Choosing a cabinet front may be one of the biggest aesthetic decisions in the whole design process. Consider colour, finish, durability, and ease of maintenance and cleaning. 

Cabinets can be almost any size that you wish, generally keeping in the 15-120cm range. Lower cabinets can be as small as 25cm, and single-piece tall cabinets can be made to be as large as 210cm. Panel thicknesses generally range from 2-2.3cm, though certain materials allow for solutions to be as thin in 1.4cm. 

  • Flat Panels are most common. They bring a simple, minimalist aesthetic to the kitchen.

  • Raised Panel Cabinet Doors are also very common, typically found in more traditionally designed kitchens. They have a centre panel that is rained from the rest of the door, with a contoured edge to match any specific style.

  • Recessed Panel Cabinet Doors are a modern marriage between Flat Panels and Raised Panels. They have a centre panel which rests lower than the rest of the cabinet front. They have a higher outer frame edge which can be with either soft or hard edging. 

  • Full Overlay Cabinet Doors cover the entire front of the cabinet box. This can be used to created to create a nearly seamless look with only very little of the cabinet base being visible.

  • Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors act in a similar way but to a lesser effect - solely the door sits at an overlay, leaving the base frame of the cabinet visible, something like an embossing effect. 

  • Inset Cabinet Doors sit fully within the frame of the cabinet frame, opposite of the overlay styles. Non-beaded styles will mean the cabinet doors sit entirely flush to the rest of the frame. A beaded style will provide the door with a recessed or raised panel effect, where the outer frame of the door itself can either sit flush to the door or more proudly.

  • Metal-Framed Glass Fronts are cabinet doors which are generally comprised of stainless steel or black metal frames with the door panel being made from a variety of stylised glass. 

Handles

Applied Handle

Most typical, both traditional and modern, applied handles come in all shapes and sizes, and can be made from almost any material that you may desire. 

Groove Handle

Most groove handles use a C or L shape, based on preference or function. They are generally found on an extruded base frame and work as part of the door, relieving the need for an applied handle. 

Push-Pull System

This system is another which reduces the need for applied handles. It works via a pressure piston which is fixed behind the cabinet doors, some systems incorporate magnets. 

 
Basic Materials Guide

Low

Moderate

Discrete

Good

Excellent

Glass

Glass, tempered/toughened either chemically or thermally to increase strength and durability. Available in either a polished or satin finish, it is a thinner alternative to typical countertops, as well as being recyclable. 

Price

Medium

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Glossy Lacquered

A high quality MDF board, finished with a polyurethane paint finish. This is a popular choice with some affordable options, available in a variety of colours.

Price

Medium

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Laminate

Laminate is the economic alternative to the others listed. The options are everygrowing in terms of finish and effect, providing a hygienic and waterproof countertop. 

Price

High

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Layered

Generally made up of pressure/heat bonded layers of cellulose fibre and thermo-treated resins, creating a high pressure laminate (HPL). Being a laminate substitute means that multiple finishes are available. 

Price

Medium

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Matt Lacquered

A high quality MDF board, finished with a polyurethane paint finish. This is a popular choice with some affordable options, available in a variety of colours.

Price

Low

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Melamine

This is very common in kitchens. Melamine is a wood particle board (MDF) which is coated with a choice of patterns, colours and finishes. 

Price

Low

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Metal-Effect Lacquered

A high quality MDF board, finished with a polyurethane paint finish. This is a popular choice with some affordable options, available in a variety of colours.

Price

Medium

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Polymer

A single sheet MDF alternative. Generally bringing a polished or satin effect finish in a choice of colours. 

Price

Low

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Stainless Steel

Inspired by commercial kitchens, Stainless Steel countertops are designed for kitchens where hygiene is paramount. Due to being an allow, it is resistant to staining and rusting, though more prone to scratching. 

Price

High

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Heat Resistance

Super-Matt Lacquered

A high quality MDF board, finished with a polyurethane paint finish. This is a popular choice with some affordable options, available in a variety of colours in a super-matt effect.

Price

Medium

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

Wood

Wood fibre panels which are later finished in a wood veneer and thermo-treated. These can be painted in accordance to your design and preferences. 

Price

High

Scratch Resistance

Stain Resistance

Cleaning / Maintenance

, Bespoke Kitchen Design Fitting Installation Ivybridge Plymouth Devon

Unit 24, Westover Industrial Estate, Ivybridge, PL21 9ES

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