Wood Doors

Wood Cabinet Doors: Construction and Options

Meet wood cabinet doors: the most versatile cabinet door option. There are many wood species and profiles to choose from.

There are two types of wood doors: cope and stick doors and mitered doors. Before you learn about those, there is some basic information to know first.

How wood doors are constructed

Wood cabinet doors have five pieces, which is why they are also called ‘five-piece doors.’

There are two stiles, the left and right pieces of the frame. The stiles always have vertical grain. 

There are two rails, the top and bottom pieces of the frame. The rails always have horizontal grain.

The fifth piece is the center panel. 

If the center panel is solid wood, the door is a raised panel door.

The door is a plywood panel door if the center panel is plywood.

Infographic showing unassembled and assembled wood cabinet doors.

Wood doors vs wood drawer fronts

You can choose either a vertical grain or a horizontal grain center panel. Cabinet doors usually have vertical grain center panels, and drawer fronts often have horizontal grain center panels.

You can choose to have all your drawer fronts with vertical grain center panels. Or, you can have all your cabinet doors built with a horizontal grain center panel.

Changing the panel grain direction won’t affect the price.

However, you should avoid choosing horizontal grain panels for raised panel doors. Raised panel doors have solid wood panels, which are separate boards of wood glued together. Each glue line (or lamination) represents an area of the panel that will shrink and expand over time. The more laminations there are, the more unstable the door is – and horizontal grain solid wood panels can have a lot of laminations.

An infographic showing the difference between wood cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

Cope and stick wood doors vs mitered wood doors

Now, back to cope and stick doors and mitered doors. 

Both names refer to the construction method of the doors. Cope and stick doors have a vertical joint where the stiles meet the rails. Mitered doors have a 45-degree angled joint.

Mitered doors are usually more detailed. Cope and stick doors are simpler.

Mitered doors only have one stile and rail width per door because all stiles and rails have to be the same width. Cope and stick doors can have any combination of stile and rail widths.

Both door types can have plywood panels or solid wood panels.

An infographic showing the difference between cope and stick and mitered wood cabinet doors.

Cabinet doors - more options

There are more options! 

Frame doors, or doors with a glass opening, are a popular feature option in kitchens. You can order cope and stick frame doors or mitered frame doors.

In addition, you can choose to have a simple frame with the glass as the feature. Or, you can have a more detailed frame – a mullion frame.

There are two types of mullion frames. 

Standard mullion frames can have profiled mullion bars (the pieces that divide your frame into multiple openings) that are level with the top of the stiles and rails.

Mullion insert frames are more complex. Mullion inserts rest behind the inside profile of frames and are cut out of a solid wood slab. You cannot choose a profiled mullion insert because they are only 4mm thick.

Wood doors: classic and versatile

Wood doors are a very versatile product with many options. The wide range of choices makes it easy for your kitchen to stand out.

Now that you understand some of the basics of wood doors, you might have some other questions. 

Head over to the learning centre for more information!