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Thread: Material Thickness for Cabinet Back

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Prosper, Texas

    Material Thickness for Cabinet Back

    Is 1/4" material normally used for the rear panel on base cabinets? What about uppers?


    Woodworking: It's a joinery.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Aurora, Colorado (Saddle Rock)
    Yes and no. It all depends on how you plan on mounting the cabinets to the wall, if you need them for structural strength, and your personal pref.

    Take your pick! 1/4" is still plenty strong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Hi Glen, for kitchen base cabinets I've used a 6" high back at the bottom and a 4" high back at the top. (Really just cleats).

    The remainder is open.

    This allows me to save material and since the cabinet is screwed to the wall, racking isn't an issue. (It's also lighter and easier to carry)

    On upper cabinets I've used the same material as used in the remainder of the cabinet.

    Regards, Rod.
    Last edited by Rod Sheridan; 07-08-2010 at 10:45 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Seabrook TX
    Glen, there are two common methods for cabinet backs. Using 1/4" ply allows one to leave the back off until finishing is complete. And, as one poster noted, they are considerably lighter.

    If the cabinet must be hung from the wall, top and bottom stretchers are used for support. Some consider internal stretchers to be unsightly, marring the uniform surface appearance. Others place the stretcher behind the 1/4" ply. This eats up 1" of box depth if 3/4" stretchers are used.

    The other approach is to use 3/4" ply (or melamine) for the back. Easy to attach to the wall. Only one width of material is needed. Construction is easy, too. Screw on an oversized back and rout flush with the sides.

    My melamine kitchen cabinets use 3/4" melamine backs. All wood ply cabinets use 1/4" ply backs.

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