Posted by Ken Gottschalk
Over the years we have seen thousands of kitchens. Most were great cabinets that stood the test of time, even what is referred to as “builder grade” that meant passable boxes but poorly finished oak doors.
Then came a sub-category of builder grade cabinets “Frameless boxes” with the structural integrity of a closet shelf. A term was now added “all wood” or “Engineered wood”. That means sawdust and water-soluble glue. By refacing a 1/4″ wood to underside and sides, those cabinets can be inexpensively saved, increased structural integrity and given our lifetime warranty.
The second new cheap innovation was the vinyl clad rigid thermofoil (RTF) door. Again the term used is “all wood” or “engineered wood” not solid wood. These sawdust slabs were then routed out to form different door styles. You can tell its a RTF by the inside corners rounded vs squared. These doors are then covered with a heat shrink vinyl foil. Seems like a good idea. Easy to clean, mostly white. Problem? Most turned white to yellow depending on ultra violet light. Problem 2, vinyl hates heat from ovens, steam from dishwashers, and most crack and delaminate in 1 to 10 years. At this point the builder is long gone and so are most refacing companies.
Some refacers limit the warranty, pro rate the warranty, excluding labor or frankly go out of business. Some “Big box” stores stick their subcontractors with the blame. Kitchen Magic Refacers stands by our products to workmanship for over 31 years. We won’t sell vinyl clad doors.
The good news is that quality solid wood doors, adding a face frame, and refacing with wood takes less time, lasts until you’re bored with it and it cost less than new quality cabinets.
The White family decided they still wanted solid wood doors finished with 5 coats of a durable catalyzed paint, but they didn’t want the junk instead. They also kept their countertop and floor saving thousands $$$ and added crown molding, all in just 4 days!
Do you have vinyl clad doors that are peeling and cracking? Call today to set up appointment for one of our experienced designers to come to you and give you a free estimate. 1-800-287-4016