New cabinet doors can be part of a larger effort to give your kitchen a facelift.
However, because cabinets hold all the kitchenware we use daily, they deserve special attention more than most other parts of your kitchen.
Fortunately, revamping your cabinet doors is one of the fastest changes you can ever make in your kitchen.
It also tends to be one of the cheapest because you don’t need to make changes to the rest of the cabinet.
Replacement doors are a whole lot affordable as well.
Replacing the doors of your cabinets allows you to make a change with more impact than, say, applying a fresh coat of paint without involving the whole cabinet.
The quick changes may include:
- Replacing the solid door with plexiglass or plain glass fronts so that you can see your beautiful porcelain ware from a distance
- Using exotic doors this time because you want to add contrast, depth, and the texture you have been dying to incorporate in your kitchen
- Moving from the overused and boring white or dull surfaces to brushed copper or stainless-steel doors just to achieve the sleekness you’ve been looking for
- Bringing in new hardware, such as decorative pulls and handles
Eight Factors to Consider When Shopping for Manufactured Home Replacement Cabinet Doors
1. Budget & Cost
The purpose of budgeting is to help you focus on the essentials and avoid overspending.
Once you have obtained your measurements and made up your mind about the type of replacement doors to buy, you can proceed to prepare your budget.
- How much are you going to spend on acquiring the replacement doors?
- What are the cheapest options available?
- Can they deliver just like the options you are looking for?
- What is the cost of labor and transporting the doors to your home?
If you need the advice of an interior designer, remember to factor in consultancy fees in your budget as well.
The cost of replacement doors is normally calculated by sq. ft. cost (how much you’d spend per square foot).
It can depend on the size of the door, type of material, and style of the door.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of a replacement door is $35/sq. ft – that is if you opt for real wood.
Most homeowners across the United States spend between $25 and $50 per square foot.
Note that this cost does not include what you may spend on hinges (because it is a replacement door, we expect you to reuse the hinges you removed from your old door unless they are damaged).
If you hire a professional, they will do all the measurements, get the hinges if you need them, order the doors, and install them at about $180.
If you opt to do all the measurements, ordering, and all the nitty-gritty only to let the professional complete the installation part, you could save a few bucks.
2. Finished vs. Unfinished
Replacement doors are offered in finished (with paint. Stain, etc.) and unfinished options.
Your choice between them depends on various factors including your desire to alleviate the labor of adding the stain and paint.
As such, finished options are perfect for buyers who want to get the doors and install them right away.
Unfinished options, on another hand, lets you add the stain or paint to reflect your unique style.
If you wish to take the unfinished route, it is recommended that you check if it is pre-sanded so that you can sand it yourself or not.
Cabinets come in different sizes, so do replacement doors.
Thus, there is no clearly defined standard size for cabinet doors.
You will need to walk to the store with the exact measurements of the door opening of your cabinets so that the store assistant can help you choose the correct size of the door.
Online stores make it even easier by allowing you to confirm the size on the internet in real-time.
Besides the size of the opening, you will also need to provide the location of hinges on your cabinet.
This is because some companies supply replacement doors with pre-installed hinges.
So, if the hinge location does not match theirs, you will have to send them your specification so that they drill your replacement doors in the right places.
This may cost you a few extra dollars. Some companies will let you do the drilling yourself, which is cheaper.
You may also need to provide the locations of the handles because they are discretionary at times.
Companies that would let drill holes for the hinges may expect you to do the same for handles.
How you take your measurements will also depend on whether you want framed or unframed doors.
Remember to specify the type of your cabinet – framed or unframed.
Your door company will provide all the instructions you need to take the measurement.
4. Type of The Cabinet and Hinges
Replacement doors swing on hinges which can be a defining factor on their right.
Different types of cabinets use different types of hinges.
You want a replacement door that can be used with your type of cabinet and type of hinge.
There four types of kitchen cabinets:
In these cabinets, hinges are used to attach doors to the frame
Hinges in these cabinets attach the door to the wall because frames are absent
European (“concealed”) cabinets
These cabinets use hidden hinges that only become visible when opened.
They are priority cabinets for homeowners who want a clean and sleek looking kitchen.
Most European cabinets feature self-closing doors.
These doors are normally allowed to open up to 110 degrees.
Traditional (“exposed”) cabinets
These cabinets don’t make any attempt to hide their hinges – they are left conspicuously projecting out on the border between the door and the frame or wall.
If your cabinet is Framed, for example, you would want to replace the current door with another door designed to fit on framed cabinets.
5. Type of The Replacement Door
Cabinet doors can be bought having different overlay and panel styles.
Your choice of panel-style will be determined by your taste and aesthetics you are trying to bring in your kitchen.
The overlay of the door describes how it lay on the face of the cabinet.
Your choice of the overlay will depend on your style and the aesthetics you are trying to add in your kitchen.
You may need the advice of the interior designer because some overlays cannot be used all over the kitchen.
For example, mullion and accent cabinet doors look amazing when used sparingly. If you put them on all your cabinets and you’ll end up with an unsightly mess.
Another thing about overlays is that they are, at times, heavily dependent on whether your cabinet comes with a frame or not.
Slab cabinet doors, for example, comes with no frame or panel, hence they are better suited for equally frameless cabinets.
There are many overlay styles out there, but most of them fall into two broad groups:
Full overlay doors
An overlay in these doors would cover the entire face of the panel
Partial overlay doors
An overlay covers part of the door panel while the rest of the panel remains plain.
Door styles can be diverse. Sometimes it depends on what the manufacturer has in mind at the time.
If you are doing kitchen remodeling, there is a strong chance you are looking forward to boosting the looks of everything from the cabinets to the sink.
As such, you will pay a lot of attention to the style of the door rather than settle for plain options.
As diverse as they may be, door styles fall into six categories:
This type of doors comes with a raised panel that has one or several lines running on the perimeter.
The defining factor is that these lines tend to form a curve at the top to form an arch.
Here is an example ~ Schuler Cabinetry’s Carmel 14.5-in x 17.5-in Pecan Hickory Arched/Cathedral Cabinet Door.
These doors come with unique paneling characterized by vertical grooves that runs in the central part of the whole of the panel.
Here are an example ~ Surfaces 16-in W x 28-in H x 0.75-in D White Rigid Thermofoil Wall Cabinet Door.
They look very much like Arched Doors except that the design is simpler and recessed. The arch at the top is flattened at upper edges.
Here is an example ~ Kendor’s Unfinished Arch Top Cabinet Door in MDF by Kendor, 25 High x 16 Wide.
They come with a simple recessed design often featuring no decorations.
Probably the most common type of cabinet doors
Here is an example ~ Hampton Bay 12.7 x12.75 in. Cabinet Door Sample in Shaker Satin White.
These doors come as plain slabs of wood or whichever material the manufacturer chose to use.
They are neither raised or recessed. They tend to be cheaper than other types of doors with the size.
RemingtonUSA makes some impressive slab doors, including Bamboo Slab RemingtonUSA Cabinet Sample Door, W10xH10.
These doors come with a glass central part held by a wooden frame on the edges.
They can take any style as long as the central part remains glass.
Glass doors can be costlier than most other types of doors partly because some of them come with glazed glass.
7. Online stores vs. big box stores
Ordering the replacement doors via the internet has considerable benefits over showing up in the store.
Likewise, opting to visit the physical store is beneficial when it comes to seeing and feeling the products before buying.
The biggest problem with online shopping is that you will have to wait for the replacement doors to be shipped to, often 2 two weekdays but it can be more.
You will also pay for shipping which makes a physical store to be a better alternative.
Physical stores will more likely receive returned doors, something that can be costly and even hard with online stores.
Just so you don’t get scammed or become a victim of some form of malpractice, check if the online store participates with BBB.
8. Material of Construction
Imagine trying to replace a solid wood door with a rigid Thermofoil option.
It just goes unsaid that the doors and the rest of the cabinet’s body should be made from the same materials.
There is a strong chance your cabinet falls into one of three types of cabinets based on the material of construction:
- Solid Wood
- Rigid Thermofoil
- MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
Solid wood cabinet replacement doors are largely made from 100% real wood or real wood blended with tiny amounts of other materials.
The best thing about solid wood replacement doors is that they are available in more than enough options: Marple, cherry, oak, etc.
There are as many replacement doors as there are hardwoods and softwoods. Better yet, you can personalize them with paints, stains, and glazes as you wish.
However, their biggest drawback is the fact that they don’t stand up to the moisture and heat produced in hot and humid kitchens.
As a result, they tend to get warped with time.
American Woodwork produces some of the best solid wood replacement doors out there:
American Woodmark 14-9/16×14-1/2 in. Cabinet Replacement Door in Charlottesville Painted Linen – Cost: $50
One of those replacement doors you would choose to match an existing setup – the white paint on white solid wood gives it the luxurious and crisp look you want in a versatile replacement door.
This shaker-styled replacement door is crafted of real solid hardwood.
With a price tag in the region of $50, it is affordable just like many other solid wood products from this manufacturer.
The best thing about solid Cherry wood is that it is highly resistant to decay and rot – that’s the same wood used to make this cabinet replacement door.
If your kitchen is prone to moisture accumulation, you might want to add this door to your cabinets for protection.
Rigid Thermofoil has found wide application in cabinets more than any other material.
The name “Thermofoil” is a bit deceptive because the materials do not contain metals.
Rather, it is made from vinyl that has been pressed on cabinet doors in a vacuum.
Cabinets with doors coated with rigid Thermofoil often come with bodies made from MDF.
The best thing about Thermofoil
- is its medium density and
- the fact that it is resistant to stains and moisture.
The color remains undisturbed for long.
Cabinets with rigid Thermofoil doors are perfect for kitchens prone to high humidity and stains.
The major drawback of rigid Thermofoil is its sensitivity to heat which makes it highly vulnerable to medium to very hot kitchen conditions.
Here are a few rigid Thermofoil replacements doors from at Lowes:
The most impressive feature in this food, which also happens to be universal with all rigid Thermofoil doors, is the seam construction and color consistency during its entire lifetime.
You can ask for different dimensions besides those mentioned in the title.
On top of all the benefits that come with rigid Thermofoil, Lowes allows you to order it custom sizes and styles, meaning you can ask them to ship it to exactly as you want it to be.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is an engineered product of wood made by breaking down softwood and hardwood residuals (usually sawdust and small pieces of wood and glue) to create wood fibers using a defibrillator.
It is probably the most practical construction material out there for inexpensive and durable storage and shelving solutions such as cabinets.
MDF parts are resistant to warping as well regardless of how humid your kitchen may be, thus buyers prefer it to solid wood when moisture is a factor to consider.
Replacement doors help you add a new life on your cabinets without necessarily changing the whole unit.
When shopping for replacement doors, consider the cost of acquiring them and installation costs. Once you have created a list of everything you need and their prices.
Create a budget beyond which you shouldn’t spend. Other factors as the materials of construction are critical as well.