Are there any dealers in the 02050 zip code in Mass., that sell non-toxic kitchen cabinets. I cannot tolerate any chemicals. Thank you.

Asked by Susan Marchioni
Marshfield, MA

I want to get new kitchen cabinets, counters and sink but am very hesitant because of the off-gassing on products. I need products that will not off-gas or smell.


Elizabeth DiSalvo

Answered by Elizabeth DiSalvo

Ridgefield , CT

Trillium Architects

October 3, 2012

Hi Susan

I am an Architect in the North East who designs healthy and sustainable homes. We put in NO-VOC cabinets in most of our homes.

The cabinets we install are generally custom made, once in a while our clients purchase from a manufacturer. Either way is a great way to go. It really comes down to price and desires for customization.

Basically what we are going for are non-toxic and non-off-gassing cabinetry that's:

  • sustainably made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified woods, and
  • finished with No (or Low)-VOC waterborne stains or lacquers.

We have discovered that if you get a good small shop millworker, they are happy to do the cabinets the ‘clean-green’ way because they themselves get less exposed to toxins.

  • We find also that there is a slight upcharge if you want FSC wood and for NO-VOC finishes, but the upcharges are not that much.
  • The finishes are becoming more and more commonplace so the costs are always coming down.

The finishes go on a bit differently in the shop and the millworkers may have to change their way of working a bit, but we don’t find this to be the cause for any problems or cost increases.

Many of my clients actually choose the custom route (though the price is a bit higher) because they usually get solid wood cabinet boxes and doors and can finesse the design as they like.

If you want to save some money, you can try a pre-manufactured product like ‘Breathe Easy (they have suppliers in a number of location in Massachusetts.

  • They are similar to the custom except that instead of solid wood they use formaldehyde-free veneered plywood.
  • And they're finished with a durable, low-VOC waterborne lacquer (not NO-VOC).

Good luck with your project!


For more information:

Read "I have been looking into green cabinetry. How does KCMA ESP certification compare to other green options?" a Q&A answered by Kirsten Flynn.

Also, check "I would like a list of green kitchen cabinet manufacturers." a Q&A answered by Molly McCabe.

Tagged In: green cabinets

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