Posts Tagged 'thermofoil cabinets'

Pros & Cons of Thermofoil Cabinets

Previously, we have discussed the effects that humidity has on wood cabinets, as well as ways to control the humidity levels in your home. There are situations, however, in which wood cabinets may not be the best option. Perhaps you live by the water or you want to avoid the potential problems that painted wood cabinets may have and you want another option. One available option is thermofoil cabinets, but as with any cabinetry choice, there are pros & cons.

Schrock Thermofoil Cabinets

Schrock Thermofoil Cabinets

There are many benefits to thermofoil cabinets, especially their resistance to moisture. This makes them the ideal choice for bathroom cabinets, where humidity is always going to be a factor. Thermofoil is also less expensive and much easier to clean than traditional wood cabinets. Thermofoil cabinets are also available in a wide variety of looks, including high-end looking options for a mid-range price.

Small cabinet over toilet, small vanity with sink and under counter storage, and storage cabinets in a small bathroom.

White thermofoil was especially desirable to this homeowner because of the small size of the bathroom. Having white cabinetry helped to keep a bright, open feeling, where dark wood might have made the room feel smaller.

There are also some particular limitations to take into consideration. One of these important considerations is that they are not heat-resistant, meaning that if they are too close to an oven or other heating source, problems can arise, such as the laminate peeling away from the core. However, heat shields can be installed (which are essentially just metal strips) between the heat source (such as an oven) and the cabinets, which will handle this issue. Another thing to keep in mind is that while they are incredibly resistant to moisture, they are not completely waterproof. If the laminate becomes damaged in any way and moisture seeps in, the cabinet could be destroyed. One final consideration is that, since they are made of laminate melted onto a MDF core, they are heavier and a bit more difficult to install than traditional wood cabinets.

The good news is that thermofoil cabinets are made far better now than they were ten years ago and the limitations should not be too much of an issue if they are installed correctly and cared for well. Many cabinetry brands offer thermofoil cabinets, including Aristokraft and Schrock. They are an affordable solution, but you will need to decide if the pros outweigh the cons in your particular situation.

Kitchen Views

Lee Turner: Cabinet Door Profiles

Lee Turner - Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Newton, MA

Lee Turner - Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Newton, MA

Since award-winning designer Lee Turner claims she learned her craft “on the job,” she must be a very good student. With over 30 years in sales and over 25 years in kitchen design, Lee’s work has won EM-NARI CotY awards.

In 2005, a kitchen she designed for The Wiese Company won an EM-NARI CotY award for “Best Kitchen Remodel.” In 2007, Lee designed the kitchen and baths in the home that won the EM-NARI CotY award for “Best Whole House Remodel.”

You can view her profile and portfolio on the Kitchen Views website.


Simple, contemporary or modern are some terms used to refer to this sleek clean line style. The door looks like a flat piece of material whether wood, metal, laminate, thermofoil or other type of material. The door may have a four sided square profile and/or rounded or beveled profile along two vertical or horizontal edges or all four. Most manufactures offer wood slab doors in veneer only but a few still cabinet lines offer a solid wood door. Veneer is popular because it is not as affected by climate conditions. Wood panels swell and shrink as the humidity in the home changes with the seasons. This profile is generally available in full overlay or frameless cabinets.

Raised Panel
The door frame always consists of solid wood with either mortise and tenon or miter construction. The raised panel, which may be either solid wood or veneer is usually between 1/2″ and 3/4″ thick and has a profile milled into it. The panel, which is available on overlay, inset and frameless cabinets, tends to be more traditional or formal but different wood types, stains and paint finishes provide many options to make this a versatile style.

Recessed Panel
The door frame is the same construction as a raised panel but the center panel is flat. The panel is either ¼” plywood veneer flat or 5/8 reversed raised panel (i.e. the panel is flipped to face the inside of the cabinet).  The panel again may be veneer or solid wood.  It looks more like a picture frame and is generally used in a transitional, country, or arts and crafts kitchen. There has been a movement in recent years to add more and more detail to the door frame to enhance the style and give it greater appeal to traditional and formal kitchens.

Choose a style that reflects you and your personal style.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St.
Newton, MA 02461

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