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Formaldehyde-Free Wood-Styled Aluminium Cabinets for Singapore Homes

April 26, 2024

Some Singaporeans are quite shocked at how their new homes have a strong, pungent smell. It smells foul and poisonous with a very strong chemical profile.

The paint used in every room is the same, and there are no smells in rooms that have no cabinets.

Have you ever considered the hidden dangers lurking in your cabinets? Let us shine a light on a common culprit: formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is often found in the adhesives used to make pressed wood products like cabinets that live in the kitchen, bedrooms and offices. Excessive exposure poses health risks to you and your loved ones because formaldehyde is a carcinogen and can cause cancer.

If you like a wood look in cabinetry, but don’t want the harms of formaldehyde, then good news - modern aluminum cabinets can mimic wood cabinets with the benefits of added durability and absolutely no formaldehyde.

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Dangers of Formaldehyde Invites Industry And Government Regulation

In 2023, the Singapore government and the building industry have developed regulations and laws to reduce Singaporeans’ exposure to formaldehyde.

In 2023, Channel News Asia reported that the building sector has declared five recommendations, including emission limits for “formaldehyde, which can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, migraines, and even cancer after frequent exposure.”

In the same article, the presidential adviser of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, Mark Yong, said that Singaporeans tend to move into spaces quickly which do not allow for the three to six months for chemicals to air out and diminish.

Then, in 2024, Environment Minister Grace Fu announced a ban of the addition of formaldehyde in interior paints from 2026.

In a press release from the National Environment Agency, it said, “Short-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde may cause health effects such as eye, nose, skin, and throat irritation. Long-term exposure may increase the risk of asthma and some forms of cancer.”

What Does Formaldehyde Smell Like?

Formaldehyde has a strong, pungent smell that is often described as acrid and irritating. Many people liken it to the smell of pickles or a sharp chemical odour. 

The distinctive scent is recognizable at very low concentrations, which can help in identifying its presence in indoor environments. 

The smell is especially noticeable in areas with poor ventilation like air-conditioned rooms and store rooms. Lack of ventilation allows the smell of formaldehyde to concentrate.

How You Can Avoid Formaldehyde

Simple. Avoid materials that involve a lot of gluing. These materials have a higher risk of off-gassing formaldehyde:

  • MDF (wood particles glued together)
  • Particle board (wood fibres glued together)
  • Plywood (layers of wood glued together)

As you can see, these materials tend to have layers upon layers of material that are pressed and glued together. The formaldehyde comes from the glue and resins that holds everything together.

The opposite is also true: if your cabinets do not have any glued layers, you can avoid formaldehyde. These materials include solid wood, stainless steel and aluminium.

Solid wood is extremely expensive which is why most people opt for other materials, while stainless steel looks too industrial to fit into most people’s homes.

Aluminium Cabinets For Aesthetics And Function

But don’t aluminium cabinets have the same challenge as stainless steel? Given that they’re both metal cabinets?

Not really. Although aluminium cabinets are quite new as a cabinetry material, having only burgeoned in the late-2000s, there are many designs that you can choose from.

You can even get aluminium cabinets with a wood-grained surface.

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The photos above show how our aluminium cabinets can mimic the look of wood, which we have installed in many homes in Singapore.

Giving The Natural Wood Look To Aluminium Cabinets

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Our aluminium cabinets use a wood grain transfer printing process to give it a wooden skin.

At the factory, the aluminium boards are thoroughly cleaned to ensure good adherence of the skin, then a transfer film is applied to the board via heat and pressure and transfer the inks onto the aluminium surface. Finally, the board is cooled and the film is removed, leaving a wood grain appearance on the boards.

This method produces a high-quality, realistic wood grain appearance that is virtually indistinguishable from real wood, and you get to choose between various wood grain and colours.

But the best part is that you get all the benefits of a durable, sturdy and affordable aluminium cabinet with the aesthetics of a wooden surface.

The wood grain pattern is not merely on the surface but is embedded into the aluminum through the process mentioned above. The aluminum retains its resistance to fading, chipping, scratching, and corrosion.

Plus, unlike wood cabinets, the long-term benefits of aluminium cabinets make them cost-effective. The durability and low maintenance requirements reduce the need for frequent replacements or repairs, allowing them to last over 30 years. You won’t have to worry about termites ebbing away at your cabinets if you choose aluminium cabinets.


With the versatility of aluminium cabinets, they are quickly becoming a preferred choice for homeowners looking to sidestep the dangers associated with formaldehyde while achieving a desired aesthetic appeal. 

If you are curious about aluminium cabinets and how they are superior to other materials, we stand by our exceptional craftsmanship with a 10-year guarantee. Aluminium cabinets are also:

  • Highly durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • 100% waterproof
  • Anti-termite
  • Formaldehyde free

Contact us and see the design possibilities for your new home!

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