The very best kitchen cabinet doors are the ones which match every aspect of your home living: style, budget, ease of maintenance and harmonious color scheme. Great kitchen cabinet doors can transform a kitchen and add lasting value. Consider these seven aspects in selecting your new look for your Columbus-area home.
New or Resurface?
You can have new kitchen doors over your existing cabinet frames. Or, to cleverly make your kitchen remodeling budget stretch farther and allow investment in other nice touches, consider cabinet resurfacing.
Cabinet resurfacing from most companies usually means one of three techniques:
- Repainting or staining,
- Thin laminates glued over existing carcasses and doors, or
- Wood veneer glued over the existing structure
A better method of cabinet resurfacing relies on genuine Amish-made, Ohio-based, 1/4-inch hardwood overlaid on all surfaces in your kitchen. After the thin but solid hardwood (in your choice of species) is applied, skilled workers install new doors and drawer fronts in the same sturdy, thick wood.
Cabinet resurfacing costs around 40 to 60 percent less than complete replacement of your existing cabinets. In most cases, your existing kitchen cabinets themselves are in good shape. The doors and drawer fronts take most of the abuse of day-to-day kitchen activities.
Why spend money, lose time, and endure endless days of remodeling by opting for pricey new cabinets when resurfacing is less expensive, faster, and less disruptive to your lives?
Selecting a cabinet style requires considerable thought. Most homeowners in the Canal Winchester area do not spend a lot of time comparing kitchen cabinet styles. Then, suddenly facing seemingly endless choices, they become overwhelmed. In some cases, desperate to make a decision — any decision, good or bad — they grasp at a current trend.
Pinterest and social media may give good inspiration, but you have to live with your selections. Most homeowners quickly tire of strong statements, like an all-purple kitchen. You are not responsible for setting trends. Invest in what makes you comfortable, feel good about your life, and looks good for your family.
Kitchen styles come and go. If you doubt this, search the internet for “1970s kitchen cabinets” and behold the rise of Harvest Gold, Avocado, and Almond color palettes.
You can avoid remodeling mistakes by following some basic design concepts:
- Use real materials — rely on genuine wood, beautiful brass and nickel hardware, and authentic granite for cabinets and countertops
- Select forthright, honest finishes — Avoid gimmicky wood finishes like pickling, distressed wood, or burnt wood
- Consider the overall tone of your kitchen, use cabinets which are a uniform light, medium, or dark tone to harmonize with the entire design
- Invest in the highest quality wood, hardware, and finishes you can afford
- Determine the important highlight areas of your kitchen and focus design elements on those, allowing the rest of the kitchen to recede from attention
Whether you opt for Colonial, Modern, Mission, or some other conscious design choice, follow through with the design throughout. Do not leave a work island in its existing state while resurfacing cabinets all around it, for example.
Make a clear determination as to how far the restyling extends. Will you incorporate an adjoining mudroom or laundry room in the remodeling, or end at a door frame?
Make no apologies for existing appliances, which do not have to harmonize with the cabinets but can be accent pieces. Of course, you can coordinate the look and style of appliances if you wish and if your budget allows.
Cabinet Door Materials
Few cabinet materials can match the look, feel and heft of genuine hardwood. Though kitchen cabinets are made in many materials, most Columbus-area homeowners recognize and appreciate the inherent value of hardwood.
Other options to help you compare include:
- Metal — Typically found in kitchens of rental and short-stay accommodations, metal cabinets are also part of the “industrial” design look. They are cold and sleek.
- MDF — Medium density fiberboard is a human-made material comprising sawdust, glue and a binder, usually covered in a laminate (see below). MDF cabinets are workaday solutions for tract housing, “builders grade” cabinets, and remodeling do-it-yourselfers.
- Softwoods — Spruce, fir and pine are all softwoods used for unfinished cabinets. Softwoods are, well, soft. A fingernail can dent a cabinet door made of softwood. Kitchen cabinets in pine are a good answer for do-it-yourselfers who want to paint or stain the cabinets themselves and are not too concerned about making the remodel project last more than a few years.
- Formed plastic — An alternative to ornately carved, expensive solid wood cabinets in French, Italianate and Spanish styles, formed plastic is cheap and usually looks cheap.
- Steel and glass — The austere, high-tech look of steel and glass is an ideal way to expose all your cabinet contents (for good or for bad) to family and visitors alike.
- Laminate — Plastic laminate can be pressure-formed into just about any shape or style. This material category includes Thermofoil, which is a plastic laminate adhered to MDF cores.
Most homeowners are happiest with genuine hardwood in native or imported species:
Kitchen cabinet hardware has advanced through technological innovations over the past 30 years. Soft-touch closing and opening doors and drawers are common. Hidden hinges and recessed handles are popular.
Depending on your needs and color palette, the finishes of hardware can range from earthy to high tech:
- Natural wood knobs and pulls
- Painted wood knobs and pulls
- Hammered metal
- Brushed satin
- Polished steel
- Weathered finish
- Oil-rubbed finish
As you balance your needs and resources, remember to invest more in hardware and less in other areas, since the hardware must be reliable, quiet, and strong.
Kitchen cabinet doors can be finished in a wide range of stains, paint, and protective coats. Natural wood has an appeal which most homeowners wish to emphasize, not hide. Choices for natural wood generally revolve around the protective finish coat, with glazed finishes also an option to consider.
Most homeowners want their kitchen cabinet doors and frames to stand up to routine cleaning, water, and eager hands. This means the protective coat is usually a polyurethane in a matte, satin, or gloss finish, though a protective varnish can also be used.
Paint choices include:
- Acrylic — Acrylic paint can be applied in a matte, semi-gloss or gloss finish but may wear faster than either enamel or oil with frequent cleaning; acrylic paint allows the wood grain to show
- Enamel — Noted for both their sheen and toughness, enamel finishes hide wood grain and reflect light
- Oil — Considered the better choice than acrylic, oil paint for kitchen cabinets requires a professional’s touch; it wears well, covers the wood nicely, and makes for a smooth finished surface
Sanitizing a kitchen calls for harsher chemicals than you might use in daily dusting. That protective top coat over stained or natural wood is vital to preserving the beauty of the wood grain.
Kitchen remodeling usually involves reconsidering your “work triangle,” which is the space you occupy going from refrigerator to sink to stove and oven. Your cabinets are unlikely to move with a kitchen remodeling, but you can reassign their purpose based on better workflow.
Some homeowners realize partway through the kitchen design process that a new island can not only fit, but it can also perform beautifully:
- Additional workspace
- A breakfast perch
- Wine storage
- Additional oven or stove
Most Columbus-area homeowners only experience one kitchen remodeling project in their lifetimes. Choosing a company with considerable experience in this process will prevent expensive, regrettable mistakes in design, planning, finishes, and hardware selection.
Avoid seeing your dream kitchen makeover descend into a nightmare: hire true professionals who concentrate completely on kitchen remodeling. Contact JSB Home Solutions today so we can get started tomorrow on transforming your kitchen to match your dreams.