Choosing A Kitchen Door

Nadia Hursky on August 31, 2011

The kitchen door gives your kitchen its character and personality. From sleek, modern and understated, to classic or French provincial style, your kitchen door makes the biggest statement in your new kitchen. It sets the tone for the entire kitchen space. Below is a list of commonly used door materials/ profiles and their benefits.


MELAMINE DOORS – low pressure laminate

Melamine laminate is created by using resin to bond layers of paper to a substrate under low pressure.  Melamine laminates are tough, durable, scratch resistant and economical. They come in a huge range of colours and finishes. Suppliers of melamine laminate doors include Laminex, Formica, Duropal and Wilson Art. Finishes include: Natural Finish or Matt, Sheen, Satin and Textured. Door profiles are always flat due to the manufacturing process.

Benefits: Easy-to-clean and maintain, and are cost effective. Suit a simple, uncomplicated and modern kitchen.

melamine kitchen door



High Pressure laminate is fused together under heat and pressure. The resulting layers of resin bonded paper are thermoset. The doors are glossy and durable- and like low pressure laminates- are low in VOCs.

Benefits: Low VOCs, glossy door appearance and durable. Suit modern, European inspired kitchens.

high pressure laminate doors


Thermolaminated vinyl doors are made of resin and paper components bonded under very high pressure—similar to that of a vacuum seal. These doors can be fully profiled and come in a variety of colours and finishes such as Matt, Textured, Gloss, Ashgrain and Timberprint.

Benefits: This door style is appropriate where a traditional, country or French provincial style is required. Is competitively priced, and can have a textured appearance.

thermolaminated kitchen door



Polyurethane doors have a painted finish, and come in high gloss or satin finishes, and in any colour in the Dulux colour range. A versatile choice, these doors can be fully profiled or flat, and have the option to be handless (the only door profile with this ability). The door is painted, buffed and baked three times to get its ultra-smooth hand-finished appearance. Keep in mind that not all polyurethane manufacturers offer the same quality. You must be discerning when it comes to polyurethane, as you do not want the finish to peel, chip or discolour due to poor standards.

Benefits: This door style suits contemporary, streamlined and handless  kitchens. The ability to manufacture the doors to any colour preference and strength makes polyurethane a versatile choice for the design minded.

polyurethane kitchen door


Timber Veneer doors combine the warm aesthetics of timber with the durability of high moisture-resistant board. Thin layers of timber veneers are bonded onto both sides of the board, meaning less wood is required for your kitchen. The cabinets may be stained, lacquered or a clear coat added, as a protectant. This door style is beautiful when you want to get the warmth and texture of natural timber in your kitchen. The door profile is always flat.

Benefits: Natural, modern looking kitchen, has a classic, timeless and contemporary appeal.

modern kitchen using concrete floors, timber veneer and polyurethane cabinets



  1. Hans Bauer says:

    Hi – in terms of durability, I was wondering what style you recommend… I have a traditional style kitchen and so was wondering if a thermolaminated vinyl door would look good, but to be honest I am not only interested in how good it looks but how long it lasts too! Not too bothered about price right now, but I do want quality. Thank you

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Hans
      I would recommend a profiled door in polyurethane. The smoothness of the painted finish will look fabulous and in terms of quality it is very good. There is no risk of humidity or heat affecting the glue that is used in vinyl doors and the added benefit is that you can choose any shade or colour that you can think of!

      1. Hans Bauer says:

        Thanks Nadiah. Yes, in fact humidity was one of the problems I had in mind, as at home we do a hell of a lot of cooking (big family, plus wife loves cooking!). It´s good that there is a wide range of colours available, as we are still not sure what colour to go for… Thank you – will give you a call to find out more.

  2. Justine says:

    Hi Nadia
    Can you please let me know what color the timber veneer is in the photo.


    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Justine
      The door panels are in American Cherry 🙂

  3. Mary says:

    Hi Nadiah.

    Is thinking of re-doing my old kitchen and putting in white polyutherane doors, white essa stone bench top with spotted gum flooring. Does polyurethane scratch and dent easily?? Have got 4 boys. What other colours would go nicely with spotted gum flooring, as pictures I look at is mostly with all white kitchens.

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Mary

      White polyurethane always looks classy with spotted gum flooring, if you want a bit of variation in your bench top try Caesarstone Latte, it’s a nice combination too. Poly doors don’t dent, but depending on the quality, it can scratch if it’s not looked after properly.



      1. Mary says:

        Thanks Nadia,
        The Latte looks great too, my husband think we should go for black granite/engineered stone bench top with white doors with the spotted gum floors. Is engineered stone durable?? I think the black top will look too dark with the floors as their is not much light coming through our kitchen. So tossing up between having the black granite near stove area and a lighter top on the island bench…..not sure if this will look odd.

        1. nadiah says:

          Hi Mary, engineered stone is very durable….I guess the colour preference is going to come down to what you feel the most comfortable with…..Unless you are going for a radically different kitchen island I probably wouldn’t mix the two stones, but that is just me!

          1. Mary says:

            If we do go with the 2 stones it will be either black granite near stove area and a lighter granite on bench top. Will not mix the 2 stones….Granite and engineered stone. But I am with you, not sold on mixing the 2 colours anyway. I guess will have to convince hubby lol.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Nadiah. We are thinking of a glossy white polyurethane with beveled edge for lower kitchen cabinets, the Caesarstone Osprey bench, and smoky Sappelle for upper cabinets in laminex – connecting to the bench with a Cappacino glass splashback. The floors are porcelain timber tiles in darker colour. Is it a good idea to mix laminex with poly? Thanks.

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Mike

      It’s fine to mix the poly with the laminex, I wouldn’t do a bevelled edge on the poly cabinets though. How about Duropal “Olive Seville” for the upper cabinets? The duropal range is more textured than laminex and it looks like veneer. Osprey will work nicely with both materials.

      Hope that helps 🙂


      1. Mike says:

        Thanks. Do you think a white satin would work better then a gloss, given that it’s contrasting with a laminex matt?

        1. nadiah says:

          Hi Mike

          It depends what look you are after- gloss is more punchy and satin is more subtle, I think I would go for the satin 🙂

          1. Ian says:

            we have blackbutt floors and are thinking of having timber veneer on the cupboards around the side, with white poly above and on the island. Which way would you recommend the grain to go?

            We are also thinking of a shark nose profile on the cupboards but are worried about the look if there is too much grain….what would you suggest?”

          2. nadiah says:

            Hi Ian

            I think the white polyurethane would break the timber veneer up nicely, especially as it is on the island too. I would definitely go horizontal with the grain, it will make the space look more elongated, and the shark nose profile is a nice detail as you can avoid door handles. That’s my thoughts, it sounds like it is going to look great.

  5. Mike says:

    Thanks again for your suggestions. We did have a look at the Duropal option, but we chose Smokey Sappelle because our walls are Athena from Taubmans, which has that tint of purple/grey in it.

  6. Shelley says:

    Hi Nadiah,
    Replacing blackwood kitchen with sleek high pressured laminate in white but having so much trouble choosing colour of glass splashback, bench top in stone, large tiles or natural floor boards (existing) and wall paint? We like greys, white, black (but not for bench top) with some red accessories. Can you suggest how I can put this altogether please. As the kitchen is going to be extended, there will be a nice a mount of light filtering throughout. Wall paint is grey but thinking it should be painted Hogg Bristle or a like so that the white kitchen doesn’t apear short in height as not taking it to the ceiling?

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Shelley, it is a little hard to give colour advice without seeing your style and space. If you want to email me some photo’s at I would be able to have a better idea 🙂

  7. Anna-Nicole says:

    Hi Nadia
    You mention in your article “that not all polyurethane manufacturers offer the same quality”. How do they differ from one another, and what should I be wary of?

    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Anna
      Some polyurethane is manufactured overseas which means depending on the country of origin, the quality can vary immensely. EG the may only do one or two coats meaning it is more susceptible to chips and scratches (this can also be the case in Australia). Also if the paint quality isn’t great it can discolour in time especially if there are parts of the kitchen that are exposed to sunlight. It is best to ask the company how many coats are sprayed on and if its coming from a hygiene, dust free facility. You probably won’t gage the quality of paint without seeing a sample. It’s similar to a car surface, its like comparing an old porsche to an old suzuki- the surface is going to age differently in time. Hope that is of some help 🙂 Regards Nadia

  8. Linda says:

    Hi Nadiah,

    We are looking at a complete new kitchen and was wondering your thoughts on a spotted gum kitchen ?


    1. nadiah says:

      Hi Linda, are you looking for a solid timber kitchen in spotted gum, or a veneer? Be great to see a picture of your new space so I can see what you plan on doing before commenting. You can inbox us if you prefer at Cheers Nadia

  9. Rama Shah says:

    We have cream tiles, cream wall color. We are making a new kitchen. We are leaning towards Ceasar Stone Turbine grey bench top and polyurethane door with a low sheen color finish. We are confused by the color of the cabinet door. Any suggestion? We are stuck with the tile color and maybe can put a carpet to break the color of the wall and the tile but what color do we go for the cabinet door? We are flexible with the bench top too.