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MDF Cabinet Doors Review



Since the first MDF kitchen we installed many years ago, we’ve learned a lot about these PVC coated cabinet doors. This review of the product will serve to inform you about the good points and the bad points of having these style doors.

Definition of an MDF cabinet door
This article defines it as a medium density fiberboard solid core door having a PVC plastic vinyl coating over it. The technical name is Thermofoil cabinet doors.

Good Points

These are very economically priced cupboard doors that can make a set of kitchen or bathroom vanity cabinets look rich. You will find the the cost of the doors falls in the mid-range pricing scale between Formica cabinet doors and real wood.

Size Availability
They are available in many different styles and custom sizes. You will find many solid colors and wood grain patterns.

Door Design and Colors
The doors are offered in raised panel, shaker and flat styles. Some of the newer designs actually look like a real five piece wood door.

Delivery Times

The lead time for getting this product is very short. An average set of kitchen MDF doors usually takes about ten days to complete and delivery is received withing two weeks.

Five Year Warranty
Most manufactures offer a guarantee that spans over a five year period. It basically says that if there is any delamination or discoloration during normal use that the doors will be replaced. The guarantee is subject to the manufactures review of the MDF cabinet doors.

There are a few other pros for the MDF cabinet doors but these are the largest advantages of having this product installed on your kitchen or bathroom cupboards.

Bad Points of MDF Doors

Even though most companies will replace the cabinet doors, if they delamiante or discolor the replacement does not include the costs associated with actually switching out the old kitchen cabinet doors with the new ones. A customer can plan on spending a few hundred extra dollars to hire a cabinet door installer the fix the kitchen cabinets.

Heat Damage
This is the biggest problem that people have with them, MDF door heat damage. Because they are vinyl wrapped cabinet doors, extreme heat causes the plastic to melt and pull away from the board underneath when exposed to high temperatures. Direct sunlight does not effect the doors in any way.

Limited to Availability of Colors and Wood Grains

Although there are many solid colors available in the MDF doors, there are not nearly as many choices as someone would have with a plastic laminate door style. The same is true with real wood stained doors there are unlimited selections for colors.

De-lamination After the Warranty
This is not a good thing when it happens. For obvious reasons, you will have to pay to have them all replaced. This will not be an inexpensive project either. It could cost a couple of thousand dollars depending upon the size of your kitchen, office and bathroom areas.

Common Questions about MDF Cabinet Doors

Can MDF Cabinet Doors be Painted?
Yes, the cupboard doors can be painted, but a special primer would be required to get the paint to adhere to the vinyl coating. A professional paint company can get you the correct materials for doing n the job successfully.

How can I protect the doors from heat damage?
The best way is to not put toaster ovens, deep fryers, or Crock Pot style cookers directly under the upper cabinet doors. For the heat areas around the base cabinet doors, the best way to protect them is by getting the doors as far away from the stove during the self cleaning cycle. This can be done by pulling the drawers out, opening the MDF base doors or removing them from the cabinet until the oven is finished self cleaning.

You will find that the manufactures of MDF doors have recommendations for protecting them from heat damage. They generally recommend certain sized fillers be installed to separate the doors from the stove’s oven area.

The Pros and Cons of MDF Cabinet Doors

Those are the usual pros and cons that you will discover cabinet companies are educated about. The MDF doors have a very rich looking appearance. If you are getting or already have these doors , it’s a good idea to periodically review them by close examination. This is especially important during the first five year warranty period that the MDF door manufactures provide. If there is any indication at all that the edges are starting to get loose or the center panel vinyl is pulling away from the core of the doors, get them replaced. I would also recommend having them all replaced, not just the few that are starting to get loose. Eventually, they will all probably start to peel away from the board underneath if a few have already started.

That’s all I have to offer in this review. Like any product there are pros and cons. I have installed thousands of these MDF doors on kitchen, office and bathroom vanity cabinets.
They are great doors to have, you just have to do your part in protecting them and checking them.

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