Refacing a cabinet can give your kitchen a dramatically new and appealing look. Applying a new layer of solid wood to the surface of cabinets is a great way to add value and appeal, but how long do refaced cabinets last?
It’s an important question to ask your kitchen remodeler because what would be the point of cabinet refacing if you had to do it over again in just a few years? You won’t have to if you care for these fresh new surfaces properly in addition to finding a quality refacing company that uses solid wood.
What Does It Mean to Reface a Cabinet?
Cabinet refacing entails removing the drawer fronts and cabinet doors. For cabinet doors and drawers, these are best to be fully replaced to highlight their details. Then the exposed sides and bottoms of the cabinet will be covered. It’s important to note that many refacers will use laminates and veneer in this process. At American Wood Reface, we only use high-quality ¼” solid woods.
When done right, the refacers use quality solid woods and not veneer or rigid thermofoil to the cabinets. Veneer and laminates will reduce the quality of appearance, feel of your kitchen, and most importantly; the longevity of your refaced cabinets.
Most of the time, the infrastructure of existing cabinets is worth saving. Refacing allows you to change the look without completely replacing the cabinets if the infrastructure is still intact. This allows you to give your kitchen a complete ‘remodel’ for a far lower price than a total replacement.
Factors that can Affect the Lifespan of Refaced Cabinets
For most people, refacing will last many many years, even decades. There are factors that can interfere with the lifespan of these cabinets, though.
The Original Condition of Your Cabinets
More often than not, your cabinets will be eligible for refacing. With quality carpenters on board, even those cabinets, shelves, and lazy susans can all be worked with if not outright replaced during the process. Don’t let the condition of your cabinets keep you from refacing.
Who Performs the Refacing and the Quality of the Work
As with most things, who does the work matters, too. For this reason, refacing is not typically a do-it-yourself project. It takes knowledge and experience to do the job right. A professional kitchen refacer or carpenter can also work with you to find suitable materials for your cabinets so that you can achieve the look you want.
They should provide you with options that fit both your budget and your vision for the newly refaced cabinets. The higher quality kitchen refacers will offer higher quality supplies, like solid wood doors, drawer fronts, knobs/handles, and new hardware.
Also, ask for a work guarantee, so if you are not satisfied, repairs and defects are available at no additional cost.
How Well You Care for the Cabinets After the Refacing
When asked, “How long do refaced cabinets last” part of the answer is it depends on how well you care for them. With proper care, they should last you decades. Some things can affect the health of the cabinets, though, such as:
- Cooking exposure – This refers to the heat, smoke, and condensation that comes from your stove and oven. One way to combat this damage is to turn on the fan over the stove when you cook, especially at high temperatures. It is also essential to use the fan if you expect a lot of smoke.
- Basic handling – Even the best quality cabinets get beat-up quickly if you are not careful. Avoid being near the cabinets with something that may scratch or cut them, such as a knife. Don’t open and close doors and drawers with sharp or abrasive items in your hands.
- Maintenance – Failing to clean your cabinets can lead to a build-up of dust, dirt, and grease that will dull how they look. Get in the habit of wiping down the surfaces every two weeks with a cleaning product specific for wood surfaces.
Clean stains and grease spots right away! The best method is to use warm water and a sponge. Don’t over-wet the sponge, though. Water should not drip down the cabinets. Once clean, dry the surface with a towel. If the spot is stubborn, use a little dish soap to clean the area. Avoid using harsh chemicals on the cabinet surfaces such as bleach, ammonia, or solvents.
How Long Do Refaced Cabinets Last?
Ideally, they will last as long as you want them to if you are smart about choosing a quality refacing company and then properly caring for your new kitchen cabinets. The first is to always find out whether a carpenter or refacing company uses solid wood or cheap veneers and laminates. If they do work with solid wood, then choose that professional! It will increase the longevity, appearance, and quality of your kitchen.