One-piece MDF cabinet doors and five-piece MDF doors look virtually the same, so what are the differences? Determining the best option for your kitchen remodel is an important step to achieving your dream space.
ONE-PIECE MDF DOORS
One-piece MDF cabinet doors are most often fabricated with a CNC Nesting Router. A ¾” sheet of paint grade MDF is loaded onto the router table and the door is milled and cut out of the material. The results are a perfectly cut door that is made of one complete solid piece of material.
VIRTUALLY NO CRACKING
The advantages of a door that is fabricated out of a high-quality solid piece of MDF is that there is virtually no risk of cracking after it is finished or painted. MDF is an extremely stable material and one-piece MDF doors are excused from the typical cracking and micro-cracks that occur on painted wood cabinetry. Also, there is no risk of center panel movement because it is a solid piece of MDF.
A one-piece MDF cabinet door is recommended if you value consistency and things generally looking the same for many years. They finish beautifully and can stand the test of time in most household conditions. This is also a great door to choose if you live in an area with humidity fluctuations, as this door will perform the best in all levels of humidity. One-piece cabinet doors can be made in your choice of a flat panel or raised panel design, all for the same price.
One-piece MDF doors cost less than five-piece MDF doors because there is less manual labor required to fabricate the doors and drawer fronts. So if you want to save on style, this is your best choice.
FIVE-PIECE MDF DOORS
Five-piece MDF cabinet door and drawer fronts are made up of five pieces, consisting of a four-piece frame and a center panel. Five-piece MDF doors have exploded in popularity, as many homeowners that desire the painted look prefer selecting a 100% MDF cabinet door to save a bit of cost and reduce unsightly cracking in the finish and painted joints compared to painted wood. While five piece MDF doors and fronts are not immune to small cracks. Small cracks in the paint and top coat can be reduced by maintaining a consistent 40-50% humidity level in your home. This will help reduce the risk and degree of cracking at door joints and panels.
LOOKS LIKE REAL WOOD
Because the MDF 5 piece cabinet doors and drawer fronts are fabricated exactly like real wood doors, you get virtually the same look once they are finished. Many homeowners and those that remodel their kitchen cabinets feel that there is virtually no distinguishable difference between painted five-piece MDF cabinets and wood cabinets (when professionally built and finished). Five-piece cabinet doors can be made in a flat panel or raised panel design, to satisfy any design taste.
LESS COST THAN WOOD
Again, because the MDF substrate is less expensive than wood, there will be a cost savings compared to the overall finish cost of painted wood cabinets.
You can’t go wrong with either option but choose wisely as both will last for many years. There are many finish options for either door style choice including Painted, Handcrafted Painted, and Handcrafted Stained.