Replacing your cabinet doors is a great way to improve the appearance and durability of your kitchen. However, the last thing you want is to replace your cabinet doors with a cheap quality product. A quality cabinet door is unmistakable and can change your entire kitchen and give it a classy, admirable appearance. By knowing what to look for, you can guarantee that your kitchen cabinet doors are crafted from the best quality wood with remarkable expertise.
What Makes a Quality Cabinet Door?
High-end kitchen cabinet doors are going to stand out in any household, so you want to be sure you are getting the real deal. The following factors will help you figure out how to tell good quality cabinet doors from poor quality cabinet doors.
Thickness of the Lumber
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 molding pattern and adds a much richer look to the cabinets.
Quality of the Materials
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. A door made from a high-quality wood will always stand out.
Details of the Finishing
Differences in quality are almost always seen in the final machining and sanding of your cabinet doors. Both of these areas will have a large impact on the final appearance of your finished kitchen. Poor machining and sanding will highlight scratches and nicks all the way through the finish. While staining is usually more forgiving of poor sanding, painted doors will magnify even the slightest scratches or blemishes. Unfortunately, there are manufacturers that will try to cover up a job done poorly, so make sure to keep an eye out for blemishes on your new doors.
Are Thicker Cabinet Doors Better?
Thicker cabinet doors are just one of the signs a quality cabinet door. If a cabinet door is flimsy or built too thin, it means that your manufacturer was likely trying to cut costs. A thin cabinet door will look cheap and will start to degrade after minimal use.
When you look for cabinet doors, be sure to carefully observe the material that they use. If the material seems cheap, it probably is. When you put the time and effort into replacing your cabinet doors, you deserve a quality product, so be sure to check the credibility and capability of the manufacturer you are using. Fortunately, there are manufacturers that can provide quality cabinet doors at an affordable price.
What Questions Should I Ask My Manufacturer?
Before committing to receiving your cabinet doors from a manufacturer, you should go through a bit of a vetting process. The following questions are a good way to assess the capability of the manufacturer and the quality of the doors you will receive. If you don't feel comfortable with your door supplier’s answers to these questions, it may be a good idea to look for another manufacturer. Questions to ask when selecting a door manufacturer include:
1. What is the thickness of the finished door? Thin cabinet doors will warp, crack, or just provide a cheap looking appearance to your kitchen. At CabinetDoors.com, our doors are a plump 13/16 inches thick.
2. What is the thickness tolerance from one door to the next? Thickness tolerance highlights whether the size of each cabinet door is consistent. Some variation is normal, but it should not be excessive. Each of our cabinet doors will be within 15/1000 inch of the others.
3. What is the size tolerance (industry standard is /16-inch to 1/8-inch)? Size tolerance also demonstrates consistency across all of the cabinet doors. While our doors are all within 1/64 inch when completed, we guarantee 1/16-inch size tolerance because humidity fluctuations will naturally expand or contract all wood products.
4. What is the final sanding grit used in the doors? The final sanding grit plays a key part in the final appearance of your cabinet doors.Our doors are wide belt sanded to 180 grit then hand sanded.
5. Are the cross-grain scratches produced in wide belt sanding removed? Cross-grain scratches are an often-inevitable part of the wide-belt sanding process, but if they are not removed, it can ruin the quality appearance of your doors. At CabinetDoors.com, cross-grain scratches are removed with a Timesavers Orbital.
6. Are the doors hand sanded during final inspection? Hand sanded doors ensure a smooth, clean-looking final finish. At CabinetDoors.com, each door is hand sanded during our detailed quality inspection process.
Explore High-Quality Cabinet Doors
At CabinetDoors.com, we are proud to produce a quality product. For over 40 years, we have prided ourselves on providing carefully manufactured kitchen cabinet doors delivered right to our customers’ doors. Explore our impressive inventory of high-quality kitchen cabinet doors today by browsing and pricing any of our door styles. Our quality doors are sure to provide you the best kitchen cabinets for the money.