you will need to increase your budget.

  302. Hi Nandita

    Few questions:
    1)My designer suggested to use VV coated for Wardrobes and Kitchen shutters instead of Ply+Laminate and mentioned that the finish that come for Ply+laminate is never that good compared to UV coated. Is that really true ?
    2)The designers who do the work in factory are suggesting that hand made finish never comes good as there will be bubbles during pasting of laminate if I am going for Ply+Laminate. On the contrary,designers who do everything on site are suggesting that the sizes never come perfect in factory made . So,I am a confused as to what is the better option.
    3)I wanted to go for Acrylic finish though it comes around Rs 100/sqft extra as per designer but he is suggesting against that as he believes Acrylic Finish is not that heat resistant as UV coated and should avoid that.
    4)Again,for UV coated,as per him it comes in HDF+Factory coating and has the best finish but major brands like Century or Greenply does not sell it.So,he suggested it would be some other manufacturer. UV coating is a new thing for me,so not sure if its really good or how to judge the quality for the same.

  303. Hi Nandita,
    I have heard that pvc edge binding tape for kitchen cabinet get teared over a period.Plz let me how can we avoid this ?what are other option ? what thickness of pvc binding should be used?

  304. If done properly and with the right adhesive the edge banding should last as long as regular wood beading. Also if possible get factory edge banded shutters as the quality of machine edge banding is better.


  305. There are pros and cons in both. The base material in UV coated panels is MDF or HDF, while for Ply + Laminate panels the base material is Ply. As mentioned in the post Ply is definitely a better material in general. However for non wet area applications such as Wardrobes one may go in for UV Coated panels. You may try Action TESA which is a good brand for UV Coated Panels.
    Factory made finishes in general are better than hand made finishes, however good carpenters are able to deliver finishes that are comparable. At the same time not all work can be done in the factory and the decision on what is to be done in factory and what is to be made by hand is based on the design.


  306. Hi Nandita,
    I have a 12 year old kitchen with a marine ply carcass & membrane shutters, both have lasted me very well all these years. I am now planning to renovate and keeping only the carcass but not getting the colours in membrane shutters (V. Light grey or off white) so considering pu painted ones.
    I am thinking pu shutters would not be as durable as membrane and less resistant to chips and cracks, especially if the corners hits a pan or pressure cooker….am I right in being concerned or can pu painted shutters be as durable as membrane. Please advise.

  307. Awesome Nandita, very informative. Kindly answer just two questions :

    1) For kitchen : which is better for shutters- HDF- Niemann or MDF alvic?

    2) For wardrobes: Is is fine to go by marine ply interiors and shutters of alvic or veneer?

    Looking for your valuable suggestions,


  308. Niemann & Alvic are brand names, what matters is the base material. MDF/ HDF shutters are fine till the time the height is limited to 7 feet. That should cover for both your wardrobe as well as Kitchen needs. Wardrobe interior can be in marine ply + laminate however the side panel will still be in Alvic/ Niemann and you will need to match the colour of the inside of the side panel with that of the laminate else it may look odd.


  309. Hi Nandita,

    Can you please advice on the wood paint and polish options available for ward robes,kitchen cabinets. My carpenter suggests duco and some polish and is quoting 18 rs per sqft. Need your inputs.

  310. Hi Nandita,

    I am very much impressed with your posts. Please suggest out of pull out doors or sliding doors are more durable. Also please suggest the pros and cons having sliding door.

  311. My personal preference is Marine Ply because Multiwood is still not a proven product. However I have had feedback from readers of this blog that they used Multiwood and are satisfied with it


  312. Hello Nandita,

    Thanks for all the wonderful advice on this blog.

    My carpenter wanted to make DUCO PU shutters for my modular kitchen. After seeing your answers here, I told him I want to reconsider. The shutters now have plywood and 4 mm MDF stuck on them.

    Can MDF be removed from the plywood? Is it an easy process?
    Alternatively, is it okay to stick high gloss laminate on MDF? Will it be durable.

    I will be very grateful to you if you can favor me with a reply.

  313. You can stick gloss laminate on the 4mm MDF pasted on ply. However make sure that the thickness of the shutter does not exceed 19 mm. If it is exceeding then I will recommend removing the MDF.
    At the same time if you can maintain the kitchen well then Duco, though not ideal, can be an option to keep.


  314. Hi NM,

    There is no substitute to your blog for interior design tips, kick off or knowledge anything.

    I have gone through 80 % of the articles and its awesome. Based on my understanding I have prepared a check list below. Just have look and suggest me if any any alternate ideas required.

    Kitchen –
    Carcass or the boxes – Warterproof Marine Ply (Technically called BWR ISI Marked 303 Grade Ply….ISI Marked preferred)
    Shutters – MDF Membrane or Hardwood shutters. Laminates : Merino, Greenlam etc. Greenlam you can go to Rohini Plywood on JP Nagar 100 feet road.
    SS Baskets, tandem box. Any basket brand would do provided the steel is SS 304 grade.

    Wardrobe –
    Block Board with straighteners, 16mm block board/ 16 mm ply with both side laminate should suit fine; Laminate/ Veneer on "Block Board"
    Brush in the tiny space between the 2 doors
    Metallic edge handles or pvc edge banding
    For the edges its ideal to use pvc edge banding
    Ebco, Hettich or Blum are the fitting brands.

    Loft – ISI Marked 303 Grade, MR Ply.

    Book self – ISI Marked 303 Grade, MR Ply.

    Study Tables – ISI Marked 303 Grade, MR Ply. Or Block Board

    TV Unit – ISI Marked 303 Grade, MR Ply.

    Chimney – Self cleaning mechanism is just a good to have. A suction capacity of 1200cum/hr should suffice. Faber or Kaff brand works good.

    Ply wood brand – based on my review Sarda Ply, National Ply are good. Suggest me any other brand with cost effective.

    Place to purchase – Shops around Seshadripuram is good or New timber layout Mysore road.

  315. Hi NM, thanks much for this wonderful blog. Are aluminium baskets ok for kitchen instead of wired stainless steel? the porous nature of the wired basket might result in water / spillage on the carcass – aluminium boxes will be easier to control the spills and clean too. Thanks

  316. Hi nandita,
    Hv recently ordered mdf wall shelves.then read that mdf furniture offgass and pose a health threat.kindly tell me if it us safe to install the shelves as I Hv kids at home

  317. Hi Nandita,
    Isn't PVC membranes in kitchen hazardous because of the plasticizers used in it. Secondly wouldn't they pale?

  318. I am not aware if any harmful effects of membrane that have been reported by any credible source.

    The Hi Gloss and bright shade ones from low quality brands do pale. Matte ones and good quality ones may change colour slightly but its hard to make out unless you put new and old shutters side by side.


  319. Hi nandita I am in Delhi and grappling with cheap and best 100% customised termite proof solutions for wardrobe . what would be your suggestion for choice of materials for various parts

  320. Hi, Nice blog that's very informative. And the time you spend shows the passion you have towards the work.
    Can i use greenply ecotec plywood for my wood work? for kitchen my carpenter says he will use waterproof type of the above. We are in the process of starting the wood work for my parents' home. In their earlier home they have used teak wood veneer but seems to be quiet costly now. Thanks in advance.

  321. Hello,
    what thickness mica I should use for the study table and related cupboards ?
    And what kind of plywood should be used for the same ? Commercial ply or anything else ?
    Thanks in advance.

  322. 1MM. For Study table / Wardrobes, if these are not against an exterior facing wall that is likely to get damp you may use MR Grade Ply/ Board. If the budget is limited then even MDF is fine.


  323. The only way to hide the wires is to do wall paneling for the front walls (and run the wires behind the panel). For the rear speakers run the wires along the roof through a false roofing panel or cornice, however you will need to do some wall chipping to get the wires from the roof to the back walls as the recommended rear speaker height is 5 feet from the floor.


  324. Hi Nandita,
    Gone through all the above comments!!
    Now wants to know keeping in mind the durability & longevity of (a)manual edge minimization by pasting 1mm laminates or (b) using factory pressed edge bended laminates. Carpenter has given both the options with same price. Can you please suggest with which one to go ahead?

  325. Hello Nanditaji:

    Please comment on my selections, and suggest thickness of plywood/blockboard for each application.
    1. For Kitchen Bottom and Top cabinets and bathroom cabinets:
    Green Gold Plywood (BWP Grade) IS 710

    2. For sliding wardrobes:
    Greenply MR Grade Plywood for carcass/frame IS 303
    Green MR Block Board for sliding doors IS 1659
    3. For Crockery unit bottom shelf: (there is a wash basin)
    Green Gold Plywood (BWP Grade) IS 710
    Is this an overkill?
    Kindly advise what thickness.

  326. Material choice is fine. Nowadays IS 710 is nearly the same price as BWR 303 grade hence you can choose either for wet areas.
    If you are laminating both sides or veneer on one side and laminate on the other then you may use 16 mm board/ ply, else 19mm.


  327. Hello Nandita,

    Thanks for such a useful Blog

    I wanted to know what kind of carcass Can be used beneath the Kitchen Sink. Is Marine grade Ply Good enough below the kitchen sink. I used to stay in a rented home and it used to be a pain cleaning the surface because of a leaky Kitchen Hose.
    Are there any materials which are easy to clean beneath the Kicthen sink?


  328. Harshith,
    Marine grade ply is good enough. You still need to take care that the hose does not leak and that there is no seepage from the sink. Even Marine grade ply will spoil on long term exposure to water.


  329. Hi Nandita, Your blog was extremely helpful and you are doing an excellent job of spreading knowledge in this field. Could you please help me which of these ply would be the best for interiors. My carpenter gave me these options 1)Green ecotec, 2)Troy Plywood, 3)Luan Ply, 4)Trojan, 5)Samrat ply. Thanks a lot for the help.

  330. Hello Nanditaji, I have been looking at Greenply and Centuryply websites. I am unable to find anything that conforms to ISI 303 BWR grade. Can you please post which ones in the market conform to these specifications? I can find ones that are either ISI 710 BWP grade or ISI 303 MR grade. Appreciate your help. Thanks.

  331. Vendor A is quoting Rs.116/sqft for Greenply Green Gold BWP grade IS 710 plywood 19mm 8×4 sheet, inclusive of VAT
    Vendor B is quoting Rs.118/sqft for the same PLUS 14.5% VAT
    Which price is fair? Please advise. I am shopping from the USA, so your help is greatly appreciated.

  332. Hello Nandita,

    Our carpenter has proposed/recommended us Sliding Wardrobe(which is approx 7ft high) with bottom Running Channels?

    My question is
    a. What are the pros and cons of channels Running beneath the Block Boards
    b. What should be the thickness we should keep in mind of the Block Board and Laminate together if the channels are bottom mount
    c. Is it possible to create a 2 Sliding wardrobe with 4ft or 5ft of Space

    Appreciate your Response. And thanks in advance


  333. To me steel kitchens feel like working in a railway compartment – however that is just a personal taste and preference and technically thee is nothing wrong with steel kitchens


  334. Ananth,
    116 is a good rate. I have not dealt with Plyduniya but most of the online dealers would not sell spurious stuff as they have their reputation to protect.

    Note that additional questions would require a professional fee 🙂


  335. Hi Nandita,

    What is your opinion on using Fiber cement board for wardrobes and kitchen as they are advertising it can replace Plywood and i have seen some pics of wardrobes and kitchen it looks like plywood as they put laminate on it.


  336. Hi Nandita,
    Your blog is soooo helpful for the confused lot like me who are building house for the first time.Specially the materials for kitchen counter tops cabinets etc.I needed info about materials available n suitable for our Indian kitchen or cooking and thankfully some links led me to ur wonderful blog.
    Thank u so much Nandita.

  337. Hi Nandita
    Thanks a lot for providing so much info. I could find lot of info on this single site that could not find else where.
    I read through all articles including the comments. You mentioned that for wardrobes

    1. Carcass – we can use any material MDF or Ply.
    Will MDF have issues in holding nails as its glued wood grains?
    2. Shutters – For 7ft or smaller shutters you mentioned –
    "For a 7 foot hinged panel/shutter either a 19mm Block Board/ Marine Ply with Veneer/ Laminate or MDF + Laminate (membrane not recommended) should work fine."
    Is MDF + Laminate same as pre laminated MDF? In that case doesn't it bend over time?


  338. Hi Nandita,

    I have a one question!. iam going to use the BWR plywood of 16 mm thk for my kitchen wardrobes, is that necessary to use Block Board for shutter or if its low height, can i use the same material.

  339. Responses below
    1. Carcass – we can use any material MDF or Ply.
    Will MDF have issues in holding nails as its glued wood grains?
    Nandita: Ply is definitely better than MDF. THe recommendation to use MDF is only when there are budget constraints.

    2. Shutters – For 7ft or smaller shutters you mentioned –
    "For a 7 foot hinged panel/shutter either a 19mm Block Board/ Marine Ply with Veneer/ Laminate or MDF + Laminate (membrane not recommended) should work fine."
    Is MDF + Laminate same as pre laminated MDF? In that case doesn't it bend over time?
    Nandita: Yes – it is the same as prelaminated MDF. Pre lam MDF usually will not bend, if it does then you can use door stiffeners.


  340. Hi Nandita,
    Thank u Nandita for the wonderful blog. Coz we dont find many indian blogs that ve information abt materials available n suitable for Indian kitchens.I ve a query Nandita .please can u tell me what material is good if i want to keep changing the colors of my kitchen cabinets whenever i repaint my kitchen walls
    Thank u Nandita

  341. It will be best to change the kitchen shutters "only", when you do a refresh, there is no need to change the cabinets/ carcass. You may do your shutters in Membrane or in Laminate. Membrane has a better finish but less life – in your case since you are anyhow planning to change them as part of the refresh, Membrane would suit.


  342. Hi Nandita,
    My carpenter says we can use the hardwood(wild Jack)sourced from my site to make frames for the carcass instead of marine ply BWR and greenply BWR grade to support the drawers or baskets.Please can u advice abt using hardwood for the caracass frames .Thanks a lot Nandita

  343. I am assuming that you mean the carcass for the Kitchen. I would recommend using BWR Ply for the same. Hardwood is not suited for the carcass. Also Hardwood is expensive with great ergonomic value – rather use it to make side tables, corners and frames for your cots etc.


  344. Thanks again Nandita. I dono wat i wd do without ur blog. I hope to meet u someday n thank u personally. Wish u good luck and may god bless u!

  345. Hi Nandita – Could you pls let me know whats the difference between an Acrylic Finish and a Polymer Finish. Both seem to provide that perfect High Gloss effect.

    Also – any Factory which does the Polymer Finish, if you take your own MDF boards ?

  346. Polymer is a sheet that is put on top of the base wood while Polymer or PU is a type of polish that creates a film on the wooden base.
    I would recommend not to experiment with PU as the finish is highly dependent on the hand of the polisher. It will be both better and easier to go with readymade hi gloss finishes such as Hi Gloss Laminate, finished shutters in Acrylic or UV Coat.


  347. I assume you are planning this for sliding door wardrobe shutters. I would recommend using an aluminium frame for making the shutters. Over time I have realised that 25mm shutters become too heavy and need constant maintenance and upkeep…hence it is best to keep their weight to a min.


  348. Hi Nandita,

    We are having our interiors done, the carpenter has suggested us to choose from the following spec.

    1. 19mm BWR (Boiling water Resistant) ISI mark plywood (LG gold/tusker/Pilot/Red Pine) is considered for kitchen Counter storage and MR (Moisture Resistant) ISI mark plywood(LG gold/tusker/Pilot/Red Pine) is considered for all others.

    2.Merino/Greenlam/Opel/virgolam Laminates up to Rs.1200 per sheet is considered for external.

    Can you please let us know if the options given are good enough to choose from? If so which one is the best to use?

  349. Thank u , ur blogs are such a big help .
    Have few queries ,
    Is there much difference between the laminates from branded and non branded company , could u give few brands which are good but not too expensive

  350. Hi Nandita

    Thanks for taking time to anwer the queries
    I have the following questions:

    1. I wanted to use blockboard with laminates for my wardrobes shutters but I hear edge bending doesn't stay well on blockboard.
    Will apparently come out in a year or so. Is that true?
    People are asking to use MR plywood for the same. I am worried that can bend. My wardrobes will be 7feet high. One will be sliding and rest will be hinged wardrobes.

    2. I want to have a tambour unit in my kitchen. I was thinking of
    storing my OTG, microwave, mixer, hand blender in it.
    Was thinking of operating OTG and microwave from their itself.
    But heard laminates can melt. Is that true?
    Will it suffice if I use D3 grade adhesive and fire retardant laminates for the cabinets? Can they still cause a problem?


  351. Laminates are made from thin sheets of paper. The quality of that paper determines the quality of the laminate. I would recommend going in for laminates from standard manufacturers such as Merino, Century or Formica.

  352. If you use the appropriate adhesive and if the ends are plane then the edge bands will stay on blockboard.

    If you are using a built in Oven/ OTG then there should be no issues in using laminates as these have exhaust from the front. For regular OTG /microwave you will need to provide ventilation holes or louvers.

  353. And also, there is a 7' mezzanine level loft(converted into library) and my carpenter is suggesting ply with laminate for the beam and steps, with riser wedges.(it is in the middle of the room, no wall support on both sides.) Is ply good enough to hold the weight or a metal frame with wood steps is better? and which is cheaper? Thanks in advance.

  354. HI Nandita, thanks for this blog, such a great help !! I have few questions if you dont mind.

    1. I am planning for a partition in one of my rooms. the total opening is 5'wide by 9' height.I want a 3' door with 2' fixed panel(top,bottom and one side wall) and the total height for both is 9'. Which material do you recommend for this tall door and fixed panel? there will be no frames.(invisible door)

  355. Ply should not be used as a beam. You may want to get solid wood planks or use an I section metallic beam.
    Steps in ply are fine however the preference here again would be to use metal, you may cover the metal frame in wood if you want to give it a woody look

  356. Hi Nandita

    Is it advisable to do kitchen in BWP plywood(both carcass & shutters) and for rest all blockboards (wardrobe – both carcass and shutters) and blockboard for 7ft wide studytable, 7ft wide bookshelf, ledges, 4 x 6 seft bed etc all. I am not able to understand why use plywood anywhere other than kitchen when it can sag. Please note cost isn't a concern here. Can I use blockboard for everything except kitchen.

  357. Yes you can if you are going in for on site construction. In fact before the advent of modular furniture the defacto wood used was blockboard. Blockboard is however not suitable for factory made modular furniture as it sometimes has gaps between the wooden blocks in the sheet. Modular furniture is assembled using a mechanism called minifix and it requires the wood to have zero gaps hence ply (not Board) is used for modular construction.

  358. Hi Nandita.. Cant thank you enough for this answer.. I have read every possible blog and information about plywood and blockboard but didn't see this info anywhere. So can I goahead and use block-board for everything except kitchen? I will have carpenters at my site. which brand of blockboard is good?

  359. Hi Nandita,
    In some kitchens cabinets (both undercounter and overhead), I see undulations on the laminated shutters, usually glossy finished ones. I have generally seen this with hand-finished. Some say using block-boards can circumvent this. Any advice?

  360. Any brand confirming to the IS 1659 standard (BWR/ BWP or MR Grade as required) is fine to use. If you are brand conscious then you may use Kitply, Century or Greenply of the IS standard mentioned above

  361. Using block board will not make any difference. When using glossy laminate it is best to use calibrated ply/ board – this is ply/ board that has a smoother surface than regular ply/board. In addition the undulations will be less with factory construction

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