Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors vs. Mitered Cabinet Doors

Posted by Jim Hill on Apr 22nd 2021

If you’re trying to choose between cope and stick cabinet doors vs. mitered cabinet doors, it’s helpful to understand the difference in how the two designs are constructed. Once you know a little more about the difference between cope and stick and mitered cabinet doors, you can make an informed decision about which design is right for you.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors vs. Mitered Cabinet Doors

Understanding the construction of each door design, as well as the terminology involved, can help you get a clearer picture of the difference between cope and stick and mitered cabinet doors. While each door design is a 5-piece cabinet door, the way mitered vs. cope and stick doors are constructed is distinct. Let’s first go over the construction and terminology involved in a 5-piece cabinet door, and then go into further detail about each door design and discuss the benefits of each.

5-Piece Cabinet Doors

A 5-piece cabinet door is constructed, just as it sounds, from five distinct pieces, including:

  • The panel
  • Two stiles
  • Two rails

The center piece, inside the frame, is called the panel. The panel can be recessed or raised, and may include details or be quite simple. The surrounding four pieces are the frame. The frame is constructed of stiles, or the two vertical pieces on the left and the right of the cabinet door, and rails, or the two horizontal pieces at the top and the bottom of the door. The way in which the frame is joined makes it a mitered vs. cope and stick cabinet door.

Mitered Cabinet Doors

Mitered cabinet doors have a frame with pieces that are joined at the corners at a 45-degree angle. Mitered cabinet doors can require more complex machining in their construction, but there are also typically a greater number of designs to choose from in mitered cabinet doors. Generally speaking, most picture frames feature a mitered joint.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors

Cope and stick cabinet doors have a frame with pieces that join by squaring the pieces near the corners. This creates a 90-degree angle and vertical seams near the corners of the cabinet door. Cope and stick cabinet doors are less complex in their construction. However, because of the way they are constructed, there are often fewer styles available in this design.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors vs. Mitered Cabinet Doors: How They’re Constructed

Both cope and stick cabinet doors and mitered cabinet doors are 5-piece cabinet doors, so they are constructed similarly. At, we construct our 5-piece cabinet doors with mortise and tenon joints. The mortise is the slot, while the tenon is the carved tongue inserted into the slot. This joint requires more careful work and construction than other joint methods, but it results in a much stronger and more durable joint. It’s also much more attractive as this kind of blind joint does not visibly show where the stiles and rails connect.

The panels in our 5-piece cabinet doors are secured in a channel set in the sections of the frame. The channel section gaps are intentionally designed to be slightly larger than the center panel, allowing the panel to float within the channels. This is to allow for swelling of the wood in high heat and humidity. As the panel swells, the edges move deeper into the channel. Then, when the wood contracts again, the panel is able to pull back, without coming out of the channels. This helps avoid warping or cracking of the frame. The floating panel design helps your 5-piece cabinet door maintain a consistent width, regardless of changes in the humidity and temperature, and helps it remain more durable over time.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors vs. Mitered Cabinet Doors: How To Choose

Now that you have a basic understanding of the two types of 5-piece cabinet door frame designs, you can choose the look you’re interested in for your space. Perhaps you have a strong preference when making the choice between cope and stick cabinet doors and mitered cabinet doors. If so, that’s great news because your options will be narrowed a bit for you. However, if you’re not sure which you prefer, you might feel a little unsure about which direction to go in. It can be surprisingly helpful to browse the options available to you, or start with the most popular cabinet door designs. Often, you’ll find that even if you weren’t aware of it, you do have a preference in design and style.

Alternately, let your budget guide you. Since mitered cabinet doors require more complex machining processes, they can run a little more expensive than cope and stick cabinet doors. If you’re concerned about your costs, look for sleek and simple cope and stick cabinet doors. Keep in mind that the wood species you choose will often be the greatest deciding factor when it comes to price. Start with your design choice, and move forward from there, keeping your budget in mind. You might be surprised by how many affordable cabinet doors are available when you order factory-direct from

Get Your Cope and Stick or Mitered Cabinet Doors at is one of the largest cabinet door manufacturers in the western United States. We supply our products to several national hardware store chains, as well as to hundreds of custom cabinet shops and new home builders nationwide. In addition, we also offer our cabinet doors—including both cope and stick and mitered cabinet doors—to homeowners across the country. And, because homeowners get our products directly from us, the manufacturer, our prices are 30-50% off of big-box store prices.

We have been in business since 1980, and in that time, we have produced millions of cabinet doors for a variety of different customers in the U.S. and beyond. Purchasing factory-direct from gives you the opportunity to choose cabinet doors that are custom-sized and built to your exact specifications. You get a custom look, but at a price that works for you and your budget. Even better, we build the cabinet doors and drawer fronts you need, then ship them directly from our factory to your door. You skip the middleman, and the middleman price markup, and you get a high quality product at a fantastic price.

Explore our website and then compare our pricing to retail pricing. You’ll see that our cope and stick and mitered cabinet doors are priced much lower than at retail stores, but you still get our incredible products. Why pay more for what may even be the exact same product? Save yourself time, money, and hassle by working directly with us. At, you can find the cabinet doors you need at a price you’ll love.

Check out our website for more information about cope and stick cabinet doors vs. mitered cabinet doors, and look through our excellent selection of products. We are confident we can help you find the perfect cabinet doors for you. Contact us through our website or by calling our team at 800-342-1010 with any questions or to get more information. When it comes to cope and stick and mitered cabinet doors, always delivers. 

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