June 1, 2021

Choosing a Kitchen Door Finish: Laminate vs Polyurethane

Expert Advice , , ,
Northmead Kitchen 0Header Sydney | Dan Kitchen Sydney

The value of a kitchen renovation is influenced by several factors. Manufacturing and logistics are the most critical factors, but durability, visual appeal, and upkeep must all be considered to ensure you make the best decisions for your family, budget, and lifestyle.

Since it’s tough to make such a big material decision – after all, kitchen surfaces set the personality and charm of the whole space – we’ve put together a quick guide to kitchen cabinet finishes.

While the kitchen door market may seem like an endless amount of options available, at Dan Kitchens, we narrow down our clients’ decisions to two fundamental kitchen door finishes, Laminate and Polyurethane. Making your kitchen renovation choices a lot easier, as both materials have excellent properties, come in various colours and patterns, and each caters to different needs and wants a client may have.

No matter if you prefer an elegant, ultra-modern or traditional kitchen style, Dan Kitchens can recommend the best luxury material to suit the tone of your space. So, let’s discover what the Laminate and Polyurethane materials are made out of and why you would choose one over the other.

Laminate Kitchen Doors

Cherrybrook Kitchen Renovations | Dan Kitchen

Laminate or Melamine Kitchen Doors typically refers to any two materials bonded together. These kitchen doors start as layers of paper; then, the layers are pressed together and bonded with resin at high temperatures.

The door’s core – called the substrate – is usually either Particleboard, Medium-Density Fibreboard (MDF) or a High-Density Fibreboard (HDF). At Dan Kitchens, we only ever use Moisture Resistant variant boards, ensuring a more durable surface in your new kitchen design, fabricated to function in humid areas and resist damage from cooking steam and the occasional spill or leak.

Both the front and back of the doors are then finished with a series of films, first a decorative photographic coating, which could be a plain colour, interesting texture or pattern. Next, a thin layer of hard-wearing protective, translucent laminate resin is pressed over the surface.

Finally, the now laminated doors can be cut to shape, and their raw edges are finished with a quality edge strip. Edge strips do not always successfully match the laminate as, most of the time, edge strips are made from a different material, such as ABS plastic.

Laminate doors are sharp-edged with only a small chamfer or fillet, while the edges of polyurethane doors can be softer to touch and more rounded. It’s relatively easy to tell a door has edge strips as there is often a visible seam between the edge strip and the panel.

Why Choose Laminate Kitchen Doors?

While laminates try to replicate the look and function of polyurethane, the results are underwhelming as the replicates don’t look as good. For this reason, Dan Kitchens does not offer any Laminated replicas, but we do offer Laminates that replicate natural surfaces as the results can be more durable and offer a more unique aesthetic.

Notably, some timber laminates look exceptionally good, are more consistent in grain and are more durable than real timber veneer. Fenix another Laminate is a solid colour Laminate with a soft to the touch surface in a luxurious matte finish. Both of these unique surface Laminates will add interest to any kitchen renovation Sydney.

Laminates are very durable thanks to their tough outer coating, which also keeps the doors resistant to gentle stains and heat. Although Laminate doors are only so durable up to a certain point, general wear and tear is common over years of use. In addition, over time, prolonged exposure to water along corner edges – where the laminate meets the edge strip – will cause water to seep in, damaging the door and its colour. Laser edging, where the corner of the edge strip is heated and welded seamlessly to the Laminate door face, is a new technology that alleviates the problem of water seepage.

Laminate is a highly diverse material perfect for a new kitchen design, available in a wide variety of colours, designs, textures and finishes, from plain white gloss doors to timbers like Feelwood from Egger. Laminates are usually cheaper than Polyurethane-coated doors, with a few exceptions like Fenix.

Clients who want a unique kitchen finish should look no further than a Laminate or Melamine kitchen. Since Laminates are available in such a huge variety, there are endless options from basic and cheaper finishes to some exquisite premium laminates – like Fenix and Feelwood – which cost just as much as Polyurethane because they are truly exceptional, and Polyurethane can’t achieve the look.

Although there are certain weaknesses, Laminate can last several years if properly cared for, all on a cost-effective kitchen renovations budget.

Polyurethane Kitchen Doors

Turramurra Mid res 011

Polyurethane refers to the type of coating applied to the kitchen doors. Similar to car paint, this finish has hard-wearing properties designed to last and is achievable in a wide gamut of colours suitable for any new kitchen design.

Dan Kitchens offers three quality Polyurethane surface finishes, a Gloss for ultra-modern finishes, a durable hand-painted finish and a Satin which has a timeless classic. Although any of these finishes can be fine-tuned if needed.

Dan Kitchens constructs Polyurethane doors by cutting a door to size from an MR-MDF substrate. Once cut to size, the substrate is sealed, undercoated in Polyester, and lacquered on all sides in multiple coats of Polyurethane. In between each coating, the door may be sanded by hand or machine multiple times in order to achieve a consistent, high-quality finish.

Why Choose Polyurethane Kitchen Doors?

Polyurethane Doors tend to be far more expensive than Laminate Doors due to the time required to make them and the durability of the final material. But Polyurethane is more appealing to designers as the finish achieves a more unique, bespoke finish and are more efficient in creating complex panels.

Polyurethane is designed to stand the test of time and is much more resistant against scratches, chips and water damage when compared to Laminate, making this finish perfect for busy families where accidents are prone to occur.

Thanks to Polyurethane’s durability, cleaning is a much easier task, as most substances will not penetrate the surface. All with just a damp cloth, you can remove fingerprints, smudges and stains, ensuring your new kitchen design looks just as good as the day it was installed.

With such incredible structural and aesthetic qualities, it’s clear why Polyurethane is a top-of-the-line product and an ideal choice for luxury kitchen renovations.

Really, the main distinction between the two kitchen finishes is variety. If you want your dream kitchen to be a one-of-a-kind design, a luxury Laminate will make your kitchen a true feature piece in your home. Although, if your dream kitchen is a crisp and high-end ultra-modern design, you will not regret a Polyurethane finish in your new kitchen design.

Start Your Luxury Kitchen Renovation Today!

Still undecided? Our friendly staff at Dan Kitchens are here to help you find your perfect Kitchen Door for your new kitchen design. Speak to the expert kitchen design team at Dan Kitchens and get the premium designer look you desire, as well as all of the functionality you expect from a high-end kitchen. Whether you need a large contemporary kitchen renovation in Hornsby or a small contemporary kitchen renovation in Mosman.

Are you ready to get started? Why not speak to the expert kitchen design team at Dan Kitchens and get the premium designer look you desire, as well as all of the functionality you expect from a high-end kitchen.

Dan Kitchens have highly experienced Luxury Kitchen designers and manufacturers with an unrivalled reputation for expertly made kitchens and joinery in Sydney. Visit our Luxury Kitchen Showroom to see how the finest craftsmanship, coupled with high-quality materials and finishes, can transform your kitchen into a luxury oasis. We offer a fully project managed service, from an initial concept and manufacturing right through to installation. Call us today on (02) 9624 2344, discover how Dan Kitchens uses Danish principles to design impressive custom kitchens.