Which Cabinet Doors are best...How to tell.
Not all cabinet doors are created equal. There are differences in the quality of the wood used by the manufacturers, differences in the quality of the machinery used in the manufacturing process, and differences in the overall product quality level each manufacturer determines is acceptable for his customers.
The quality of domestic hardwoods varies across the country and is mostly influenced by the climate the tree grows in and the milling and drying process utilized by the lumber mill processing the wood. As a general rule of thumb, slower growing hardwoods are superior to faster growing hardwoods. The cooler climates in the northern states slow tree growth which produce tighter (closer together) growth rings. These tight growth rings allow for finer machining without chip-out and produce a smoother sanded finish.
Another factor in the quality of hardwood lumber is the drying process. Some lumber mills dry hardwoods with a more controlled process than others. Most parts of the country require wood products to be in the range of 7-9% moisture content to insure the dependability of wood furniture. Desert climates need the woods to be dried to a slightly lower moisture, in the 6-8% range. Woods dried to a lower moisture content will provide reliable service in all climates but wood dried to the higher 7-9% moisture levels will very often encounter problems, like warping, shrinking, or cracking, in dry climates.
Drying hardwoods to the safer 6-8% moisture content takes the lumber mill longer and increases the cost of the lumber. That's why most cabinet door manufacturers use higher moisture content hardwoods.
The quality and accuracy of the machinery used in manufacturing the cabinet doors is another contributor to overall quality. Custom Cabinet Makers require absolute accuracy in the sizing and thickness of the door. They depend on the door sizes being perfect to within a few thousandths of an inch, not the typical 1/16 or 1/8 inch tolerance used in the finish carpenter trades.
To accomplish these tight tolerances high quality cabinet door manufacturers don't use tape measures, but instead use digital dial indicators and micrometers. These quality door manufacturers use computer controlled machinery to produce highly accurate final product dimensions and much higher volumes. So in most cases the manufacturer with the higher volumes also has higher productivity and lower costs. And lower production costs translates into a lower sales price, along with the exacting accuracy produced by the use of computerized production machinery.
The final determinant of quality is make-up of the manufacturers customers and the level of quality those customers demand. It's a simple fact of business that any manufacturer must supply the level of quality that his largest customers demand or he will lose those customers and, most likely lose his business too.
You can benefit from this knowledge by ordering your new cabinet doors from a company that supplies demanding customers, like Custom Cabinet Makers and large fine furniture manufacturers. Try and determine if the internet supplier makes his doors in his garage or he actually owns a large factory. Try and determine if the internet supplier makes doors by the millions or by the dozens.
At CabinetDoors.Com (the web division of The Door Stop), our customer base is made up of Custom Cabinet Makers and fine furniture manufacturers across the country. There are no critics more demanding than the craftsmen that make up the industry of American Custom Cabinet Makers, and we have tailored our manufacturing process and our final quality inspections to exceed the demands of these professionals.
CabinetDoors.Com makes every cabinet door of the same superior quality; whether that door is shipping to a perfectionist Amish Cabinet Maker, or a home-owner remodeling his kitchen. Every cabinet door we make will be perfectly sized, color matched, and expertly sanded to accept your stain, paint, or finish.