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Do Kitchen Cabinets Need to Acclimate?

do kitchen cabinets need to acclimate

Have you ever envisaged a kitchen without cabinets?

Some of the questions that would inevitably run through your mind are, “where will the cooking equipment go?” “Where will the cooking ingredients go?”

Kitchen cabinets are essential in the makeup of a kitchen.

A kitchen is, in fact, considered less of a kitchen without cabinets.

This important kitchen furniture helps to keep the kitchen neat and organized.

Their importance aside, kitchen cabinets cost a fortune, and this makes homeowners extra careful about how they treat them.

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One of the things people think kitchen cabinets need is acclimation.

It is quite apparent that a lot of homeowners are bothered by kitchen cabinet “acclimation.”

Before we delve into details, can we talk more about kitchen cabinets?

Let’s get to it then!

Kitchen Cabinet: A Brief Overview

Kitchen cabinets are typically made of wood.

They are integral parts of a kitchen because they are built-in and installed in the kitchen to serve lots of purposes.

This integrated kitchen furniture was invented in the twentieth century, and right from the time of invention to date, cabinets seem to be the basis by which kitchen standards are measured.

As the years rolled on, kitchen designs significantly improved.

In today’s kitchen design, kitchens are built larger than before and are installed with more cabinets.

Also, new features (like pull-out shelves and drawers) are being added to the modern kitchen cabinets.

The importance of the appearance of a kitchen has made homeowners with unappealing older kitchens to improve the visual appearance of their kitchens.

Also, people who plan to put their house on sale have come to understand the importance of stepping up the aesthetics of their kitchens.

Hence, some get new cabinets that cost a fortune; some try to reface the existing cabinets, which is not as expensive as buying new ones; some others strip and refinish the existing cabinets, which is also very affordable.

In all, the primary focus is on the cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets are made of different types of wood.

They are also of various designs and makeup.

However, the price of a kitchen cabinet depends on the type of wood used to make it.

For example, a kitchen cabinet made from teak is more expensive than cherry.

If it is made from oak, it would be cheaper than the ones made from maple or cherry.

The least costly kitchen cabinets are the ones made from particleboard; they are even lower in cost than plywood cabinets.

Seeing how vital this kitchen furniture is and how costly it can be, you would not want to take chances with anything that might damage them, would you?

One of the questions that bother the minds of homeowners is if cabinets acclimate or if they need to.

Acclimate? What’s That?

do kitchen cabinets need to acclimate cracking swelling humidity

“Acclimate,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “responding physiologically or behaviorally to a change in an environmental factor under controlled conditions.”

In other words, it can be said to be adapting to a new temperature or climate, environment, or situation.

Acclimation: Do Kitchen Cabinets Really Need This?

As said earlier, kitchen cabinets are made from wood.

Some factors determine the color and properties of wood; the type of soil it grows on, the minerals it received, the level of sunlight exposed to it, the water levels, the temperature in the environment, and its genetic composition.

According to research, woods react to climate changes and site conditions.

Woods, whether in their habitats or already converted to home furniture like kitchen cabinets, still respond to naturally occurring variations.

Just as the amount of moisture, level of sunlight and other factors determine their makeup while on-site, so do these factors also play huge roles in their appearance, longevity and aging process after installation in your kitchen.

This is why you must allow your kitchen cabinets to adjust to their new environment before installing.

In response to the question above: yes, kitchen cabinets do need to acclimate.

Most people do not know this and blame the warped or bowed parts of their newly-acquired kitchen cabinets on the incompetence of the manufacturers or the low quality of the materials used.

When you first acquire a new kitchen cabinet, before installation, it is recommended that you move the cabinet into the room where it will be used so it can acclimate itself to the climate conditions of that room.

Some professionals recommend 30 to 60 days of acclimation, while some say it does not have to take that long.

But all the same, allow your cabinet(s) to go through the process of adapting to your home environment.

During the acclimation process, the wood expands and contract, resulting in a slightly deformed shape.

You should not be bothered when this happens; it is completely natural.

Do not even try to fix the part that appears deformed during the acclimation process; those parts would get back in shape after the acclimation process.

Why You Should Acclimate Your Cabinet?

Acclimating cabinets cause them to adapt to normal living conditions.

Before getting them installed in your kitchen, they would have already adapted to the temperature and humidity in your home.

When humidity or temperature increases, wood expands, and when they decrease, wood shrinks.

Where the humidity is not even, cabinet parts may warp or bow.

A sudden change in temperature can cause the cabinet to crack or split.

All these are natural phenomena and are properties of products made from wood.

To save your cabinets, you can use dehumidifiers during summer to control excess humidity while you use humidifiers during winter to reduce dryness.


Beyond acclimation, it is also vital you care for your kitchen cabinets.

Dust them frequently with a soft cloth and ensure you clean spills immediately.

Once a year, you should wash and polish your cabinets.

When cleaning, do not use harsh detergents, soaps, or abrasives on them.

If your cabinets have glass doors, spray a little amount of glass cleaner onto a soft lint-free cloth and wipe the glass with it.

With proper acclimation, your kitchen cabinets will perform well and last for long.