Refacing kitchen cabinets is essentially a replacement of the cabinet "skins" but the results and savings are dramatic.
Refacing your kitchen cabinets includes covering the exposed frames with a PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) 3D Laminate. Doors and drawer fronts are replaced to match or complement the new veneer. New hinges, knobs, pulls, and molding complete the transformation.
What are the Pros and Cons?
• Retains the kitchen layout. Refacing is perfect if your current kitchen layout meets your needs.
• Many styles and options. There are dozens of different veneer options, both for laminates and natural woods.
• Cost savings. Refacing usually gives you the look of new cabinets for about half the cost of new custom cabinets. But costs need to be carefully considered.
• Refacing is a green remodeling option. Refacing keeps cabinet boxes away from the landfill—a great advantage considering that many cabinet boxes are made of MDF, which contains formaldehyde, a hazardous chemical. It also prevents more trees from being cut down to construct new cabinet boxes.
• Wood veneers require finishing. Installing natural wood veneer requires additional steps for staining and varnishing.
• No layout changes are possible. If your kitchen needs a footprint change, this is not the option for you, since refacing does not allow for changing the layout or adding countertop space.
• Box interiors do not change. If your current cabinets are lacking for shelves or other storage features, updating them to meet storage needs may involve significant extra expense. Dingy interiors will need to be painted.
• DIY option is challenging. While possible, veneering is an acquired skill that should be tackled only by patient, skilled DIYers. Installing cabinet doors and drawer fronts, however, is easy.
• Costs can add up. By the time you add new doors, drawer, fronts, hinges and hardware, and interior storage accessories, refacing may not save you much over the cost of installing new off-the-shelf stock cabinets.
What are Your Refacing Options?
Your choices for the finished look of your cabinets are virtually limitless. PSA Veneers are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, grains, and more, which you can mix or match to get a custom look for half the price.
• Rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors, which feature a durable plastic coating over fiberboard, are an affordable alternative to wood or laminate doors.
• Plastic laminates come in hundreds of colors and patterns, are durable and moisture-resistant, and are reasonably priced. You can pick matching or contrasting laminates for your doors and drawer fronts.
• Real wood veneers include many standard species, such as oak, cherry, and maple, and you also can choose from an array of stain colors. Wood veneers are the most expensive option. Wood must be carefully sealed to protect against moisture.
Further customize and update the look of your cabinets with new Pull Handles or Knobs, mix and match for a custom look.
What Does Refacing Cost?
A professional cabinet refacing for a typical 10-foot-by-12-foot kitchen starts at around $1,500 to $3,500 for laminate. Expect to pay $2,500 to $6,000 for real wood veneer. Costs can rise to $7,000 to $9,000 or more for a large project with high-quality wood veneer.
Finishing the project with new hardware (pulls, knobs, hinges) runs $5 to $10 per piece, up to $20 to $50 each for high-end hardware.
In comparison, completely replacing old kitchen cabinets with new cabinets starts at $6,000 to $8,000 and up for stock cabinets; $9,000 to $10,000 for semi-custom cabinets; $16,000 to $20,000 and up for custom-made cabinetry.
How Do I Know If My Cabinets are Good for Refacing?
Not every cabinet is a good candidate for refacing. This doesn't mean those old cabinets are bad candidates, though, because in many cases older cabinet boxes have sturdier construction than newer factory-manufactured boxes and will accept new veneer and doors quite successfully. Good cabinets for refacing have these elements:
• Sturdy box construction made of plywood or MDF panels that are smooth and in good condition. New veneers require smooth solid surfaces in order to adhere properly.
• Face frames of solid hardwood. Good hardwood face frames will accept veneers and can solidly anchor new doors.
• Internal hardware (drawer tracks, internal storage elements) that are in good shape. If the drawers do not operate smoothly or if the cabinets are lacking in shelving or storage accessories, the expense of refacing may not be worth it.
How are They Installed?
A professional installer will come to your house to measure your cabinets and determine the amount of veneer required, the correct sizes and quantities for door and drawer fronts, and how much hardware is needed. Newly ordered doors and drawer fronts may take one to two weeks for delivery.
When all the materials are in hand, your installer removes old cabinet door and drawer fronts, and prepares the surface of the cabinet boxes by washing the exteriors with a degreaser and lightly sanding the finish. Any significant flaws in the surface are repaired or filled to ensure a smooth, secure fit for the new veneer.
The installer applies veneer to the cabinet faces and any exposed cabinet ends, then mounts the new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. The process typically takes two to four days.
At Conquering Clutter, our team of professionals can help you design your Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Project.For more information please call our sales office.