Friday, 30 September 2011

Choosing Kitchen Door Material

Kitchen cabinet doors may feature variety of materials such as solid wood, laminate, or glass. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.  They also have their own impression. Selection of materials can affect the kitchen’s ambience supporting the design.

         Solid Wood / Timber 

           Wood creates a warm and natural look whether it’s rich and dark or light, bright and airy, every piece of timber has its own character. 

Even amongst the same species there can be variations in the grain and colour.
 The beauty of timber is in all the variations of colour, texture and patterns of graining, this is the reason for choosing real wood and it is important to accept that there will be variations in the doors and possibly some knotting. 

For the true lover of real wood/veneer furniture, this is the very reason for choosing a natural finish rather than a man made alternative. 
Where this natural variation is likely to cause a problem, we can provide a range of man made materials that will be more suitable such as vinyl & foil.

          High Pressure Laminate (HPL)  

          These doors largely consist of an MDF (medium density fibreboard) core, onto which a sheet of paper carrying the pattern is heat-bonded using resin adhesives. The resin can also be embossed with a texture so these cost-effective doors can carry any pattern, which is usually a pretty convincing imitation of wood. 

       The high pressure squeezes the HPL to such a solid density that it becomes highly resistant to damage simply because any utensil or tool striking the HPL will not have a force greater than the force used to form the HPL itself.  This material has low VOCs, glossy door appearance and durable. It suits modern, European inspired kitchens.

            Made from a mixture of resin, paper and pressed wood and prices and quality do differ depending on the quality of the pressed wood used in the mix.  Melamine is a versatile material for kitchen cabinets in that it is available in many different colors and hues and different surface finishes, although you'll be in trouble if the surface is scratched.  This material is not as durable as the laminate cabinets and that's why it costs less.

Melamine coated boards are widely available in home centers for purposes such as shelving.  However, this smooth man-made surface makes it difficult to change in the future. 

          Paint, Lacquer, or Spray Paint 

           An MDF core coated with a layer of lacquer or paint. Since MDF is made from fine wood particles and resin, these doors do not carry any woodgrain, making a smooth surface which can be painted in any colour and impression such as metallic or pearls. Paint is considered traditional. Many consider brush strokes in the finish to be attractive.

         Spray paint is another method of paint finishing using sealed pressurized container.  It makes the paint looks more even, and smoother finish.

         Polyurethane (PU) 

PU doors have a painted finish, and come in high gloss or satin finishes.  A versatile choice, these doors can be fully profiled or flat, and have the option to be handless (the only door profile with this ability). The door is painted, buffed and baked three times to get its ultra-smooth hand-finished appearance. However, not all polyurethane manufacturers offer the same quality. You must be discerning when it comes to polyurethane, as you do not want the finish to peel, chip or discolour due to poor standards.

This door style suits contemporary, streamlined and handless kitchen. The ability to manufacture the doors to any colour preference and strength makes polyurethane a versatile choice for the design minded.


           Glass brings illuminance and brightness to kitchens by reflecting natural light. Glass shelving makes the kitchen feel larger and is a very versatile material with endless applications. 

        However, whether glass is used as shelving or inlaid in cabinet doors it does mean that all your kitchen goods are on show - this is unless you use colored glass or frosted or tinted glass.  Bevelled glass adds class to cabinet doors and glass inserts add a new dimension counters.

         Stainless Steel
       Once only consigned to restaurant kitchens, stainless steel in household kitchens is now in vogue.  Unlike wood, stainless steel kitchen doors and counter products are not affected by changes in temperatures or condensation - so is an ideal material for busy kitchens. A piece of stainless steel that is being incorporated into wood and laminated kitchens alike is the stainless steel kitchen splashback.  A layer of stainless steel is usually applied over an MDF base to give the kitchen cabinet and counter more substance

          Stainless steel is a very easy kitchen cabinet and counter material to clean - which is just as well because it does show all the finger marks, but sometimes the scratches are more difficult to get out.

Kitchen cabinet doors can completely change the look of your kitchen. That's why, getting the right ones is vital. Knowing what you want to spend and your limits are essential when updating your kitchen. All the best!
Edited by:

Junior Interior Designer
AVL Living Concept


  1. Hey FairusMurtikasari... Its true that Kitchen cabinet doors can completely change the look of the kitchen. You have clearly described about kitchen doors in this blog. Thanks for this post..