How to recognize quality in Cabinet Doors

By Jim Hill 2013
While there are dozens of factors that separate top quality from lower quality the first indication of high quality is the thickness of the cabinet door. Because thin lumber is less expensive than thicker lumber, almost all low-end door manufacturers save money with the thin stock.

The difference between thicker and thin doors is in the depth of the face detail. The thinner the door, the less depth between the face of the door and the point where the panel secures into the frame. A door using 3/4-inch material will have 20% less depth, which is obvious in the finished product. Thicker doors start with 1-inch thick material and produce a door of slightly over 13/16-inches. This extra 20% of face depth produces a door with significantly more detailed face moulding pattern and adds a much richer look to the cabinets.

Possibly an even more concerning cost-saving practice among lower quality manufacturers is the practice of using lower quality (cheaper) materials.

It's a valid assumption that a manufacturer cutting costs by using thin material will also be cutting costs by using lower quality lumber. It's actually difficult to recognize lower quality woods in a set of cabinet doors because all the doors use the same woods and there will be no superior quality doors to compare against. But when a kitchen of low quality woods is compared to a kitchen of superior, color matched, woods the difference is striking. The doors using lower quality woods will have noticeable color mismatches and mineral streaks, where the top quality doors will be of uniform color.

Other areas where the differences in quality are seen is in machining and finish sanding. Both of these areas will have a large impact on the final appearance of your finished kitchen. Poor machining and sanding will telegraph scratches of machining nicks through the finish. While staining is usually more forgiving of poor sanding, painted doors will magnify even the slightest scratches or blemishes.

Things to look for in selecting a door manufacturer include (CabinetDoors.Com policies follow each question) :
What is the thickness of the finished door?
(CabinetDoors.Com doors are a plump 13/16 inches thick)
What is the thickness tolerance from one door to the next?
(Each door will be within 15/1000 inch)
What is the size tolerance (industry standard is /16-inch to 1/8-inch)?
(While doors are within 1/64 inch when completed, we guarantee 1/16-inch
because humidity fluctuations will expand or contract all wood products)
What is the final sanding grit used in the doors?
(Doors are widebelt sanded to 180 grit then hand sanded)
Are the cross-grain scratches produced in widebelt sanding remover?
(Cross-grain scratches are removed with a Timesavers Orbital)
Are the doors hand sanded during final inspection?
(each door is hand sanded during our detailed quality inspection process)

If you don't feel comfortable with the answers to these questions it may be a good idea to look for another manufacturer.
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Your Youtube videos are outstanding. You made measuring and hanging my new doors a snap. Thank you. Jen A.

I ordered new cabinet doors for my upper cabinets in my kitchen. They needed to match the bottom doors. Thanks to your very knowledgeable staff, I got perfect doors--the grain matched, the trim matched, and the hardware is outstanding. I am delighted and would recommend this company without reservation. Thank you for an outstanding product. Madge S.

My order of cabinet doors was delivered today, and I could not be more pleased. They are BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much for making a great product.Stacy K.

I'm a home re-modeling handyman and I just finished a kitchen remodel using your Shaker Doors. This was my first order from you and the sizes and overall quality are much better than my prior supplier. You helped my make my customer very happy.Mike B.

This was my 4th kitchen re-model with your cabinet doors and, just like before, the doors were perfect. The workmanship is top notch and the sanding was exceptional. My 5th kitchen job is scheduled for August and I'll be ordering from you again. You make a great door.Kent's Kitchens

We ordered replacement doors for our 60-year-old home and were very pleased with the product. The milling was of the highest quality. The joinery was very well done, and the wood selection was obviously done by a professional who cares what the finished product looks like. It is one thing to assemble a project with technical skill, and another thing entirely to accomplish the assembly with an eye toward bringing the best out of the wood being used. Both aspects were accomplished, and at a very high level! The dimensions were absolutely perfect. Each door was correctly dimensioned to within less than 1/16 of an inch. It was very pleasing to see this attention to detail, especially since I took the time to measure my cabinets twice, making sure I had done my part. I had never worked with white birch before, and when I saw the issues with staining the wood (soft grain with blotchy absorption of the stain) I was a bit worried. I had no problems at all because the wood was of a higher quality white birch that had been properly handled at the mill and sanded to a stain-ready finish. A good sanding sealer was applied, and then the stain. The results were EXCELLENT! All-in-all, we received a great product, great advice and excellent customer service from CabinetDoors.com. We would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for cabinet doors. Nice job, everyone! Michael R.

The doors arrived today and fit perfectly. Thank you very much. I will be ordering the remaining 18 doors and 6 drawer fronts in the next couple of months. Walter W.

I remodel kitchens for a living and I can only say...I wish I had found you sooner. These are the overall BEST cabinet Doors I have ever installed. Excellent quality and workmanship. Jake A.

Your cabinet doors are much higher quality than the doors that were installed by our home builder. There is really no comparison, you make a GREAT product. Al N.

The contractor remodeling our kitchen was so impressed with the doors we ordered from your website that he is going to use your doors for all his future jobs. Marcia N.

Your cabinet doors, and the finishing tips in your blog, made my kitchen remodel look GREAT. I recommend your doors to everyone. Kay H.

Hi, I have received my 1 door, and I feel like I received the same quality service and product as if it were 50 doors. I am very pleased with a beautiful door delivered as promised. Thanks, David H.

Although I haven't bought the cabinet doors for my kitchen remodeling project yet, I will be making my purchase from cabinetdoors.com. Your site, and especially your Blog, has more useful information than I've found anywhere else on the internet. The information you provide is exceptional and you have helped to give me the confidence to take-on this project. Nancie D.

We took your advice and ordered the smallest door in our kitchen to see your quality...which is absolutely great...Now we are ordering the rest of the kitchen and bath doors. Don & Barb B.

These cabinet doors are PERFECT! Super high quality and right-on size. Harry D.

So glad we remodeled our kitchen with your doors, instead of doors from the hardware chain. You saved us over 35%. The doors arrived in 12 days, (including 4 Fedex shipping days). The hardware chain quoted 28 days, and your quality is far better than their samples. Mark H.

These doors are EXCELLENT! In quality and workmanship and value. Very glad we found you. James L.

A friend put me onto your website and I can't thank her enough. You make an excellent product and I'm completely happy with everything about my purchase. Paula B.

I am very satisfied with these doors. The quality is GREAT!. Alex D.

Very nice cabinet doors, the color matching and the sizes are right-on. Paul L.

Your customer service is fantastic. Somehow you spotted an error I made on my order (I reversed width and height on one door) and called me to ask if the size was correct. Your attention to detail prevented me from ordering one of my doors wrong. Thank you so much. Bryan E.

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