What Is A Cope And Stick Cabinet Door?


If you’re searching for cope and stick cabinet doors, it’s likely that you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new home. But what is a cope and stick cabinet door and why might you choose one? There are two categories of cabinet doors to choose from: slab doors that are just a solid slab of wood, and doors that are made from four frame sections and a center panel. This second category can include both mitered and cope and stick doors. Cope and stick cabinet doors use a frame joint that forms a 90-degree angle at each of the four corners. Since slab doors have a tendency to warp with humidity variations, framed cabinet door designs using mitered or cope and stick construction are often preferred by builders and homeowners alike.

Cope And Stick Cabinet Doors vs Mitered Cabinet Doors

The two main types of framed cabinet door designs are cope and stick and mitered joints.  The two designs are similar in that they are constructed using four frame sections and a center panel. However, they differ in the way the four frame sections are joined together. Let’s take a look at the difference between cope and stick cabinet doors vs mitered cabinet doors.

Cope and Stick Joints

So, what is cope and stick? A cope and stick joint for cabinet doors is made with a mortise and tenon joint, which forms a 90-degree angle and vertical seam at each of the four corners. The mortise is the slot, and the tenon is the carved tongue that fits precisely into the slot. 

This joint requires careful workmanship and is created using cope and stick router bits to make the tongue in groove design, allowing the parts of the frame to fit together perfectly. The top and bottom frame sections are made with the tabs that fit into the corresponding grooves, which are cut into the side frame sections with the cope and stick router bits. The mortise and tenon joint in this type of cabinet door construction is not only attractive, but it’s also strong and extremely durable, so cope and stick cabinet doors are sure to last.

Mitered Joints

Mitered joints are similar in that the frame is constructed of four sections of wood that use a tongue in groove joint fabrication method, yet they differ in the way the sections of wood come together.  For a mitered cabinet door, each of the four frame sections are cut at a 45-degree angle at the ends to create a diagonal joint of 90-degrees at each of the corners. This is also a durable joint option for cabinet doors, but creates a different look and style because of the angled corner seam

In the example image below, you can see how each type of joint construction creates a different look for both cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The squared cope and stick joint on the left offers a clean, modern look, while the angled mitered joint on the right creates a graceful, elegant feel. Many of the most popular cabinet doors, such as the Shaker Cabinet Door, feature cope and stick construction instead of mitered joints.


Choosing Cope and Stick Doors for Durability

While most people choose cabinet doors first based on the look of the doors, many people are also concerned with the durability of the styles. Some cabinet doors, like slab cabinet doors, are more susceptible to warping with changes in humidity and temperature, meaning they won’t stand up to certain environments or regular use as well.

Cope and stick doors, on the other hand, are a durable design and they typically last longer than simple slab cabinet doors. This is due to the cope and stick design’s ability to compensate for changes in the wood resulting from fluctuations in heat and humidity. Wood will always react to moisture and the humidity in the air. As humidity rises, all cabinet doors will swell slightly. Because slab cabinet doors are made of one single slab of wood, they are much more likely to warp and bend with fluctuations in humidity. In fact slab doors that are 14 x 20 inches can vary in size by as much as 3/16ths of an inch, depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment.


Cope and stick doors are different. These cabinet doors are built with a center panel that is secured at its edges inside a channel set in the frame sections. Take a look at the example image of cope and stick raised panel doors above. As these cope and stick profiles show, the channel gaps are made to be slightly larger than the cabinet door’s center panel, which allows for swelling due to humidity. Because the wood has the room it needs to swell, it avoids warping of the panel or the frame. This means that your cope and stick cabinet doors can stand up to daily use, even in a kitchen or bathroom, without becoming warped out of shape.  

Buy Cope and Stick Cabinet Doors at

If you’re looking for replacement cope and stick cabinet doors, or you need cabinet doors for a brand new build, is proud to offer the highest quality cabinet doors at the best prices. As one of the largest cabinet door manufacturers in the western United States, we have over 40 years of experience building cabinet doors in cope and stick designs. We have manufactured millions of cabinet doors for customers across the country, and in other countries too. But with us, you won’t have to pay extra for the big box store middleman. Instead, you’re purchasing factory-direct when you buy from As a result, you’ll save 30-50% off of big box store prices. 

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save time by browsing for and buying your cope and stick cabinet doors with We have a wide selection of cope and stick doors for you to peruse on our website, helping you find a style that truly fits your aesthetic. Once you’ve chosen a design you love, we allow you to order your cabinet doors to your exact specifications, so you can get the exact size, wood type, and finish you want. We also have guides available on our website helping you learn how to measure, order, and hang your new cabinet doors. In addition, our helpful staff can answer any questions you might have before or while placing your order. You can contact us via our website, or by giving us a call at 800-342-1010. 

Once you’ve ordered your new cope and stick doors, we fabricate them to your specifications within a matter of days, and then ship them directly from our factory to your door. Ready to get started? You could do your research, choose your doors, make your order, and even have your cabinet doors in hand within the month. Save yourself the hassle of going to a retail storefront and order your new custom cope and stick doors from We’re so confident you’ll love our products that our workmanship is guaranteed. When it comes to high quality cope and stick cabinet doors, always delivers.

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