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Kitchen Cabinets: Replace or Reface?

May 17, 2018

Have your kitchen cabinets seen better days? Your kitchen may be due for a serious makeover.

Kitchen renovations can be minimal or extensive, and they depend on three things:

  • What you want

  • What you need

  • Your budget

 

 

 

Particleboard Kitchen Cabinets

 

If the house you live in was built on the cheap, your kitchen cabinets might be made of particleboard, aka, MDF. Particleboard is ground-up bits of wood mixed with a binding substance. It’s usually covered with either a veneer — a thin sheet of actual wood — or paper or plastic made to look like wood. 

 

Particleboard cabinets will not stand up to as much wear and tear as solid wood cabinets. The screws that attach the hardware don’t hold as tightly, and the wood itself is lighter weight. This means there is a finite number of times you can open your cabinet door before it comes off in your hand.

 

If it gets wet due to a leak or some other type of accident, particleboard is pretty much done for. It eventually dries out, but it will be forever misshapen, and possibly moldy.

 

Veneers can work well, but even the best ones start peeling off after years of use or exposure to lots of humidity. The cheapest kitchen cabinets, covered with or made of melamine, look pretty when they’re new, but they scratch easily, and quickly take on a beaten appearance.

 

Real Wood Kitchen Cabinets

 

If you have real wood cabinets now and they are simply old and worn, you probably want to consider refacing them rather than replacing them. The cabinet boxes themselves are undoubtedly still sturdy, so you may only need some nice new fronts.

 

You don’t want to replace real wood with particle board. That would be like trading in your grandmother’s heirloom diamond for a shiny new cubic zirconia. 

 

But if you have particleboard now and you have a house full of kids and pets who may not respect new oak cabinets, you may decide to stick with this wood substitute. In fact, if your particleboard cabinets are merely ugly but not broken, you can save even more money by refacing them. 

 

The Kitchen Cabinet Dilemma

 

If you’re planning an extensive kitchen renovation, you may choose to make different kitchen cabinet choices based on your budget for the entire project. For instance, if you have your heart set on granite countertops, that’s going to eat up a chunk of your available funds. Go with Corian, and there will be more left in the budget for your cabinets.

 

Real wood is more expensive of course, but Consumer Reports details how to get your money’s worth out of these kitchen necessities.

 

So what should you do? Replace or reface? Falk Construction can help you decide. And we won’t just recommend the most expensive product — we’ll give you options and tell you what to realistically expect from each.

 

We’re Ogden, Utah’s, longtime expert in kitchen renovations, including cabinet installation and refacing. Call us today to learn more.

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