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Kitchen Door Guide

Doors are undoubtedly the most important feature in a kitchen when it comes to design… but there are so many to choose from! It can be very difficult to know the advantages of each door type and also how prices differ. For this reason we have produced a simple door guide which we hope makes it all clear.


We have given each door material a rating out of 5 for durability and price. A ‘1’ for durability means that the doors are not likely to last in a particularly hard-wearing environment. ‘1’ for price means that they are particularly economical.


Surface Material





2/51/5Flat doors only. Available in solid colours and wood grains. Chipboard core with PVC edge. Easy clean.

Vinyl Wrap

2/51/5Flat and panelled doors. Matt and gloss solid colours and wood grains available. MDF core with melamine rear face. Easy clean. Very popular and economically priced door material.


1/51/5Often confused with vinyl wrap but paper based instead. Old technology and not often used now. Avoidance is recommended.

Laminate (HPL)

5/52/5High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is essentially the same material that work top surfaces are made from. Only available in flat doors. Chipboard core with PVC edge. Very hard wearing and easy to clean.

Matt Lacquer

2/53/5Sprayed paint surface with higher quality finish than vinyl. MDF core.

Hi Gloss Lacquer

3/5Ranging from 2/5 to 5/5Apart from glass, highest quality and hardest wearing gloss surface. Not as expensive as it used to be thanks to massed produced Italian doors but unusual colours will cost a lot.

Structured Lacquer

4/53/5Sprayed paint, matt finish with a textured surface. Much harder wearing than any other paint finish. Only available from some continental manufacturers. Usually MDF core.

Hand Painted

3/54/5Often used on traditional style kitchens. Has many advantages over spray painted doors. Finish is “softer” than on sprayed doors so will not chip as easily. Damaged areas can easily be touched up. Best done on site after the kitchen has been fitted. Professional hand painting is usually quite expensive.


2/5Ranging from 2/5 to 4/5Hi Gloss finish that imitates glass but at a fraction of the cost. Comes in 2 forms – thin layer on chipboard base or solid, eg Parapan. Soft surface scratches easily but minor scratches can be polished out.


2/53/5Thin layer of real wood on chipboard core protected with gloss or matt lacquer. “Fine line” veneers are made from many different layers glued together and sliced vertically across the layers. The results are often unusual and very attractive.

Solid Timber

4/5Ranging from 2/5 to 4/5Large range of light and dark timbers available. Most flat panelled doors will have a solid timber frame and a veneered panel. Wood doors darken with age but can also be bleached by constant exposure to strong sunlight.


5/55/5The Ultimate gloss surface. Toughened glass, back painted, is either bonded to a chipboard or MDF base, or framed in aluminium.


5/55/5Stainless steel or aluminium covered chipboard.