Refacing Kitchen Cabinets with Laminate

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Refacing kitchen cabinets with laminate offers many options. Not only can you have a new looking kitchen, but it’s also much cheaper than using real wood for cabinets. The great advantage is that you don't need to tear out the old cabinets, merely put a new surface on them.

However, the nature of laminate means that it can only be applied to flat kitchen cabinet doors, not the raised panel types.

What Is Laminate?

Laminate is a veneer that attaches on top of another surface to finish it. It can be self-adhesive or to be glued in place. Generally, it’s a wood pattern, but that’s not always the case. There can be plain laminates in many colors, which also makes for an excellent finish.

Wood Laminate

Wood laminate used for refacing kitchen cabinets is a very thin layer that’s applied to make it seem that the cabinets are made entirely of wood. Laminate is available in most kinds of wood to offer different looks to a kitchen.

The more expensive laminate is a little thicker and will not be self-adhesive. However, most laminate is very thin and will have a backing that can be peeled off and pressed down in place. This laminate will usually be easier to clean than the thicker wood laminate.

Pattern Options

As an alternative to refacing kitchen cabinets with wood laminate, plain laminate can bring color to a kitchen. The laminate gives blocks of color to a kitchen and looks much better than painting the cabinets. It will also give better protection from heat than painting. This is a thin laminate that’s self-adhesive. It’s generally cheaper than good wood laminate. The look is much more contemporary rather than the tradition that wood gives.

Cleaning Laminate

After refacing kitchen cabinets with laminate, it’s easy to clean. In most cases, soap and water will do the job, or it can be scrubbed with a scrubber intended for non-stick pans. Laminate does need to be maintained. It can peel over time, especially if it hasn’t been properly applied or if it’s cheap. Installing the laminate properly will lower the possibility of this happening.

Selecting Laminate

When refacing kitchen cabinets with laminate, always make sure to see how the laminate looks on a surface. The store should have samples in stock to be able to judge how it will look when actually applied on a surface.

Installing Laminate

When installing thin laminate, make sure you start from the center of the area being covered and work outward, pressing down to eliminate all the air bubbles. Always allow an overlap. With any pattern laminate, such as woodgrain, make sure the laminate is square on the surface.

To take out all the air bubbles you should use a rolling pin on the surface. If you need to glue the surface before installing the laminate, only use a very thin layer of glue.

Always buy more laminate than you need. Add an extra 5% to allow for mistakes and errors.