How To Match Cabinet Doors

How To Match Cabinet Doors

With literally hundreds of distinct cabinet door styles it can feel confusing to know which drawer front to choose.  This guide will help you learn how to match cabinet doors to drawer fronts.  Cabinet door manufacturers typically offer matching drawer fronts for each of their cabinet door styles.  They will be the same cope and stick or mitered style in the same species of wood.

Matching Cabinet Doors to Drawer Fronts

Cabinetry typically has doors near the floor and over the counter-space in kitchens.  Drawers are directly under the counter-space and are matched to the lower cabinet doors.  While the style of cabinet doors throughout the kitchen may be the same design some interior designers like to have contrasting colors for the lower section and drawer fronts should match.

Drawer Front Design

Drawer fronts are best matched when they are the same style and joint type as the cabinet doors they are installed by.  Your drawer fronts are the same width as your cabinet doors and have the same layout of frame sections and center panel.  The biggest difference is simply the height of the drawer front.

Cope & Stick Drawer Fronts

Cope and stick drawer fronts are a 5-piece design that is assembled using the mortise and tenon joint.  This design features a 90° angle where the frame sections meet and the 4 corners.

Mitered Drawer Fronts

Mitered drawer fronts are also a 5-piece design, but it is assembled using a mitered joint.  This joint differs from cope and stick as it uses matching 45°-degree angles to create diagonal joints at the corners.

Rail Thickness

Rails are the horizontal frame sections at the top and bottom of the cabinet door and drawer front.  In drawer front design the rails are narrower.  This is necessary as there isn’t room to use the same width rails as are used in cabinet door fabrication.

Stile Thickness

Stiles are the vertical sections of the frame in cabinet door and drawer front fabrication.  The thickness and design of stiles varies between the two joint types.

In cope and stick design, they are the same width as the cabinet doors so there is a uniform look between the two.  The visual presentation of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts will be symmetrical and much more aesthetic when the stiles are the same size.

In mitered design, the stiles must be the same width as they come together at a diagonal corner joint.  Cabinet door manufactures typically match the width of both the rails and stiles in mitered drawer front designs and use 1 ¾ width frame sections.

Slab Drawer Fronts

Drawer fronts are also order as simple 1 piece “slab drawer fronts”.  When customers choose slab drawer fronts the edges are machined to have matching visual presentation to cabinet doors.  This design of drawer fronts is an option many customers choose to be more budget friendly.

While it is ok to choose this for a drawer front, slab cabinet doors are prone to warping and cracking due to variations in humidity.  With a cabinet door’s larger size more humid air causes them to swell and over time it leads to degradation.  5-piece drawer fronts and doors are designed with room for the wood to expand and contract with variations in humidity.

Drawer Front Design Options

Just like with cabinet doors the center panels can be inset or raised.  These details give your cabinet drawer fronts the same visual presentation as your doors and brings the cabinetry design together.  Manufactures strive to offer drawer fronts to match all of their cabinet door designs and have similar visual elements.  This will give your kitchen cabinetry a look that’s more coordinated and visually pleasing.

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