Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
4 projects: cabinet refacing for every budgetby Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
No matter your hopes for a kitchen remodel, the bottom line is always the deciding factor. Kitchen cabinet refacing can fit into the tiniest budget and give you a new look. Got plenty of money? Refacing your cabinets still makes sense. Here's how to make the most of what your checkbook can offer.
Tiny budget? Look at paint and hardware
Sometimes budgets are tiny. That's when easy do-it-yourself projects can really make a big impact. Painting or staining your kitchen cabinets can add new life until you can take the plunge into a more serious remodel.
Hardware can make or break the look, so invest in pieces that fit well with the new look of your kitchen. For instance, whimsical white cabinets might look great with brightly colored jewel pulls. Gold, silver or copper pulls might set off the stately look of a dark stain.
Expect to pay between $2 and $4 for simple pulls, and up to $50 each for custom designs or colors. Paint or stain starts at about $10 per gallon and goes up from there.
The catch: These options can give immediate new life to your cabinets, but if you truly need replacement or a cabinet refacing, paint or stain is simply a temporary fix.
Bigger budget? Consider cabinet refacing
New cabinets too rich for your wallet? For something more affordable, kitchen cabinet refacing is an option. Refacing with plastic laminate can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 for a typical kitchen. Real wood veneer of 1/4-inch or more can cost between $2,500 and $6,000. Want something even nicer? High-quality veneer can cost between $7,000 and $9,000 or more.
The catch: Think affordable kitchen cabinet refacing is a do-it-yourself job? Think again. It usually takes a professional contractor to ensure that the work is done right and will last for years to come.
Impressive budget? Go with impressive materials
If your checkbook is feeling rather healthy, choosing rare or unusual materials for your kitchen remodel might be in the budget. Custom woods can drive up your kitchen cabinet refacing cost, but the rewards of a kitchen everyone else in the neighborhood envies could be worth the higher price tag.
How much higher? Semi-custom cabinets with exotic woods, delicate trim and the like can cost between $8,000 and $10,000. Truly custom cabinets can cost between $16,000 to $20,000 or more.
The catch: Exotic woods can add a longer wait time to your custom job. If you want that impressive kitchen remodel but you're okay with waiting several months to make it happen, custom work might be your cup of tea.
The sky's the limit? Get your dream kitchen
When money is no object, you can buy whatever you desire. That means the high-end appliances, luxury countertops and custom kitchen cabinets made of exotic woods can be yours. Expect to write out a hefty check; Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report estimates a major upscale kitchen remodel will cost an average of $113,464.
The catch: This is almost definitely a project you won't be able to handle on your own, so expect to hire at least one contractor. Also, keep in mind that even the best contractor can take several months to create your dream kitchen, so be prepared to eat meals on the go for a while.