Types of Cabinet Doors: Cabinet Terminology, Part Four

November 9, 2016

Do you know the difference between slab, flat panel, and raised panel cabinet doors?

Custom Dura Supreme cabinets come in slab, flat panel and raised panel types of cabinet doors

The types of cabinet doors you choose has a big influence on the final look of your cabinets. Read about the differences between the most common styles and how to adding accent doors can make your new cabinets one-of-a-kind!

Okay, so we’ve discussed some basic cabinet terminology, the difference between framed and frameless cabinets, and how stock, custom and semi-custom cabinets can meet different needs. The next topic we’d like to tackle is one of our favorites: cabinet door styles!

The majority of kitchen and bathroom cabinets you see have door and drawer fronts in one of the three basic designs: slab, flat panel, and raised panel. Additionally, there are a wide range of accent doors that can add visual interest to your cabinet layout. Knowing the differences can make deciding on the right style for your home a whole lot easier.

Types of Cabinet Doors

Slab Doors

Slab doors are exactly what they sound like: uninterrupted flat planes of wood or other material that forgo any decorative framing or structural design elements. What they lack in detail they more than make up for in style, allowing designers to create a solid area of color or to showcase exotic materials.

These minimalist cabinet doors are just as effective at creating a sleek, modern look as they are at showing off stunning hand-crafted finishes or busy patterns. Because there are no dimensional elements to a slab door, the finish or color becomes the undisputed star of the show.

Flat Panel Doors

Flat panel doors, as the name implies, are built with a flat center panel that is surrounded by a four-sided frame. It is this frame that adds depth to the cabinet doors, rather than a raised or contoured center panel.

Flat panel doors add a subtle dimensional effect that works equally well with stained wood, painted finishes, glazes, distressing or textures. The hugely adaptable Shaker door is a common style of flat panel door with minimal detailing.

Raised Panel Doors

Raised panel cabinet doors contain a center panel that is shaped along the perimeter to provide a contoured edge that is then fit into the surrounding frame. Raised panel doors come in a variety of designs, from simple angled edges to ornate designs with complex profiles or hand-carved detailing.

These doors are typically found on traditional or transitional cabinets, and often look best with stained or painted finishes. The steps, faces and other details in the panel edge show off glazing or accented finishes to great effect.

Accent Doors

Beyond these three standard styles of cabinet doors, we often incorporate one or more accent doors into our kitchen, display, or bathroom cabinets. This allows us to introduce a different material or design element to add visual interest. Generally, these are best used in moderate numbers and are often used in upper cabinets where they are more easily seen.

A common example of using accent doors is creating a display cabinet with doors featuring a center panel of glass. These glass panels may be clear, colored, frosted, seeded or accented with decorative mullions.

Other variations of accent doors include wooden louvers or panels of natural materials such as rattan, which add texture and contrast. Almost any material can be incorporated into an accent door, from copper or stainless steel to hand-made stained glass panels.

See Slab, Flat Panel and Raised Panel Cabinet Doors in Our Showroom!

If you’re still not sure which type of cabinet door is right for your home, come talk to us! Our designers can point out the different styles and how they affect the overall look. We love to talk cabinets, and we’ve always got a pot of coffee ready. See you soon!

Read the other articles in this series: