DOOR MATERIALS | Kitchen, Bathroom & Custom Cabinets



Cut from a very stable material (shapes well and doesn’t warp easily), MDF (medium density fibreboard), and routered into various patterns.  A contact cement (glue) is sprayed on the door and vinyl is vacuum pressed onto the surface wrapping on all sides.  There is a melamine backer on the MDF that is standard white but can be done in many colours.  Black and Ivory are options that have no upcharge.  Matches are available for many vinyl colours and require an upcharge.

Another option is the 5-piece thermofoil door (Portabella Series).  The rails and styles (frame around door) are made from 8’ lengths and wrapped on all sides.  These are cut to size to make the frames; any exposed edges are edge taped.  A centre panel that has vinyl on front and back are cut to size and all 5 pieces are glued together.  This gives a more authentic and classic door look and becomes a complete vinyl door.  Caution: these doors only come in specific colours and should be researched and memorized.



  • Easy to clean (smooth washable surface)

  • Durable (resistant to wear over time- not from impact)

  • Easily replaceable (because it is printed, the colour will never change or fade)

  • Less likely to warp


  • Steam and extreme heat will melt vinyl coating causing delamination.  Advise customers that the biggest culprits are kettles, coffee makers and toasters and that they need to consciously bring those appliance to the front of the countertop and not directly under the cabinets (which is normally done anyway).  Stoves and dishwashers are commonly assumed to be big culprits but are rarely thus.  Precautions can be made to avoid incidences by both designer and customer (such as pulling range out 6” during self-cleaning and heat shields).



Encompasses any door made from real wood of any species.  Species include (in order  or popularity) maple, oak, alder, cherry, pine, hickory, walnut.  Each species can have different grades as well (ie. knotty or premium alder).  They are made from strips of wood that are laminated together.  This gives a slight “striped” look that helps with stability.  It must be kept in mind that wood is natural, with patterns and colours that varies.  Stains are added to give the wood different shades.


Typically, wood doors come in 5 piece construction.  The frame is made of solid wood.  On a raised centre, the panel is also solid wood.  On a flat centre, the panel can be a veneered (thin sheets of real wood) plywood or solid.  A solid centre is priced the same as a raised centre. 

Finally, wood can come in slab form. Because wood expands and contracts in different temperatures and humidity, a solid wood slab door of any significant size (drawer fronts are typically ok) has a high chance of warping.  Because of this, slab doors are typically made from veneered particleboard (or plywood). 


  • Natural and timeless

  • Wood throughout.  If damaged, wood is still visible beneath


  • Difficult to replace damaged pieces because colour will change over time.

  • Lacquered finish will wear leaving raw wood if not maintained.

  • Often susceptible to haloing; a ring of unstained wood on the centre panel as a result of shrinking

  • Warps more easily than other options



Is cut from large slabs of particle core that has a printed paper finish on both flat sides.  Once cut to size, the slabs are edge taped around the border with thin PVC (vinyl) strips and glue.  The thickness of the edging varies but is normally less than 1mm.



  • Comes in the largest variety of colour

  • Inexpensive


  • Least durable

  • Glued edges often don’t hold well over a long period of time

COUNTERTOPS | Kitchen, Bathroom & Custom Countertops



Priced by linear foot (length of tops; depth is included). Tops are typically 1 ½” thick.

It’s made from particleboard and an overlay glued on top. The overlay is made up of many paper and other protective layers. The overlay (laminate) is formed over a front edge and sometimes a backsplash that runs approximately 3” high (if backsplash is chosen). 

Tops come in 8, 10 and 12 foot lengths, are cut to size and ends laminated if visible (which are normally flat, not formed). Mitres (angled cuts) are normal when going around corners.  Edges don’t always get formed and can be added (beveled, etc.) if chosen (at a higher cost). Bar tops (tops that hang on the front and back of cabinetry or other surface) are formed the same at front and back. 



  • Least expensive option

  • Many colours and patterns available


  • Least durable

  • Undermounting sinks is difficult

  • Finished ends are typically flat with a seam and don’t match front edge

Solid Surface       

Priced by square foot (length x depth) and are typically 1 ½” thick.  It comes in a few forms, granite, quartz and corian. They are cut from slabs and polished on all visible surfaces. Edges can come in a variety of styles. Seams are glued together with a special glue.

Granite - is a natural stone (comes right out of rock). It has variation in grain, pattern, and color (even among its own type). It is porous and does require some maintenance (oiling). It should be oiled once a year after the first 5 years or so.


Quartz - is a combination of crushed granite and other composites, and epoxy glues to make a surface just as hearty as granite. It doesn’t require any maintenance because the glues make it non-porous. Gets expensive when small amounts are ordered.


Corian - is a hard plastic surface that is very moldable and comes in many colours and patterns. Best used for outdoors, desks or commercial use. Not as durable as granite and quartz.



  • Lasts a lifetime

  • Often seamless look

  • Undermounting sinks is easy

  • Very durable and often repairable


  • Expensive

Cultured Stone    

A blend of stone particles and resins that is combined with pigments to produce a wide range of colors and realistic, natural looking patterns. The mixture is poured into moulds to produce tops that can have sinks and backsplashes moulded into them as well. They come in marble and granite looks; the marble being less expensive.


  • Perfect for bathrooms

  • Seamless ability for sinks


  • Delicate (not for kitchens); spider cracking can occur if drain is too tight or water temperature is drastically changed