SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
odiegirl13

MDF Painted or Wood Painted Door

15 years ago

I am shopping for new cabinets and want to get a painted door but I am having trouble figuring out whether to go with an MDF or wood door. I love the Wood-Mode Sonoma door, which is a shaker style, I just don't think I can afford it. I am also getting conflicting information about frameless vs. face frame. From my perspective I love the frameless but some retailers have said that they are not as sturdy? I can live with face frame because I want full overlay. Does anyone have any opinions? This is my first posting.

Comments (62)

  • 15 years ago

    caryscott - I had a Cabico mentioned before on this site and I was very interested in them. I wanted a yellow cabinet and they seem to have a few choices, plus the MDF option. Do you know of another frameless manufacturer to look at that may be cheaper than Cabico but that would have the MDF painted doors? Good point about the lifetime of the cabinet. My 25 year old builder grade cabinets could probably last forever.

  • 15 years ago

    Thanks odiegirl13. We did use a custom shop - and they have been really slow, but are 99.9999% finished. You really need patience. Here is a link to my pictures if you are interested:
    http://s303.photobucket.com/albums/nn134/yolande_1951/kitchen/kitchen%20for%20garden%20web/?start=0

    All the best and good luck,
    Judy

  • Related Discussions

    Painted Flat Panel Cabinet doors - MDF or wood panel?

    Q

    Comments (17)
    From the attached link: Raised Panel - Solid Even though the panel is called solid, it is not usually made of a single piece of wood. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity, and this can cause the door to split and crack. To counteract the problems of natural movement in a solid wood center panel, the panel is usually constructed using several pieces of solid stock lumber glued together. The wood strips used to construct the panel may not all match in graining and color. As in the case of the slab door, the door's strength comes from the manner in which the pieces of solid wood are reversed as they are glued. The panel is then cut on all four sides, so the center is higher than the edges. The face of the panel is usually flush with the front surface of the stiles and rails, with the edges forming a tongue which fits a corresponding groove cut into the door frame. The groove is slightly larger than the panel's edge to allow the panel to float in the frame. This simply means that the panel has room to expand and contract during humidity changes, reducing the risk of the panel cracking or splitting. I gather from the Woodmode site that this is how they construct raised panel doors as they describe their raised panel doors as being constructed from solid wood. How big an issue the movement of the centre panel in a flat panel door will be probably depends on geography (I have seen some dramatic examples here that am sure would not be acceptable to many folks while I tend to think the hairline cracking I have seen is part of the charm and patina of age of painted cabinetry. In terms of Woodmode they do kiln dry all their wood which may in part explain why they have not have felt they would get better performance from an MDF centre panel that some companies are opting for. I also think it is a market issue a lot of Consumer's in the US have a real aversion to composite wood products regardless of the possible benefits (this does not really carry over to Europe or Canada). Cabico and many other Quebec companies offer 100% MDF doors for paint finishes (same opaque finishes are usually available on maple at Cabico). Lots of their MDF door styles are raised panel. Here is a link that might be useful: Explanation of door styles
    ...See More

    painted wood shaker doors with mdf center panel?

    Q

    Comments (8)
    Actually, I spent a lot of time last night reading old threads on our cabinet brand. It's the six square brand (6 Square- typing that so it can show up in future searches). And now I'm getting cold feet. I am definitely on a budget but if I knew I could get something better for a couple thousand more then I would do that. We are using a really great local kitchen and bath design place with a very long and trusted reputation so it didn't occur to me to wonder about the quality. Should I worry?
    ...See More

    White slab doors...Painted? Laminate? MDF?

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Oh my gosh, I LOVE that second one!! I think the laminate looks great in that style, like Poggen - Pohl, which seems VERY expensive. Nancy
    ...See More

    Wood type or Mdf?? Factory baked or paint??

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Some people prefer MDF when it comes to painted cabinets because it's less likely to expand/change overtime (opposed to real wood). I'm pretty sure when Omega quoted me I was told the center portion of their cabinets were MDF (when painted). I was looking at their cheaper line. MDF = no wood grain
    ...See More
  • 15 years ago

    We used frameless cabinets because they yield up to 15% more storage space than faceframe cabinets. And we were told that the best option for painted cabinet doors with raised panels consisted of a solid wood frame with an MDF panel. You don't get cracking of the paint around the periphery of the panel and the solid wood frame makes for a sturdier hinge attachment. If the center panel won't be raised, then plywood is a better option than MDF...stronger, lighter and, like MDF, dimensionally stable.

  • 15 years ago

    Is the plywood center panel usually called "veneer" center panel in the door description? A solid frame makes a lot of sense. That sounds like the best of both worlds. The solid MDF might be very heavy but the solid wood door would show the cracks more.

  • 15 years ago

    Veneer is when a thin layer of more expensive wood such as cherry has been glued to (typically) plywood so as to make the cabinet panel look like solid (in this case) cherry. If the door is to be painted, the plywood chosen for the center panel typically also has a veneer, but one with a closed-grain texture so that it can be sanded very smooth, making the grain invisible after painting. Birch is probably the most common wood for this purpose. So even paint-grade cabinets might well have a veneer plywood on a flat panel door but, in the trade, veneer plywood probably most often refers only to the high-grade wood veneers which will be stained. (Sorry, I'm sure I could've said this with fewer words!)

  • 15 years ago

    odiegirl113,
    Kohler just closed Canac and Kitchen Craft doesn't do a lot of painted product. I tend to think Luxor will be just as expensive as Cabico but Luxor has a gorgeous yellow in their painted line on MDF. A number of the Quebec based companies that do mostly frameless have dealer networks in the US maybe try Cuisines Laurier, though they don't appear to sell MDF doors. Fabritec manufactured my Mom's new frameless cabs (below - sorry for the visual noise I pulled the globe off of the old kitchen light and the raw bulb and the flash are creating spotting). Great company and product and they are available in the US but not much choice in painted finishes and I don't think they do paint on MDF.

    Here is a link that might be useful: painted finishes at Cuisines Laurier

  • 15 years ago

    The main place I see cracks in wood 5-piece doors are where the 4 pieces of wood are joined together to make the frame. An MDF center panel will eliminate the movement of the center panel but won't eliminate potential cracking of the finish at the frame joints.

  • 15 years ago

    caryscott,

    Thank you very much for the photo. The Cuisines Laurier finishes are beautiful. I know that yellow is not an easy color to find. I could have sworn that I saw one in Luxor but I can't find it now. I guess I need to get some actual prices so I know what is possible within my budget. I think a stained door would probably be cheaper but I always seem to select the more expensive things. I need to get out there an look around again.

  • 15 years ago

    When I built this house in 1992, I had white MDF cabinets installed. A couple of years ago, they started looking dingy and the edges were getting beat up and starting to show cracks. So, I thought I would save money and paint them white again. Let me tell you, there is no painting MDF. No matter what the paint shops say, they can't be painted. They are an extremely shiny surface and getting paint to stick and look good is just impossible. Needless to say, I am currently replacing them with cherry cabinets. So I can't advise on what to get, but I would not advise MDF unless you plan on replacing them in 15 or so years.

  • 15 years ago

    jphales

    I could be wrong but I think what you have is thermafoil over an MDF substrate. What you see through the cracks is MDF what is cracking is probably the circa 1992 thermafoil. Thermafoil is a high pressure laminate that is heat sealed to the MDF. MDF itself isn't shiny and doesn't crack. Thermafoil usually can't be painted.

    Thermafoil was still in its' infancy in 1992. In Europe Thermafoil is now often associated with high end finishing because of the consistency of the finish from element to element (no pesky natural variation). A few companies like Luxor and Fabritec now offer high end 5 piece thermafoil door styles. My Mom just installed thermofoil cabinets but the finish is very matte and quite thick relative to a lot of thermofoil finishes you see. I can't vouch for how well it will age but problems with delamination and colour fastness have long been solved.

  • 15 years ago

    odiegirl13

    Luxor does have a yellow called Maize - you have to download the PDF brochure. It's a crappy brochure but still a gorgeous colour. Painted finishes tend to be quite expensive.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Luxor painted Collection

  • 15 years ago

    khat said, "An MDF center panel will eliminate the movement of the center panel but won't eliminate potential cracking of the finish at the frame joints."

    The only reasons that mitered joints in the frame will crack the finish is if a) the wood for the frame wasn't fully kiln-dried, b) the mitered joint wasn't properly glued with biscuits for a tight joint or c) the frame was too flimsy for the door, allowing it to flex or d) the finish didn't fully seal the frame, allowing moisture to penetrate the frame wood and expand the wood.

    In short, a well-constructed, well-sealed wood frame door with an MDF panel will have NO cracks in the finish for the life of the door.

  • 15 years ago

    khat,

    That is a relief to hear but of course now I am wondering about which manufacturers do a good job on that. Medallion has a yellow color that looks promising and they carry it in their Schuler brand that is sold at Lowes. They aren't frameless but maybe I could live with that. Any opinions?

  • 15 years ago

    montalvo said, "In short, a well-constructed, well-sealed wood frame door with an MDF panel will have NO cracks in the finish for the life of the door."

    If you put this in writing for your clients, I stand corrected. I just have never seen a written warranty that includes this. I tend to be skeptical of verbal promises on this topic.

  • 15 years ago

    khat,

    Sorry -- my contacts failed me reading the response from montalvo. It is hard to find any documentation whatsoever about the frame of the door other than whether or not it is made out of wood. Do you think people just ignore the cracks or repaint the doors after a few years? It seems like a stained door is looking better all the time.

  • 15 years ago

    Well, Caryscott is probably right. Either I was told and don't remember or just didn't hear being told that my new cabinets were Thermafoil covered MDF (probably the latter). After 16 years, I am replacing them with Cherry cabinets. I still have them in two of my bathrooms though and since they are not as high a traffic area as the kitchen, they still look OK. They do look really dingy so I am trying to get those painted and did finally find a decent paint for them after many many trials. Just in case others have like cabinets, here is what mine look like after 16 years. This one is just under the sink.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • 15 years ago

    Thermo-foil is an entirely different animal than a painted MDF door. It is and always was a problematic material that the lower priced cabinet companies used to compete when painted finishes came in because they were not set up to do paint. It is not a material I would ever recommend. If you want to explore a nicely made and finished one-piece door I can recommend Crystal cabinets.They do a very nice job with their one-piece doors. It is an excellent value for a painted custom cabinet. They also offer some one-piece doors in their semi-custom lines.

  • 15 years ago

    I with khat on the issue of the cracking on the frame (I have never seen that kind of guarantee - to the contrary most places are very clear that is falls within the parameters of expected behavior for these kinds of finishes) but having seen examples on a quality product (maple lacquer shaker display door at a custom shop) they were hairline - you really had to look for them. How much shrinking and expanding will depend on where you live and the climate as well as climate control in the home. Perhaps a polyuerthane is more elastic but I'm pretty sure the same thing happens with it over a stain finish but it is just better disguised by the grain of the wood and the fact that it is translucent rather than opaque.

  • 15 years ago

    khat - Thanks for the Crystal recommendation. There is a company not too far from me that sells Medallion, Cabico, Crystal, Omega and some others. It might be a good place to start.

    caryscott -
    Thank you so much for the additional information. I live in the south but I control the humidity in the house pretty well. I guess I was imagining huge cracks and peeling paint. I may also have the option of a custom shop. I hope the small shops can survive in this economy.

  • 15 years ago

    In the same way frameless cabinets is not a big part of the US market neither is thermofoil and consequently it gets associated with low end finishing\quality. On many cabinetry lines it has replaced melamine on the low end or slots in just above it.

    In Canada and Quebec specifically they have a couple of leading door manufacturers who specialize in 3D laminates like Thermavision and Premoule (they offer it with 5 piece doors and glazing). Many of the Quebec cabinet manufacturers like Cabico and Luxor offer this product and it can be comparable or even more expensive than stained finishes. I was talking to our installer from HD and he was saying there is no comparison between the thermofoil available on the Canadian made lines they sell and what they use on Mills Pride or Thomasville. Just as there have significant innovations with laminate over the years the same thing is true for thermofoil.

    Here is a link that might be useful: link about thermofoil

  • 15 years ago

    Another thing to consider about thermofoil is the mouldings. The selection is usually very limited and it is much more difficult for the installer to get a clean look at seams and no way to really touch up nail holes. Also the cabinet sides can't be finished to match and have to have door plants applied. I have worked with Premoule in the past and they are probably one of the best thermofoil manufacturers but IMO there are still inherent problems with the product and I find it hard to see the reason to choose it over paint. Ultracraft is an American manufacturer which does some high end Thermofoils including I believe some Italian manufactured doors.

  • 15 years ago

    Just finished remodeling our kitchen and went thru this very same question. We went with wood (painted) because we were told the MDF would split over time. We worked with Abe Graber, cabinetsbygraber.com, in Indiana and we live in Virginia. The cabinets are sensational, and he's unbelievable. You can do everything by email or fed-ex...they make the process very workable. We looked at Wood-Mode as well; this is equal(maybe better) quality but lower cost as you're buying directly from Graber, an Amish family business. Can't say enough about them --

  • 15 years ago

    Very true about the moulding though some companies just use paint matched mouldings - installer told me it wasn't hard to get clean cuts but the product needed to be warm - cut it cold and it shreds. A lot of companies don't do finished sides and of course it easy to colour match thermofoil to melamine. The product we used was a lacquer product but when Maax sold their cabinetry business to Fabritec they opted to change to thermofoil because they were having so many quality control problems with the lacquer. Good durable paint finishing is a lot more labour intensive than thermoforming. I would have preferred a paint finish but budget did not allow.

  • 15 years ago

    khat,

    This is probably a dumb question but when you say "one piece door" do you mean one piece frame or the whole door for a recessed panel style door like shaker.

  • 15 years ago

    lovetocook,

    Thank you for the recommendation. I checked out the website -- very nice. Who did your design/specs? I only have wall measurements and a general idea about where I want everything.

  • 15 years ago

    In an earlier post, I said, "In short, a well-constructed, well-sealed wood frame door with an MDF panel will have NO cracks in the finish for the life of the door." to which khat responded, "If you put this in writing for your clients, I stand corrected. I just have never seen a written warranty that includes this. I tend to be skeptical of verbal promises on this topic."

    I'm not a cabinet maker and I've never seen a warranty for the claim that I made about no cracking. But I am a seasoned amateur woodworker and feel I'm on solid ground conceptually. In addition, I have lived for six years with kitchen cabinet door panels made in the manner which I described. They've had lots of use and there's not a single crack or break in the paint finish...not one.

    Our paint finish was applied in the factory by the cabinet maker and I suspect that contributed to it holding up well. But to be fair, I live in CA, where we consider 20% humidity to be a muggy day. In more humid climes, I suspect that humidity could cause problems...but that should only be an issue to the extent that the finish has failed. You may well be unable to get a cabinet maker to provide you with a guarantee against cracks, but if the cabinet door is made as I described, I can imagine how any cracks could occur.

  • 15 years ago

    montalvo,

    Do you think there are any mid-priced cabinet makers that do a good job on painted finishes? I was about to give up on the painted door idea. I wondered if I should put the extra money into a better cabinet or better wood. My budget has had a setback and I am trying to salvage my remodel.

  • 15 years ago

    odiegirl,

    I'm not sure what's considered mid-priced, but I got estimates from 7 different companies, and Cabico came back the least expensive. I ended up going with another company, but I found Cabico's painted finishes to be very nice and their product to be excellent quality for the price. I was told that they paint each piece of the door before assembly to prevent the paint from bridging if any tiny cracks do occur. (You may want to double-check that though.) If there's a Cabico showroom near you, I'd say it would definitely be worth the trip to stop in and look at their painted doors.

    E

  • 15 years ago

    erikanh,

    I have seen other threads where Cabico was really praised. I also wanted to try and stick with frameless. I am going to take a look this weekend if I can sneak away. Thanks for your opinion on this.

  • 15 years ago

    odiegirl13: We call MDF doors one piece to distinguish them from wood doors which are generally 5-pc (a center panel and 4 pieces which form the frame). MDF is usually a frame design routed into one piece of material. There are exceptions to this. Crystal Cabinets for example has a shaker style door which has a one-piece MDF frame with a seperate MDF center panel. I belive this is done to get really square inside corners which are not usually possible with MDF.

    montalvo: Maybe in California the stress cracks aren't an issue but you have to believe me in Illinois and probably the rest of the country they definitely are. It's not that they are horrible or anything but it disturbs people when anything happens to their $30 - 50,000.00 cabinets. And when they are disturbed I am disturbed. So, I have learned through time and experience to inform clients about the reality of painted finishes. I still sell a lot of 5-pc doors too. But I think a highlighted or brushed finish is a good way to go with a 5-piece door. If a joint opens up the highlighting kind of blends it in. I envy designers in the low humidity areas who don't have to consider this so much of an issue. The first 10 years of my career all anyone ever wanted was oak, or Almond laminate. I still remember the first white painted kitchen I sold in the late 1980's. It seemed so unusual and I had to search for a company to do painted cabinets. Styles keep changing. But, I'm kind of hoping the Almond laminate doesn't have a revival in spite of the fact it never developed stress cracks.

  • 15 years ago

    khat,

    What is a highlighted finish? I am guessing the brush finish is where you can see the brush strokes.

    Thank you for all of your valuable input. If from a design point you could select either a stained or painted door what would you choose? I really can only do this kitchen once and we could be in this house a long time. Is one of the choices more maintainable and/or easier to refresh?

  • 15 years ago

    khat, if your experience with MDF has been restricted to one-piece doors, it's easy for me to understand your concern. And as I mentioned in my first post, there are a number of ways you can have problems with a five-piece door having only an MDF center-panel. But I believe the formula that I mentioned should hold up even in a humid environment. I can't attest to it from personal experience but if I were talking to a cabinet maker, I'd ask for references to see if his customers can. Talk to a few customers who have cabinets that are at least a year old. And if the cabinet maker is confident that cracks won't appear, ask him to put his warranty where his mouth is and guarantee it...in writing. And ask him about the construction process he uses to ensure that he's using kiln-dried wood for the rails, etc.

    odiegirl13, we have a faux finish on our cabinets that may be what khat was describing. We chose it for the look, not for its crack-hiding potential. Do a search on this forum for "Montalvo" to see some pictures. I think you should be able to find a solidly made cabinet door with an MDF center-panel for a good deal less than virtually any raised panel solid wood door.

    Best of luck.

  • 15 years ago

    montalvo,

    Thanks! I am glad to hear that the price could be less. I really liked the pictures. I am going to start doing my homework.

  • 15 years ago

    montalvo: Maybe we are talking about 2 different things. The mdf center panels which many cabinet companies offer on their 5-piece doors will minimize panel shift and opening up of the seams where the panel meets the frame. But it will not prevent opening up of the joints in the frame itself. Those were the cracks I was refering to.

    odiegirl13: A highlighted finish could be brushed or glazed. Just something to soften the look and take away from the pristine lokk of a simple painted finish.

    To answer your other question, I am in the process of building a house and am using Quartersawn White Oak in the kitchen and painted one-piece doors in the Bathroom and for my Family Room bookcase/entertainment cabinets. For my kitchen,I wanted something different that I don't get to do a lot of. I'm in a very traditional area, so I made it fairly contemporary. And Oak of course is not very popular right now, all of my collegues are questioning my choice and I try not to mention it to my clients. But I predict a resurgence. I really love the texture of the Quartersawn. Over half of the kitchens I'm doing right now are painted with about one third of those being MDF doors. I don't really like wood in Bathrooms, just a personal taste of mine. And I wanted the family room cabinets to match the other woodwork, which is painted. We also used MDF mouldings and doors throughout the house. I was able to purchase crown for the whole house for just a little more than what it would have taken to do just the family room in wood crown. The price difference was unbelievable. I was able to afford all of the mouldings of my dreams. They are just being painted now and look great. I do have a great trim carpenter and painter. The painter sprayed all of the mouldings and doors and they look like a factory finish. I really love them.

    Making all of the choices involved in a kitchen is very emotional and confusing because we all fear making a costly mistake that we have to live with and look at every day of our lives. However, I find that most people know what they don't like and have the most difficulty choosing between several options that they would probably be equally happy with. We all try to find pros and cons to make these decisions. But sometimes it's just a matter of deciding. I told myself that when I couldn't decide I would go with the decision that was easiest to maintain or clean. That resolution has really helped me. But, truthfully even though I do this everyday for others, a lot of the decisions have been nerve-racking. I have total sympathy for my clients and for all of TKO"S on this site. So much beautiful stuff to choose from and only one house.

  • 15 years ago

    khat,

    It is funny what you said about not revealing your cabinet choice. I told my interior designer friend that I really liked the Quartersawn Oak and she looked at me like I was nuts. I know your cabinets will be beautiful. Thanks for all of your input and advice on making decisions. Best of luck with your new house.

  • 15 years ago

    khat, in my initial post, I mentioned that mitered joints need to be joined with biscuits and a good glue. With that type of construction, there should be NO cracks...which is what I've experienced with my doors.

    The most common causes of door cracks is the natural expansion and contraction of solid wood and the flexing of the door itself. But expansion is typically not a problem with the frame wood since such expansion occurs perpendicular to the grain, which is the thinnest dimension of the frame and the movement isn't enough to cause the seam to break (especially if the joint is mitered vs. a butt joint).

    And because MDF is dimensionally stable, it can be glued into the dado of the frame, adding even greater strength to the door itself. This makes frame cracks due to flexing even less common for doors with MDF center panels than for those with solid wood raised panels, where the panel cannot be glued and must be allowed to float within the frame.

    My apologies if this is TMI (too much information) but I thought khat, too, might benefit from some additional understanding of the dynamics involved in cabinet door construction.

  • 15 years ago

    I appreciate the input of your experience. My point was only that having been involved with the cabinet business for quite some time I have worked with most of the major cabinet lines out there as well as many millwork shops. I have yet to see any company willing to put a "the wood will never crack or move" clause in their warranty although many companies use similiar techniques to what you've described. Here in the midwest the humidity can go from 30% in winter to 90+% in summer. We recently had weather cool enough that we had the heat on and then a warm spell with 6" of rain in one day. When that happened my pocket doors which have never given me the slightest trouble in 15 years began to bind and squeak when we tried to open them. It took another week of having the heat on for them to return to normal. It is easy to forget that it is wood's innate tendency to react to the environment.

    For someone like you who is so knowledgeable about woodworking it would definitely be worthwhile to ask questions about the specific techniques used to minimize movement of wood and then make an informed decision about the likelihood of the finish opening up. But if a supplier won't put it in writing, I feel compelled to inform my clients that the possibility exists. I keep sample doors which show evidence of this and point it out. These cracks aren't horrible or unsightly but they might disturb someone who isn't prepared for them. For those who would be disturbed I feel the one piece door is a very viable alternative. Peace.

  • 15 years ago

    If you want to have painted shaker style doors that won't expand/contract with humidity but can be easily painted then there are 2 things to avoid - 1)any wood door that you paint will eventually show cracks around the panel - 2) routed MDF doors are extremely difficult to paint as the routed areas soak up paint and go fuzzy. But there is an MDF door made of smooth components for ease of painting and it is stable. Check Cabinetmart Inc's web site.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Paintable MDF shaker style door

  • 15 years ago

    Premoule has introduced paintable one piece MDF doors - essentially they sell routered MDF doors in various styles covered with a thermo primer.

    Here is a link that might be useful: bottom of page 45

  • 15 years ago

    Thanks for the additional resources. Just when I thought I had it all figured out... Back to research for me!

  • 15 years ago

    Hi odiegirl,

    Re: your question about design, Cabinets by Graber did it all. They had someone come out to measure,even tho they're in Indiana and we're in Va. I had pics of what I liked that I'd pulled from magazines, and from that, they did the drawings, sent by email or FedEx. Drawings were very detailed, and they included small details that were important that we had not thought of. Our contractor found their measurements to be precise. Was very pleased...cabinet quality, color, and finish are wonderful.

  • 15 years ago

    I have painted shaker-style doors--maple rails and stiles with a center panel made of MDF.

    I live in an area with extreme humidity shifts, and I do not control the humidity in my home. I know that I will get hairline cracks in my painted doors, and I have decided not to let this bother me. A cabinet salesperson tried to talk me into all-MDF doors for the sole reason of avoiding these cracks. But I think these cracks are part of the beauty of a painted door. Without any cracks at all, they almost look fake to me--at least in my neck of the woods.

    But then, I prefer wrinkled faces over Botox too. :-)

  • 15 years ago

    I know that this topic is getting beat to death, but I feel I must weigh in. If you are doing a painted door you be best off doing a hybrid door, maple or birch rails with a mdf center panel. The stiles and rails will be more durable while the center panel will not show lines from the stave expansions. Cracking is inevitable with the joints, however they can be so slight, that they are not visible, and you can only feel them when you run your hand over them, A flexible finish like latex paint instead a pigmented catalyzed varnish will be more flexible and be less prone to chipping in the future. Plus it is easier to touch up. If you are glazing with a hand rub method you will achieve a better look with catalyzed varnished because they tend to yield a smoother finish. If anyone thinks that a painted finish on a mitered joint with biscuits, will never show finish fractures, than they are naive! A mitered joint is the worst possible joint for a painted finish, mortise and tenon would be a much wiser choice. If the wood at a miter joint contracts then they both contract in the same direction, thus creating the possibility for a joint fracture in the finish. Montalvo, please keep in mind when Khat is talking about cracking the reference is to finish fracturing NOT joint failure. It is possible to have finish fracturing without joint failure. This is why NO door manufacturer or cabinet company would ever warranty against this. The movement of kiln dried wood can be very significant when there is even small moisture changes, With hard maple being one of the worst. If you would like I can post the chart information if you would like evidence. To think that a cabinetmaker would not be using kiln dried wood or making mitered joints without an additional joint lock is ridiculous, they would not be a cabinetmaker, they would be an amateur woodworker.

  • 15 years ago

    mcr1,

    Thank you for the adding to the topic with your technical knowledge. I will admit I had to look up the terminology. The joint difference makes a lot of sense. I am wondering if I can go to a big box store and get a well made painted door or am I limited to more high end manufacturers or independent cabinet makers.

  • 15 years ago

    It depends on your budget, I would go to an independent showroom, with a respected reputation before I would go box store, they can be competitive and offer more experience based information.

  • 15 years ago

    mcr1,

    I think you are right. I am trying to stick with my plan to get frameless and it is very hard to find in the big box store. I have found one local showroom that carries Cabico and another that carries a brand I had not heard of, Ward's Cabinetry. (I can't afford the Cuisines Laurier they sell) Both lines seem to offer a good choice in painted finishes and not just white.

  • 15 years ago

    The same cabinetry lines may overlap between a showroom and a box store (Kraftmaid is the same not matter where you buy it). You should be able to get more peronalized service at a showroom (who like box stores usually offer a variety of lines to suit your price point). Why noy try both and see what the price difference is and where you feel the most comfortable shopping? If your shopping semi-custom at a showroom representing a mid-price semi-custom national line you may be able to go with a local custom shop for the same price.

    In terms of the specs you can sometimes get that info on-line but usually you will have to talk to someone who reps the line to get the skinny on how a product is constructed.

    Conestoga has some of the most straight up specs I have seen, a lot of cabinet makers use their doors so that might be something to consider. The also offer an RTA line of cabinets (framed only) which may work for you. Conestoga has a butter yellow colour that might be of interest though they were not offering matching RTA cabs last time I checked.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Constoga spec book for doors and drawers

  • 15 years ago

    caryscott,

    That sounds like a reasonable plan. I was also thinking of pricing out Schuler which I know is Medallion. They aren't frameless but they seem like one of the best from a big box store.

    Concerning Conestoga - I have never seen a spec for cabinets like that. It has been very hard to figure out the details online. I will definitely take a look. It seems odd that they don't have the matching cabinet.

  • 15 years ago

    Hi Odiegirl13,
    This is kind of OT as it seems you'd prefer painted cabs, but I just saw your question about my cabs on the "under $20,000" post. They are made by Medallion and are cherry in a pecan finish. I am very happy with the quality. I hope that news about Medallion may be of help to you! Good luck in your search and decision making.

  • 15 years ago

    Hi Furletcity,

    Thank you, that definitely helps me. I just looked at Schuler yesterday and they have some beautiful stained doors. My DH would really prefer a stained finish and it seems like it would be so much easier both to purchase and maintain. I just have to be careful selecting the right color because of the wood floors I have. I don't want the kitchen to look like a cave. Under $20,000 is definitely my plan!

Sponsored
SK Interiors
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars49 Reviews
Loudoun County's Top Kitchen & Bath Designer I Best of Houzz 2014-2022