Why Cabinet Cures uses wood vs thermofoil Continued

Cons of Thermofoil

One of the limitations to thermofoil is that it can only be applied to engineered wood such as MDF and particle board. If it’s applied to solid wood, it has the tendency of peeling off rather quickly. Thermofoil also helps to protect MDF as it easily chips and swells with water if not covered. If this happens, the MDF is damaged permanently as it cannot be fixed. In the process of manufacturing MDF, it may contain formaldehyde, a toxic chemical, as it is a component in the glue. This can off-gas for months to years after, however, with current voluntary industrial actions and legislation, the glue may or may not contain formaldehyde.

Thermofoil Cabinets

Thermofoil, in general, can resist water and humidity well. However, once it’s cut, dented, or scratched, exposing bare MDF, the thermofoil cannot be fixed and can lead to peeling and irreparable damage to the MDF underneath. Once that occurs, the whole door will need to be replaced. Some of the places that tend to chip with regular are edges and corners, although the thermofoil is fairly resistant.

Unfortunately, thermofoil has a poor ability to resist heat around appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, and oven. To combat this, heat shields are placed between the appliance and the cabinetry to prevent peeling.

Another thing to note about thermofoil, when the colored or textured vinyl is applied to the particle board or MDF, it will only cover 5 of the 6 sides. The back and sixth side will have a neutral color as it will hardly be seen. Be aware when choosing white thermofoil, as it has the tendency of yellowing over time.

The process of applying thermofoil places a limit on the styles of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Simple styles as the flat, Euro-style, the Shaker, and doors with small arches work well for this. It’s also during this process that the cabinet doors and drawer fronts become heavier than those made of solid wood as the thermofoil layer is added. If you are attempting to attach the doors and drawers back onto the boxes yourself, it will be more difficult to install and align them properly. It’s highly recommended to allow a professional to install them for you, although it will be an added expense.

Next week we will cover Part 3 and discuss Why Boston Cabinet Cures uses real wood cabinets.

Continue to read Thermofoil vs Wood Part 3

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