Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Inexpensive, quick and eco-friendly cabinet refacing

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Ugly cabinets can really bring down the appearance of a kitchen, but there's help. You can rip off that peeling, simulated-wood laminate from 1977, tear off the matching doors and make your kitchen into the functional masterpiece you deserve. But as magical as refacing your kitchen cabinets can seem, it might not fix everything. Here's the skinny on cabinet refacing to help you get off the fence about whether to reface or replace.

The good

There are even more good things about cabinet refacing than just your kitchen looking great afterwards.

  • It's inexpensive, not cheap. It can be about half as much as fully replacing your cabinets, and with all of the new hardware (handles, knobs, hinges and the like) your cabinets work and look like new.
  • It's quick. Once you've gone through the process of picking out the new look, a good, bonded, licensed and insured* contractor like the ones in our network can knock out this job with a good team in about a week.
  • It's not too much of a hassle. You can still use your kitchen while the refacing is going on -- mostly. It's definitely better than the mess of removing all of your old cabinets with a complete replacement, during which you might need to leave home temporarily.

The bad

Resurfacing cabinets only seems like magic. Replacement cupboard doors can't fix everything.

  • It can't fix the worst cabinets. If your cabinets are rotting off the wall, you need to replace them. Even slapping the best hardwood veneer on them can't fix major structural issues.
  • It can't change the layout of your kitchen. Got a wall in the wrong place? Can't reach the tall cabinets? Cabinet refacing reuses what you've already got in place. If you truly hate everything about your kitchen, then you're only putting lipstick on a pig.
  • It can get expensive. For example, cabinet hardware can run anywhere from $2 to $4 for each piece all the way up to $20 to $50 for the fancy stuff. If you want upscale materials, you'll be paying accordingly when you put solid gold handles on Brazilian rosewood doors.

The awesome

Now that you know the worst, here's more awesome news about cabinet refacing.

  • It's a green remodel. That's right: you're saving the planet by refacing your cabinets -- at least when you compare it to ripping out the old ones and throwing them in a landfill. Pat yourself on the back, and high-five Mother Nature.
  • It can totally refresh your kitchen. When you resurface cabinets in your kitchen, you're changing the whole feel. They can add both function and flair.

Replacement cupboard doors might not seem like a big deal, but you'll believe it when you see it.

*See terms and conditions on http://www.streetcertified.com/about/Terms.jsp

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