What You Need To Know About Kitchen Cabinet Doors

What You Need To Know About Kitchen Cabinet Doors

As you have hopefully learned by now, one of the aspects you can specify when it comes to your customized kitchen cabinets are the doors. Not only are the doors immediately visible to all who enter but they also really set the overall aesthetic of the space. When it comes to designing your perfect kitchen, there are numerous details to consider, including: the wood, the stain colour, and the finish, but before jumping into those it’s important to consider how the doors and drawers are going to look on the overall cabinet box. At Cataraqui Cabinets, we hand make 24 different styles of doors here in our shop in Kingston. If you want to take a look at the numerous styles we offer, check out our available options here. Keep on reading to learn more about the different materials we offer and how they will integrate with your space. If you’re looking for more visual insights, our gallery offers highlights of various materials and styles.

Attaching The Doors

There are typically 3 different ways to attach doors and drawers to cabinet framework, each style involves different construction and installation techniques, these are: inset, partial overlay and full overlay. IMG_3470-2Inset is what you will see in most cabinets built in the early 20th century. Here the door fits the opening of the cabinet box, thus the frame is not covered at all and at times hinges can be visible, with gaps between the cabinet components. The inset also reduces space inside the cabinet, which means smaller drawers and hardware that requires extra blocking in the box. It is not the most efficient use of space. You can further customize the look with beaded or non beaded design to complement the overall look. Inset doors are not popular today as they are not ideal for the fluctuations in humidity in our climate. Partial overlay are often considered a slight modern upgrade from inset, where doors and drawers are mounted over the face of the box, covering the opening and partially covering the finished face frame. This style of cabinet making is still popular in parts of the US and China and can be associated with poor quality, light doors. full_overlay_kitchen_cabinet_doorsFull overlay is the most modern iteration, meaning that the door or drawer face completely covers not just the opening but the entire face of the box. This is European styling and is what Cataraqui Cabinets specializes in. There is no visible face frame here when the doors are closed, which means our hinges are utilized to allow the doors to open without hitting those next to them. This style of cabinetry results in the most efficient use of space. Our hinges on European style cabinetry are guaranteed for life and easily adjustable.

Our Selection

Now that you have more of an idea of the different types of settings it’s important to understand the different types of species of wood we offer, as well as the different materials used in order to get the perfect door for you.

Wood Species:

Maple: a strong wood that is highly resistant to abrasive wear and tear. It can be further divided into the lighter soft maple and hard maple. It’s a heavier wood with a tight grain pattern and a smooth surface. Kitchen6-e1415040863576Cherry: hard and stable and one of the top furniture woods, cherry stands out from others due to its unique coloration. It also takes stains and finishes very well making it highly versatile for styling. Maple: our hard premium grade maple takes stains and lacquers very well. It has a spaced grain and light colour. Oak: a strong, durable and heavy hardwood, oak has a very prominent open grain pattern with a rough texture and can be sawn in to numerous patterns. It stains quite well with a wide range of finish tones. Red Oak and White Oak are trending woods.  Pine: is a lighter wood that takes stains quite well and comes in a range of colours from very white to yellowish and reddish-brown shades. Alder: as a popular wood for cabinetry, alder is reddish brown to pale yellow in colour, possessing a straight grain with small pin knots. It is slightly softer than other hardwoods but is popular for cabinetry to do it’s consistent colour and durability. Hickory: a very strong wood with a coarse texture and long grain, which varies from light to dark. Applying a dark stain will tone down the wide variations in colour, however many appreciate the natural variations. It typically contains various burls and knots giving it character. Walnut:  a dark, dense wood that accepts stains well. Walnut is a high end wood often used as a focal accept piece within a room.


MDF: medium density fiberboard is an engineered wood product made by breaking various others into wood fibers. It is denser than the common particleboard utilizing formaldehyde as a bonding agent. Ask us about how to incorporate this material into your kitchen, as it is perfect for center panels since it does not expand or contract and has a smooth painted finish. Lacquered MDF results in a smooth door. modern_noble_white_acrylic_strong_style_color_b82220_kitchen_strong_cabinetsAcrylic: this high end, high gloss option is relatively new and is making a splash in the cabinetry market. The material is specifically manufactured so that the high level of gloss is consistent throughout. Alternately a thin layer can be applied to a substrate, generally MDF. Polyester: this material gives a cabinet a versatile look with many finish options; however, any damage is difficult to repair. This material gives a sleek and modern look to any space  High Pressure Laminate: all laminates are made of three resin-saturated layers: paper, a coloured layer (that may resemble wood) and a protective transparent layer, fused by heat to a substrate. High-pressure laminates specifically offer more durability giving vertical surfaces the same strength as countertops. Thermoplastics: this type of cabinet is a thin plastic wrap, tightly heat-sealed to an MDF board. It is less expensive than typical wood cabinets and comes in a variety of surface textures, sheen levels and colours. Its downside is its susceptibility to heat sources and moisture, which must be considered. Aluminum Framed Doors: a more contemporary style, this option has become ubiquitous with modernity. Sleek door profiles and various finishes allow you to match with your overall design and accentuate the glass or metallic inserts.

We’re Here to Help

If you have any questions about any of the materials or styles don’t hesitate to contact us, we are more than happy to take your call to discuss your specific needs and arrange a time to meet. With our many styles in a range of  colours and finishes the possibilities are practically endless.

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