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Thermofoil Cabinets 101September 3rd, 2019 by
Building or remodeling your home are both wonderful opportunities to showcase your personal style, and your kitchen is a great place to start the remodeling process. As a gathering place, modern kitchens are packed with visible surfaces that offer an excellent return on investment while allowing you to choose exactly the atmosphere you want to present to guests and family alike.
Pay close attention to cabinet choices when you are choosing finishes, including countertops, flooring, faucets, and fixtures. Cabinets cover such a large area of wall space, and they are the first surfaces that catch visitors’ eyes as they walk into the room. Cabinets are both functional and stylish, and they can tie all of your design choices together.
Make sure to also stay true to the overall style of your home when designing your kitchen so that the room doesn’t stick out, but rather sits as a centerpiece of your house. Today, cabinets come in a multitude of materials, finishes, colors, and even shapes to choose from. Fun, classic, or utilitarian designs are available, and it’s your choice. It’s your home.
Thermofoil cabinets are a superb option, and they can be used in any room of your home. Because thermofoil is a cost-effective cabinet material, your kitchen can be revamped more easily by simply choosing a new color, finish, or style of door to be swapped out with the old. That said, there can also be drawbacks to the material.
Keep reading to learn all about the pros and cons of thermofoil, when it’s a great choice, and when other options might be a better option.
What are Thermofoil Cabinets, Anyway?
Technically, thermofoil consists of a center section of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and a solid vinyl exterior that is glued and heat-sealed onto the MDF. Thermofoil comes in many colors, styles, and finishes. The material can even be made to look just like solid wood, but without the fading and warping that is possible with true wood.
Traditionally, thermofoil was mainly found in modern-style homes. Today, however, vinyl products have advanced to include textured, shaped, and molded options that come in flat, gloss, or matte finishes.
The solid vinyl covering of a thermofoil cabinet will repel water because it is a plastic. Thermofoil is a popular surface for kitchens, workrooms, and bathrooms because vinyl is much easier than wood to keep clean and stain-free.
Thermofoil pros and cons
Before deciding on thermofoil, remember that cabinets are an expensive upgrade, and it’s important that you put a lot of thought and attention towards the purchase. While thermofoil is a great option in many cases, take into account the following pros and cons:
- Thermofoil resists the warping and fading that can affect some solid-wood cabinets.
- It is easy to clean and water resistant.
- Compared to other cabinet materials, thermofoil is cost effective.
- Thermofoil can peel if exposed to high temperatures, such as the heat from a stove or oven.
- If the cabinets are scratched or damaged, moisture can damage the interior MDF.
- MDF is heavier than solid or composite wood products, so it can be harder to install.
- You can’t paint thermofoil easily, and it can yellow over time.
Updating thermofoil cabinets
One of the drawbacks of thermofoil is that it can’t easily be painted. The plastic surface repels liquids, and to paint the cabinets they must first be sanded to a rough surface so that the paint will adhere. Even so, paint can easily peel away from the cabinet surface because of its smooth, moisture-resistant material.
If you want to update your existing thermofoil cabinets without the hassle of painting them, consider the following two options:
- Replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Thermofoil is a relatively low-cost material so if your doors and drawer fronts have seen better days, replace them.
- Replace the existing knobs and drawer pulls. If the cabinet surface is in good condition, purchase new knobs and pulls to update the look of your kitchen.
The Bottom Line
Depending on your needs, aesthetic preferences, and the style of your home, thermofoil cabinets can be a fantastic option for a kitchen or bathroom remodeling job. Be sure to work with a reputable, experienced kitchen and bathroom remodeling firm for access to the best in planning guidance, materials, and quality of work.
Ask your contractor if they offer 3D designs to help you visualize your new space. It’s a fun process and can be an invaluable resource as you’re choosing between materials. Kitchens and bathroom updates are important to potential buyers, and thermofoil cabinets make upgrades to these rooms far more affordable if your budget is tight.
Remodeling—as long as you work with an experienced professional—is a great opportunity to enhance or change your home’s aesthetic and can be a rewarding experience both in terms of return on investment and gathered knowledge.