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Want a new kitchen? Consider cabinet refacing


Kitchen cabinet refacing is one of the most economical and simple ways to transform the look of your kitchen — just don’t confuse it with the old-school cabinet refinishing where cabinet doors were removed, painted and then re-installed.

“Refacing is using the existing footprint and removing all the old doors and drawers and replacing them with brand-new manufactured ones,” says Curtis Murray, whose Lower Mainland company 180Kitchens.com installs about 10 to 12 kitchens a week in the area and as far away as Whistler.

“We cover the visible exterior of the cabinets in a material that matches the new doors exactly, making the cabinets look like they were custom matched to the new doors. The process is quick when done by professionals, and the final product looks fantastic,” he says.

Murray says refacing has been around for quite a while, but the ease of installation makes this the most popular choice right now.

“This is suitable for all kitchens. The process can be done on all types of cabinets and it really comes down to two things: are the bones of the cabinets good, and are they structurally sound? If not, then a facelift is not going to fix that. And second, how much of the footprint is changing? There are a lot of things we can add or remove but at some point it just makes sense to go with new structures.”

Murray says that 70 to 80 per cent of kitchens never have the footprint changed.

“I just did a kitchen that was 40 years old and it had good bones — solid wood — and we moved the doors a little closer together, gave it a Eurostyle with new hinges and the transformation was unbelievable in such a short time,” he says.

Murray says refacing is ramping up as homeowners discover that an entirely new look is created at roughly half the price of replacing the cabinet boxes, doors and fronts. Murray says there are more than 40 colours in matte, high gloss and wood grain finishes and about 20 different styles of doors. What customers are embracing as much as new fronts is the option for customized work.

“Pullout drawers are huge,” he says. “Everyone wants that kind of space , as well as pullouts within cabinets. The homeowner really has a lot of choices and can create that dream kitchen at a fraction of the price. We can add or remove cabinets, install pot and pan drawers, extend cabinet boxes to the ceiling, add crown moulding, soft close hinges and brand-new handles.”

Typically, once you’ve chosen the style and colour, Murray and his crew spend about a day or two installing the cabinets and drawer fronts, plus installing the same finish on the trim, spacer areas and islands to match the cabinets.

Murray said one customer has a condo where the footprint wouldn’t change, and he installed cabinet extensions that went to the nine-foot ceiling — with each top cabinet door more than four feet in height. The look is elegant and creates a lot more storage space. The island, part of which was previously faced in a brown wood-grain finish, was transformed with the all-white finishing.

As for things to consider, Murray says to trust the professionals you speak to about this and get a free in-home estimate to assess the condition of your cabinets.

“Our designers know what looks good. There are so many choices, but if you don’t want to follow trends, classic white will always be around, he says.”

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