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How Thick Should Plywood Be for Cabinets? (Explained)

Plywood nowadays is one of the most common materials used for not only cabinets but also furniture. It is also reliable to work for various purposes. There are also several types of plywood available and also in different sizes. The size would vary with the purpose the plywood serves. 

Following the below tips and information regarding the plywood and its thicks for use in the cabinets and others would help you to use it in a proper way. 

Plywood thickness for cabinets

The thickness of plywood for cabinets varies depending on what type of cabinet you are making and also how strong you want your cabinet to be. Most of the cabinets have a thickness of ½ inch, ⅝ inch, or ¾ inch. Some may prefer using ¼ inch plywood but it becomes too light for heavy loads. 

Plywood is comparatively strong and reliable to make furniture and cabinets. The size might vary with the choice of the person. Meanwhile, the thickness of the plywood fully depends on the cabinet you are making. 

To carry the heavy load the plywood needs to be thick so that kids would not get a chance to harm the cabinet. 

Kitchen cabinets: 

Most kitchen cabinets use plywood instead of pure wood. Well, it is also understandable as the plywood is an advanced wood and would not get damaged even if you put it near the heat. The thickness is mainly kept at ¼ inch and sometimes to 5/32 inch. 

As the kitchen cabinet is light, you do not need to keep the plywood thicker. Still, ½ inch plywood also would suit as a kitchen cabinet. 

Bedroom cabinet: 

Most bedroom cabinets are kept thicker as it needs to hold heavy weight. You can keep every parameter to ½ inch. ¾ inch thickness would give better durability. 

Nowadays still, many prefer using ½-inch-thickness plywood for the bedroom cabinet as it holds the cabinet properly.

You can also choose ⅝ inch plywood for the bedroom cabinet. Yet, the thickness is better to be kept at 18 to 20 mm which refers to ¾ inch. As a result, the holding capacity increases, and children can be safe. 

Bathroom cabinets: 

Bathroom cabinets are quite the same as bedroom cabinets with proper moisture resistance. The thickness can be ¾ inch as the doors need to be thicker. 

You can also keep the inner selves thinner if you want as the bathroom cabinets do not hold too much weight. 

Also, ½ inch thickness is quite the ideal thickness you can keep for any cabinets you use. If you keep the doors at ½ inch, the door has to be a plain one. 

Closet cabinets: 

The thickness of the plywood would certainly determine how the cabinet would be. The greater the thickness, the stronger the cabinet would be. Closet cabinets are usually heavy and require heavy doors. 

You should certainly not keep the thickness of the closet cabinets below ½ inch.

For stability, at least ½ inch of the thickness is required. For better strength, you should keep the thickness to ¾ inch. Though the cabinet would be heavy yet it would carry the load better and provide better protection. 

Are 1/2 plywood cabinets good?

Yes, ½ plywood cabinets are good. ½ plywood cabinet refers to the plywood having a thickness of ½ inch from every dimension. Well, it is certainly not too good for the cabinets yet not too bad. A minimum thickness of ½ inch is suitable to build a plywood cabinet.

For cabinets, ¾ inch thickness is more suitable as it becomes more sturdy. Meanwhile, the ½ inch plywood is lighter than the ¾ inch plywood. Yet, the ½ inch would give enough protection but not as much as the plywood with higher thickness. 

It would not be wrong to choose the ½ inch plywood if you want to save the expense. Moreover, it is more like a safe play. It can still hold enough load that a cabinet carries.  

3 factors that affect the plywood thickness for cabinets

Plywood thickness for cabinets decides the structure of the cabinet. Well, the thickness is rather dependent on the size of the cabinet you want. The thickness would vary for different cabinets. Mainly it is kept from ½ inches to ¾ inches. 

Still, as the thickness depends on certain factors those are added below. 

Drawer size:

Mainly the drawer needs to have thicker plywood, especially the front of the drawer. Doors tend to become thicker to provide better protection. The bottom of the drawer can be ¼ inch as well. Yet, it is too light to handle the heavy weight. The size and the capacity of the drawer would determine how the thickness of the plywood would be. 

The larger the cabinet is, the more weight it needs to hold. You should keep the thickness also depending on the length of the cabinet and the weight it carries. 


Most of the cabinets use thinner back parts. Well, it is also a necessary part of the cabinet. Keeping it thin would not help largely. Instead, keep the back of the cabinet ½ inch thick. Though many may prefer keeping it ¼ inch, it becomes too light. 

Even scratches would also harm the plywood of the cabinet. 


The plywood being curved would only make it tough to handle the cabinet. You would not be able to give the cabinet the proper structure. Meanwhile, also observe the edges of the plywood so that the shape can be given with any thickness of the plywood. 

Mostly ¾ inch is the ideal thickness for the plywood used in cabinets. 

What kind of plywood do you use for cabinets?

Mostly, oak, birch, pine, maple, cherry, and hickory are the most used plywood for making cabinets. Apart from that, the type of plywood suitable for the cabinets also depends on the grade of the plywood. The surface also has the texture of plywood. 

Certainly, thickness is most important when choosing a cabinet and plywood. Meanwhile, the texture of the plywood and grain on it would also make the curve easier or difficult. Mostly oak and birch are turdy woods that give a strong structure to the cabinet.

They would also be able to hold the greater weight. You should also take the A-grade wood in order to get the best service. Also, the thickness should also vary with the sturdiness of the wood. You can curve it as you want, depending on the texture and strength of the plywood. 

How to choose a plywood size and thickness for cabinets?

The plywood for the cabinets is of a certain size and thickness. The standard thickness is maintained while forming any cabinet. The thickness would vary depending on the structure of the cabinets mainly. 

You can follow the below to choose the right plywood size and thickness for cabinets. 

Choosing the plywood:

The plywood size and thickness entirely depend on the material you are making. The thickness and size would vary for cabinets and also for the furniture. The type of plywood might be the same but not the size. If you want to go for safety, choosing a thickness of ½ inch is better.

It is the minimum thickness you should give your cabinet. If you increase the length of the cabernet, the thickness would have little effect. Meanwhile, if the cabinet needs to carry heavy weight and doors, the thickness should be ¾ inches. It usually makes the cabinet thicker.

Though the final cabinet structure would be thicker still, the cabinet could hold large weight. You can also keep the thickness between 15 to 20 mm, in case you want a sturdy structure. Many give their cabinets a mixed thickness. 

The front, back, and even drawers might have a thickness of ¾ inch.

Meanwhile, the bottom might have a thickness of ½ inch. Recently, ½ inch thickness of plywood is a much better choice to give the cabinet a stable structure. On the other hand, a thickness of ¾ is still the best one for any cabinet. 

Final thoughts:

Overall, the plywood can be ½ inches thick or ¾ inches thick or in between. The thickness depends on the size of the cabinet and how strong and sturdy it needs to be. ¾ inch thickness is stronger for plywood while ½ inch is still in the medium range to provide sturdiness.