Why Painted MDF Doors Are Better In Florida

Painted wood doors for your kitchen cabinets are a popular option. Many people believe they look more professional and are worth the added expense. However, a good kitchen designer in Florida will tell you that 5-piece painted MDF doors (made with a 4-piece frame and a center panel) will be much better for your home. Here are three reasons to invest in painted MDF today.

Painted MDF Door in front of a cracked Wood Door

Painted MDF Door in front of a cracked Wood Dooracked Seams

No Cracked Seams

The humidity in Florida is unlike many other places in the United States. Painted wood may be fine for your family in the northwest, but in Florida the wood starts to expand and contract with the high humidity. Paint does not expand with added humidity, which leads to cracking of the seams over time. The number one benefit of a 5-piece MDF door is that it does not expand or contract with changes in the weather, meaning there is little risk of the seams cracking.

Less Damage

Your kitchen cabinets are likely to be hit with pots and pans or even children on ride-on toys. These little dings can lead to damage with wood fronts. High grade MDF is very dense which means that it can handle more of a beating than a basic wood door, which means your doors will look better for much longer.

They look the same

Technology has advanced considerably over the years, and that is certainly the case when creating 5-piece painted MDF doors. Previously, only one piece or routed MDF painted doors were available. On the front side of the door, these looked pretty close to a wood door, but on the back it was very noticeably not a wood door. With the advancement in glues and resins, it is now possible to make your MDF doors look exactly like 5-piece wood doors. Additionally, all of our cabinet manufacturers making these MDF doors are giving the exact same warranty as their wood doors.
Your kitchen cabinets will have the advantages listed above and your friends will never know the difference! In fact, they’ll want to know who your kitchen designer is so they can get their own amazing kitchen.

Simple Solutions To Protect Your Cabinet

By Brian McKenzie

Living in Florida has many perks. A beach is never far away and sunshine 364 days a years (on average). However, there are a few things that come along with our beautiful weather.  When it rains, it rains, and we have very high humidity. We are going to review a couple of cabinet solutions that deal with our specific weather in Florida.


The kitchen is arguably the most important room in your house. So it makes sense to protect that investment and your cabinets. The first solution is to use adjustable legs on your cabinets. When choosing your cabinet box construction, most people go with plywood. Though it’s more expensive, it isn’t effected by water quite as much as furniture board. No matter what, with wood, water will cause expanding, stability issues, and mold. With choosing the adjustable legs, you can use the more affordable furniture board and just have a plywood sink base. The legs will protect the cabinets up to 4 – 4 1/2 inches of water.  The look of the cabinet is the same and if you do encounter a flood under the 4 inch mark, just replace the toe kick and any decorative base boards. That’s a much easier task than replacing all of your cabinets.


Cabinets with Adjustable Legs

Another solution we suggest is painted medium density fiberboard (MDF) cabinet fronts. Humidity is definitely an issue in Florida and painted MDF fronts are a great way to combat that. With the popularity of painted finishes these days, they look almost identical to wood doors and have really become a great option. MDF is a high grade, composite material that is more stable than solid wood and is unaffected by changes in heat and humidity. Solid wood boards typically expand and contract both horizontally and vertically which leads to cracking in the seams of the door. Because it’s made from one piece there is no long term cracking or seam separation. Painted MDF is actually a little less expensive than solid wood and usually carries the exact same warranty.

When designing your new kitchen it would be wise to consider our solutions, so that you can significantly lower the time spent on the repair and your frustration level. With any home renovation comes stress for financial reason and just the hassle of it. If bad luck does strike you and you end up being one of the unlucky few that falls victim to the fickle Florida weather, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve chosen the best option at protecting your home?

Who Needs Rules

By Jamie Behrens

There are so many rules running through the design world but who needs rules? It comes down to opinion, evoking emotion and your own aesthetics.  Some say it is not exceptionally pleasing to the eye or the psyche, to mix and match different textures, color tones or eras.  There is so much beauty in this world why not mix and match. Not everyone will LOVE it but you will.

When mixing and matching different eras, new with old, bold with subtle, it can create different feels. For example, in a high rise penthouse with large windows and shiny marble floors, mix it up with an Elizabethan hutch or Gothic chandelier allowing some history and warmth into the space. Take your time. Choose pieces and accessories that will blend and make sense in your own chaos.


Before making a decision forcing you to live with a disaster, do your research, borrow samples of woods, fabrics, paint colors, tiles and finishes and lay them out. If you are on the market for a new kitchen and you’re torn between a dark, rich espresso finish with a raised panel cabinet door style topped with Café Imperial granite countertops and a clean line, white chocolate, shaker style cabinet door with sea blue glass backsplash – Gather samples of both. Place the samples in various places around your kitchen and revisit them during different times throughout the day.  The natural light in your space may just make your decision for you.

Contrary to some opinions about splendor or design, there isn’t a formula on creating a functional, beautiful space. Explore the option of mixing the two. If you have an island or a pantry, consider separating the spaces from the main kitchen space. For example, make the island espresso, the wall and base cabinets white chocolate. Then find a complementary counter top for both styles. And viola!  A versatile space with character and richness.

Stress-Less Kitchen Remodeling

By Brooke Culliton

Compared to other home-improvement projects, a kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make if you’re looking to increase the value of your home. However, the kitchen is the center of the home and any disruption to the family’s daily routine can cause stress. And the options! So. Many. Options. The key is careful planning. Here are a few tips to help you survive:

Enlist the help of a kitchen designer from the very beginning.

Most cabinetry dealers have skilled designers on staff, so take advantage of this service…they may have excellent recommendations for the layout that your architect or contractor had not considered. It’s best to make these changes before your contractor begins work. It will reduce the number of change orders and delays.

Cabinets also take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to receive once the order is placed. This time frame does not include planning. If a designer tells you they can design, price and order your kitchen in 24 hour period, run for your life! Good, error-free designs require careful attention to detail, which requires time. If you want the best kitchen for your budget, don’t rush the planning process.

Have a budget in mind and don’t be afraid to tell your designer what it is…again, from the beginning.

They need that information in order to properly guide you in making realistic decisions and cutting through all the options available in the cabinetry world. If you’re concerned that the designer will sell you a $5000 kitchen and charge you the $10,000 budget you given them, you shouldn’t be working with that designer…period. Work only with people you like and trust. Get referrals, check references. Being honest about your budget will also save you the disappointment of realizing your budget doesn’t fit the fancy pull-out pantry insert or custom door style you fell in love with.

Expect the unexpected, stay calm and give the professionals time to address any issues that come up.

Mistakes will happen, unexpected delays will arise. Generally, issues are small and easily resolved (a drawer front received some damage during shipping), but sometimes they’re big (your contractor discovers mold). When you’re looking for professionals to work with, what you want to look for is someone who has a reputation for seeing the job through to completion and who addresses issues promptly and professionally, and it helps to give them the chance to do this. In my experience, it’s worth noting that the clients who don’t get too worked up about unforeseen issues or delays seem to experience the least of them.

Consider staying elsewhere.

If you have the option to stay elsewhere while the work is being done, by all means, do this. There will be dust…lots of it! Be sure to protect belongings with sheets…even in areas you think will be unaffected. It will make clean up a lot easier.

Think about meal planning while your kitchen is out of order too.

The expense of eating out for several weeks adds up, so be sure to take that into consideration when thinking about your budget, if that’s your plan. If you’re on a tight budget, however, you have the option of setting up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the home. You’ll need a microwave, a toaster (ideally a toaster oven,) a refrigerator and if possible, a sink. If you have a laundry sink, this is the ideal spot. Bathroom sinks, not so much. They’re small, it’s difficult to wash dishes and fill pots in. The environmentalist in me hates to recommend this, but if it will make your life easier, use disposable plates and utensils. Then go plant a tree after all is said and done.

Kitchen remodels are never stress-free. However, if you plan carefully and follow these tips, you’ll stress-less. As you’re enjoying a beautiful, functional kitchen for years to come, you’ll be glad you tackled the project!

McCabinet is celebrating our 20 year anniversary.

McCabinet was founded in 1995 serving the St. Petersburg & Clearwater areas by Kevin McKenzie. Kevin is a third generation contractor who has 22 years of cabinet and retail management experience.  For the first year McCabinet was a “one man” operation.

We have now grown into a large operation, with 18 employees, due to our focus on quality product, well-trained installers, great customer service and some of the best designers in the area including: Tricia Guy, Shawn Brewer, Alison Temples, Mike McBrayer, Meaghan Gonzalez, Rosemarie Szedula, Brooke Culliton and Jamie Behrens.

In 2015 McCabinet has big plans. We will be moving into a new 2200 square foot showroom, where we will have 2 new state of the art displays. We will also have our wine and beer bar along with a coffee/cappuccino center.