Flat-panel vs shaker cabinet doors: How do they differ?

Flat-panel vs shaker cabinet doors

Shaker cabinet doors are characterized by their simple, clean lines. They are often made of wood, and they may have either a raised or recessed panel.

Flat-panel cabinet doors, on the other hand, have a sleek, modern look.

They are typically made of wood or laminate, and they usually have no panels at all. Instead, they may have raised or recessed edges.

So, what is the difference between these two types of cabinet doors? You will see how flat-panel vs shaker cabinet doors look in this short blog post.

Key differences between flat-panel & shaker cabinet doors

Here’s how shaker doors and flat panel doors differ.

  • Shaker doors are usually made of wood, while flat-panel doors can be made of wood, laminate, or other materials.
  • Shaker doors typically have raised or recessed panels, while flat-panel doors usually have no panels at all.
  • Shaker cabinet doors tend to be more expensive than flat-panel doors.
  • Shaker cabinet doors tend to be more traditional in style, while flat-panel doors have a more modern look.

When choosing between shaker and flat-panel cabinet doors, it is important to consider the overall style of your kitchen. If you want a more traditional look, shaker doors may be the right choice. And, if you prefer a contemporary look, flat-panel doors may be a better option.

To decide which door is right for you, lets explore these options in more detail.

What is Flat-panel for the Kitchen Cabinet?

A flat-panel kitchen door is a single, solid piece of material with a recessed center panel. The most common type of flat-panel kitchen door is made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard), but can also be made from other materials like glass, aluminum, or even acrylic.


Here are the benefits of flat panels for your kitchen & why you should consider them.

Easy to clean

The main advantage of flat-panel cabinets is that they are very easy to clean. They will look as good as new if you wipe them down with a damp cloth. This is a big advantage if you have a busy kitchen and cannot spend a lot of time cleaning cabinets.

Aesthetic looks

Another perk of flat-panel cabinets is that they can give your kitchen a more modern look. If you have a traditional kitchen, then adding some flat-panel cabinets can really help to update the look of your kitchen.


MDF is an extremely strong and durable material, making it ideal for use in kitchen doors. It is also very easy to clean and maintain, making it a popular choice for busy families.


While flat-panel cabinets have become increasingly popular in recent years, there are some drawbacks that should be considered before making a purchase.

Less storage

One of the biggest drawbacks is that flat panel cabinets do not offer as much storage space as traditional cabinetry. This can be an issue if you have a lot of kitchen utensils or cookware.


Flat-panel cabinets can be more expensive than traditional cabinets. So, they may not be the best option if you are working with a limited budget.

What is the Shaker cabinet door for a kitchen?

Shaker cabinet doors are made from a frame and panel construction, with the frame being visible around the perimeter of the door. The most common type of shaker door is made from wood, but can also be made from other materials like MDF or glass.


In the following part, I will discuss the advantages of Shaker cabinets in detail.

Elegant and clean design

The clean lines and sleek design of shaker cabinets give any kitchen an uncluttered, sophisticated look. The lack of ornamentation also makes shaker cabinets perfect for small kitchens, as they won’t look too heavy or busy.


Shaker cabinets are incredibly versatile and can be used in any number of traditional designs. They also come in a variety of woods, including maple, cherry, and oak, so you can find the perfect cabinets to match your kitchen’s existing décor.

Less expensive

Shaker cabinets are typically less expensive than other types of cabinets, such as raised panels or beadboards. Consequently, this panel is a great option if you’re on a budget.

Good storage

Frameless cabinets offer more storage space as there is no frame taking up valuable space inside the cabinet.


Shaker cabinets are a timeless style of cabinet that has been around for centuries. While they are a classic choice for many homeowners, there are some disadvantages to choosing shaker cabinets.

Hard to clean

One of the biggest disadvantages is that they can be more difficult to clean than other types of cabinets, such as slab-style cabinets. This is because the panels on shaker cabinets are raised, making it difficult to reach all of the nooks and crannies.

Not for modern design

Another disadvantage of shaker cabinets is that they may be too classic for some modern kitchens. While they can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen, their classic style may not fit in with a more contemporary design.

Less durable

The shaker-style door is not as durable as other types of doors. The door is held together by a system of rails and stiles, which can become loose over time.

Read: How To Choose Cabinet Hardware Like A Pro


Do you still have trouble deciding between flat panel and shaker cabinet doors? Well, it depends on your needs and what look you try to achieve in your kitchen. Shaker cabinet doors provide a more traditional look while flat panel doors can give your kitchen a modern feel.

If you want to focus on storage and classic looks then go with shaker cabinet doors. But if you are looking for a sleek and stylish appearance, go with the flat panel kitchen cabinet option.

Whichever style of cabinet door you choose, make sure that it is made out of high-quality materials so that it will last for years to come. I hope you got a full picture of the difference between a flat panel and a shaker cabinet door.

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