Understanding Cabinet Door Styles

Most cabinet doors can be divided into three main categories: flat panel doors, raised panel doors, and slab doors.  Within these categories, the possibilities are endless.  We’ve shared some of our best-selling options below.  Browse through the images and see what style suits your design aesthetic and cleaning preferences.

The Flat Panel Cabinet Door

One of the most popular styles in recent years, the flat panel door has a flat center panel surrounded by a raised frame.  It’s a clean look that can be applied to both traditional and modern designs.  Even better, the lack of ornamentation means these doors are typically easy to wipe down.  The ever popular Shaker style door is a flat panel door.

Flat panel doors are built from a center panel that can be made from solid wood, MDF, plywood, or other materials.  The flat center panel is surrounded by a frame, which is usually constructed from rails (horizontal pieces) and stiles (vertical pieces). The frame can be plain or have a beveled edge for added visual interest.

Why you might prefer a flat panel cabinet door for your kitchen design:

  • a clean look that fits with most home designs
  • a versatile style that works in most kitchen designs
  • an easy to maintain surface for dusting and cleanup
  • a variety of style options for the outer frame

The Raised Panel Cabinet Door

A raised panel door has an elevated center panel surrounded by a raised frame.  These doors can provide a formal look and are often used in traditional or antique style kitchen or bathroom designs.  The raised panels may require more attention when dusting or cleaning up spills.

Raised panel doors are built with a central panel that is usually made from solid wood or plywood. This panel is then surrounded by a frame, which consists of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. The frame is constructed in such a way that it supports and encases the raised central panel.

Why you might prefer a raised panel cabinet door for your kitchen design:

  • a style that offers a wide range of center panel options
  • an option that offers greater visual interest and texture
  • a design that offers a touch of traditional elegance
  • a choice for traditional, vintage, or antique kitchen designs

The Slab Cabinet Door

A slab door is just what it sounds like: a flat slab without a flat panel or a raised panel.  These minimalist doors are a key feature of contemporary kitchens.  They may be used alone or in combination with flat panel doors.  Slab doors are the easiest to maintain, as there is little to no dusting required.

Slab cabinet doors have a relatively straightforward construction. It consists of a single, flat piece of material (such as plywood, MDF, or solid wood) that forms the entire door. There are no raised or recessed sections, and the door typically lacks any additional ornamentation. The edges of the slab door may be left square or beveled for a slightly more finished look.

Why you might prefer a slab cabinet door for your kitchen design:

  • a simple, contemporary look that fits with modern designs
  • a versatile door that works in kitchens, offices, and laundries
  • a cost-effective option due to its straightforward construction
  • an easy maintenance choice for dusting and general cleanup

Which cabinet door style do you like best?  Within each of these main categories, there are a wide range of options.  You can view some examples of different styles of flat panel and raised panel doors by viewing the Our Cabinets page on our website.  If you’ve seen a cabinet door style somewhere online that you love, save the photo and show your designer during your design consultation.  You might find it helpful to view our projects and ideabooks on Houzz, too.  Save your favourite photos for reference during your design consultation.

Request a free design consultation for expert help from start to finish