Most cabinet bodies are made from medium density fiberboard (MDF) or melamine particleboard. Cabinet doors are often made of finer woods such as birch, cherry, oak, maple, alder, and mahogany. Cabinets with door panels will have the panel situated inside a perimeter frame to reduce stress on the door and diminish the possibility of the panel cracking. The floating panels may shrink and expand due to changing environmental factors (i.e., humidity and temperature). This is normal.

With proper care and maintenance, the cabinets in your home can look good and last you for as long as you live in your home. The following tips can help you maintain your cabinets:

  • Follow the manufacturer╩╝s recommendations for cleaning and use products designed for the type of wood and finish used to construct your cabinets. Manufacturers often include information and suggestions for cabinet restoration as well.
  • Most fine wood cabinetry manufacturers will suggest that you avoid ammonia-based cleaning products and wax-based furniture polish. Ammonia-based products can yellow the finish of the wood, while wax- based products tend to build up on the surface of the wood.
  • The modern drawer and door hardware used for cabinets typically use nylon components that do not require any lubrication.
  • Most fine cabinetry has melamine on shelves and interior surfaces. Melamine surfaces can be cleaned using a damp soapy cloth. Care for melamine surfaces are similar to the cleaning procedures used for laminate countertop surfaces.
  • Cabinets, drawer handles, knobs and hardware will become loose over time and will need to be tightened. This is considered part of normal maintenance.

Cabinets Doors Alignment

With normal use, cabinet doors can move out of alignment. This can result in cabinet doors binding or rubbing against one another. Within the first year of purchasing your home, the builder is responsible for a one-time warranty adjustment and then the cabinet door adjustments become the homeowner╩╝s maintenance responsibility. Most of the new hardware used to hang doors or drawer sliders are fully adjustable.

Useful Tip:

Rubbing a walnut on your wooden furniture is an affordable and easy way to hide minor scratches, dints and scrapes.

Warped Cabinet Doors

Woods such as oak, birch and mahogany are sensitive to extreme changes in the moisture content of the air (i.e., humidity). Cabinet doors can deform and warp if the air in the house is very dry or if water or steam comes into contact with the cabinet face. Water spills and kitchen splatters should be cleaned up quickly. During periods of cold and dry weather, a humidifier should be used to maintain some moisture content in the air. Warping due to environmental conditions in a home is not considered to be a warranty issue.