Replacing kitchen cabinet doors only can be a great alternative to a full kitchen remodel, but only in certain circumstances. When planned correctly it can save some cash and give your kitchen a whole new look.
Over the years I have installed over one hundred kitchens – different styles, sizes and in many varied homes. From full kitchen remodels to simply giving an existing kitchen a make over. Each job is different with its own unique design demands. But one mistake I hate to see people make, and they do so with alarming regularity, is to spend a lot of money on a whole new kitchen that in the end looks just like the old one. Same layout, same components with only the style or color of the doors slightly different. In most cases like this they could have saved a lot of time, effort and money by simply replacing the kitchen doors and drawer fronts.
Kitchen Cabinet Door Replacement isn’t Always an Option
In some cases replacement can be a great idea but in others it simply won’t work.
If you want to make major layout changes to the existing kitchen. If you need to start moving the old cabinets around you could run into problems. Replacing kitchen doors works best if you can use the original cabinets more or less where they are. Once you start to move old cabinets they may begin to get damaged and they cause more disruption to existing fixtures and fitting such as tiles, counter tops and kitchen splash backs. Costs will soon add up and you may be better to replace the lot – doors and cabinets.
If the cabinets are in poor condition. There is not much point in trying to fit nice new replacement doors to shabby looking or damaged kitchen cabinets or carcasses. Have a good look at the condition of the cabinets before even considering changing just the kitchen doors. Remember, a good thorough cleaning may remove any discoloration and inside the cabinet is not that important – you will be the only one to see inside, it will not impact on the appearance.
Another thing to look at before going ahead is to check the color of the cabinets, and will they be visible with the doors closed. Depending on the kitchen design, some cabinet front edges are colored and you must take this into consideration when choosing different colors or styles of replacement doors. Choose colors that go with the cabinets and you will be OK.
3 Kitchen Door Replacement Options
Simply by replacing the kitchen doors and drawer fronts you can achieve a totally new updated look. The cabinet doors are normally the largest single style element with a major influence on the appearance of a kitchen. I want you to look at three levels of change that can work with cabinet door replacement.
• Replacing kitchen doors and drawer fronts only. The easiest and cheapest option – works fine when you have good layout and good cabinets to work with. I always like to change the handles and hinges with this method – it doesn’t cost much extra and can add to the effect. Don’t underestimate the huge effect that changing the doors can have.
• Replacing the doors and counter tops. This can work for added impact. It also gives you a wider choice of colors and styles to choose from as you do not need to pick only colors the suit the old counter tops. Be aware that when changing the counter-tops there is often a lot more associated work. Sinks and faucets will need to be re-fitted and damage can occur to the tiles or kitchen back splash. With a little due care this can still be done on a reasonable budget and give great results.
• Partial kitchen remodel. Here you replace the main elements of the kitchen but still make use of the existing kitchen cabinets. A complete new look can be achieved without the cost of a full renovation project. You can change as much or as little as you like – doors, handles, countertops, appliances, tiles and flooring. Be careful with this route – you can end up spending a lot of money with the extra work involved. If you have some good DIY skills this may still be a good way to save some money, and avoid a whole new kitchen purchase.
A Note about Kitchen Door Refacing
Other money saving options are available, some better than others. Refacing kitchen cabinet doors is offered by specialist companies and you can even buy DIY kits for refacing the doors. With this process the old doors have new veneer facing glued to the front of the doors etc. In my opinion it rarely looks good and if you use a good company the cost is around the same as simply replacing the doors and drawer fronts. The skill level needed means this process shouldn’t be attempted anyone unless they are very experienced. Quite often the doors will start to peel within a few years and need replacing in the long run.
The way you choose to go will depend on what you are willing to spend and the amount of change you wish to achieve. Remember that replacing kitchen doors, re-decorating the room and perhaps adding a few new light fittings can have the effect of totally transforming your old kitchen – and it needn’t cost a fortune!