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Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling - Ideas and Estimates

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Understanding Your Kitchen Cabinets

by Miriam Kasdan
Kitchens and Cabinets Columnist
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Whether you reface or replace your kitchen cabinets, it's important to know how to maintain them, especially when they're new. Let's go over some cabinet care basics.

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As with many consumer products, the level of cabinet quality can vary. Kitchen cabinets should be treated like furniture. When properly cared for, they'll maintain their beauty and function for years. Today's kitchen cabinets are not only made of solid wood and wood veneers. Some are now made of specially engineered materials built for durability and beauty. Some examples of these new materials include:
  • Melamine. Resembling formica, this material is commonly used for countertops, but may also be used for other surfaces such as cabinets.
  • Vinyl. Vinyl may be wood-grained or a solid color, and can be used for all surfaces in the kitchen except countertops.
  • Paper. Paper that is chemically treated for durability. Like vinyl, paper comes in wood grain or solid colors, and is used for all surfaces except countertops.
  • Panel core materials. Common ones are medium-density fiberboard, lumber, wood veneers, flake or particleboard and hardboard.

Prepare for Cabinet Maintenance and Repair

When you reface or install your new kitchen cabinets, be sure to have the following items on hand, which can be obtained from a cabinet supplier:
  • Several hinges and pulls.
  • Two or three drawer guidance systems.
  • A repair kit, if available from the manufacturer.
  • Pint-size amounts of each stain or color coat used for finishing your kitchen cabinets.
  • Contacts for your cabinet supplier or manufacturer and the name of your cabinet style.

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About the Author
Miriam Kasdan specializes in writing marketing and home improvement features. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

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