1. MDF VS WOOD KITCHEN DOORS
f you are in the process of investing in new kitchen cabinetry, one of the first choices that you will be confronted with is whether to go with solid wood or medium density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is made from resin and recycled wood fibres which have been pressed into solid, dense boards.
Undoubtedly, wood cabinets can be beautiful as well as quite strong and durable. Some people love the look of a particular type of wood so much, that they would not even want to consider using a man-made material. But wood also has some drawbacks.
The main problem with solid wood is that it contracts and expands in reaction to changes of heat and humidity which can lead to cracking and buckling. Therefore, if you do choose solid wood, the conditions in your home should be well monitored. Wood cabinets are not recommended for areas of the home that are subject to high humidity.
Because they are subject to contracting, solid wood doors require a higher degree of care and maintenance.
MDF, on the other hand performs much better in a variety of different environments. For painted cabinet doors, MDF tends to be the more popular choice. When painted, MDF tends to look better than wood as paint over wood can look grainy and it’s hard to cover any knots with paint. Of course, some woods look better than others when painted (oak tends to look the worst), but painted MDF maintains a consistent colour throughout.
The construction of MDF cabinetry is less complicated as well. When constructing the frame and panel for solid wood, it is necessary to connect five individual components: four pieces of the frame and then a centre panel which must be slightly smaller than the frame allowing the frame to float to compensate for expansion and contraction. The technique is called cope and stick joinery.
MDF construction involves using computer operated machinery (CNC) to mill one piece frames with the centre cut out. MDF is dense enough that it does not move independently from the frame and therefore there is no need to have a floating design.
Like any material, the MDF will still expand and contract (though not the extent that solid wood does), but because the door and frame move as a unit, the movement does not cause cracking and peeling.
Another advantage of MDF is that it is available in significantly larger sizes. These larger sized boards can be milled into wainscot or bead board panelling. And because MDF is a man made, you don’t have to worry that quality material will not be available.
Finally a big consideration for many home owners is cost. MDF is often a less expensive option than solid wood.
Basically, if you want painted kitchen cabinets or something less expensive that requires little care, then we recommend MDF.
If however, you love the natural look of wood, then we are certainly happy to provide you with that as well. We do recommend though, that you take extra care to avoid it being exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity.
2. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PAINTED CABINETRY
Why has painted cabinetry become so popular? It’s because of its versatility. It can look modern or traditional, it can be transitional or contemporary. It can be calm and serene; it can be wild. Painted cabinetry presents a look that has been “current” for two decades and will still be in style for the foreseeable future. And its popularity continues to grow. In February 2018, Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, said: “Three years ago, 70 percent of cabinets were stained. Now 70 percent are painted.”
Every time a customer tells me they want a painted finish on their new cabinets, we have a conversation that focuses on the statement: “all wood moves.”
What does this mean? On painted wood doors, where the rail meets the stile on the frame, the paint will most surely show hairline cracks as the wood expands and contracts with seasonal changes.
These cracks will be more noticeable in mitered doors than in mortise and tenon doors.
The wider the rail, the more prone it will be to cracking.
You may also see these cracks on your cabinet frames, as well.
Not every joint will show hairline cracks, but some will.
Light colored paints tend to show cracks more than darker colors.
The same cracks appear in stained cabinetry, but they are not as noticeable because the wood grain camouflages the issue.
Depending on what material is used in the center panel, there can be some finish issues to be aware of.
3. Are hairline cracks between the stiles and rails of my new cabinet doors normal?
Hairline cracks are unavoidable in wood cabinets, top-of-the-line or not. They occur wherever there's a joint between pieces of wood with grain running in different directions: for example, the joints between stiles and rails on the doors or the face frames that surround openings. The pieces expand and contract at different rates with changes in humidity, since wood movement is much more pronounced across the grain than with it. A painted finish, no matter how good or how carefully applied, just can't keep up.
Every species and grade of solid wood behaves this way, although cracks are more noticeable on light-colored cabinets than on dark ones. Some cabinet suppliers warn clients about this in advance, and even require them to sign a waiver saying that some cracking in the finish is likely. Still, maple is about the best wood you could have chosen for painted cabinets because of its stability.
The cracks will probably be more noticeable in winter than in summer because heat dries everything out. Check with the cabinet manufacturer to see if they recommend a particular humidity level for your house, which you can keep relatively constant with a humidifier.
4. Learn how to care and clean wood cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom.
Kitchen cabinets get dirty, fast. You spatter grease on them when you cook. You spill everything from cake batter to olive oil on them. Your seven-year-old helps you make fruit smoothies and turns on the blender before you can put the top on it, slinging orange juice and smashed banana across the room. You can fight the grime, grease and grunge and make your cabinets look their best with this simple guide on how to clean wood cabinets.
You can use commercial cleaners, like Murphy’s Oil Soap, to clean cabinets. You can also make your own cleaners from ingredients in your kitchen that are eco-friendly, effective and affordable.
Vinegar is the go-to natural cleaner when faced with how to clean greasy cabinets. Mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water and put into a spray bottle. Mist on cabinets, let sit for a minute or two and then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Add a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to the vinegar and water solution to clean extremely grimy cabinets.
Whatever cleaner you choose, the basic steps of how to clean wood kitchen cabinets are the same:
- Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe the cleaner on the outside of the cabinet doors and drawers. You may need to use a little elbow grease to remove heavy grease and grime buildup.
- Wipe the cleaner on drawer pulls and door handles.
- Use a toothbrush dipped in the cleaner to scrub the hardware, the wood around the hardware and the crevices of ornate trim.
- Wipe the cleaner on the inside of the doors and drawers.
- Use a second cloth or sponge dipped in clean water to remove the cleaner from all surfaces.
- Dry all surfaces thoroughly a clean towel.
Here’s how to clean wooden kitchen cabinets with stubborn stains, like syrup or chocolate. Make a paste of vinegar and salt. Dip a toothbrush into the paste and lightly scrub the stained area. Don’t scrub too hard or use steel wool, as it will scratch the wood. Rinse the paste off with clean water and dry with a clean towel.
You can also put baking soda on a wet sponge and scrub the stain. Use a soft toothbrush or nylon-bristle scrub brush so you won’t scratch the cabinet surface.
Now that you know how to clean wood cabinets, be sure to protect them from future stains. Mix vegetable oil and vinegar in equal portions and apply it lightly on the cabinet surfaces. Rub it in with a clean, soft cloth. Buff till it shines.
1. Changes to orders:
BYOUHOME strives for the quickest turnaround time possible by processing your order almost immediately after it has been submitted. Once the order has been processed and batched, the order cannot be modified and canceled. New add on order will be consider as a new order.
2. Refund/Return Policy:
All returns and refunds are subject to a 20% restocking fee and will be as the followings:
BYOUHOME Cabinets do accept the return ONLY to un-open box from the date of purchase within 30 days and there is a re-stocking fee (20% of total cabinet price) applied.
BYOUHOME Cabinets does not accept returns once the cabinets are assembly, open box, or installed.
BYOUHOME Cabinets does not accept to return in 30 days on cabinets due to customer errors (i.e. you get exactly what was ordered). Returns are accepted at the fault of BYOUHOME Cabinets due to errors associated with the production of the product.
BYOUHOME Cabinets does not accept returns for the Special Sales, such as Clean Out sales, Cash sales, Final sales, etc.
Returns must be received within 30 days from date of purchase.