|Wood usually refers to the type of wood used to construct the door,
drawer face and frame face, not the cabinets.
Doors are built using many different types of wood, however
the most common are: Oak, Maple and Cherry. The type of wood used accounts for
about 10% of the price, meaning cabinets made with an expensive wood (like Cherry) will run
about 10% more than cabinets made with an inexpensive wood (like Oak). The major difference
between the types of wood is how smooth vs grainy they look. Below is a summary of the different
types of woods and a description:|
Thermofoil refers to doors that have been sealed in a plastic like material. The door's core
is usually MDF (medium density fiberboard, an engineered type of wood) and the thermofoil is
molded over the front and
sides and a sheet of melamine is applied to the back. Once
done the wood is sealed, very stiff and easy to clean.
However, themofoil will melt if exposed to a source of heat and will scratch if it comes in contact
with a sharp object and scratches
are not easy to repair (just like plastic). The main
advantages of thermofoil doors are they are unlikely to crack, easy to clean and can come
in very bright colors (like bright white with a high gloss).
In fact, the only way to get a truly white cabinet
is to go with thermofoil. Thermofoil cabinets are priced similar to wood
cabinets. In fact, only the door is different, the rest of the cabinet is the same. A
subset of thermofoil cabinets is laminate and melamine. Laminate cabinets have doors that
simply have a sheet of plastic laminate attached to them. It is the same laminate as that
used for countertops which makes it durable and easy to clean.
The main advantage, of course, is that you can pick
any of the thousands of colors and patterns available from formica, wilsonart or pionite.
Melamine is similar to laminate except it is thinner and cheaper. Melamine cabinets tend
to be the lowest priced cabinets available (the price for a 3030 particle board wall cabinet
in white melamine would be $120)
- Oak has a very strong and distinct woodgrain pattern. It also tends to have random
knots and wormholes.
- Maple has a smooth, even appearance, with a subtle woodgrain pattern. It may have
small black dots.
- Cherry has a smooth woodgrain pattern with random markings and red undertones.
Cherry will change color as it ages.