|Construction material refers to the type and thickness of
the wood used to build the cabinet excluding the doors and drawers. Typically cabinets
are built with either particleboard (PB) or plywood. I am using the term PB here
to refer to all types of engineered wood. Which is wood that is made by basically gluing
together lots of smaller pieces of wood. Engineered wood comes in many different names
such as: furniture board, flakewood, flakeboard, MDF (medium density fiberboard),
laminated composite, etc. Plywood, on the other hand, is a natural wood. The main difference
is that for the same thickness plywood is both stronger and lighter than PB.
However PB will expand and contract less with the change of seasons (which is why
laminate and thermofoil doors typically use PB instead of plywood).
When you hear the term all wood construction, that typically means the cabinet box (not
the doors) is constructed using all plywood. Plywood cabinets are both stronger and
lighter than PB cabinets, which also makes them easier to install.
In fact, over time, PB cabinets tend to sag because of the
weight of the wood, especially if you have 42" high wall cabinets, which can weigh over
PB cabinets tend to run about 5 - 30% less than plywood cabinets. Some manufacturers
will also make cabinets that are part plywood (typically the 2 sides) and part PB, which
sell in the middle of the range.