Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Self adhesive veneer: good idea or sticky situation?

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Cabinet refacing offers numerous options for the thrifty homeowner. One of the most tempting options is self adhesive veneer. This popular method of refacing can be easy for the handy do-it-yourselfer, but how does it hold up over time against the grime and humidity of a busy kitchen?

3 reasons self adhesive veneer could work

  1. If you are on a very tight budget, cabinet veneer could be your best remodeling friend. Though prices for real wood veneers can cost $7,000 to $9,000 for a typical kitchen, using plastic laminate can bring the cost down to between $1,000 and $3,000 for the materials.
  2. If you are determined to do the refacing yourself but don't have excellent carpentry skills, self adhesive veneer is the way to go. The ease of application is one reason veneers are so popular.
  3. When you decide you are tired of your old look, you can easily create a new one in a weekend with plastic laminates. This allows you to change up the kitchen atmosphere more often and for a cheaper price.

3 reasons why self adhesive covering might not work

There are a few downsides to that affordable cabinet refacing option. Here are three points to consider:

  1. If your kitchen doesn't have adequate ventilation, the resulting humidity could wreck havoc on cheaper veneers. Over time they could begin to peel from the corners, leading to an unsightly look that demands replacement.
  2. Looking for something that will last a long time? Self adhesive coverings might not fit the bill. Real wood cabinets can last for decades, but laminates might last for only a few years before they start to show signs of wear and tear.
  3. While most high-quality veneers will hold up to heat, some will not, so be sure of what you are getting before you write the check. Self adhesive covering that warps or yellows in the presence of heat can do little favors for those cabinets near your oven or range.

When choosing materials and options for cabinet refacing, it pays to do your homework. Should you spend a little extra money now to save a bundle later? Are you handy enough to do the work on your own? If you choose to go with veneer, which type is best for your long-term kitchen plans? Don't hesitate to ask questions of your kitchen cabinet-material dealer in order to get all the answers you need.

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