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Cabinets 101 -

Mitered vs Cope & Stick vs Slab. What's the difference?

Cabinets 101: The Difference Between Mitered, Cope & Stick and Slab Cabinet Doors.

"Whats's the difference between a Mitered Cabinet Door, Cope & Stick Cabinet Door and a Slab?" This is a question that arises for most folks diving into their DIY cabinet project. Here we're going to help you understand the difference between Mitered, Cope & Stick and Slab Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts.

What is a Mitered Cabinet Door?

A mitered cabinet door is constructed from 5 sections of wood, assembled together using 45º angles at each corner. The center section is called the panel, and the 4 sections around the panel (or frame) are made up of 2 stiles and 2 rails. The stiles are the vertical pieces and the rails are the horizontal pieces.

Benefits Of Mitered Cabinet Doors.

Aside from being really good looking, mitered cabinet doors are constructed in a way that makes them resistant to humidity. Each of the edge sections have a grove on the inner side to hold the panel in place. There is always a little extra space left inside of the inner channel to allow for expansion of the wood when exposed to humidity. This allows the door to retain its shape and be resistant to warping or buckling when the environment changes.

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Mitered vs Cope & Stick

What is a Cope & Stick Cabinet Door?

Similar to Mitered cabinet doors, Cope & Stick doors are made from 5 sections. A center panel and 4 sections (2 rails, 2 stiles) around the edge to form the "frame". The difference is how the corners are joined. Were a Mitered door is joined using 45º angles at the corners, a Cope & Stick door used 90º angles. See a diagram above illustrating the difference.

Benefits Of Cope & Stick Cabinet Doors.

Cope & stick doors have the same humidity resistant benefits as Mitered doors. The joints allow room for expansion so you will likely not notice any changes in the door when the environment changes. Both Mitered and Cope & Stick doors are superior to a Slab door in this way.

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What is a Slab/Plank Cabinet Door?

A Slab or Plank cabinet door is made from a solid piece of wood. The simplicity of its construction can be aesthetically pleasing, and help to achieve a simpler look.

Benefits Of Slab/Plank Cabinet Doors.

Slab doors can be cost effective and create a certain style you may be looking for, but they're susceptible to humidity. Unlike Mitered or Cope & Stick doors, Plank doors can warp or even sometimes crack due to the expansion and contraction caused by heat and humidity changes. These door are usually best installed where the environment is stable, and not recommended for use in bathrooms where shower steam may be present.

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