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Understanding Rigid Thermofoil  Cabinets and Drawers

Understanding Rigid Thermofoil Cabinets and Drawers

Posted by Cabinetnow on 2019-11-05

What is Rigid Thermofoil?

Rigid Thermofoil is a vinyl laminate that is heated and pressurized onto a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core. MDF is denser and heavier than particleboard and provides a much smoother appearance and more durable exterior. The unique sealed vacuum chamber allows wrapping constructed doors without compromising the fine details. The vinyl sheeting can be imprinted with a very realistic simulation of wood grain -- creating the impression that the cabinet is actually made of genuine wood. It is possible for Thermofoil to resemble marble or granite. RTF doors and drawers are a finished product and ready to install upon arrival.

Caring for Thermofoil

Our Rigid Thermofoil doors and drawers can be easily cared for and low maintenance. With its non-porous surface RTF resists liquid substances and therefore difficult to stain. Since RTF isn’t absorbent it is tremendously easy to wipe clean. They won’t chip or crack due to high humidity either, as long as the laminate coating isn’t damaged.

Color and Design

A major advantage of choosing RTF cabinets especially on CabinetNow is our wide range of color and pattern options. See a selection choice of a basic flat/ recessed panel or raised with an embellished design.


RTF does have some drawbacks. Firstly, RTF doors and drawers are not entirely waterproof. If the laminate coating is damaged, and water seeps into the core, the cabinet can be irrevocably damaged. So even though they are moisture-resistant, they are not complete moisture-proof if the laminate is damaged. Another drawback is RTF isn’t great in excessive heated areas. While many homeowners install RTF cabinets and drawers in their kitchen, they have poor heat resistance such as an oven. Extreme heat can cause the vinyl laminate to separate from the MDF core of an RTF cabinet. A solution can be installing heat shield strips between the cabinets and the heat source.


Thermofoil cabinets have many clear advantages and may just be perfect for you. Easy to clean and inexpensive to purchase, RTF cabinets have long been a staple of budget home remodels. With enough care, RTF cabinets can serve a homeowner well for many years.