The look of kitchen cabinets is so fully centered around the cabinet doors. While the boxes are larger than the doors, it’s the doors that present themselves front-and-center.
In fact, with many kitchen cabinet manufacturers, the boxes are interchangeable. Homeowners choose the doors and drawer fronts, not the boxes.
Slab cabinet doors immediately identify a set of cabinets as being modern, contemporary, or mid-century in style.
What Slab Cabinet Doors Are
Slab cabinet doors are flat panel doors that have no ornamentation or beveling.
Most cabinet doors still use a form of contoured design, in which frames and panels are constructed so that the cabinet faces are dimensional rather than flat. This raised panel design, such as is found in Shaker-style cabinets, gives a very traditional look.
Flat-panel doors, otherwise known as slab cabinet doors, lend a modern look to any kitchen or bathroom. The front of the door is completely flat, with no bevels. The edges are 90-degree corners.
Slab Door Construction
As is true of raised panel cabinet doors, slab doors can be constructed in many ways, and the construction methods largely dictate the cost of the cabinets. One constant, though, is the fact that slab doors have no frames—they are solid slabs.
This is the most expensive, but also the most durable and solid construction. These doors are formed from solid hardwood boards glued up edgewise. These are found in only the most custom installations.
Class A, Furniture-Grade Plywood
These are finish-grade plywood panels in which the face layer is a high-quality hardwood applied over cheaper ply of pine or other softer woods. The edges of the slabs are covered with hardwood veneer tape.
Medium-density fiberboard is a standard material used for doors that will be painted, or as the core layer for doors covered with plastic laminate or thermofoil. These doors can also be coated in a melamine exterior.
Slab Cabinet Pros and Cons
- Slab cabinets not only look clean but they do stay clean better, as well. With the lack of ornamentation, slab cabinets can easily be wiped down.
- Slab cabinets have a timeless aesthetic that resists most trends.
- A common worry with slab doors is the danger of warping. While this can be a problem with some construction methods, it is generally not much of a problem under normal conditions.
- Plywood-core doors are dimensionally stable, and even raw MDF will resist warping as long as the laminate or thermofoil covering remains intact. Solid hardwood, too, if properly sealed with stain or paint, should not warp.
Source: The Spruce