Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors

 
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:28 AM   #1
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Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


Has anyone installed any Thermal foil cabinet doors/cabinets?. I had a local salesmen show me some samples seemed like high quality laminate? couldn't find much info on google. Very easy to clean and will beat any price
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


It was rather popular for a while, I installed a few kitchens with Merrilat White Bay, which is a thermofoil (or is it thermoform?) product. I like the look, the ease of cleaning, but there is very little chance to repair the cabinets if they get damaged.

I have seen where just an ordinary coffee maker created enough heat to melt, distort, and delaminate the finish quite severely, and I see no way to fix it. Of course it has to be the face frame, so replacing the door will not do.

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:35 AM   #3
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


The drawers on either side of the oven take a beating from the heat. You have to tell the HO to slide the drawers out if the ever use the clean cycle or cook with high heat. They will also bubble from moisture, and like was already said, above a coffee pot will do them in also.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


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Originally Posted by Pearce Services View Post
It was rather popular for a while, I installed a few kitchens with Merrilat White Bay, which is a thermofoil (or is it thermoform?) product. I like the look, the ease of cleaning, but there is very little chance to repair the cabinets if they get damaged.

I have seen where just an ordinary coffee maker created enough heat to melt, distort, and delaminate the finish quite severely, and I see no way to fix it. Of course it has to be the face frame, so replacing the door will not do.
I figure I will reply to your post because I am so intimatly familiar with Merillat White BayII that you used. Thermofoil doors usually go onto a box where the face frame is solid poplar with baked white enamal. The box carcus will be all white melamine. And these cabinets will be quite expensive. They are priced more then oak but less then cherry, perhaps a tad more then maple. The thermofoil doors are foil over MDF door blanks, usually with some detail cut into the face and edges.

One time in 3 decades have I seen thermofoil melt from any appliance. And that was about 6 months ago on a Quality Cabinet brand......which is another Masco product like Merillat and Kraftmaid. It was not melted but rather browned like it was burned. And since this browning was up on the crown too I suspect it had nothing to do with the stove or any appliance. There was somethng the homeowner was not telling me. I will never know because I did not get the job.

Just like melamine, a thermofoil door is not repairable if damaged. But it is pretty hard to damage which is why it is a great choice for tennant occupied homes. Since thermofoil cabinets cost a bit more then maple, few builders or remodelers will pay for it. HUD recommends it in public housing rehabs.

Speaking of repair. There is a kit we use to make repairs on thermofoil, wood or melamine. It consists of a few hundred color wax sticks. It's actually harder then wax but I dont know what it really is. The gun comes with a little heat gun to which you melt a drop of the proper color wax into the damage. It hardens so hard that you razer blade the excess off smooth then rub it with an abraisive type paper they supply. The REP from Mohawk always does a perfect job when demonstrating but I will be damned if any of us can perfect it.

Dont be afraid of thermofoil. It's a superior door but like any product, it has it's place.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


I guess it always depends what material the thermofoil is fused onto (MDF,Partical, other..)

Should i be concerned with the microwave over the stove with 2 uppers on either side for protentional damage?
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


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I guess it always depends what material the thermofoil is fused onto (MDF,Partical, other..)

Should i be concerned with the microwave over the stove with 2 uppers on either side for protentional damage?
Dont be worried. I am responsible for more then 6000 completed kitchens in 29 years. Of that I am guessing a couple hundred in thermofoil, all in white. Like I said, only one time in those 29 years have I seen a condition that appeared to be heat damaged. And I really suspect something else did that browning but the homeowner would not be straight with me.

Thermofoil over MDF will last a lifetime. A good brand with the KCMA sticker on the inside of the doors will offer a lifetime warranty. Your customer will sleep well knowing that.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:08 AM   #7
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


I'm going to disagree some with Jimmy. We carry several lines and in the low to mid ranges white thermafoil is usually toward the lower end of the price range, certainly less than a decent maple cabinet. (Of course, there are always real cheap maple cabinets from some manufacturers, made so you can say you have maple cabinets, even if they are cheap.)

The thermafoil is often applied over MDF, I suppose, like he says. I have seen doors scratched and you can't repair them as far as I know, but he described a method I've not seen. But you are just as well off replacing a door, if you can match it. I've also seen scorch marks.

However, sometimes the thermafoil will "delaminate." I have a vanity I use for a credenza in my store and the edge of one door is delaminating right on the edge of the door. Not easily noticable, but scrapes every time the door is opened.

Builders put in a ton of them around here because they are cheap. One place with a big reputation for "custom cabinets" has done a lot of builder business over the years and they are all over. Yes, they are "custom," but the cheapest "custom" product one can make, I guess. Good marketing on their part and the builders part, because people don't know the difference between good and medicore quality.

I don't have anything against them if you understand what you are getting. These are not "fine furniture" pieces unless you go to a high-end product. (And not even really then!) I do think they are about as ugly as you can get. Why spend perfectly good money that could be buying something nice and attractive?
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #8
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Re: Thermal Foil Cabinet Doors


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Originally Posted by KG007 View Post
I'm going to disagree some with Jimmy. We carry several lines and in the low to mid ranges white thermafoil is usually toward the lower end of the price range, certainly less than a decent maple cabinet. (Of course, there are always real cheap maple cabinets from some manufacturers, made so you can say you have maple cabinets, even if they are cheap.)

The thermafoil is often applied over MDF, I suppose, like he says. I have seen doors scratched and you can't repair them as far as I know, but he described a method I've not seen. But you are just as well off replacing a door, if you can match it. I've also seen scorch marks.

However, sometimes the thermafoil will "delaminate." I have a vanity I use for a credenza in my store and the edge of one door is delaminating right on the edge of the door. Not easily noticable, but scrapes every time the door is opened.

Builders put in a ton of them around here because they are cheap. One place with a big reputation for "custom cabinets" has done a lot of builder business over the years and they are all over. Yes, they are "custom," but the cheapest "custom" product one can make, I guess. Good marketing on their part and the builders part, because people don't know the difference between good and medicore quality.

I don't have anything against them if you understand what you are getting. These are not "fine furniture" pieces unless you go to a high-end product. (And not even really then!) I do think they are about as ugly as you can get. Why spend perfectly good money that could be buying something nice and attractive?
KG that statement about covers it all. I'm with ya there.

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