Kitchen refacing?i

maid_o_cliffAugust 14, 2013

I see all your beautiful high end kitchens and am truly envious!
My house is 40 yrs. old, and I have lived here for 30 of those years. Believe it or not we are to damn old and crotchety, not to mention a lack of funding, for a total redo with all the bells and whistles!
Ergo the reface!
My question is have ay of you gone that route and been happy and still proud of your kitchen?
While I am sure, house beautiful will not be out for a cover shot I would like it to be nice.
Is there anyone here who was and is satisfied with a refacing?

Thank you,
Red

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joaniepoanie

Do you mean where they come in and reface your existing cabinets? I dont have experience with this but I have heard it is a total rip-off--very expensive and you are better off getting new cabinets....just saying what I have heard..Im sure there are people on here who have gone this route and can be more specific. Maybe refacing techniques have improved and prices have come down.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:46AM
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Sophie Wheeler

It's more expensive in most cases than replacing your existing cabinets with a moderate price line and just not going crazy on the upgrades.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:18AM
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palimpsest

I think it's one of those things that is as or more expensive per cabinet than replacing the cabinets.

But, if you are interested in only changing the esthetics of the cabinets, not the layout, and you are not interested in changing flooring or other elements you may have an overall savings compared to taking out old cabinets and putting new ones in.

This is because unless the countertop is laminate (and easily unscrewed) it can rarely be saved and there is usually damage to walls and flooring with the removal of cabinets that needs to be at least repaired, if you don't redo those as well.

I think the two things are difficult to compare directly because with refacing you can alter the cabinets while leaving everything else in place, but it is very rare to remove old cabinets, put in new ones and leave everything else intact or put it back as it was. The budget for the whole project can end up being a lot more, whereas just looking at cabinet pricing, That part alone may be cheaper than refacing.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:19AM
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karin_mt

We did that and are thrilled. Basically the builder wrapped the cabinets in new wood and built slab doors that covered most of the front face of the cabinets. It was exactly the result we wanted and it cost about $5000 for our modest kitchen. We also got new pullouts, countertops, backsplash, sink and lighting - all of which freshened up the kitchen without gutting it. The total bill was around $9K. Not cheap, but less than a total redo. For us it was the exact solution we wanted.

Here is a link that might be useful: thread about our refacing

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:36AM
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cat_mom

My parents have white melamine(?) cabinets in their townhouse. They replaced just the doors and drawer fronts with white, painted wood (I believe), added new hardware, a granite countertop, with a new SS sink and faucet, new floor (wood look laminate), and new dishwasher. They could have replaced their cabinets, but the contractor they used felt their existing layout was a good one for their space, and their cabinets (boxes) were well-made, and in good shape. They really didn't care that the exposed parts of the cabs weren't an exact match to the door/drawer fronts material-wise. Very little shows unless the doors/drawers are open, and the end panels, of course. Also, they didn't care to upgrade to any of the newer, "fancier" drawer glides or hinges either.

I don't remember what they paid, but i do remember that it was quite reasonable. Much less than new cabinets would have been. Theirs was a kitchen refresh, not a full-out remodel, and they were/are very happy with the end result. They have since replaced their appliances with SS (their oven died, and mom had hated their "new" dishwasher from day one).

A good friend had had her cabs refaced about 16 yrs ago. The guy also built or modified one of the existing cabinets at the time. I am sure the refacing cost her less than new cabs or she would not have gone that route.

Best thing you can do is get estimates for refacing from a few reputable companies or contractors, as well as for new cabinets. If your layout works for you, and your "boxes" are good, it could be an option.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Linelle

I went a very similar route as cat_mom's parents, only my cabinets were golden oak and I already had hardwood floors. I put the plan into action *before* I found GW, so I made some missteps, but overall I'm very happy with how it turned out. I have a small kitchen but the layout is good. It just needed a facelift.

Initially I thought reface and had some guy sent via Home Depot with a whole spiel that didn't fit my needs. He tossed off a ridiculously high quote. I found a local KD who helped me stick to my modest budget. I have gradually replaced my appliances with SS, but decided I'm strangely attached to my old white Kenmore stove so I'm hanging onto it for awhile.

For $20K my kitchen feels transformed and unique. Yes, it's a white shaker kitchen, but in my circle, no one has one like it. If I had to do it again, I'd for sure change a few things, but I'd definitely do it again.

Edited to add: The money was for the entire kitchen, not just the cabinet update.

This post was edited by linelle on Wed, Aug 14, 13 at 11:21

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Connie K

I haven't done it, but I would be concerned that the refacing is essentially applying a veneer to your existing cabinets. Veneers don't seem to hold up to the test of time. They chip. It doesn't sound like any of the happy customers upthread are experiencing this, but it is for this reason that I won't do it. I love our solid cherry wood cabinets, even with the scuffs, and would be most unhappy if a veneer were applied and then it chipped.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:28AM
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sunsoleil

I refaced the cabinets in my other house. I liked the layout and the boxes were in very good condition. I used a cabinet maker that cover the frames in my house and then built new drawers and doors at his shop. I ended up with a beautiful kitchen since he used high quality materials. I had a friend that had a re-facing company and they charged more and it looked good. They put new faces on the old drawers, while I got new drawer boxes and slides, for a lower price. Shop around--it may or may not be worth it.
karin_mt, what a beautiful kitchen!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Linelle

Just to be clear, I didn't get refacing that wraps the wood. I got new doors and drawer fronts and had them and the old boxes painted professionally.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Kpro123

I have done 5 kitchen reface projects in 25 years. There was always some logic behind the refacing in lieu of R & R. The last one was a 6th floor condo with a single 'too small' elevator among other constraints.
I typically try to walk away from any refacing projects. It's just not typically a smart choice for all the reasons others have mentioned...
But, if you must...visit Eliaswoodwork.com. They make ALL the products for refacing and offer a terrific how-to video.

Here is a link that might be useful: refacing products and video

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Connie K

I haven't done it, but I would be concerned that the refacing is essentially applying a veneer to your existing cabinets. Veneers don't seem to hold up to the test of time. They chip. It doesn't sound like any of the happy customers upthread are experiencing this, but it is for this reason that I won't do it. I love our solid cherry wood cabinets, even with the scuffs, and would be most unhappy if a veneer were applied and then it chipped.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:09AM
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angela12345

When we bought our primary residence, the kitchen drawer and door fronts were made out of living room panelling, complete with the vertical grooves. The boxes were in very good shape. We had only the doors and drawer fronts replaced with white raised panel style. We painted the boxes ourselves to match the doors. Sooooooo much better than what we had before.

I don't remember the price. Unfortunately, it was years ago, before I found GW, or I may have considered a different route. Who knows, I may have gone the same way.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:10AM
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nycbluedevil

I refaced my melamine cabinets in 1999 as part of a remodel that included new appliances, floor and countertops and a little bit of moving things around that did not involve damaging the existing cabinets. The cabinets were put in by the prior owner and while not the best quality, were in good condition. We had three young kids at the time and I was not up for a big gut job. We replaced the doors and drawer fronts with white thermofoil ones. This refacing job served our purposes very well until we did a real gut remodel last fall.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Kpro123

One more tip...IF your existing cabinets are all 3" increment stock sizes, (15, 18, 21") and IF you choose to use new doors close in color to the exposed sides, there may be some value in refacing for the near term. That would be a easy bandaid fix.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Kpro123

One more tip...IF your existing cabinets are all 3" increment stock sizes, (15, 18, 21") and IF you choose to use new doors close in color to the exposed sides, there may be some value in refacing for the near term. That would be a easy bandaid fix.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:32AM
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lazy_gardens

There are several factors to consider ...

IF your existing cabinet layout Is good
IF the existing cabinets are in excellent condition
THEN it makes sense to reface or buy new doors

My little sister had it done in one house (she's a serial renovator) because the kitchen was in great shape, had a good layout, but she hated the look of the doors. They were ornately overdone in a simple modern house.

I don't remember the cost, but it was small compared to the hassle and cost of new cabinets. The cabinetmaker came, measured, and came back in a couple of weeks with new doors.

If the carcases are in poor shape, it's not worth it.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 11:46AM
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joaniepoanie

Don't forget...if you reface cabinets.....will the flooring, counters and backsplash look old and dingy next to "new" cabinets? If so, maybe redoing all is the way to go.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:34PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

We had 80's laminate with that oak trim-- remember that? The boxes were custom and high quality and there were drawers and full extension roll-outs everywhere that still worked fine. We got new cherry doors and drawer fronts. For the frames, they laminated on some thin veneer. That's the only part that looks "off" if you look closely. You can tell they are not solid pieces of wood. I only see the ones that are at eye level, though. I can't remember how much it cost-- we got a new sink and faucet and replaced the laminate counters with another color of laminate (I still like it-- I'm a contrarian that way!) I think it was in the 10-15 K range, but it's been several years, so I don't recall what that included. But you are right, it was a LOT less disruptive than a full-on remodel and we were happy with our layout and the cabs themselves were in fine shape.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:58PM
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maid_o_cliff

Thank you to everyone that gave me input! I am happy with the layout, have always been comfortable cooking in the space.
I am having cabs refaced, so same footprint, have decent tiled floors 16 by 16. Putting drawers in 4 bottom cabs, full extension soft close hardware, and new cab pulls. New vigo 23 by 19 stainless sink and new range hood. Silestone quartz countertop and a subway tile backsplash.
Supposedly the turn around time is 3 to 5 days (I will believe that when I see it) wich is one of the reasons for going with the reface!

The other, is I have been ill for quite a while and, would like to have a nice kitchen to cook in if something happens to me! At least for a little while.
So thank you for letting me know that some people were happy and satisfied.
I did not want the process to go on for months!

Thank ya'all again,
Red

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:56PM
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karin_mt

Good choice, Red - I like your reasoning. Good luck and please keep us posted!

Oh, and just to answer one point from upthread about veneer. In our case we didn't use veneer. We used solid wood, maybe 3/8" thick or so, so durability is not an issue.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 10:29PM
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