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Why We Love Melamine and Thermofoil

Why We Love Melamine and Thermofoil
Jul 26. 2019

Chances are, when you visualized your dream kitchen, a certain cabinetry-countertop scheme came to mind. Once that dream became a reality, so did the fact that there are a lot of cabinet options out there, and many of the natural wood ones don’t fit the budget (which is probably why you sprung for the Ikea variety, right?). 

We love a good deal, and we’re here to sweeten it. Semihandmade’s custom cabinet doors elevate the look of Ikea cabinetry to deliver the aesthetic you initially had in mind—all from materials you’ve probably never heard of: melamine and thermofoil.


CLJ shaker kitchen cabinets

Pictured: CLJ Cove
Image: Chris Loves Julia


You’re savvy, and you’ve taken the care to design and select everything that comes into your home. You deserve to know why Semihandmade works with the materials we do. Beyond insta-worthy style and affordability, there are many reasons why working with melamine and thermofoil is a smart—and aesthetically pleasing—move. 


Benefits of Melamine


Melamine is a synthetic material crafted with wood particles, glue, resins and paper. The blend allows for an accommodating finish that can take on an array of colors and wood grain to deliver a realistic, textured wood-looking cabinet without the cost of actual wood (which is a win, if you ask us.)

Melamine is durable and holds up to heat, dirt and stains—as long as you don’t routinely soak it in water, you’re good. When you select a Semihandmade textured melamine cabinet door, like the Sonoma Impression Door for Sektion, you get the custom built-in look with low maintenance. 


sonoma slab cabinet doors

Pictured: Sonoma
Image: Shannon Tate Interiors

Benefits of Thermofoil


Thermofoil is a thin layer of durable vinyl that is vacuum pressed to the medium density fiberboard (MDF) core of Semihandmade’s cabinet doors and drawers.

This process achieves consistent color which makes our popular, colorful line of doors a huge hit in the kitchen design space. From a crisp and clean white, to our dark, navy toned Night Sky fronts, and of course our Chris Loves Julia Line, which features a wood-inspired thermofoil topcoat that’s another cost-effective answer to traditional cabinets.


supermatte white shaker cabinet doors

Pictured: Supermatte White Shaker
Image: Humble & Grand


Unlike melamine, thermofoil is non-porous, so water isn’t an issue—it can’t be absorbed. This same aspect means the material is also easy to clean, and has a low risk of stains. 



Pictured (left): SSS Night Sky Beaded from Limonata Creative, 

Pictured (right): CLJ Cove from Chris Loves Julia


Why You Should Choose Melamine or Thermofoil


Selecting Semihandmade textured melamine or thermofoil cabinet fronts is not only a sensible choice, it’s a better one. The materials are easy to clean and low maintenance, so they’re a great option for families with children. Instead of polishing, you can simply wipe them down. After a kitchen remodel, do you really want something that’s going to add another thing to the to-do list?

By selecting melamine and thermofoil for our cabinet fronts and panels, Semihandmade products deliver affordability without compromising quality. In fact, the only corners you’ll cut is the time you’ll spend installing them—they come ready to make your kitchen’s style all you.


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