Cabinet bling: Pricey options for refacing
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
When it comes time to reface your cabinets, you may find it's difficult to get a sense of what things cost without an upper end to the scale. Here are a few luxury cabinet upgrades that can really break the bank to give you a better idea of how much things could cost:
- Exotic hardwoods: Your typical wood veneer comes in at anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot for the higher-end stuff. Once you start getting to the highest-end exotic hardwoods, though, you start seeing prices climb. Hawaiian Koa, for example, is a beautiful, golden wood often used to makes guitars. For veneer, you'll be lucky to find this exotic hardwood for less than $10 a square foot. Other pricey woods include Brazilian Kingwood, with its violet streaks; the extremely rare, almost iridescently golden Chilean Laurel Burl; and the beautifully light brown Mappa Burl.
- Luxury drawer pulls and door handles: For hardware that isn't even strictly necessary, the range of options available for drawer pulls and door handles is staggering. If you've got money to burn, you can easily find 18" brass, bronze or iron handles that'll set you back $300 a piece. Want a little bit of sparkle in the kitchen? Pick up some $100 Swarovski Crystal drawer pulls.
- Top-of-the-line hinges: A cheap, no-frills cabinet hinge can be as little as fifty cents. Average prices are closer to $2 to $4 per hinge, which can add up quickly at two hinges per door -- but not as quickly as some of the fancier hinges out there. Once you start adding features like auto-close, soft-close and easy adjustability, prices quickly climb to $15 to $20 a hinge. Of course, that's nothing compared to the elegant $150-plus ornamental hinges you can find.
- Highly functional drawer slides: Though not quite as thrillingly expensive as the other components, drawer slides can still get up there on the pricing scale. A standard drawer slide runs about $3.50 -- or $7 a drawer. If you want that drawer to slide like it's riding on greased lightning and close firmly, yet silently with all the precision of a Swiss watch, though, you're going to be looking at prices closer to $40 and $50 a drawer.
There are, of course, even more ridiculously expensive options out there, like the three-by-one-inch leather drawer pull that costs $100. Talk to a bonded, licensed, and insured* contractor about finding pieces that look the part without breaking the bank.
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