Flat Panel vs. Raised Panel Cabinet Doors

white raised panel kitchen / vanity / bathroom cabinet with brushed gold color rectangular handles, island corner decoration, close-up

Although there are many styles and varieties of cabinet doors to choose from, they primarily fall into one of two categories: raised panel or flat panel. When remodeling your kitchen, knowing which panel type is best for your needs and style preferences will make narrowing down the specific material, color, and hardware much easier.

What are Flat Panel Cabinet Doors?

These sleek, minimalist cabinet doors feature a framed recessed panel and look lovely with many stain finishes or paint colors. They give your kitchen a beautiful streamlined look and allow the paint color and other kitchen elements to shine.

Their simple, clean design makes flat panel cabinet doors easy to clean and look lovely in solid paint colors rather than wood grains. Although too simple for some, the right color and decor can really balance them well. 

Flat panel also doesn’t necessarily mean completely unadorned. Some have center panels with an overlay around the edge similar to raised panel cabinets, but feature a more plain and minimalist edge. It’s the perfect subtle touch that won’t detract from the rest of your kitchen design.

What Kitchen Style Looks Best with Flat Panel Cabinet Doors?

Due to their sleek and minimal design, flat panel cabinet doors are best suited in lustrous, modern, minimalist kitchen styles. They add a bright and airy feel to the space, especially if painted white or light gray.

If you’re more of a maximalist, flat panel cabinet doors can still work with an eclectic and colorful kitchen aesthetic. Since they work best with solid colors rather than natural wood, you can choose a really bold color to make your cabinets the center of attention in your kitchen. Using flat panels as a sleek foundation for prominent and unique hardware is a great way to make a statement.

Visit our gallery to see how we’ve helped clients style flat panel cabinet doors in their kitchen renovations.

Pros of Flat Panel Cabinet Doors:

  • More sleek and minimal
  • Works with any paint color
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons of Flat Panel Cabinet Doors:

  • May not add the character you’re looking for in your kitchen
  • Not as appealing with natural wood grain finishes
  • Too minimal for certain aesthetics

What are Raised Panel Cabinet Doors?

More classic and ornate in aesthetic, raised panel cabinet doors are very detailed, with thicker panels and framing. If you love a wood finish look, raised panels are the perfect way to showcase a beautiful wood grain. They match perfectly with more luxurious home details like coffered ceilings and crown molding.

Because they are more intricate, raised panels are more difficult to clean and maintain than flat panels. They also can easily make a space look cluttered if not balanced with sleek, minimal details.

What Kitchen Style Looks Best with Raised Panel Cabinet Doors?

The ornate, detailed style of raised panel cabinet doors fits a traditional, vintage, or farmhouse style kitchen beautifully. The way they complement wood grain finishes makes for a warm, cozy feel that will make your kitchen the focal point of your home.

If you like to go against the grain (pun intended!), experimenting with a darker finish raised panel cabinets can really distinguish your kitchen from the light and minimal trend that’s increasingly popular.

Raised panel cabinet doors can vary in terms of detail, from very subtle designs to the rich detail. Whatever your preference, we have cabinets you’ll love as resellers of Cabinets to Go. And if you don’t like the stock options, just ask about our custom work!

Pros of Raised Panel Cabinet Doors:

  • Stunning with natural wood grain finishes, but lovely painted too
  • Gives your kitchen more character
  • Perfect for a vintage or farmhouse aesthetic

Cons of Raised Panel Cabinet Doors:

  • Certain styles may feel too busy for your kitchen
  • More difficult to clean and maintain
  • Difficult to paint or refinish on your own

Which Panel Type is Best?

Choosing the right panel style for your cabinet doors really depends on your aesthetic. Their real wood cabinets come in all the latest styles and colors — both raised and flat panel! 

We also offer completely bespoke, custom work for a high-end kitchen that’s uniquely curated just for you. If none of the collections suit your fancy, let’s design one made to fit your home unlike any other.

We give every client our undivided, personal attention to ensure every detail is exactly as you imagined it, but better! If you’re ready to get started on that kitchen remodel project you’ve been fantasizing about for months or years, contact us for a free estimate.

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