Cost to Refinish

nehomeOctober 19, 2012

Refinish, Reface, Replace? I am doing what was intended to be a partial kitchen upgrade on our 17 yr old kitchen. We expect to stay in the house at least another 10-15 years. We are definitely replacing appliances (stainless), counter (granite) and backsplash. I am trying to make a decision on what makes sense for the cabinets and flooring.

Kitchen Description:

Cherry Cabinets - to the ceiling, crown molding,finish in fairly decent shape - 2-3 cracked doors, some wearing on the most used cabinets doors, hinges keep breaking and need replacement. There are 20 doors , 11 draw fronts and 6 cabinet ends. About a total of 26 ln ft (if I add 18ft lower and 18ft upper cabs).

Flooring - 12x12 ceramic tile, some cracked tiles near sink under area rug, typical darkening of grout in some spots so not a totally uniform appearance, grout loosening along baseboard edges.

Plan A Reface - Replace doors with full overlay stained to match existing crown moulding and exposed frame. Not exactly a total reface - no veneers applied to box. Estimate ballparked at $3000 using on-line door and drawer front site. Will do some additional cabinets at 6 Ln Ft and add panels on cab ends for closer match to new doors. So estimating about another $2K. I'm guessing $1500 for install ($50 each for total of 30 doors/drawer fronts)? Leave floor as is - use a tile refinishing service. Cab budget $6.5K, floor budget $1.6K, total budget for everything (lights, appliances, table etc) about $30K.

Plan B Replace - cabs estimated through HD at about $14K for Kraftmaid (bead molding, painted and glazed) plus about $2.5K estimate for install. Replace 364 sq ft floor with wood. Total Cab budget $16.5, floor budget $3.8K,demo $6.5K offset by selling my cabs for $2.5K, total budget for everything about $45-48K.

Plan C Refinish - written off this idea assuming it is fairly labor intensive and would exceed the "modified" Reface estimate.

These are the issues I am noodling and would appreciate any thoughts to help me decide whether to go with Plan A Reface or invest an additional $18K and Replace.

Reface (Plan A) - will new doors match existing box and crown molding for a "brand new" kitchen look or will it look a bit mismatched and age differently (remember it is cherry)? Will floor stand out as old with everything else updated? Can the floor easily be replaced a couple of years from now? Tile does not go under the cabs but will removal damage cabs? Is it more expensive to install wood floors "around" existing cabs?

Replace (Plan B) - Am I crazy to be tearing out solid cherry cabinets in fairly decent shape? However, if not done now then never - we are early 50s, 1 child still at home - so I don't see us making major enhancements 5-10 yrs down the road. As a separate project we want to add a french door to an adjoining room. Will this require the threshold to the kitchen to be disturbed and cause patching to the kitchen floor tile? If we replace kitchen flooring and do the two projects together the result will be better. Is selling the cabinets feasible - it would make me feel better to not dump them in the trash?

Are there any other pros/cons or questions I have not considered that would help me decide what to do?

Appreciate any input from others that have considered these options. It would be an easier decision if my kitchen was terribly dated or poor quality cabinetry!

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I meant to change the title to Refinish, Reface, Replace? Initially I was going to ask for input on Plan C - Refinishing but I don't think I want to go that route.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Good question and you seem to be taking a nice, thorough approach.

I think the most important question is whether the current layout works well. Does it meet your needs well? Where would the additional 6 linear feet of cabinets go, and what unmet need will they fulfill?

You could post a "help for layout" thread and see if we can come up with a better layout than your current one. If so, you may be more inclined to replace everything and move the layout around. If not, it may tip you the other way.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 3:40PM
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I have to vote for replace. Donate these cabinets to Habitat for Humanity.
You are in your 50's. Perfect time to get a large renovation out of the way. You will be able to enjoy it for many years to come.
If you can comfortably afford it, go for it.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Would you rather replace 32 year old cabinets when you go to sell in 15 years and never enjoy them, or would you rather replace them now and get 15 years of enjoyment out of them? Yes, replacing will cost you more in effort and money, but consider it investing in the efficiency and functionality of your daily life for 15 years. Not to mention the enjoyment that you will get because you put in a kitchen that you love to look at!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:56PM
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