Refacing the cabinets in your kitchen is a fast way to get a new and improved look. Frames, doors, drawer fronts, trim, and hardware can all be switched out without the hassle of changing the kitchen layout.
Refacing cabinets means adding new doors and sprucing up the framework that holds them. What you get in return is a whole new look for less than half the cost of new cabinets. Existing structures are left standing, no cabinets are ripped out, and the layout remains the same. A typical refacing job involves replacing the cabinet doors, the drawer fronts, and the hardware. Matching wood, paint, or laminate veneer is used to resurface any exposed cabinet framework. New veneers can also be purchased to cover existing doors or surrounding framework to give a just-installed appearance.
Door Fronts The cabinet door is the most visible feature of a kitchen cabinet. When replacing old doors, one should consider both door style and door composition. Style options on most doors will include raised or recessed panel doors, flat fronts, bead board, glass front or partial lite, and a classic deco-form door. The three most common door style options are raised panel, recessed panel, or slab. A slab is a flat door with no raised or recessed profile. Flat-panel doors and drawers are simple and chic, while a framed glass door offers a stylish window to the contents within.
This is a standard European or concealed hinge used with a face frame adapter plate to give openings up to 170 degrees.
When it comes to door composition, wood is an obvious and popular choice. Wood door options include the classic U.S. species of Oak, Maple, Hickory, Birch, Pine, Alder, Cherry, and Poplar. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and metal are also viable door options, but a homeowner will want to take care that the doors, fronts, and cabinet veneers match or complement one another.
Hinges A standard refacing job includes replacement of old hinges and hardware. On frameless cabinets, which have no face frame, the hinges will attach to the door and the side or end panels of the cabinet box. Framed cabinets, with a frame around the front edges, feature hinges attached to the door and the frame.
There are two basic types of hinges—traditional and European. Traditional, or exposed, hinges include barrel hinges, which are the self-closing variety. These spring-loaded hinges are fully exposed and rest on the front frame of a framed cabinet. Knife hinges are partially embedded hinges that are either fully or almost fully visible on the face of the cabinet frame. These types of hinges provide a full 180 degrees for door opening.