5 Best Kitchen Cabinets For a Rental Property in 2024

Last Updated: December 2023

Choosing the right kitchen cabinets can either make-or-break a rental unit kitchen. When selecting kitchen cabinets for a rental property construction project, it’s best to seek a balance of durability, style, and cost-effectiveness. The best options are those that can withstand frequent use throughout tenant turnover, while still maintaining an appealing aesthetic. They should be easy to clean and maintain, minimizing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.

Best Rental Property Kitchen Cabinets

Best OverallBest EconomyBest DurabilityBest PremiumBest
Design

Plywood Semi Custom

Furniture Board Stock

Solid Wood Semi Custom

Solid Wood Custom

Thermofoil Stock

Below we explore the top 5 kitchen cabinets for rental properties based on 5 different factors that landlords and property managers should consider when determining which type of kitchen cabinet is best for their rental property investment.

Best Overall

Plywood Semi Custom

Plywood semi-custom cabinets are a robust and versatile choice for rental properties, offering a balance of durability and aesthetic flexibility. Their layered construction provides enhanced strength and moisture resistance, while the semi-custom aspect allows for tailored designs to fit various kitchen layouts and styles.

Pros
  • Durable: Plywood is known for its strength and resistance to warping.
  • Cost-Effective: Offers a good balance between quality and affordability.
Cons
  • Limited Customization: Semi custom cabinets are limited to available designs.
  • Varying Quality: Plywood quality can vary, so careful selection is needed.
Why We Like Plywood Semi-Custom Cabinets

Plywood Semi-Custom Cabinets strike a perfect balance between durability, cost, and design. Their robust construction means less worry about repairs, and they come at a price point that doesn’t break the bank.

Best Economy

Furniture Board Stock Cabinets

Furniture board stock cabinets are a cost-effective and readily available option for rental properties, ideal for budget-conscious landlords. Made from compressed wood fibers, these cabinets are lightweight and offer a variety of finishes and styles, although they may be less durable than solid wood or plywood options.

Pros
  • Economical: Very budget-friendly, ideal for low-cost renovations.
  • Lightweight: Easier to handle and install compared to heavier materials.
Cons
  • Less Durable: More susceptible to damage and moisture than other materials.
  • Shorter Lifespan: May need to be replaced more frequently than sturdier options.
Why We Like Furniture Board Stock Cabinets

These are the go-to option for budget-friendly kitchen remodels in rental properties. They keep costs down and are easy to install, though they might not be the best for long-term durability.

Best Durability

Solid Wood Semi Custom

Solid wood semi-custom cabinets provide a premium, durable option for rental properties, blending longevity with aesthetic appeal. These cabinets, customizable to specific kitchen layouts, offer the classic beauty of natural wood, which can significantly enhance the property’s value and tenant appeal.

Pros
  • High Durability: Exceptionally strong and long-lasting.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Offers a timeless and high-end look.
Cons
  • Cost: More expensive than most other materials.
  • Maintenance: Requires more upkeep to maintain appearance.
Why We Like Solid Wood Semi Custom Cabinets

Solid Wood Semi Custom Cabinets have unbeatable durability and classic appearance. They are an investment, but their longevity and premium look add significant value to any rental property.

Best Premium

Solid Wood Custom Cabinets

Solid wood custom cabinets represent the pinnacle of quality and design flexibility, tailored to fit the unique dimensions and style of each rental property’s kitchen. While they are a higher investment, their unmatched durability and timeless appeal can significantly elevate the property’s value and attract discerning tenants.

Pros
  • Premium Quality: Top-of-the-line in terms of material and craftsmanship.
  • Fully Customizable: Tailored to fit any specific design and space.
Cons
  • High Cost: The most expensive option on the list.
  • Longer Lead Times: Custom fabrication can take longer to produce and install.
Why We Like Solid Wood Custom Cabinets

Solid Wood Custom Cabinets are a  favorite for high-end rental properties. They offer unparalleled quality and bespoke design, making each property stand out, though they do require a significant financial investment.

Best Design

Thermofoil Plywood Stock

Thermofoil plywood stock cabinets are a practical and stylish choice for rental properties, offering durability and a modern look at an affordable price. Their plywood construction ensures strength and longevity, while the thermofoil coating provides a smooth, easy-to-clean surface resistant to moisture and stains.

Pros
  • Versatile Designs: Available in a wide range of styles and finishes.
  • Durable Finish: Thermofoil is resistant to chipping and staining.
Cons
  • Heat Sensitivity: Thermofoil can peel in high heat areas.
  • Repair Limitations: Damaged thermofoil can be difficult to repair.
Why We Like Thermofoil Plywood Stock

Thermofoil Plywood Semi-Custom Cabinets give rental properties a modern and stylish look. They’re durable and come in many designs, though I am cautious about using them near high-heat appliances.

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Rental Property Kitchen Cabinet FAQ

What are the Different Materials Used for Kitchen Cabinets?

Solid Wood

Solid wood cabinets are highly sought after for their natural beauty and robustness. They are available in a variety of hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry, each offering unique grain patterns and color variations. While solid wood is durable and can be refinished multiple times, it’s susceptible to humidity and temperature changes, potentially leading to warping or cracking over time.

Plywood

Plywood cabinets are made from layers of wood veneers, providing greater stability and resistance to warping than solid wood. They offer a good balance of strength and cost, making them a popular choice for both high-end and budget-friendly kitchen designs. Plywood is also adaptable to various finishes and styles, though it can be prone to water damage if not properly sealed.

Particle Board

Particle board cabinets are constructed from compressed wood chips and resin, making them the most economical option. They are often covered with laminate or wood veneers for aesthetic appeal. However, particle board is less durable and more prone to moisture damage and sagging compared to solid wood or plywood.

Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is an engineered wood building product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers. It’s denser and heavier than particle board, providing a smoother surface for paint and finishes. MDF is known for its uniformity and resistance to warping, but it can be susceptible to moisture and may not hold screws as well as solid wood or plywood.

Thermofoil

Thermofoil cabinets are made by applying a vinyl laminate to medium-density fiberboard (MDF) using heat and pressure. These cabinets are affordable, easy to clean, and available in a variety of colors and styles. However, thermofoil can peel over time, especially in high-heat areas like around ovens, and is difficult to repair once damaged.


Kitchen Cabinet Repair and Installation

How to Hire a Rental Property Kitchen Cabinet Installer

How to Hire a Carpenter for a Rental Property

Updated kitchen cabinets can transform the appeal and functionality of a rental property kitchen. Understanding the process of how to hire a rental property carpenter can make the job a smooth experience.

Where to Find a Rental Property Kitchen Cabinet Installer?

How to Find Rental Property Contractors and Service Professionals

Finding qualified, honest, and reliable service pros can easily be done with online service directories. These platforms directly connect customers and service providers who can do repairs from garbage disposals to washer and dryers.


What is the Difference Between Stock, RTA, and Custom Cabinets?

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, there are several assembly options available, each catering to different needs in terms of customization, budget, and style. From stock cabinets that offer convenience and affordability, to fully custom units designed for specific tastes and spaces, homeowners can select from a variety of types including semi-custom, ready-to-assemble, and frameless cabinets to best suit their kitchen’s layout and aesthetic.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are pre-manufactured in standard sizes and styles, with limited options for customization. They are readily available off the shelf at home improvement stores or kitchen showrooms. Stock cabinets are the most budget-friendly choice, but their size and style options are limited, which might not fit all kitchen layouts perfectly.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are made to order, offering the most flexibility in terms of design, material, size, and finish. They are tailored to fit specific kitchen dimensions and personal preferences, making them ideal for unique or irregularly shaped kitchens. Custom cabinets are usually the most expensive option due to the level of personalization and craftsmanship involved.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets provide a middle ground between stock and custom options. They start as basic units but offer a range of modifications, like resizing drawers and door fronts or adding organizational features. Semi-custom cabinets are more expensive than stock cabinets but less costly than fully custom units, offering a balance of customization and cost.

Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) Cabinets

RTA cabinets are delivered in flat packs with all the parts needed for assembly. They are a budget-friendly option and are ideal for DIY enthusiasts or those looking to save on installation costs. The quality of RTA cabinets can vary, and assembly might be time-consuming, but they offer a wide range of styles and finishes.

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