About-Face or Reface?

Cabinets are probably the first thing you notice when you walk into a kitchen. There the first impression, and probably one of the most important especially if you are selling your home. Even if the home is from the late 90s or early 2000s, being in the busiest room in the home can have some wear and tear. Also kitchen styles change fairly frequently, what was new and awesome in 15 to 20 years ago might look a little dated and stale. Even if you’re not selling your home you may want to consider either new kitchen cabinets, or refacing your older kitchen cabinets.


An older home with original cabinets can either be retro, period accurate, or just a dang mess. Refacing means that you’ll have different options for finish, door styles, drawer fronts, and hardware. The three main materials used in refacing are laminates, thermofoils, and wood veneers. These are glued over the old finish, sometimes nailed, and then trimmed out so that the cabinets look like new. A few words about your finishing options:

  • Laminates are rigid, and are limited to very plain cabinet drawer and door styles. On the plus side they are available in a variety of wood grain patterns and different colors.
  • Thermofoils are highly malleable and are molded over fiberboard doors in a range of styles including arch, raised panel, and cathedral doors. It comes in a range of colors and wood grain patterns, and can look incredibly realistic.
  • Everyone agrees that there is a beauty to real wood that is very difficult to duplicate even with the finest materials. Wood veneers stand the test of time, and the test of aesthetics. It is the most expensive option of the three.


Sometimes the best thing you can do with your old kitchen is to rip it out to the walls and start over. When you’re selecting from kitchen cabinets you will have a number of options to choose from – from custom-made, semicustom, or just straight off the rack. Working with a professional kitchen renovator will get you the best results without busting your budget.

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