Anatomy of a Cabinet Door

Choosing styles and materials for your cabinets can be confusing. To help, we are breaking down the basics of cabinet door construction and materials, and explaining some of the lingo used when referring to cabinet doors.

Anatomy of a Cabinet Door

Almost all wood cabinet doors are constructed with the following components:

  • Center Panel: Panel options are either flat or raised.
  • Rails: The top and bottom horizontal pieces holding the panel. Taller doors will have two panels with a rail in the middle of the door.
  • Stiles: The vertical pieces on each side holding the panel. 

Typically this type of door is referred to as a 5-piece construction door. Decorative profiles are routed on the stiles and rails, and can be plain or more elaborate, depending on the door style.

door style

There are 3 basic types of cabinet doors: Flat Panel, Raised Panel, and Slab. Your interior design style often determines the type of door you choose for your cabinets. The doors below show our most popular style for each door type.




Country Classic



door cross sections

Check out all of Crystal’s door styles here:

door material

Wood & MDF

Wood is the most common material used for 5-piece flat panel and raised panel door styles.

Sometimes a mix of wood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is used to construct doors that will be painted. We call this mix PGM (Paint Grade Material). This method is used for superior paint smoothness and to improve stability.

Veneers & Laminates

Material to construct slab doors usually has a MDF or particleboard core, with wood veneers or laminates applied; offering options like— textured melamines, and high gloss to super matte surfaces.

When it comes to picking a door style for your cabinets, not only are there many standard options, but Crystal also has a custom door program allowing you to mix and match different panels, stiles and rails to create your own unique door style.

Kitchen is designed by: Melissa Bovee, Brillo Home Improvements
Photography by: Renn Kuhnen