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Keeping flat panel doors flat

Posted by guitarmaker (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 29, 08 at 16:51

I'm planning to install a series of shallow cabinets between the studs in my bathroom, just like a medicine cabinet, except that these will be about four feet tall. I want a modern, simple look, so I'm thinking full overlay, 3/4 inch flat panel doors, but I'm concerned about the panels warping from the moisture.

Any ideas about material choice, construction method or finishing choice that would serve to keep these flat, but still only 3/4 inch thick?

I'm on a tight budget, so solid surface material, or something along those lines is not in the picture.



Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Keeping flat panel doors flat

Quartersawn stock would be the least likely solid material to warp.

Otherwise, can you use a rail and stile to enclose a piece of 1/4" plywood?

RE: Keeping flat panel doors flat

At this point, I was thinking 3/4 plywood, 1/4 inch edge band, painted the same color as the walls. I really don't want the doors to be a "design feature," if that makes sense. I wasn't even going to use knobs. That's why I wasn't considering frame and panel, which would tend to highlight the geometry.

Perhaps the best thing is just to cut the doors in half, so a four foot tall cabinet has two doors? A 12x24 ply door, painted, would probably be ok.

RE: Keeping flat panel doors flat

MDF. Edgebanding with solid wood would be a good idea, so that the edges could stand more abuse.

RE: Keeping flat panel doors flat


I have to laugh at myself for not thinking of this. When I was more active as a woodworker, it was standard practice to say this stuff should never, ever be used in a wet location, but I currently have some scrap that has been sitting outside my shop, in the rain and snow for three weeks, and it looks almost as good as new. I guess this makes sense, since it's 98 percent waterproof glue.

The tiny amount of humidity in my bath isn't going to ruin a well painted MDF cabinet door.

Excellent suggestion. Extra points for it being the cheapest option, but I do half to deduct a couple points because I will have to lift the 100 lb sheets onto my saw...

(considering 1/2 inch...)

RE: Keeping flat panel doors flat

Oh, now, don't be so dramatic; they're only 70 pounds or so. Go with the 3/4" thickness so you can use concealed hinges.

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