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6 Cabinet Myths That You Shouldn’t Listen To

Workers remodeling kitchen cabinets

If you’re looking into updating your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, you’ve probably come across some conflicting information. But it’s important to differentiate between fact and fiction before you pour money, time, and resources into your cabinet makeover.

To help set the record straight, we’ll go over 6 cabinet myths that you should ignore:

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Myth #1: DIY Is Cheaper Than Hiring a Professional

One of the most common cabinet myths is that a do-it-yourself (DIY) cabinet update is cheaper than going with a professional.

However, DIY work can cost you more time and money than hiring a professional. And unless you have experience refacing cabinets, there are several other reasons why you should never attempt DIY cabinet work.

DIY cabinet updates can:

  • Quickly exceed your budget—especially if your cabinets have structural damage. From the initial estimate, a cabinet expert will tell you whether your cabinets are structurally sound enough to be repainted or refinished. If they’re not, you’ll pay the additional cost to replace them soon after refinishing them.
  • Take much longer than professional work. Professionals can usually update cabinets within a few days or completely replace them within a week. On the other hand, DIY work can easily take you weeks or months since you’re doing the job when you have time outside of your normal life.

Myth #2: Cabinet Remodels Are the Most Expensive Route

installation of drawer handles on kitchen cabinets

If you’re looking at the initial upfront installation cost, cabinet remodels are usually more expensive than a cabinet refacing or refinishing by about $5,000–$15,000.

For example, you can expect to pay the following prices for each service:

  • Cabinet refinishing: $2,000 to $10,000
  • Cabinet refacing: $7,000 to $15,000
  • Cabinet remodel: $7,000 to $30,000

Sometimes, cabinets have underlying issues that require them to be replaced. In these cases, you’ll likely pay more money in the long run if you choose to reface instead of remodeling. For example, say you spend $10,000 to reface cabinets with structural issues that need to be replaced a few years later. If you then pay roughly $20,000 to replace your cabinets a few years later, you’re looking at a total of $30,000 spent on your cabinets.

But if you remodel your cabinets from the start, you’d have paid $20,000 for entirely new cabinets that, assuming they’re quality ones, will last you decades.

You can learn more about the professional cabinet services and how they differ in our blog, “Cabinet Refinishing vs. Refacing vs. Remodeling.

Whichever service you choose, you’ll want to make sure you go with a quality cabinet company to get the most durable cabinets.

Myth #3: Custom Cabinets Are More Durable Than Prefabricated

Custom cabinets are only more durable than prefabricated ones if you go with a quality high-rated company that uses quality products.

Most prefabricated cabinets are made of one of the following types of engineered wood:

  • Plywood: Consists of very thin sheets of wood that are glued together in alternating directions
  • Particle board: Consists of tiny chips and chunks of wood that are adhered together using resin or glue.

Engineered wood cabinets don’t last as long as solid hardwood cabinets—roughly 10–20 years less. So if the cabinet company you’re considering uses engineered wood, your cabinets won’t be as durable as they would be if the company uses solid hardwood (like we do at Cabinet Coatings).

If you have durable cabinets and just want to update the look and feel, you don’t need to completely replace them with custom cabinets.

Myth #4: Replacing Is the Only Way to Update Look and Feel

Another common cabinet myth is that you have to completely replace your cabinets to get a new look and feel.

If you’re just looking to update the cabinet color or panel style on cabinets that are in good shape, you can choose a:

  • Cabinet refinishing: The better option if you just want to update the color, this involves removing the existing finish from the cabinet boxes, doors, and drawer fronts, and then applying the new finish of your choice.
  • Cabinet refacing: The better option if you also want to update the cabinet style, this includes everything in a refinishing, but you also get brand new doors and drawer fronts. At Cabinet Coatings, we even give you solid hardwood doors and drawer fronts to make your updated cabinets last that much longer.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll likely increase your home value.

Myth #5: Refacing Doesn’t Increase Home Value

Another big cabinet myth is that refacing cabinets won’t increase your home value—only custom cabinets will.

Since cabinets are one of the first things potential homebuyers look at in a kitchen or bathroom, refacing cabinets certainly adds value to your home. Homebuyers are less likely to choose a house that they’re going to have to sink thousands of dollars into updating unsightly cabinets.

By refacing cabinets with a more modern or contemporary style, you’ll usually get a good return on investment (ROI) for the upfront cost you paid.

Upgrading the cabinet hardware will also help boost your refacing ROI.

Myth #6: Cabinet Hardware Doesn’t Matter

Cabinet hardware can have a surprisingly big impact on the cabinet's:

  • Look and feel. Cabinet pulls significantly impact the look of your cabinets. If the pulls look cheap or don’t match the rest of your decor, they’ll make the entire space feel off. You can learn how to choose cabinet hardware to match your decor in our blog.
  • Function. Cheap internal hardware makes cabinets more annoying to use—and actually shortens their lifespan. By going with better-quality, soft-close hinges and drawer tracks, your cabinet doors and drawers won’t slam when they close. This makes them quieter and helps them last longer because they’re not constantly slamming against the cabinet boxes, which eventually damages the structure.

Want to Update Your Cabinets? Call Cabinet Coatings Today

Schedule an appointment online or call us at (480) 641-9611. We’ll talk with you about the kind of cabinet upgrades you’re looking to make, then give you a free in-home or virtual consultation that same day. Our finishing pros will debunk any cabinet myths you’ve heard, then help you transform your kitchen or bathroom.

Chuck Derouen

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