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Pros and Cons When Selecting Cabinet Doors

There are basically three types of materials on the market used for replacing doors in kitchen cabinets, closet cabinets and entertainment centres. There are major differences that you need to know before you make a purchase. The first thing you need to do consider when replacing cabinet doors is the ultimate purpose for doing this.

Reasons for Replacing Your Doors Is a Consideration

If the doors are in a house where you plan to live another five or ten years, you may want to opt for materials that are longer-lasting. If the doors are in a rental unit, you may opt for a cheaper material. If you are trying to sell your house, a fresher more updated look is desirable.

Plastic Laminate Doors [Formica]

Laminate cabinets are comprised of layers of fibre board glued to each other with a plastic surface glued over the top.

Pros: Laminate doors are easy to keep clean and require minimum maintenance. Prices for flat styles may be cheaper than other types.

Cons: Laminate peels, chips and dents easily; is difficult to repair; and, white yellows over time while wood grains are tough to match after one year. Cabinet frames that are near heat sources may warp or separate over five years.

RTF Doors

“RTF” STANDS FOR “Rigid Thermafoil”. Essentially, these doors are vinyl wrapped particleboard that is sealed under extreme pressure.

Pros: Daily splatters are easy to clean; simulated wood grain is available; wide price range according to quality and style; and do not crack or dry out.

Cons: RTF doors are not heat resistant and should not be used near stoves or refrigerators. After several years, colours change and replacing one door is difficult to match.

Real Wood Doors

Real Wood doors are cost effective if you want to avoid replacing the doors in the next five years.

Pros: Once finished and sealed, wood doors are easy to wipe down and clean with household cleaners. Unfinished doors that are painted or stained are cost competitive and custom toned to your taste. Can be matched or reused in other areas. Many different woods are available.

Cons: Wood doors need to be painted or resealed every few years to prevent drying and should be cleaned and oiled monthly.

What to Look for When Replacing Doors

If your cabinets are fiberboard / plastic laminate or RTF, you need to check the area where the doors are attached for any separation or damage. Frames that are damaged, separated or chipped may need repair that before replacing the door itself. This is also a consideration if you have solid wood cabinets. Layers that have separated may not hold the new hinges or the weight of a new door. Warping needs to be corrected or the cabinet replaced in order for the new door to hang squarely and fit correctly. Wood that dries out may be warped and require moisturising or replacement before it is suitable to take a new door, as well.

Wood cabinet door can be very inexpensive and always cost effective for kitchen, bathroom and furniture.

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