Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Professionals Admit Refacing Finally Acceptable!

It took over twenty-years, but finally refacing is being recognized by the kitchen and bath industry as a legitimate remodeling solution for the consumer. In the January issue of Professional Remodeler magazine, for the first time ever, refacing is not only mentioned, but included as the fourth item in their list of “Kitchen and Bath Design Trends for 2014”.
So what made the kitchen industry leaders finally accept this alternative remodeling technique? Apparently, so many people are choosing to reface, rather than replace their cabinets, they didn’t have much choice. Especially since the results are not only beautiful, but with additional accessories, rival the functionality of an all new kitchen. The process couldn’t just be ignored any more.
            Granted, in the past, refacing, (or resurfacing as it is also called), used to conjure up a less-than-beautiful kitchen, where the material covering the cabinets and doors didn’t look real and would peel off in a few years. While this may have been true 20 years ago the materials and adhesives used for refacing have improved dramatically. Most contractors who offer this service now replace the door and drawer fronts and cover the cabinet with the same material the new fronts are made of. Today, a custom refacing job, if done properly, looks just like a new kitchen and lasts just as long.
            The selection of replacement fronts has expanded exponentially over the past few years. You can now get real wood, and select from maple, cherry, alder, birch, pine and exotic woods. If you want to go with laminate fronts there are close to a hundred colors to chose from, and now the laminates can be hand-crafted with a glazed finish or Italian high gloss lacquer, just like real wood. Add to this all the modern internal conveniences that you find in new kitchen cabinets and refacing becomes a viable alternative.
            Over the past twenty-years, I’ve found that the two most popular reasons for refacing cabinets, rather than replacing them, are convenience and cost. With our hectic schedules, many people don’t want to have their lifestyles disrupted any longer than necessary. It’s hard enough getting everything done that we’re supposed to each day without having construction going on for several weeks. Refacing takes much less time than replacing a kitchen and is much less stressful than a total renovation.
And in most cases it’s usually much more economical than a new kitchen. I say “usually much more economical” because there are factors that can increase the costs of refacing. When you select thermofoil replacement fronts the cost is about 50% less than buying and installing new, all-wood cabinets. However, if you choose special shapes or wood fronts the savings begins to diminish. Another factor that can add to the expense of refacing is changing the layout of your kitchen. You realize the greatest saving when no alterations are made to the floor plan. If you intend on changing more than 10% of the cabinets in the kitchen it makes more sense to think about replacing all of them.
            If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, bath or wall unit, it certainly would be worthwhile to investigate all the possibilities. Especially now that the taboo associated with refacing has been lifted, it’s a good idea to visit showrooms that offer both new cabinets and refacing. And, with the wide range of replacement fronts available you may be pleasantly surprised.