Kitchen cabinet doors will make up the bulk of your kitchen renovation cost so understanding the available options and which pricing category they each fall into is the best way to stay on top of your renovation budget. From sleek laminate cabinet doors to elegant two pack cabinets and more, we break down the pros and cons of each
Laminate Kitchen Cabinet Doors
Often the most cost effective option, you will find an exceptional range of kitchen colour options available in laminate collections. Different laminate brands (such as Laminex for example) will usually include a range of different price tiers within their offerings with each corresponding to a different type of laminate, from solid colours in a standard finish to specialised textured timber look laminates and even matte, anti-fingerprint options.
Laminate kitchen cabinets will often sit at the lower end of the pricing scale with cost variations within each different brand and varying once again depending on which texture or finish is selected. Laminate is an excellent choice for the budget conscious, providing a long lasting and durable finish for the kitchen that is simple to care for and maintain.
As with any material, there can be some drawbacks when selecting laminate kitchen cupboards:
- Restricted Colour Choices: Laminate kitchen cupboards are available in a selected range of colours, finishes and textures with no option to customise.
- Discontinued Colours/No Colour matching: Should a kitchen door or panel need replacing later on down the track, it may prove a little difficult if that particular colour has been discontinued since your kitchen was installed. Even if it is still available and you have the option of replacing a damaged door in the same colour, you may notice the existing kitchen has since faded slightly, making the new piece stand out quite considerably. With use however, the new door may eventually blend in with the rest of the kitchen.
- Limited Door Style Options: Laminate cupboard doors are made using layers of plasticised paper that is applied to a moisture resistant MDF board; this process does not allow for intricate details to be created making laminate cupboard door options flat and smooth without the option of choosing shaker style doors for example.
- Scratching: With excessive force, laminate kitchen cupboards can be scratched however, this is not unique to laminate specifically and you will find that most of the following kitchen cabinetry options can also be scratched!
- Cleaning: Matte finishes (that do NOT feature an anti-fingerprint coating) in laminates can be prone to fingerprints and water marks. You do have the option of selecting from textured laminates or anti fingerprint colour options that will not show up marks or fingerprints as readily as the standard colour range – these are often priced a little higher than the standard colour offering.
Despite the above points, laminate kitchen doors do provide an excellent choice that will last in your home for many years with some obvious restrictions. This cabinetry solution can be used in all styles of interior design with sleek and modern options available as well as more rustic, hyper realistic textured timbers, metallic laminates and more.
Vinyl Wrap/Thermofoil Kitchen Cupboards
Vinyl wrapped kitchen doors are sometimes referred to as thermofoil doors or thermolaminated doors. A popular choice for the kitchen, modern vinyl wrap options provide more detailed door styles in comparison to standard laminate kitchen options (making the popular Hamptons kitchen styles possible!) Vinyl wrapped kitchen cabinets are made using moisture resistant MDF that is coated in a decorative vinyl material and run through a vacuum process to properly mould the material to the door itself.
Similar to laminate, vinyl wrapped kitchen cupboards are available in a selected range of colours, finishes and some textures without the option of customisation. A bonus however is that you have the freedom of selecting from a vast range of detailed, decorative cupboard doors – View Polytec’s brochure here to see their complete range of door styles.
It is important to note that cupboard doors that feature a recessed profile can often cost a fair bit more than the flat, standard options (a popular example is the shaker style doors commonly used in Hamptons kitchen design schemes) so always make sure to discuss your budget with your kitchen designer to ensure the best outcome for your project.
The drawbacks of vinyl wrapped cabinetry doors are quite similar to those of laminate options: a selected range of available colours to choose from, a possible risk of discontinued colours should a door or panel require replacement later on and scratching/cleaning concerns are similar in nature.
You will notice a few complaints relating to vinyl wrap online regarding discolouration (especially whites turning yellow!) as well as peeling or flaking. In these instances, it is important to note the specific brand of vinyl used as well as the location of the vinyl within the home; direct, harsh sun can lead to issues over time but once again, you will find that this issue is not specific to vinyl as direct sunlight can lead to issues with just about any material.
We would recommend Polytec’s vinyl wrapped doors to be the most reliable solution for the home; vinyl wrap cabinetry sits in between laminate and two pack kitchen cabinets on the pricing scale.
Two Pack Kitchen Cabinet Doors
A very popular choice for the home, two pack kitchen cabinets (sometimes spelt 2 pack or 2 pac kitchen doors) are made using moisture resistant MDF board that has been coated in a two part solution of paint and hardener. The spray painting process is quite labour intensive with doors and panels laid out in a large, controlled space to avoid contaminants from adhering to the paint. As can be expected, this does often come with a hefty price tag however, the price of two pack cabinetry has declined over recent years, bringing the cost just a little higher than a quality vinyl wrap.
Two pack kitchen cabinets offer you the freedom of selecting or creating your own custom colour and to use any style of door you prefer. You also have the option of selecting from a range of sheen levels (usually matte, satin, semi-gloss and full gloss) – If you are looking for a highly customisable cabinetry option, two pack kitchens are the way to go!
Another unique benefit of two pack cabinetry is that kitchen doors and panels can be colour matched; this allows you the benefit of being able to replace a damaged piece later on down the track if needed and have the new item blend in well with the rest of the kitchen cabinets.
A few key points to consider when selecting two pack kitchen cabinets include:
- Scratching: Two pack is a hardened paint finish so although it won’t readily scratch, it still CAN be scratched with excessive force. Again, this is not unique to two pack – any material can be scratched or damaged with improper use!
- Fingerprints: At present, two pack kitchen cabinets are not available with an anti-fingerprint coating so this can affect your cleaning routine. We do however hope this changes in the near future!
Timber Veneer & Solid Timber Cupboard Doors
Solid timber kitchen doors have long been a popular choice for the home, creating a warm, country-style look. Different timbers can be used in the kitchen, from deep walnuts to blonde timber varieties and even recycled timbers for a more sustainable design solution. The beauty of using a solid timber kitchen door finish is that the material can be sanded and polished when needed to rejuvenate your kitchen’s look, making it a renewable option that will last a lifetime. Wax is most often used to maintain solid timber furniture and cabinetry; this will ensure your custom piece can withstand the day-to-day fluctuations in temperature around the home (air conditioning, sun light, heating, humidity, etc.)
Solid timber kitchen cabinets can be customised in terms of built-in handles, door profiles and more to create a unique style that reflects your own creative flair. Solid timber cabinets can be pricey however, their renewable and sustainable qualities ensure a quality option that will last a lifetime!
A slightly more cost effective option, timber veneer kitchen cabinet doors are another popular choice for the home. These doors are constructed in a similar fashion as laminate kitchen cabinets with a slice of real timber used in place of laminate. You have the option of selecting from a range of different types of timbers as well as polyurethane finishes when it comes to selecting timber veneer cabinet doors. Once again similar to laminate doors, timber veneer doors are only available in smooth, flat door styles with no options available that include a profiled style so unfortunately, you will not have the same amount of flexibility in creativity and design as you would expect from a solid timber door.
Corian® Kitchen Cabinet Design
Corian is a solid surface material that is made up of 2/3rds natural minerals (bauxite) and 1/3 acrylic binder. Being a non-porous material, Corian is extremely hygienic and is often used in commercial and retail applications for this reason. Another exciting benefit of Corian is that it can be customised to suit your design preferences, allowing you to create unique shapes, etchings, patterns and forms. Certain specific colour options in their collection can even be backlit for a dramatic touch in your kitchen design!
Corian kitchen cabinetry doors are completely made of the solid surface material; the product is not attached to an MDF board in this case. Blum brand hinges are used to attach the solid surface cupboard door to your kitchen carcass, providing a strong, durable and easy to clean option for the kitchen. The doors can be etched with stylish patterns, backlit using specific colour options, routered to include built-in handles – as you can see, the creative kitchen design possibilities are truly endless!
You may notice over time that the surface of Corian can become dull or scuffed; this can easily be rectified by professionally rejuvenating the product to bring it back to its original finish.
Corian is so durable in fact, that it can even be used in completely exposed outdoor applications (unlike most outdoor cabinetry options that normally require under cover installation to meet the warranty and avoid damage from the elements). As you can expect from such an impressive product, Corian is not the most economical option however, it will absolutely last a lifetime in the home, making it well worth the investment!
Porcelain Kitchen Cabinet Doors
Ultra-thin porcelain sheets can be used to clad kitchen cabinet doors, creating a unique surface finish that is hard wearing and durable. Porcelain is renowned for its ability to withstand scratches, heat and staining, making it an ideal choice for the kitchen whether it is used as a cabinetry door finish, a porcelain benchtop or even as a splashback solution. In the case of porcelain clad kitchen cabinets however, you can expect a smooth, chic surface that will easily stand up against all the daily hustle and bustle of the kitchen! These cabinet doors are simple to clean, requiring no more than a simple wipe down with a damp cloth or a light cleaning solution here and there.
Porcelain kitchen cabinetry doors are available in a wide range of options with industrial themed concrete-look options, marble-look options, solid colours and more. You will also find an impressive range of textures and sheen levels available to choose from with different brands offering their own range of options. These kitchen cabinets are often on the pricier end of the costing scale however, porcelain offers so many unique benefits in a hard wearing kitchen solution that you are sure to get your money’s worth over many years use.
Porcelain is a brittle material and as such, can be prone to chipping or cracking along its edges. The best way to ensure this does not become an issue is to ensure proper installation and to also include protection along the sheet’s edges as this is where chips or cracks are most likely to occur.
As you can see, there are many exciting different kitchen cabinetry options available to choose from, each providing its own unique set of benefits to the home. It is important to note which material will best suit your needs, preferences and budget when making your kitchen colour and material selections as these will greatly influence not only your kitchen’s overall cost but also the longevity and functionality of the kitchen design itself.
Diamond Interiors offers Kitchen Colour Consultation services throughout Melbourne and also Australia wide in the form of virtual consultations. Click here to see how we can assist you in the creation of your new kitchen design!