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White laminate cabinets or white painted cabinets?

November 1, 2017

I'm unable to decide on a cabinet material for a kitchen remodel. Painted are beautiful but might not last in my forever home. HP laminate is what I've had for 25 years and it's a dated look in white with the brown line. After 25 years I have no damage or wear of any kind on my laminate. If I'm going with a painted cabinet how well can I expect them to hold up if I will be living with them for many years? Does it make sense to remodel a kitchen with white HP laminate, brown line and all?

Comments (8)

  • PRO
    W.E. Davies + Sons Remodeling Inc.

    Real wood is always better than laminate. Choose high quality cabinets and high quality paint with a semi gloss finish (easier to wipe clean).

  • PRO

    If you want a painted finish, it is typically applied over HDF, high density fiberboard, not solid wood because wood expands and contracts and cracks at joints can appear.

    You can select a thermofoil finish cabinet instead. There are pros and cons in every finish selected. Nothing is perfect.

  • orec3
    I vote for wood. I inherited white laminate, and am just beginning a kitchen Reno. I will be replacing with painted maple. Laminate cabinets feel and sound different than real wood. I would rather have the flaws that occurred over time with wood, than the plastic look of the laminate. Also, wood can be painted more easily than laminate if you want a new look some day.
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    IMO MDF is the referred material for painting . There are quite a few finishes available talk to a good cabinet store

  • andrew121

    Thank you all so much. I looked at a white painted wood door today with a MDF center panel by Woodmode and your comments have helped so much. The door is beautiful and I can't wait to order them. It's exciting to have a new kitchen after 25 years which is long over due. It's hard to enjoy the process when I worry about the details and not wanting to make a mistake or regret a decision.

    Thanks again for all the good advice.

  • Inspo Inspo

    For anyone who may find this old thread, the newer laminate cabinets from upper-tier brands are sealed around the edges and won't have a brown line the OP referred to.

  • Phaedra Dowell
    inspo, which brands have the best laminet cabinets? im looking for that modern slab look wifh some wood like texture
  • Inspo Inspo

    It depends on where you are located, @Phaedra Dowell, as to where you'll find dealers. UltraCraft has a good line that's not overly expensive, though I'd recommend working through a reputable dealer as there have been reports of damage and quality control issues that you may not be able to fight on your own without help. I would stay away from Bellmont due to poorer quality reports. If you can afford it, the Plato Woodwork frameless line Inovae has some great laminate options that look like wood with texture. Brookhaven is another excellent line, the frameless collection of Wood-Mode. On the high end, you could try Bentwood's Harmoni line. They use Italian wood-look laminates.

    There are many others, so I'd start maybe by finding kitchen design stores in your area and seeing what lines they carry and starting out with some quotes. After you visit a few showrooms, you'll be able to see quality from place to place by the tight tolerances on the cabinet measurements and the thicknesses of the wood boxes. Ask about the laminate application process and whether the edge banding is sealed.

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