Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Should You Consider Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets?

by Jeffrey Anderson
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Many homeowners add cabinets during a refacing project to modernize their kitchen's function, but even unfinished wood cabinets can get costly if you plan on adding more than a couple. Thermofoil kitchen cabinets might be the solution to adding cabinets while keeping your costs under control, but there are both pros and cons to using these economical kitchen cabinets.

Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets: The Pros and Cons

Thermofoil kitchen cabinets are constructed with medium density fiberboard (MDF board) and then covered with vinyl sheeting in various finishes. Manufacturers now offer numerous finish options such as cabinets with the look of stained wood and solid colors for a painted appearance. Thermofoil cabinets are easy to clean and their pricing is usually much less than wood cabinets. If you decide to use thermofoil doors for your refacing project, you may find a substantial savings over purchasing the same style doors in wood. A cathedral thermofoil door with a stained maple finish might run around $14 a square foot and the same door in real maple could be about $25 a square foot. Pricing can vary depending on where you purchase and the styles you choose. There are a few cons to consider before purchasing thermofoil kitchen cabinets though:

  • Moisture damage--if the vinyl surface is damaged, moisture can cause the MDF framing to expand and split
  • Heat--vinyl coating on the cabinets can be damaged if the cabinets are too close to a cook top or oven
  • Discoloration--over time thermofoil kitchen cabinets may fade

Thermofoil kitchen cabinets can be a good way to add a few cabinets during your refacing project and still maintain your budget as long as you're aware of their potential shortcomings.



About the Author
Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I., and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time. He spends his time writing, remodeling

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