Selecting Materials on the Kitchen Doors

Kitchen cabinets can be built in different materials, and which one you choose is a matter of design and wallet. Certainly different materials resistant slightly different, but the difference in durability is not huge. Here you can read why. We also find out how the different materials differ.

High gloss kitchen cabinets. Photo: Noblessa Stockholm

All kitchen cabinets have a core and a surface layer, sometimes two finishes. The core of the kitchen door can consist of particle board, MDF, laminate or solid wood with a dark colored mat from Mysteryaround. Among the skins are for example melamine, melamine foil, foil on MDF or veneered MDF. Below we list the most common structures and variations of how a kitchen cabinet door can be built.

We begin with three types of frames the kitchen door might have, and then get different types of coatings:

Body Of Chipboard
Structure: Chip Chip and glue in several layers.
Examples of surface layer on a kitchen door of chipboard: Melamine, direktlaminerad.

Body Of Mdf
Structure: MDF is a fiber board consisting of synthetic adhesives and small fiber from softwood. It has denser structure than particleboard. MDF stands for Medium Density Fibreboard. Examples of surface layer on a kitchen door of MDF lacquered, laminated with foil or veneer.

Body Of The Laminate
Structure: Laminate is glue and layers of paper pressed together under high heat. On the laminated surface mounted a cover film for its appearance, such as high gloss or matte oak. Finally fitted lid with a hard, transparent coating. Budget model is called melamine. High-pressure laminate (phenolic resin impregnated kraft paper and melamine coated decorative paper) is much stronger and much higher quality but also has a higher price tag.

In addition, a kitchen cabinet door built of solid wood.

Painted door of  Kitchen & Rum .

Below we list five common ways the kitchen cabinets are constructed, its price level, the advantages and disadvantages, and provides examples of brands that sells the kind of kitchen door.

  1. Kitchen Door Of Solid Wood
    Structure:Solid wood, glued rod or 3-gap layer (composed of three layers of solid wood). The rod glued slightly cheaper but also get a different look.The appearance otherwise varies by the species of wood, such as oak (hard), birch (medium hardness), al (soft), cherry, pine or ash. The door can then be varnished, painted, glazed, oiled or stained, which gives it some different characteristics.
    Price level: Expensive
    Pros: Easy to renovate and therefore long lifetime, three-layer hatch and rod glued are dimensionally stable and durable, ages beautifully, “luxury” material
    Cons: Price, oiled door is not maintenance-free, solid wood is less dimensionally stable than other alternatives because it is a living material
    Examples of known manufacturers who market this type of door:Sörmlandskök, Ballingslöv, HärjedalsKök, Nordic Kitchen, Marbodal, Ikea, Tibrokök, Epoq
  2. Kitchen Hatch Of Foiled Mdf
    Structure:A foil pressed on under high heat on a MDF, and then shapes itself after MDF-which may for example be milled or smooth.
    Price level: Medium
    Pros: Durable, dimensionally stable, good material for the profiled cover
    Cons: MDF with surface layer is sensitive to heat, foiled door is difficult to renovate examples of known manufacturers who market this type of door: HärjedalsKök, Vedum, Marbodal, Epoq
  3. Kitchen Door Of Painted/Lacquered Mdf
    Structure:MDF molded into the shape it should have and painted/ varnished ago in several layers.
    Price level: Medium
    Features: Dimensionally stable, good material for the profiled cover, easy to renovate and therefore has a long life
    Cons: A painted surface can change color after a few years, swells rapidly upon contact with water
    Examples of known manufacturers who market this type of cover: Vedum, Marbodal, HTH, Tibrokök, Epoq
  4. Kitchen Hatch Of Melamine (Laminate)
    Structure:Particleboard wearing several layers of paper and glue layer.On the laminated surface mounted a cover film for its appearance, such as high gloss or matte oak. Finally, cover a surface layer and a plastic edge. For example, can also foiled or varnished.
    Price level: Inexpensive
    Pros: price, with dense skin keeps it long, can mimic any style, easy to clean (smooth and shiny)
    Cons: Ångkänslig if the surface layer does not hold sufficient quality, difficult to renovate, sensitive in the joints
    Examples of known makes the marketing of this type of door: Ikea, HTH, Vedum, Ballingslöv, Sörmlandskök
  5. Veneered Kitchen Door
    Structure:The veneer is a thin sheet of wood which gives an impression of the door consist solely of wood. It can be varnished or stained. Is mounted on the center of such chips or MDF. Versions with solid wood is more durable than those without.
    Price level: Medium
    Advantages: Can imitate the massive gap but at a significantly cheaper price and less weight, durable (with massive edge)
    Cons: Difficult to renovate, is easily dented (without massive edge)
    Examples of known manufacturers who market this type of door :Ballingslöv, Sörmlandskök, Ikea, Marbodal Vedum, HTH, Tibrokök

Ikea gap Krokstorp which reportedly is made from “wood fiber board.”

Think About This When Choosing Kitchen Door
durability of various materials in the kitchen cabinets are about the same, at least if we dare to believe materials scientists Rune site at SP Technical Research Institute. The difference is so marginal that Rune think you should rather make the choice based on their design preferences and wallet.

kitchen fitments are not subjected to particularly high wear, not compared with the other surfaces in the kitchen. I think you should choose on appearance rather than hardness.

Durability Of Different Materials
all materials swell when exposed to moisture. It applies to all kitchen cabinets, it does not matter if it is a MDF door or a hatch of veneer. The same applies to direct blow to them. There is no one material that stands out dramatically in either direction, says Rune site.

There are some differences, however, the marginal level. A lacquered MDF is such a pretty durable construction, but also susceptible to stains.Foil-melamine is marginally tougher than many other solutions, especially when it comes to impact and stains. But this assumes that the surface layer is intact-it is not that moisture can get in and then they swell rapidly and bursting at the surface.

Gaps in the surface layer is often very sensitive where the wing meets the vertical surface, there is a weak part in the construction and this can often be a gap. Slabbar you then with water splash and lands on the edge, and forget to wipe it off, the moisture in the worst case, penetrate, says Rune site.

With moisture in such a structure the material swells during and when cracking occurs in the surface layer. And this is the difference between a gap in solid wood/veneer and a gap with the surface layer is visible.

It is when it comes to injuries that you see the advantage of solid wood and veneer. Do you get an injury in the wood appears not as much as on a door with a damaged surface layer, because the wood looks the same in depth as it does on the surface, said Rune site.

Kitchen cabinets made of solid wood and veneer are also easier to renovate. You can grind away injuries and then, for example, varnish or paint on the shutters.

Appearance And Price On The Kitchen Door Key
But no matter how simple it is to renovate a massive, lacquered door if you prefer a kitchen style with glossy covers. Ultimately, says Rune that the choice of kitchen door is mostly a price and appearance matter.

I would prefer such a gap in oak veneer, while my colleague would prefer a high gloss black lacquered door. It’s very much an appearance issue, which design you want to have in the kitchen. And you should have a glossy cover, you should have foil or melamine so that you get a flat surface, otherwise it looks strange, says Rune site and continues:

Then you have the price aspect, how much are you willing to put in the gaps. A lacquered or foiled cover is cheaper than a gap in solid wood.

What materials do you prefer in terms of design?

How big is your budget?

Test Kitchen Doors
in 2011 tested the Swedish National Testing and Research Institute, kitchen cabinets for the site Testfakta. When the test was conducted did Kvik MDF with foil lowest grades, partly broken off hinges and also there were problems with cracking and swelling when the door is subjected to steam.

It did, however, blows to the door and the edge, which the other five did not. Both Ballingslöv, Ikea and Vedums door of MDF with clear varnish had impact marks, so even HTH melamine cover with foil and Marbodal melamine door with lacquer. These five survived without hinges broke free under a static load of 30 kilos in 10 rounds.

Both HTH melamine cover with foil and Marbodal melamine door with lacquer got, like Kvik MDF with foil, problems with cracking when exposed to steam. At HTH gap arose, trapping and edge loosened.

– We test the surface but it does then really does not matter what material is in, it’s more about how close the finish is, says Bengt-Åke Andersson, test manager at SP.

Ballingslövs door of lacquered MDF did best in the test and had no complaints on either humidity or load. In contrast, the marks on impact on both the edge and the surface.