Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Refacing kitchen cabinets? Glass doors open up space

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Does your kitchen look dark and crowded, even though you seem to have plenty of natural light flowing in through the windows? In many kitchens, the cabinets are the focal point of the room. The darker they are--particularly in small rooms--the more crowded your kitchen can appear.

A good remedy for this problem is glass cabinet inserts or doors. Glass doors for kitchen cabinets don't actually give you extra space, but they do create the illusion of more room. The airy look offered by kitchen cabinets with glass doors can make your old kitchen look new.

Types of glass doors for kitchen cabinets

It might seem simple to include glass cabinet fronts in your kitchen remodel, but once you start looking into the options, the decision can get harder. That's because the variety of glass available for kitchen cabinets is mind-boggling. Bendheim Cabinet Glass in New Jersey offers more than 2,000 specialty glasses in their inventory--and that's just one company.

Still, the most popular options for kitchen cabinet glass can be narrowed down to a few:

  • Etched glass allows for creativity. Etching can take any design you choose, from a few simple lines to elaborate pictures that reflect a custom aesthetic.
  • Leaded glass is made of several small pieces connected by a leaded frame. These cabinet fronts are strong and decorative with an old-fashioned feel.
  • Handmade glass with its tiny imperfections appeals to homeowners, who want something entirely unique to their kitchen space. Makes for a great conversation starter.
  • Reflective glass inserts are a great option for modern kitchen designs. When reflected light bounces from one surface to another, it can make your kitchen appear brighter and bigger.
  • Colored glass can give your kitchen more personality. Lighter colors offer character, while still providing a light, airy feel.

Additional customizations for glass cabinet doors include eco-friendly glass, tinted glass, beveled surfaces, elaborate inserts in varying shapes and decorative glass. If you are concerned about breakage, options such as Plexiglas are available, and often look just like the real thing.

Affordable kitchen cabinets with glass doors

A good contractor can add glass to your existing cabinets during a cabinet refacing job. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for cabinets made of rigid thermofoil, and $2,500 to $6,000 for cabinets with thin, wood veneer. This is an estimate of basic costs, and does not include the cost of glass or the labor required to install it properly.

Though glass doors for kitchen cabinets can be pricey, refacing the cabinets can make your kitchen look larger and newer. For those who practically live in their kitchens, a fresh atmosphere is often worth the bottom line.

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