What Is the Difference between Thermofoil Cabinet Doors and Thermally Fused Laminate Cabinet Doors?

[fa icon="calendar"] January 17, 2018 / by Swedish Door

As a homeowner, you have many choices when it comes to sprucing things up. There are so many colours, textures and products to choose from, it can feel as though you have a dizzying array of selection. If you’re making changes to cabinet doors, one of those choices you may come across is choosing between Thermally Fused Laminate (TFL) -- which is known sometimes as Thermally Fused Melamine (TFM) -- or Thermofoil doors.

Thermofoil Cabinet Doors at Swedish Door

What is the difference, though? While the two are similar in some ways, they have distinct features.

What is Thermofoil?

Thermofoil is a surface finish made from a plastic material. This material is then heated and formed to a specific shape on medium density fiberboard (MDF), which is a mix of sawdust, wax and resin that is formed into sheets by applying a high temperature and pressure. This gives the MDF a seamless and stain-resistant coating that is durable and easy to clean. Thermofoil is a versatile laminate that comes in many colours, textures and imitation wood grains. It tends to be one of your more cost-effective options and comes with a 12-year warranty.


What is TFL?

This type of laminate is created by soaking decor paper with resin and allowing it to partially dry. Once it starts to dry the material is placed on MDF and both heat and pressure are used to fuse the laminate and the substrate together -- a general term that means any surface below another surface but which, in the home remodeling world, most often refers to the stabilizing layer of material directly beneath the finish, typically MDF. The desired size of door is then cut out and edge-banded.


TFL does not use multiple layers of Kraft paper that you’ll find in other high-pressure laminates, which means you’ll lose some impact resistance. Since TFL doesn’t have that extra cushion, you’ll find it used mostly for cabinet doors and drawers. That said, low quality TFL will peel, so you’ll want to be careful and buy a higher quality laminate that will tolerate the day-to-day stress you may put on it.

The Advantages of Laminate

Swedish Door specializes in a high quality TFL and Thermofoil cabinet doors that are guaranteed to last for at least 10 years. When you buy from us we are committed to giving you a product that will last as long as you like the style.


There are other advantages to buying laminate cabinet doors from us:


  1. Once again, the cost of a laminate cabinet door is lower -- it is much more cost-effective than buying a solid wood cabinet door.
  2. You’ll have lots of textures and colours to choose from. Swedish Door offers all kinds of products and styles that will match what you already have in your kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Despite having lower impact resistance, TFL is still durable enough for your cabinet doors and drawers and can be easily be cleaned with a damp rag. You can rest easy knowing that you’ll be spending more time enjoying the beauty of your cabinets doors, not attacking them with a scrub brush constantly.
  4. Swedish Door is flexible to your needs and can manufacture a TFL door in larger sizes.


We specialize in offering replacement IKEA cabinet doors in the Akurum and Sektion styles of cabinets, too. There are many benefits to using IKEA cabinet doors, which is why you may want to consider contacting us to find the door that suits your cabinet’s needs.

Get in Touch

If you’re giving serious weight and consideration to using TFL on your kitchen or bathroom cabinet doors, why not contact us? We’d love to know what your home renovation or construction plans are, and will be happy to show you our selection of cabinet doors.

Remember that we can customize to your needs and offer a high-quality product that will last and be durable -- all the more reason to talk to us and see how we can magically transform your kitchen or bathroom into a work of art to be proud of.

Download the Ultimate Guide to Updating Your Kitchen Now

Topics: Cabinet Door Replacement, IKEA Cabinet Door Replacement

Swedish Door

Written by Swedish Door