How Does Cabinet Refacing Work?
When you want to dramatically change the look of your kitchen cabinets, cabinet refacing is the ideal way to do so. You’ll be replacing the cabinet skins. The cabinet doors and drawers will have a new veneer placed over the existing surfaces (called the body of the cabinet). Here’s how the process works.
After deciding on the finishes and details, the first step is to remove the cabinet doors from the existing body. The drawers are removed as well. The drawer fronts are then removed. The rest of the drawer remains in one piece.
All existing surfaces are cleaned as needed. Keep in mind that if there are some areas of the body that are broken, repairs may be necessary. However; the cabinet refacing process works for most needs, even if there is some damage present.
New Veneers Are Placed
Then, a professional will apply a natural wood veneer or another product (the type of veneer you’ve selected before the process got started). These front portions are done with exacting detail to ensure they create the beautiful look you desire. Most often, a natural wood veneer is used, but RTF is another common option for cabinet refacing veneers. The cabinet sides are then skinned as well with the veneers. Excellent attention is paid to get these areas to look beautiful.
New Doors and Drawers
One of the keys to updating your kitchen is to update the look of the doors and drawer fronts. It’s not necessarily easy to add a veneer to these surfaces. Most of the time, kitchen cabinet doors have a lot of detail carved into them, making them beautiful and special. They are also the most common areas to take a beating when it comes to developing signs of wear and tear.
That’s why most cabinet refacing projects actually replace the doors and drawers with new ones. Again, you get to choose the look and feel you want here. You can select doors with glass inserts or simply clean panes. It’s up to you to choose what is going to make your kitchen pop!
After you select the right look for your space, the new doors and drawer fronts are added to the existing cabinetry. Done by a professional, this process ensures the drawers and doors function properly, just like if they were new.
A component of the updating can also include updating the hardware on your cabinetry doors and drawers. These are the small drawer pulls, handles, and other fixtures that adorn the cabinets. This is an important step in the process. That’s because you can choose from a wide range of looks.
You can select from various metal types – everything from the beautiful brushed nickel look that’s so modern to distressed finishes. Choose rustic charm or modern elegance. You will also get to select from various materials – though most hardware is metal, some incorporate crystal, glass, or even wood into them. This is a fantastic way to specialize the look of your cabinetry.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to replace the hardware. If you like what you have or it is in good condition, and you don’t want to waste it, you can reuse it. It may make sense to polish and clean these pieces well before putting them back into place. This is a great way to minimize waste in your project, too.
One of the more forgotten about areas of specialization are the hinges. Hinges allow for cabinet doors to open and close. Sometimes, you don’t see them at all – they are hidden into the working components of the door. However, you can help them to stand out when you want them to add to the look of the space.
On older style cabinetry, hinges tended to be very basic and just functional – not very aesthetic. Now, you can replace any type of boring hinge with one that’s beautiful and even stunning. Select from various styles, colors, and sizes to fit the look of your kitchen. Most of the time, the coloring and material will match the hardware you are planning to install.
Additional Features for Your Cabinet Refacing Project
There are many ways you can personalize and update the look of your space. A few other features can be added, most of the time, to your cabinetry to make it a bit more customized to fit your desired look but also the function that you need in your home. Here are a few ways to do that.
Soft-Close Hinges and Slides
One of the best ways to really upgrade the function of your drawers is to install soft-close slides. Cabinetry can have soft-close hinges installed as well. If you’ve ever had a door slam shut, you may know the benefit of soft-close features like this. It helps to stop that slam from occurring by slowing down the close of the cabinet door or drawer. Not only does this eliminate the slamming sound, but it helps to protect the wood of those doors from damage.
One of the most modern kitchen cabinet trends is the use of cabinet lighting. There are various options to choose from here, including the use of lighting tucked inside the cabinet so that, when you open the door, you can see what’s inside even in the middle of the night. If you have glass cabinet door fronts, this light can also be turned on to see what’s inside.
Another option is to place cabinet lighting under the cabinets themselves. If cabinets are above your countertops, this type of under cabinet lighting can help to illuminate the surface of your countertop, allowing better light for food prep. Several options exist to make lighting just right for any space.
If you take a look at your existing cabinetry, you’ll notice various areas of molding. This includes along the base of the cabinets, at the edges, and even along the top. Each one of these pieces needs to be updated (in most cases) to create a cohesive look with your new cabinets. It’s a good idea to work closely with your cabinet refacing team to update these areas. Molding not only completes the look but also helps to embellish it and create a more custom, beautiful finish.
The most important element is the toe kick. If you look at the base of your cabinets, there’s a piece of molding that runs along the base of them. This helps to keep the look of the cabinet base even and clean. A matching toe kick to your cabinetry doors and drawers (or at least to the veneer-covered base) is a very important investment.
It’s possible to purchase the same wood type and materials for your molding as you do for your cabinetry doors and drawers. This makes it very easy to match everything together. You may want to consider updating other molding in the kitchen to match it as well, such as any around doors or windows in your kitchen.
Another important thing to think about are the countertops. Now that you are putting all of the time into updating your kitchen cabinetry, it is also a very good time to update the actual countertop. You can work with a company that will replace the countertop with one that you select while working hard to protect the cabinets. Whenever possible, replace the countertop now during the cabinet refacing process. Doing so helps to minimize any potential damage to the cabinetry during the process.
This is also a good time to update and modernize the backsplash. Keep in mind that, depending on when the backsplash was installed, it could be behind your kitchen cabinetry. That’s why replacing it now, while you are working on your cabinet update makes sense.
Adding to or Changing the Layout of Your Kitchen
Cabinet refacing generally keeps things as is and just updates the look and function of each area. That doesn’t have to be, though. What if you want to add some height to your cabinets, perhaps to bring your countertops higher so you can work on them, you can do that. You can also add more height to your wall cabinetry to create a more dramatic look.
Another common desire is to add a new island or a new cabinet to the layout. You can do that. You can always add to the existing layout with ease and even make a few changes to the layout as you wish. You can do this by purchasing additional cabinets or rearranging the existing ones. Keep in mind that, if you want to use your existing cabinets, they need to be in good shape. Some are glued to each other or to the supportive walls – that can make it a bit more challenging to simply move them. This is common in older style cabinets.
Cabinet Refacing Pricing: What to Expect
One of the most common questions homeowners have is about the cost of cabinet refacing. By some estimates, cabinet refacing is 50 percent to 70 percent less than replacing all of your cabinets. The actual cost will depend on the size and amount of work to be done.
The average cost for cabinet refacing for a 120-square-foot kitchen is around $1,000 and $3,000. However, costs can rise to up to $9,000 if you are using a wood veneer product. This can increase as well based on the size and features you plan to add.
The best way to learn more about the pricing of a cabinet refacing project is to request a quote. This is also the best way to learn about the style options and the cost differences in available materials.
Common Questions About Cabinet Refacing
Even in the best of situations, most people have some questions about cabinet refacing trends and makeover options. Here are some answers.
Why is cabinet refacing a better option over a full kitchen remodel?
It isn’t always the best option. If your cabinets are very old and very damaged, it may be best to remove them and replace them in total. However, most people will be able to use cabinet refacing. In that case, it offers a few key benefits, including:
- A lower-cost
- Faster process
- Less waste for disposal
- Better for the environment
- Easier to work around
How long does the kitchen cabinet refacing process take?
The cabinet refacing process does not have to take long. A professional will give you an estimated timeframe based on various factors, including the size and scale of the project, as well as the type of veneers and upgrades you plan to install. Most of the time, it only takes a few days – and usually less than a week – to have a like-new kitchen in place. By comparison, it can take a month or longer to remove and replace all of the cabinets in your home with new ones.
How long does cabinet refacing last?
One of the best things about using this type of kitchen cabinet makeover is that it can be long-lasting. You will need to maintain them properly (you’ll receive information about how to properly clean and care for them). However, most of the time, this type of update can give you years, even decades of beautiful, like-new cabinetry. It’s most important to minimize moisture risks, mold, and structural damage to your cabinetry – like you would for any other type of cabinetry.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
Kitchen cabinet refacing is one of the best investments you can make into your home. It is a fast and affordable way of updating your kitchen. Work with our team to learn more. We ensure all contractors and supplies used are the very best in quality and craftsmanship, ensuring you get the very best outcome for your project. To get started, request a consultation or more information from Cabinet Refacing Trends today.