Within the categories of these two material choices are different grades and types. Particleboard that is high-density is usually stronger than plywood, and usually lasts longer. All types of wood for a kitchen cabinet design will expand and contract from changes in the humidity. Particleboard is usually more resistant to the effects, so if you live in a high humidity area, particleboard would be your best option.
While custom-cabinet doors are more expensive than the do-it-yourself variety, the advantage is that you are able to get exactly what you want at a very high level of craftsmanship. You can tailor the cabinets to the exact specifications and needs of your kitchen.
The first step to a new kitchen that really works for you is to make a list of what is not working in the existing kitchen. List all the elements that are worn out and need replacing. List appliances and counters that are in inconvenient places. If the kitchen area is too small, look for areas that it can expand to. Maybe it is next to a formal dining room you never use, or a living room that is too large and can give some space to the kitchen and still serve it's function well. The wall between the kitchen and living room can be replaced with an open counter space. For structural changes like this, you will need a professional contractor.
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