Difference Between Thermofoil Cabinets And Melamine Cabinets

8 mins read
thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to remodeling or constructing a new home, there are many significant decisions to make, incorporating selecting the appropriate cabinet material, paint, finish, and style. We are here to make that decision-making procedure hassle-free for you! When you are keen to budget for your dream kitchen, melamine, and thermofoil kitchen cabinets are the most preferred options for most interior designers around the globe. They can assist you acquire your expected aesthetic without breaking the bank. Before delving into the main topic, the difference between thermofoil and melamine kitchen cabinets, you must comprehend what actually thermofoil and melamine kitchen cupboards are.

Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets

Thermofoil kitchen cabinets feature a PVC vinyl material that is heated and vacuum-pressed onto MDF doors, effectively combining the two segments. This methodology forms a seamless surface, mostly in a single color but occasionally imitating a wood grain pattern. Nevertheless, due to how thermofoil is made, the backs of the cabinet doorways are left incomplete. This indicates that only five flanks of your cupboard door (the facade and four boundaries) will possess thermofoil. Many manufacturers prefer to complete the rear with a plain white melamine layer.

Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

Melamine Kitchen Cabinets
Melamine Kitchen Cabinets

Textured melamine boards are created from a robust particleboard base overlaid with ornamental paper imbued with resin, which is then perpetually connected to both sides under high warmth and strain. These boards are created to acquire the impression and consistency of real paint, wood grain, and even metal cupboards.

Distinction Between Melamine and Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets

Let’s discuss the discrepancies between melamine and thermofoil cabinetry and why they are more prevalent than real wood cabinets these days. Here are some major differences.


The thermofoil and melamine cabinets are both recognized for their command to imitate the appeal of other materials. Thermofoil acts as a supersede for painted cupboards, whereas textured melamine presents the most factual replica of genuine wood cabinets available.

Thermofoil presents a broad spectrum of solid shades and simulated wood grain finishes in textured, matte, high-gloss, and even metallic styles. Its most typical use is on slab door cabinets in solid colors, with white being extremely prevalent due to its proficiency to imitate a painted appeal at a more reasonable cost. Unlike raw wood or painted MDF cupboards, thermofoil is restricted to 1-piece doors, despite having miscellaneous intricate profiles available. Thermofoil doors contain rounded borders because the application procedure needs a radius, so the edges and corners of thermofoil doors are not sharp like painted, stained, or melamine cupboards.

Melamine cabinets are mainly utilized to emulate diverse wood grains, but they are also accessible in solid colors and can match surface consistencies and embellishments. Most manufacturers present a comprehensive coverage of melamine choices to select from. Solid color melamine primarily comes in blacks, grays, beiges, and whites, with a few manufacturers providing a few bright options like deep blue or green. Nonetheless, for a painted look, thermofoil is a more acceptable option.


Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to durability, thermofoil cabinets resist day-to-day use and general wear more promising than painted cupboards. The plastic layer on the thermofoil makes the finish highly invulnerable to ordinary household deterioration like water spills or delicate blemishes from regular use. Unlike painted finishes, thermofoil cabinets are less inclined to chip, suggesting a more resilient choice.

The main issue with thermofoil cabinets is their exposure to heat impairment. Elevated temperatures can drive the thermofoil to detach from the cabinet texture, practically coming unstuck.  Moreover, the thermofoil cabinets reveal steam from apparatuses like dishwashers, ovens, toasters, kettles, or coffee makers which can partake in melting, skinning, or blistering. This is a typical upkeep problem among customers regarding thermofoil cabinets, and it is paramount to be mindful of this matter before buying them.

Melamine is recognized as one of the most enduring cabinet materials obtainable today. It is well-known for its outstanding resistance to moisture, warmth, and pigments. The blend of resin-filled paper to the particle board substrate assures that melamine does not peel or delaminate like other combined products such as thermofoil. Melamine comes in two forms, textured melamine and European textured melamine. Although they are similar to each other to a great extent, ETM is more viscous and carries up better to everyday spots and wear. 

The problems can still arise, despite the regular textured melamine being a stable product. For illustration, the corners can be moderately inclined to chipping, trouble less likely to ensue with high-quality ETM products.


One of the fundamental benefits of thermofoil over painted cabinetry is its affordability. Thermofoil offers diverse cabinet options, ensuring it suits almost every budget. Moreover, its standard products are notably more pocket-friendly than painted MDF. This is why, it is considered an outstanding choice for individuals on an allotment. Whether you like high gloss, matte, or textured finishes, thermofoil delivers these alternatives at a similar price range.

Textured melamine is popular for its affordability, making it a widespread and cost-effective choice for kitchen cabinets and white melamine cabinet doors. However, the rate of European textured melamine is much higher as compared to standard melamine. As a premium, high-end product, ETM is accessible with an abrupt price tag. Therefore, the rate of ETM can usually be comparable to that of painted MDF or shaded genuine woods.






Utilized for

Moisture ResistanceModerate


Heat Resistance

Price & Resale ValueBased on cabinet core material

Based on cabinet core material

Final Thought!

To sum up, both thermofoil and textured melamine cabinets offer exceptional advantages and cater to diverse style preferences. Ultimately, the finding between these two cabinet materials greatly relies on your style choices and budget. The textured melamine, especially ETM, is an incredible choice for individuals striving for stunning raw wood appeal on a high budget. Conversely, if you prefer a painted look, thermofoil offers an exhaustive spectrum of solid colors corresponding to textured melamine.

Adele Smith

I'm Adele Smith. I'm enthusiastic Writer at HomeFacet.com

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