cabinet fronts -- construction & edging

happyancaJuly 19, 2013

Hello. Does anyone have any advice as to what is the most durable cabinet edging available? Our kitchen will be simple and modern -- all white laminate cabinets with white fronts, pure white Caesarstone tops, bleached oak floor... As far as I know, aluminum edging would work best. PVC is also an option but unless I am mistaken, that does not last long and will yellow over time. However, from an esthetic perspective, all white edging would be the most attractive.

Also, does anyone know what is the best method for making the cabinet door fronts? I thought that a wood frame with an MDF center would be the best option, the next best option being a slab of plywood but a cabinet builder told me that white melamine, which is high density particle board core, is better than the other options becuase it is more stable. Is this really true? In fact, he and other people say that making the boxes out melamine is just as good as making them out of plywood.

Lastly, the cabinetry maker gave me the option of using Medex rather than plywood for the boxes. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Thanks VERY much for any advice which you can offer.

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Since no one is answering, I'll give you my take.
I'd just do what your cabinet guy says to do.

White laminate is white laminate.

But then on the other hand, a white laminate door usually doesn't have a frame. It's a slab. So, actually, I don't know what you're talking about.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Thanks for answering, I appreciate it. Laminate can be glued to mdf, plywood, etc... I chose laminate because in terms of cleaning and durability it holds up better than paint and is less expensive that lacquer. So a wood frame around an mdf piece was one option of making a durable, warp and water resistant front. I guess that I will try to talk to some other cabinet makers becuase I do not think that particle board is the best and only way to make a flat front door. But maybe I am mistaken.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Happy, There may be some confusion as to your reference to Laminate. I would say that laminate is more of an old school term as now "laminate" may be interchangeable with Melamine or even thermofoil. Not saying that's fact. Just saying.

BTW, I'm looking at a 45 year old laminated particle board door that is warped. I think the warping only occured in the last 10 years or so.........

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Slab doors should always be done on high density particle or mdf. If using foil to cover MDF is preferred because due to smoothere surface. Otherwise no difference.
Laminate- refers to formica, wilsonart etc high pressure laminates which have a layer of phenolic (brown) that shows along the edged, a layer of melamine and a wear layer. Generally tougher than melamine.
Melamine is most often used for cabinet interiors on particle board boxes.
MEDEX - sounds like he is referring to NAUF (no added urea formaldehyde) MDF.
IMO- frameless boxes are best made from particle. Ply is considered an upgrade only because consumers think it is. You are mostly paying for veneer interiors with that. There is no structural advantage. More screws are needed when installing plywood frameless to prevent cupping at the joint between the cabinet.
Edges of boxes depend on door treatment.
Painted should be wood painted and door should have wood edges painted- thicker is better.
Foil- doors ar wrapped so siide edges are seemless- backs are melamine. Box edges would be vinyl or melamine- vinyl is tougher.
Laminate doors will have a brown line at the edge and are rare nowadays.
Aluminum is an aeshetic choice- toughest of all but a different look

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:22AM
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