Cabinet refacing is one of today’s most popular kitchen renovations. But as with any other remodeling project, you need to be careful when refacing your cabinets. Mistakes are easy to make and costly to fix. Common slip-ups — like choosing the wrong color palette or using cheap veneers — can seriously compromise your project.
If you want to avoid mistakes when refacing kitchen cabinets, we suggest calling the experts at your local N-Hance®. Our cabinet specialists make it easy to steer clear of common errors, including the 7 listed below.
Avoid These 7 Cabinet Refacing Errors
1. Mismatched Styles
Cabinet refacing gives you the chance to update your cabinets in a completely new style. With the right style of door, you can transform the look of your kitchen for the better. But if you choose a style of door that clashes with the rest of your kitchen, you could end up downgrading your kitchen’s aesthetic instead of upgrading it.
Before you commit to specific style of cabinet door, take an inventory of your kitchen’s appearance. Pay close attention to its overall feel, as well as details like your choice of hardware, the edge of your counters, your choice of flooring, and other features that might clash with certain styles of cabinet doors.
2. Clashing Colors
The wrong style of cabinet door isn’t the only way to achieve a mismatched look. If you choose to update the color of your cabinets — a popular choice on cabinet refacing projects — you could easily end up with a clashing color scheme.
One of the easiest ways to make this mistake is to accidentally mix cool and warm tones, especially with neutral colors. If your kitchen has a predominantly cool color palette, but you choose an off-white with warm undertones (or vice versa), the end results will be visually jarring.
3. Layout Conflicts
When you replace cabinet doors, you need to pay careful attention to your kitchen’s layout. If you don’t, you could end up creating an accidental conflict.
A subtle change in the shape or dimensions of your cabinet doors can make it tough to fit appliances, cookware, or dinnerware into their usual places. A switch to a new style of cabinet hinges can result in the same problem — or it can prevent your cabinets from properly opening.
4. Refacing with Veneers
The term “cabinet refacing” is often used to describe a wide range of cabinet door replacement services. But in the strictest sense, refacing refers to a particular type of cabinet door replacement.
As with similar services, cabinet refacing involves swapping out old doors for new ones. But to ensure matching cabinet boxes, refacing services will cover the boxes with permanent veneers.
While some homeowners are comfortable with this trade-off, others fail to realize that veneers can be susceptible to damage and difficult or impossible to repair. This is particularly true of thermofoil veneers, which can dramatically reduce the lifespan and value of kitchen cabinets.
5. Low-Quality Materials
Just as you’ll want to avoid thermofoil veneers, it’s a good idea to avoid particleboard — or any other low-quality materials — for new cabinet doors.
At N-Hance, we often see kitchens where older, less trendy hardwood cabinets have been refaced using cheaper materials. While the initial results hold up for a year or two, these cabinets accrue damage more easily. As a result, they require replacement much earlier — a costlier job than cabinet refacing.
6. Flash-in-the-Pan Looks
It can be tough to separate timeless styles from short-lived trends. But before you commit to a certain style or color scheme, try to consider how well it will age. The more quickly your new cabinet doors become outdated, the more rapidly your kitchen will lose value.
To avoid a dated look, designers suggest making subtle and flexible design decisions. Instead of bold colors or statement decor, make choices that can adapt to new styles. This is a particularly smart choice with cabinets, given their prominence and the amount of time they’re meant to last.
7. DIY Cabinet Refacing
Many people choose to refinish or repaint cabinets by themselves. Because of this, some homeowners assume that cabinet refacing is a manageable DIY project. But refacing kitchen cabinets is rarely easy, and a DIY approach can lead to costly errors.
At N-Hance, we strongly recommend that you leave cabinet refacing to the professionals. This way, you’ll avoid common DIY errors when planning and measuring, choosing a style and color, replacing your doors, and updating your cabinet boxes.
Hiring professionals will also give you someone to guide you through the refacing process. A professional refinishing service can be invaluable when planning and budgeting your project, choosing a style and color scheme, and working out the logistics of your project. At the end of the day, you’ll benefit from high-quality workmanship. And you’ll have expended far less time, energy, and stress.