The look of your cabinets set the entire tone for your kitchen. If they’re outdated, beat-up, or are an odd colour, it can bring you down every time you step into that room to make a cup of coffee or prepare dinner. In addition to making your kitchen look old and tired, out-of-date cabinets can make storage a hassle. Although we might not think much about them until it’s time to replace them, cabinets are the most visible and frequently-used item in your kitchen.
When you finally reach the point where you walk into the kitchen of your Toronto-area home and exclaim, “I can’t take it anymore!”—what’s next? Do you get a sledgehammer? Call a contractor and have the entire kitchen ripped out?
Here are factors to consider before you remove your existing kitchen cabinetry: Do you like the way your kitchen is laid out? Does it make cooking efficient and enjoyable? Is there plenty of storage space? These are major considerations if you have a particularly small home or kitchen.
If any of the above are true, refacing your cabinets doesn’t make sense. It’s only a cosmetic fix and won’t help if you’re struggling to find a place to put things. It’s also not a solution if your kitchen is laid out in a way that makes cooking a struggle—with the stove, sink, storage, and workspace located in places that don’t flow when you’re using your kitchen.
When Refacing Makes Sense
If you like the way your kitchen is laid out and have plenty of storage, refacing may make sense. Older cabinets are often well-built and very solid. If this is the case with yours, refacing them can provide a much-needed update that will transform the look of your entire kitchen.
What does refacing entail? You’ll simply be replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, as well as painting or staining the cabinet frame that’s visible underneath. A choice of brand new hardware will complete your new look and—voila! A kitchen that looks totally transformed.
In addition to avoiding the hassle of having your entire kitchen ripped apart for a period of time, it’s much cheaper to reface, rather than completely redo your cabinets. Kitchen cabinets that would cost over $25,000 to replace will cost around $9,000 to reface—a savings of over half.
What Does Refacing Involve?
Working with professionals such as the team at Kitchen and Bath will help ensure that your finished refacing project is one that looks natural. The job consists of more than simply removing old doors and facings and installing new ones. In addition to this, your team will do the necessary work to prepare the cabinet frames for new paint or stain. They’ll fill old nail holes and add new panels, molding, or the toekick under the base cabinet (as needed).
There are three finish choices for your new cabinet doors and drawer facings. Plastic laminates are available in many colours (including a variety of wood grains) but aren’t malleable, so they’re best for plain cabinet doors. RTF (rigid thermofoils) works best for cabinets that have curves and arches, as they are malleable but is available in less colour choices. The most expensive option, wood veneer, looks rich and warm.
Talk to a Professional
For some kitchens, the choice to replace or reface is obvious. For others, the choice may not be so clear. No matter what, the team at Kitchen and Bath can help guide you in the right direction and get you started on the kitchen remodelling process.
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