Formaldehyde Free Kitchen Cabinets

mamadadapaigeSeptember 10, 2008

hi everyone. I have been off of here for a couple of weeks... so busy with getting the kids started in school and I am taking two classes in Boston for Kitchen Design (at night) and am loving it.

For one class we were discussing things such as radon in granite, asbestos, VOCs and came to the topic of formaldehyde in MDF and particleboard (which I had been completely unaware of) and the off gassing. I was assigned the job of compiling a list of cabinet companies that use formaldehyde free construction materials.

Here is what I have so far:

 Breathe Easy Cabinetry, New Hyde Park, NY --

 Executive Kitchens, Simpsonville, SC --

 Taylor Made Cabinets, Leominster, MA --

 Neff Kitchens, Canada --

 Neil Kelly Cabinets, Portland, OR --

 Forefront Designs (Greenline), Springfield, OR --

 Cabinet King (Greenleaf), Brookpark, OH --

Does anyone have any other names for me?

Hope to have some time soon to sift through all I've missed here. If there any finished kitchens recently I hope I'll see them.



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IKEA's cabinets are formaldehyde free.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:07AM
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You know....I discovered I mis-spoken about IKEA. I thought I read it on their web site, but when I went back to find a link, I couldn't find it. What I did find was in the IKEA fans web site. IKEA does indeed use formaldehyde in their products. I apologize.


Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA and formaldehyde

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 8:16AM
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I believe Cabico makes a plywood box option that is formaldehyde free.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:03AM
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Check out Apple Valley Woodworking in CT. I am building a LEED certified house in Western MA and I believe the cabs need to be formaldehyde-free. I am embarrassed to admit I don't know how my cabs are built (plywood boxes or what...) I knew at one point, but have been a bit overwhelmed by the process.

Where are you taking your classes? Do you like them?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:13AM
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Thanks everyone! if you think of any other names... pass them on.

amysrq, I am taking classes at Boston ARchitectural Center on Newbury Street in Boston. I am enrolled in the Kitchen and Bath Design certificate program. So far it is going great. I started last year. All of the teachers have been very impressive and accomplished in their fields. I am now a student member of the NKBA and thus and partaking in fun and exciting kitchen related events. On Monday, the 29th, I am going (as part of the local student chapter of the NKBA) to the Design Center in Boston to tour the kitchen showrooms there -- very excited about that!!

The Boston Arch. Center has the only NKBA affiliated Kitchen and Bath program in Massachusetts and what that means is that all of the time I am spending on pursuing this will actually end up in a credential (CKD). I will also have to do a 160 hour internship. I would think another year of classes before I am ready for that. My goal is to be through with school by the time my son is in school full time so that I can get a job.

Here is a link to the program I am in. I really can't say enough good things about it. Uniformally the teachers have been fabulous and I think the potential for making industry contacts is also great (the one downfall is that the classes are very expensive).

thanks for your interest!!

Here is a link that might be useful: The BAC

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:10PM
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Hi Karen,

A few more:

Whitney Wood Works, Chicago
Woodharbor Doors & Cabinetry, Mason City, Iowa

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:50PM
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Hi Karen, I'm not sure but check on Pacific Crest Cabinets in Wa. also, I think Crystal is FF but their varnish and paints are not low VOC.

Will you share your list when you have finished, I'm curious how many companies there are and those near me. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 3:05PM
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thanks erika and katybuggs! will add those to the list.

Judydel, they don't mention the formaldehyde free option on the cabico website but I will take your word on it. thanks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 6:39PM
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Thanks for the info on the school/classes Paige. (I am assuming you are Paige! maybe not...) :-) I will look into it. Plenty of folks here drive into Boston for this and that. Seems a bit daunting to me, but perhaps worth the effort. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 7:43PM
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....duh. I just saw you are Karen. Silly me.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 7:45PM
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Hi Amy (that is who I am assuming you are),
I am mama (aka Karen), Paige is my 6.5 year old daughter. I chose that screen name years ago (for the fodors travel forums which are excellent just like these forums but of course for all of your travel concerns) before my son was born. Don't want to leave him out but my screen name is long enough as is.

Last semester we had a guy travelling from Providence, RI for classes. We have two women from New Hampshire this semester. My teacher last semester travlled down from New Hampshire.

the guy from RI is taking the same class I am this semester but at RISD for about a 1/3rd the price, but as good a school as RISD is it is not an NKBA supported program and that is the key for me. I just don't want to put the time in for nothing, you know?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 7:54PM
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I spoke to Cabico a few months ago. They had just all attended meetings regarding this issue and were changing to a voc free construction. This excited me because my sister in law can get me Cabico and I'm a stickler on voc free.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:09PM
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that is great news judydel... i bet they just haven't had a chance to update their website. the pics on their website are gorgeous!! I remember when I was looking around that they are very well regarded. The VOC thing never even hit my radar until I went to select paint. I chose Aura from BW for the low VOC issue and because I have two little kids.

good luck and thanks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:12PM
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Our cabinets are being built by a small local company in california that does "semi-custom" cabinetry. I requested formaldehyde-free materials, and while most of their products are of standard mdf or plywood construction, they do offer formaldehyde-free plywood construction (with low-voc finish) as an option - costs a bit extra though.

I wonder if many other cabinet companies offer this as an option as well, even if they don't market themselves as "green"? I would call some of the local cabinetmakers in your area and just ask them if they offer a formaldehyde free option. Would be interesting.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 2:57AM
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Check out Henrybuilt and Omega. I looked into this question a year or two ago and thought they both said they use f.-free wood. But don't quote me!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I have heard that Nickel's Cabinets (a Vancouver company) does formaldehyde-free - one of their lines is wheat straw. I am looking into them and will post more as I learn it - I also have heard they are reasonably priced.

If anyone has heard of Nickels' or has experience with wheat straw, I'd love to hear about it!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Karen, I've been wondering where you've been! The news about you taking classes to prepare to be kitchen designer is just wonderful. After the incredible job you did on your own kitchen combined with your training as a graphic designer, you will end up one of the best in the business. I only wish you had finished before I started this remodel!!! The best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Guess who can make "green cabinets"?
Your local cabinetmaker!
The materials are readily available from their suppliers.

For the carcase, tell them to use Purebond plywood, from Columbia Forest Products & tell them to use ML Campbell or Target Coatings waterborne finishes ( low-voc )

There's nothing special about it at all.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:41AM
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YES, I was just going to say the exact same thing that cabmanct said. I'm a homeowner who's planning to build my own cabinets (or so I've been saying for years!) out of Purebond. It's better for the house's residents, better for the cabinetmaker! It's a win/win. And, the price of Purebond is only a little more expensive than ordinary plywood.

Glad to hear someone else talking about this because formaldehyde is in almost all casework we have in our homes, and is a big contributor to indoor air pollution.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Crystal has a green line :

And I just found this one in PA but it has dealers to distribute their cabinets. Check out their site :

Hope it helps.

If any of you has remodeled with green cabinets I would appreciate some input.
I'm a bit skeptical about these manufacturers that claim free formaldehyde and VOC.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:02PM
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