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HDF (High Density Fiberboard) for Kitchen Cabinet Doors? Pros & Cons?

2 years ago

We are shopping kitchen cabinets and have looked at Kraftmaid, Diamond and Kith. A trusted contractor wants us to look at the assembled U. S. Cabinet Depot Highland Series with Shaker White doors. The cabinet specs look nice with 1/2" plywood box, 3/4" plywood shelves, 1/2" plywood back, 3/4" hardwood face frame, 5/8" dovetailed hardwood drawers with 3/8" plywood floor, etc BUT the specs for the doors call for 5 piece mortise and tenon construction using HDF (High Density Fiberboard). According to their FAQ, "Painted doors will utilize high quality HDF for longer life and to reduce the cracking that normally happens with hardwood joints overtime."

Seems to me the doors are a step down in quality of materials as compared to the rest of the cabinet. Personally, I have never had a hardwood joint on a cabinet door crack over time, but I suppose it happens with wide changes in humidity. But HDF just does not seem like a suitable material for cabinet doors, especially around a kitchen sink.

Does anyone have any experience with these cabinets or any made similarly using HDF? It looks like we could save some money choosing these cabinets, but is there a trade off in construction?

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