What Are Kitchen Doors Made Of?

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 01/08/22

As soon as you walk into a kitchen, the first thing you notice is the kitchen cabinet doors.

The style, the material and colour are all important aspects, and this inevitably makes it even more important to choose carefully and wisely.

It's also critical to take into account the various pros and cons that different materials offer.

This will help you strike the right balance between style and quality.

Table of Contents

  1. Solid Wood
  2. Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)
  3. Veneered Chipboard
  4. Veneered MDF
  5. Foil Wrapped MDF
  6. Painted MDF
  7. Vinyl Wrapped MDF
  8. Acrylic Faced MDF
  9. Toughened Safety Glass
  10. Conclusion

Solid Wood

Image credit: Pixabay

Solid hardwood is one of the most expensive options.

But there's no denying that you'll be investing in durable and high quality kitchen cabinet doors.

Solid wood is able to put up with the daily wear and tear that kitchen doors are subjected to.

This includes the numerous bumps and knocks that are even more common if you have children or pets.

Another key advantage of solid wood doors is they always stay in style as they have a timeless beauty.

Moreover, there are countless colours to choose from.

For many people, nothing beats that natural look that can be offered by the various types of solid wood options.

These include cherry, oak, pine, hickory, birch and walnut.

Solid wood doors are also customisable according to one's preferences.

Despite the numerous advantages of solid doors, one will need to bear in mind that besides being expensive, they also require considerable maintenance.

A waterproof finish should be given to such cabinets, and it's crucial to clean them with specialised non-abrasive products.

Such solid wood doors also have the drawback of being reactive to humidity, so they can warp and crack.

Melamine Faced Chipboard (MFC)

Image credit: CBJ Ltd

MFC kitchen doors are another popular option as they are affordable, yet very stylish.

If you cannot afford hardwood doors, melamine face chipboard is a great alternative as they're far more budget-friendly.

They're also available in a wide variety of colours, from a natural finish to a more contemporary look.

MFC is made from resin coated particles of softwood.

Such particles are evenly spread out over a flat plate.

Then, they are bonded together by applying extreme high pressure.

Subsequently, the melamine face is laminated on top as a decorative finish.

During this manufacturing process various textures can be applied.

This allows for a variety of finishes that can be achieved, including matt, gloss and embossed wood grain effects.

Veneered Chipboard

Image credit: Mebelissimo

Veneered chipboard is a fairly common kitchen door material.

A veneer is a thin layer of timber which is bonded to the chipboard and then sealed with stain and/or lacquer.

Veneered chipboard cabinet doors are quite affordable and durable.

Another advantage is they preserve consistency of the grain colour and pattern.

Veneer cabinets can provide both the look as well as the feel of natural wood, and they are easy to maintain.

However, it's important to remember that they should not be subjected to excess moisture.

If this occurs, the veneer can loosen from the substrate, resulting in a bubbled look in certain areas.

Veneered MDF

Image credit: Builder Depot

Similar to veneered chipboard, the main difference is the veneer is bonded to a medium density fibreboard substrate, instead of chipboard.

MDF is considerably durable and yet relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for many.

Veneered MDF doors do not require specialist care as they can be maintained simply by wiping down with a soft, lightly dampened cloth.

It's important to avoid excessive exposure to water as they are vulnerable to moisture penetration.

Any nicks and scratches can be buffed out easily in many cases.

So it's safe to say that such doors are resistant to warping and are reasonably durable.

Foil Wrapped MDF

Image credit: Kitchen Findr

In this case a layer of vinyl or foil is wrapped and bonded onto an MDF substrate.

Foil consists of paper mixed with resin, whereas vinyl is a thin layer of plastic.

Both are commonly used to manufacture kitchen cabinet doors as they offer increased durability coupled up with various stylish options.

This material is very versatile as it can be printed in countless different ways.

From natural wood grains to a simple single colour finish, as well as opting for matt or high gloss depending on one's preferences.

Painted MDF

Image credit: Advanced Timber Finishing

Painted MDF is another option which is fairly common.

Applying several coats of high quality paint or lacquer to the MDF substrate offers a greater choice of colours and styles to suit diverse preferences.

First the doors are primed and cured.

Following such a process the doors are finely sanded, and a top coat is applied.

Subsequently, the doors are returned to the oven for additional curing.

This helps to create a tougher, more durable surface.

Needless to say, the most obvious benefit of such kitchen doors is there's countless colours one can choose from.

Having said that, it is important to be realistic and choose a colour which will have a timeless appeal.

You do not want to end up getting bored of it or find it looks dated in a few years time.

Some colours may go out of fashion, so bear this in mind when choosing.

Painted MDF doors have the advantage of lasting longer and you won't need to worry about peeling.

It's a good idea to store a pot of the colour matched touch up paint however, so in case of any chips or scratches you can repair them easily.

Painted MDF doors may end up being quite expensive if the kitchen is quite large.

So bear in mind that this is definitely not the option which can offer you the best in terms of durability.

Vinyl Wrapped MDF

Vinyl wrapped MDF has become one of the most popular options.

This material is relatively affordable, and yet it can still offer you considerable durability.

Vinyl wrapped doors are either compressed or composite wood doors, onto which a vinyl wrap is laid.

As a result, such doors are highly resistant to moisture and humidity, as well as changes in temperature, making them ideal for a kitchen.

Vinyl wrapped MDF is available in a wide range of colours and patterns, allowing you the possibility of being spoilt for choice.

Acrylic Faced MDF

Image credit: MIH Building Material

Acrylic faced MDF cabinet doors are a relatively cost effective option.

Such doors are made by applying a thin layer of high gloss acrylic to the MDF.

This is bonded to the substrate, offering a stylish and more durable finish to the doors.

Acrylic is a non-toxic material which is ideal to give a high gloss finish to kitchen doors.

It is particularly popular for those who have a rather small kitchen, as the high gloss finish will reflect light, making the kitchen look more spacious.

Cleaning and maintaining such cabinet doors is also simple.

One will not have to worry about cracking or chipping as this is highly unlikely with such a material.

Moreover, the vast range of colours that one can choose from is a great advantage.

The main drawbacks of acrylic faced MDF cabinet doors is that regular cleaning is often necessary.

Fingerprints, dirt and stains can be a common problem, and are easily visible on the glossy surface.

Toughened Safety Glass

Image credit: Pexels

Glass doors used to be very popular back in the day.

Over the years other materials started to be favoured, but lately glass doors are making a comeback.

Glass doors are made from toughened safety glass and can be quite costly, especially if you have a large kitchen.

Many people favour these doors because they allow you to see what's stored inside the cupboard without having to open them to find for what you need.

On the other hand, it's important to ensure you have a well-organised and tidy setup within the cupboards as everything will be in plain sight.

Such doors are relatively easy to clean and are scratch-resistant.

Moreover, they are not affected by heat or humidity.


Since there are so many different kitchen door material options available, it's a good idea to meet up with a kitchen cabinet specialist to discuss your needs.

They can help to find the right style option which will align with your particular preferences and budget.

Finding a material that's cost effective and able to fit into your home and lifestyle is important.

The kitchen is the hub of the home, so you want to get this important decision right the first time!