In cabinetmaking, there are typically two popular building methods for MDF door and drawer fronts, One-Piece Construction and Five-Piece Construction. There are many advantages to choosing a 5 piece door design, but first let’s look at the anatomy of a Five-Piece Door.
THE ANATOMY OF A 5 PIECE CABINET DOOR
Five-piece cabinet door and drawer fronts are comprised of a four-piece frame (Stiles and Rails) and a center panel. The two outside parts of the frame are called the Stiles and the top and bottom parts are called the Rails.
A REAL WOOD LOOK
5 piece MDF doors are perfect if you want the high-end look of wood, but are on a bit of a budget. Because they are made of multiple pieces, they emphasise all of the beautiful details of the construction of the fronts, especially where the material joins. They are often available in many beautiful door style designs. One-piece MDF doors are typically cut and milled on a CNC Nesting Router, which do not have the material joins. When five-piece MDF door and drawer fronts are is painted, they look virtually the exact same as painted wood.
LESS RISK OF CRACKING
Due to the dryer climate in Western Canada, MDF has seen a huge rise in popularity for custom kitchens in homes today. Unlike wood, MDF is a stable material and does not have the risk of expansion or contraction, which leads to cracking in the finishing and joints. MDF is typically finished with solid paint, so eliminating the risk of cracking is a huge advantage for most clients.
PAINTED ON BOTH SIDES
Five-Piece MDF Doors will be painted and finished on the outside and inside. This is an important distinction, as One-piece MDF doors can sometimes have a white melamine back on the inside of the cabinet. There are advantages to both a painted inside and a white melamine inside, but a painted inside is a huge bonus for those that like things to match on the inside.
Five-piece MDF doors and drawers are typically at a lower cost than painted wood doors. This is because most popular wood species used in cabinetmaking are more expensive than MDF. This cost savings will differ from firm-to-firm but is always appreciated.
MANY FINISHING OPTIONS
MDF cabinet door and drawer fronts can be finished in many ways and often come in a large selection of looks and colours.
SOLID PAINTED MDF:
The most common finish is a Solid Painted Finish. MDF is a wonderful material to paint and can give any home a really unified and beautiful look. In the past few years, some exciting colours on MDF have become extremely popular including Whites, Blues and Greens.
SOLID PAINT WITH CHALK OR STAIN WITH CHALK:
If you crave a more dynamic finish, some master finishers have perfected the ability to stain and chalk or paint and chalk the MDF. This process gives the MDF a textured and handcrafted look. Our Award-winning MDF Fusion Collection is a great example of this process, a technology developed in-house. Our incredibly talented team of finishers apply this process by hand to make your dream kitchen the essential focal point of your home.
Choosing the perfect cabinet for your home can be difficult with all of the different choices available. If you are looking for a mid-level priced product that rivals the look of painted wood at a cost savings, then definitely consider 5-Piece MDF.