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
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.
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.