The inside of your kitchen cabinets will almost always be constructed from Melamine. This is a product manufactured from a wood bi-product core sandwiched between two layers of melamine material.

The board used for cabinets will typically be white but you can always specify a coloured interior at additional cost. Melamine is the accepted industry standard for cabinet construction because it is durable, easy to clean and reasonably priced. A coloured version of the same board is often used for door and drawer faces. Jag's AQUA-SEAL™ edge banding system dramatically reduces the likelihood of moisture damage to cabinets.

Cabinet Door Comparisons

Melamine (Melteca)Cost Effective
Large colour range
Very durable
Different finishes
Jag AQUA-SEAL™edge
Water Resistant
Extended 15 year warranty from Jag
Perceived as cheap at high end
A set colour range
No option for raised profile doors
No high gloss finish
AcrylicStylish gloss finish
A range of colours
Very durable
Jag AQUA-SEAL™edge
Water resistant
Chip resistant
Extended 15 year warranty from Jag
Better value than alternatives
No option for raised profile doors
Less colour choice than melamine
Approx 20% more $$ than melamine
Vacuum formed vinylGood range of colours
Durable easy clean finish
Water resistant
Good choice of raised profile doors
10 year warranty
Tend to be more expensive
Painted LacquerUnlimited choice of colours
Water resistant
Can be repainted later
Good choice of raised profile doors
10 year warranty
Prone to chipping
More expensive than alternatives
Longer wait time for kitchen
Approx 50% more $$ than melamine
Timber and Timber VeneerTimeless look
Water resistant
Can be refinished later
Good choice of raised profile doors
Approx double cost of melamine
Longer wait time for kitchen

Door and Drawer Fronts

When it comes to door and drawer finishes you have a number of choices that vary in price and durability.


The greater percentage of kitchens installed in New Zealand still consist of coloured Melamine doors and drawer fronts. The product is extremely durable provided that the right board and edge banding options are supplied. Melamine kitchens are not only durable but also very cost effective. This makes them the natural choice for families, landlords or anyone wanting a hard wearing, economic kitchen.

When buying any kitchen it is very important to ask the company what type of melamine board they use. You should be looking for a supplier who uses High Moisture Resistant MDF rather than Particle Board. The particle board (chip board) version of melamine can easily soak up moisture to significantly reduce the life of your kitchen.

Jag's AQUA-SEAL™ edge banding system dramatically reduces the likelihood of moisture damage to doors and drawer fronts.

If you would like more information on how to avoid buying inferior cabinetry please download our free information sheet.

Gloss Acrylic

Gloss Acrylic is a reasonably new product that is quickly gaining in popularity. Acrylic doors are manufactured from moisture resistant board that is sandwiched between two sheets of acrylic material. Once the doors and drawer fronts have been cut to size they are edge banded using Jag’s AQUA-SEAL™ edging system to give a waterproof bond with a near invisible edge line.

We are finding that Gloss Acrylic is often becoming the material of choice for customers wanting a clean gloss look without the cost of Painted Lacquer or Vinyl Wrapped material. Acrylic is also far more durable than Painted Lacquer given that it is does not chip. Any light scratches can be buffed out. There is a range of colour choices in Acrylic but given the popularity of Gloss White at present, most customers are choosing one of the two white colour options.

We have a high end Gloss Acrylic showroom kitchen on display that customers often assume is a gloss painted kitchen.

Vacuum Formed Vinyl (Thermo-Formed)

The next doors finish to consider is Vacuum Formed Vinyl, of which Designatek is the main supplier. This product also referred to as Thermal Wrapped is a vinyl skin that is vacuumed on to the face of a water resistant mdf door. The process has been around for over fifteen years and has the advantage of having no visible line around the edge of the door. Vinyl gives you the ability to specify a patterned door in a product that is well proven and very durable.

Expect to pay approximately $1500 more than melamine for a vinyl kitchen.

Click here to view door profiles.

Spray Painted Lacquer

Spray Painted Lacquer is a two pot paint finish somewhat similar to the paint on your car. It has the advantage that you can specify any colour and degree of gloss giving you almost limitless possibilities. Doors are available in a wide variety of patterns.

Lacquer is more expensive than the other two options but has a very definite place in more expensive homes. It does require more care than other products and we tend not to recommend it for rental properties or families with busy children. Expect to pay approximately $3000 more for a lacquer kitchen than a melamine one.

Other Door Options

Other door options include Timber Veneer and Solid Timber. A large range of genuine timber veneers are available and they do make for a beautiful looking kitchen.

Timber veneer can be used for the whole kitchen or as a highlight when combined with other finishes. Solid timber doors are available but it is a small part of the overall market as the cost is higher than most kitchen buyers are prepared to spend. New Zealand kitchen buyers tend to specify native timbers such as Rimu or Kauri and these timbers are becoming scarce and expensive.

How Jag’s AQUA-SEAL™ edge banding process will extend the life of your kitchen

Jag Kitchens has recently installed a new highly advanced edge banding system that gives Melamine and Acrylic Doors a fantastic seamless look. This means that we are able to produce Melamine and Acrylic doors that are very resistant to chipping but also highly moisture resistant.

Having given our edge banded doors the ultimate torture test of putting them through a full hot dish washer cycle we are confident in offering a 10 year warranty on this product.

All of our edged doors and cabinet parts are now edged using Jag’s AQUA-SEAL™ system.