Do You Like Cake with Your Frosting? The Substructure

There are a lot of unique things that we do here at The Furniture Guild. One of those things is the use of a substructure in some of our more modern designs like the Avalon or the Corrado. But the question you might be asking yourself is, what exactly is a substructure?

Think of it this way, if the finished panels of the cabinet are the frosting, the substructure is the cake.

Most of the bathroom vanities out there are like a cake without the actual cake – just the frosting.

Behind that fancy shell, there needs to be some substance. So we created the substructure. Other companies leave this part out. Their decorative side panels, (typically MDF or particle board) are instead used as structural cabinet parts to reduce the cost of the product. While MDF or particle board may be sufficient as a substrate for a flat finished panel, it’s a poor choice for structural cabinet components.

For instance, these materials don’t hold screws very well. If a vanity drawer is mounted to MDF of particle board the screws will work loose over time. If this vanity drawer happens to be used once or twice per day, you’re left with misaligned drawer faces, rubbed edges, a damaged finish, and poor drawer performance.

We don’t use MDF or particle board for structural cabinet parts. We attach our drawers directly to our substructure that is made out of 3/4″ thick, US made, formaldehyde free Poplar plywood. This ensures maximum drawer performance over the life of the cabinet.

Other substructure advantages:

  • The finished panels are removable – they can be easily replaced if accidentally damaged in the field without removing the countertop, substructure or plumbing.
  • Easy to install – since the entire substructure is plywood you don’t need any special brackets. Just attach it with screws to a reinforced wall.
  • All of the exposed edges are covered in 2mm thick solid ABS for maximum durability.
  • Each substructure is assembled by one of our craftsmen and carries a lifetime warranty.
  • It’s strong – unlike most other wall mounted vanities, our substructure is designed to support the full weight of the countertop and then some.

How strong you might ask? Well, we tested one of our wall mounted vanities by placing 500lbs of sand on the top. We ran out of sand during the test so Ron*, our Assistant Plant Manager, climbed up on top. That’s over 700lbs and the vanity was still happily attached to the wall.

All and all, the substructure is just another way we can ensure that our products are the best. We take the time to think about our designs and how we can improve the overall quality so you know that your vanity has substance that will last a lifetime.

*Ron is a highly skilled professional. Please do not try this at home.

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