Kitchen and bathroom makeovers typically begin with cabinetry upgrades. The big question is: Do you refinish existing cabinets or replace the cabinets?
The right approach depends not only on your budget but also the age of the cabinets and the type of renter, says Scott Johnson, vice president of construction development for Palladium USA, a Milan, Italy-based owner of approximately 5,000 units in the United States.
Cabinets that are 15 years or older are difficult to reface—a process that involves installing new cabinet doors—because they usually feature cabinet “boxes” with an old face-frame style that don’t fit with the new European-style frames that are popular today. However, there are several companies across the country, including WalzCraft and Horton Components, that manufacture and distribute cabinet doors separate from cabinet frames.
Painting is another way to refresh a tired cabinet, but the process poses its own challenges as it requires extensive preparation such as de-greasing and sanding so the new paint will stick. Because painting only extends the life of cabinets for a short period, most owners choose to replace cabinets completely. Moreover, residents today have higher expectations and painted cabinets don’t meet the needs of a renter in a Class A or B property, Johnson says.
Palladium prefers total cabinet replacement and often works with Normac Kitchens, a Canadian-based company. Johnson says new cabinets are more cost effective today than in the past several years because suppliers are more flexible with their pricing. Plus, product pricing has decreased as demand for construction materials has dropped.
“Suppliers have become more aggressive to maintain a market share that they need to keep production rolling,” Johnson says. “Great pricing is one of the benefits of a down market.”
1. Modern Mood: Multifamily owners looking for contemporary cabinets can look to Normac Kitchens’ European-style full-overlay cabinets, which offer more storage space and accessibility than old face-frame cabinets. The cabinets, available in four distinct door styles and a range of finishes, are made of melamine or wood veneers. For more information, call Normac Kitchens at 972-243-8870 or visit www.normackitchens.com.
2. Cottage Chic: Amerock’s Highland Ridge collection combines cottage chic with a New England twist. Period-accurate touches partner with exposed screws on the cup pull, latches, and oversized backplates for contemporary class. The collection is available in three finishes and 12 sizes. For more information, call Amerock at 800-435-6959 or visit www.amerock.com.
3. Durable Doors: Horton Components is growing its line of thermofoil doors with 14 new styles and a wide variety of finishes. The collection, which consists of a melamine back with a MDF core, gives customers a cost-effective product that offers color consistency and durability. Horton is one of the country’s largest producers of MDF products. For more information, call Horton Components at 706-485-5480 or visit www.hortoncomponents.com.
4. Brown Out: Republic Industries offers a broad variety of framed and frameless cabinetry featuring a range of materials, door style choices, and finishes. Its newest finish, rustic brown thermofoil, features a rich warm tone that is available on St. Barts, St. Croix, St. Moritz, and Manhattan thermofoil door styles on EuroCraft frameless series cabinets. For more information, call Republic Industries at 877-935-3680 or visit www.republicind.com.
5. Volcanic Vibe: Crafted of antiqued, distressed iron, the Basaltic collection of decorative knobs from Hickory Hardware is inspired by the volcanic rock for which the line is named. Available in a range of sizes and two finishes, Basaltic knobs feature a rough texture and weather-beaten rust finishes. For more information, call Hickory Hardware at 877-556-2918 or visit www.hickoryhardware.com.