Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Top 3 Tips for an Environmentally-Friendly Kitchen Cabinet Reface

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

If you're an environmentally-conscious person and you're thinking about refacing your kitchen cabinets, it's good to know that refacing in itself can do a pretty good job following the mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." For years cabinet refacing has been known as a cheaper option for a kitchen makeover because it can cost less than one-half of what a full kitchen remodel costs, but now people also appreciate the fact that cabinet refacing can be so much more environmentally-friendly than kitchen remodeling just by its nature. When you're refacing, you're only replacing the doors and drawer fronts, whereas with a total remodel you would also be replacing the entire cabinet boxes, sending much more material to the landfill.

Of course, even if refacing is more environmentally-friendly than remodeling, there are ways to go about it that are greener than others. If you're interested in making your cabinet refacing job even more environmentally-conscious, here are some tips.

Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Reface Your Kitchen

  1. Use sustainable natural materials. By choosing materials that can be regrown quickly, you can reduce the amount of waste that goes into your kitchen reface. Many consumers are opting to use cork or bamboo flooring, and bamboo countertops are increasing in popularity. Bamboo is a quick-growing grass that is quite sustainable, and cork is harvested from bark without harming the tree. If you prefer using hardwood, choose cabinets that last a long time.
  2. Use eco-friendly products. If sustainable materials aren't an option for you, there are other ways to be environmentally-friendly. Choose cabinets that are made from woods that have been certified for sustainable harvesting by the Forest Stewardship Council. If you're replacing your floors, consider products such as Marmoleum, which has a look similar to linoleum but is made with natural linseed oil and other renewable materials. If you're replacing cabinet shelves, or even a few boxes, consider using wheatboard instead of particle board--its production is much easier on the environment.
  3. Recycle your old materials. Don't just send your old cabinet doors and drawer fronts to the landfill; see whether they can be reused. If they are basically in good shape and just need a cleaning, a new paint job, or an owner with different taste, consider posting them on Craigslist or somewhere else they could be adopted by others.

It's nice to know that your kitchen reface job doesn't have to involve waste and consumption. By doing the research and making careful choices, you can complete an environmentally-friendly kitchen cabinet reface.


About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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