Recycle laminate flooring for cabinet doors.

How to Make Cabinet Doors Out of Plywood, Glue & Laminate Flooring

by Wade Shaddy

Laminate flooring is a manufactured material consisting of a composite core with laminate bonded to the face. The individual pieces look similar to typical tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring. It's durable, more affordable than real hardwood flooring, and resists warping or twisting. If you've got some laminate flooring left over from a remodel or new home, or you just want some custom doors, use new flooring to make some cabinet doors that will make people wonder where you found them.

Measure the cabinet door opening and add 3 inches to the perimeter on all four sides. Use a table saw to cut one piece of hardwood MDF, or medium-density-fibercore, to the measurement.

Cut the laminate flooring pieces to the length of the plywood using a miter saw. Cut enough pieces so that when you fit the tongues and grooves together, the accumulated width of the pieces is equal to, or exceeds, the width of the plywood.

Apply a layer of construction adhesive to the face of the plywood using a brush. Place the first piece of laminate flooring centered, and flush on the ends, on the face of the plywood. Press it down with your fingers to bond it to the glue.

Apply a small amount of adhesive inside the groove on the next piece of laminate flooring. Tilt it slightly and place it on the plywood while inserting the tongue on the first piece into the groove on the second piece. Tap the two pieces together with a small block of wood and a hammer. Press down with your fingers to bond.

Repeat Step 4, placing adjoining pieces of laminate on the left or right of the first two pieces as needed until the face of the plywood is covered with individual laminate flooring pieces.

Flip the door upside down on a flat surface. Shoot two 5/8-inch pin nails through the back of the plywood to penetrate into each piece of laminate flooring. Space the pin nails centered through each piece, 4 inches from the top and bottom.

Place the door across two sawhorses. Place two-by-fours on edge, perpendicular across the door. The studs should be slightly longer than the door's width. Place one clamp across the ends of each stud and tighten to compress the laminate flooring and bond it to the glue. Place clamps around the perimeter spaced 3 inches apart. Allow the clamps to remain on the door overnight and then remove them.

Cut the door to size on a table saw. The door should be 1 1/2 inches bigger than the cabinet door opening. Center the tongue and groove pattern on the door by cutting equal parts off of each side.

Tilt the blade on a table saw to 30 degrees. Set the fence as needed and trim all four sides of the door off at the 30-degree angle, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. This slants the edges inward from the face, providing a lip that allows you to open the door without a handle.

Sand the beveled edge smooth using an orbital sander equipped with 100-grit sandpaper. Paint or stain and lacquer the edge as needed. Add 30-degree reverse bevel hinges to finish. This type of hinge fits under the bevel, with a flat plate that extends past the lip to the flat part of the door. Place one hinge 2 inches from the top, and another 2 inches from the bottom.

Items you will need

  • Table saw
  • Medium-density-fibercore
  • Miter saw
  • Construction adhesive
  • Brush
  • Pin nailer
  • 5/8-inch pin nails
  • Two-by-fours
  • Clamps
  • Orbital sander
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Stain
  • Lacquer
  • Paint
  • Hinges


  • For a Shaker-style door, add a 2-inch-wide perimeter of wood around the face of the door.


  • Wear safety glasses when working with wood.

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images