Delamination – Cabinet Doors and Drawers

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Published: April 3, 2014 Last Updated: February 12, 2016

The delamination of bathroom cabinet doors, drawer faces and surfaces are not uncommon. The main cause for this is that moisture has penetrated the wood because it was not properly sealed or painted. General maintenance and at times improving or adding additional ventilation will help with this moisture issue.

Cabinet contractors and handymen normally can easily take care of delamination issues.

Paint or stain issues

In damp and moist bathrooms the veneer on doors and cabinets often will separate from the wood or MDF base. This indicates that moisture has migrated into the wood. Because of this, it is important to keep the cabinetry properly painted or stained and sealed.

Glue issues

If a sufficient amount of glue was not used when the veneer was installed on the cabinetry by the manufactured, then the veneer surface will delaminate. Also, if there was not sufficient drying time or sufficient pressure applied to hold the veneer on the wood or MFD then the surface may pull loose.

Excessive moisture – long hot showers

Long hot showers often generate moist and steamy conditions in bathrooms. This continuous exposure, day after day, creates excessive moisture, which then causes the cabinetry faces and veneers to delaminate.

Add an exhaust fan

One simple fix for too much moisture in the air is to add an inexpensive exhaust fan in the bathroom. If a fan is added, be sure to exhaust the air to the exterior of the home and not into the attic area.


Wood will move or expand whenever water is added or removed. If the veneer coverings on doors are not sealed or painted properly, then delamination, blisters, checks and splits may occur.

Who to consult? Bathroom remodeling contractors, cabinet makers, wood finishers, painters and qualified handymen.

Home owners will often maintain and repair their own bathroom cabinetry. Bathroom remodeling contractors, cabinet makers, wood finishers, painters and qualified handymen also will do maintenance and work on cabinetry.

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The temperature in my home was below freezing for several days. The pipes were slushy but not frozen. Is it possible the cold also made the laminate on the kitchen cupboard doors and drawers release?

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