Flat panel mean veneer, right? Wrong!
So you've shopped around, you love a flat panel style door, but you don't like the idea of a thin veneer center panel. But, that's the only option right? Wrong!
Check out this video to understand what a Reverse Raised Solid Wood Center Panel is all about.
'Why should I care about this?', you ask. Well, unless you don't mind your kitchen having an oh a cool zebra effect in a few years, then by all means. Now, as I mentioned in the video, it's not always a point of concern. For example, if you choose a painted finish or a very dark stain, you are not likely to see any difference in the materials over time. However, if you choose a light cherry or maple, you WILL see a difference. That's not a question or a possibility; it will happen.
Don't believe me? Check out this natural cherry sample that I drove around with on my dashboard of my car for 3 days - 3 DAYS! Half was covered in foil and the other half was exposed. Now, this is an extreme over exaggeration of how cherry will actually age in your home (assuming you don't live in a greenhouse like setting with no walls and all windows). This is also not a veneer and is really it's own blog topic altogether, but I think it demonstrates how much wood can change color and gets my point across perfectly.
Now imagine for a minute if you will, a natural cherry cabinet door with a solid wood frame and a veneer center panel. And fast forward 20 years with mild sun exposure. Given the above photo demonstration, can you imagine how mismatched your cabinets would be???
Alright, I feel like I may be diverting off topic a bit here. Point being, you CAN love a flat panel door and a light color wood at the same time and not have to worry about mismatched coloration over time by purchasing a reverse raised panel door.
Flat Veneer Center Panel vs. Reverse Raised
Here is your typical flat center panel cabinet door with a 1/4" thick veneer center panel. You can see that there are no raised (or thick) panels on this door, indicating that the center panel is a thin veneer.
Here is a reverse raised center panel door. On the front, it is a flat panel style that you may assume to be a thin veneer. However, if you flip the door and look at the back you can actually see the thickness, which allows for the solid wood to be used, has been added to the back side. Essentially, it's a raised panel door built in backwards - brilliant!
Of course, both of my demonstrations above are shown in a painted finish where this, in my opinion, not a concern. So, unless you simply want the added piece of mind knowing you've purchased a thicker door, then it may not be worth the upgrade to you. Also, if this option is not available, it's a dead give away to me that you're not looking at a very high quality brand and may want to keep shopping.
Stay Educated & Happy Cabinet Shopping!