The kitchen is considered the heart of any household. This is where you whip up your meals, practice your cooking skills, and entertain guests. Being constantly exposed to kitchen odors, steam, and heat, the doors and drawer fronts of the kitchen often face the brunt of the daily wear and tear.
If you are planning to revamp your entire kitchen within a budget, replacing all the doors of the cabinets and the entrance is a smart move. You can easily transform your kitchen into a luxurious cooking area by simply changing the kitchen doors. It also simplifies the whole makeover process and requires less effort. This article will discuss everything you need to know about replacing kitchen doors.
Benefits of Kitchen Door Replacements
There are numerous benefits of simply replacing the kitchen unit doors by yourself instead of turning the whole cooking area upside down in a renovation.
Less Time and Work
Changing the doors and drawer fronts of the cabinets mainly involves unscrewing the old doors and securing new ones onto the hinges. The whole process takes less time and can be finished within a day. Obviously, this means less work and effort.
If the storage units are intact and everything is functional, there is no need to rip out a perfectly good kitchen with worn-out doors. Money is only spent on the replacement doors. Moreover, the installation is quick and easy. Without having to splurge excessive amounts of money to renovate the entire space, you can upgrade your kitchen with replacement doors and drawer fronts. Changing the cabinet fronts is one of the most effective ways of making your kitchen look expensive within a tight budget. Affordability is not just confined to finance. It also refers to your effort and time as mentioned already above. You can get the ideal kitchen of your dreams with this simple yet effective initiative.
Replacing the doors is an effective way of adding your personality to the kitchen. The new doors can add more depth and give a stylish edge of your preference to the interior. You can make your kitchenette as glamorous as you want by installing new chic kitchen doors.
Safer and Greener
Just changing the doors has less effect on the environment as it does not require nearly as much energy and resources as renovations do. The process is less wasteful and is considered more eco-friendly since you will be simply updating the face of the kitchen.
How Easy is it to Replace Kitchen Doors?
It is not that much of a challenge or tricky to install new doors. Replacement of the kitchen unit only needs a screwdriver and the right fittings. However, the real challenge is finding the right fittings for the kitchen door. The new door needs to fit perfectly with the existing kitchen carcass – the skeleton of a cabinet without the doors. Hence, measurements of the unit space should be taken accurately and used when searching for replacement doors.
Does My Kitchen Carcass Only Need the Doors Replaced?
Before opting for replacement doors, it is crucial to examine your kitchen carcass first and determine whether it might need more than just new doors. Fortunately, good quality kitchen carcasses are very durable and tend to hold well as they are less exposed to the heat and moisture from the cooking space. They are also not generally subjected to the damage caused by the UV rays of the sunlight. Moreover, they are not always exposed to daily wear and tear.
Carcasses near the sink, however, can be damaged by any hidden water leakage or daily exposure to moisture. Water damage is an issue to keep an eye on. Cheaper carcasses made of melamine chipboard are often susceptible to this type of damage and usually show ugly stains. You should also assess the storage area of the cabinetry in your kitchen. If you believe the space is cramped and needs better storage capacity, you can consider altering the carcass as well. Your carcass only needs to be replaced along with the doors only when it is ruined (waterlogging, rotting wood, etc.) or needs a better storage layout.
Cost of Replacement Doors for the Kitchen
The prices of these replacement doors are quite competitive and come in a wide variety. Some places, however, have limited dimensions and colors of the standard doors. The cost of a standard set of substitute doors is around $340. There are also other brands or stores that provide custom, made-to-measure kitchen unit doors which cost a bit more than the premade standard doors. It should be kept in mind that the prices vary according to the sizes. However, renovating the whole kitchen can cost around $15,000. The same finished look and quality can be achieved by opting for a new set of doors only. The ball is in your court for deciding which route to take.
Finding Replacement Kitchen Doors
If your old doors are standard size, then you do not have much to worry about because it is easier to find the right fit from most retailers and suppliers. The process is a bit trickier when you have a customized kitchen carcass beyond the standard size. In such situations, the effective solution is to make custom-made kitchen fronts. Bear in mind that customized sizing usually entails additional charges. Some retailers only offer replacement kitchen doors for their own specific kitchen ranges which will not perfectly fit in a different structure or framework.
Some retailers provide doors that already have hinge holes and pre-drilled fixing. You need to keep in mind how to install these with fixing holes already present in your remaining cabinetry and carcass. There are also doors without holes available in some stores. You have to drill them carefully by yourself or with the help of a kitchen fitter.
Getting the Right Sized Kitchen Door
As mentioned before, you need to measure the carcasses and the appropriate doors as well before purchasing a new door. If the measurements of both the carcass and the doors are not accurate, then they will be wrongly aligned. Even a mismatch of only a few millimeters is enough for a crooked door that can’t close properly. As the fronts usually have rounded and sloping edges, it is best to measure the backs of the doors as they are the squarest and flattest parts.
Always remember to take all the measurements in millimeters. If the doors are missing or too disheveled, measure the width and deduct 4 mm. Doors are also generally 4 mm narrower than the unit, hence the deduction of the measurement for the missing door. It is vital to measure the height and width of both the unit space and the new fixture. The height of a door is usually 5 mm shorter than the cabinet.
Suppose your cabinet has a height of 720 mm and a width of 500 mm. The dimensions of the appropriate door should then be 715 mm and 496 mm for the height and width respectively. There are multiple options for the corner or sloping units of your kitchen. For such units, you can install two separate doors that close in opposite directions and meet at the center of the unit. Alternatively, you can hinge two new doors together.
How to Align Hinges
Measurements are incredibly critical for installing new fittings and fixtures. For perfect alignment with the hinges, you need to take measurements with the old doors still attached. For the top hinge position, measure the distance between the top edge of the old door to the center of the top hinge hole. Repeat the same procedure with the bottom edge of the door and the bottom hinge opening for positioning the lower hinge. All the doors should be measured this way and mark where the hinges are on.
The Extra Bits
Most entryways of the cabinets and the kitchen itself have other external accessories that also need to be considered. End panels, cornice, plinths, and fillers are available in the same finish as the doors. It is wise to get bigger materials for these to fit properly with unsteady walls or floors.
Step by Step Guide to Replacing Kitchen Doors
1. Take the measurements of the doors, hinges, and unit space as mentioned earlier. Mark the side of the hinges on the new door.
2. Unscrew the existing hinges and detach the old doors. Undo the bottom hinge first and then undo the top one as removing the top hinge first might cause an unforeseen breakage of the bottom hinge.
3. Align and fit the hinge plate to the inside of the cabinetry. There are many new hinges that come with the complete set of the appropriate screws.
4. Fit the other side of the hinges to the new doors. The hinge should be aligned with the hinge hole of the door. Make sure that the hinge is perpendicular to the end of the door and is well-aligned.
5. Align and fit the door to the cabinetry. Fix the hinge onto the backplate (hinge plate) and screw it on lightly. Attach and screw the top hinge first then fix the lower hinge by using screws. Hinge plates are generally adjustable and can be moved by a few millimeters by loosening the screws.
6. Fix the handles and knobs to the doors. Something as simple as new door handles can also transform the aesthetics of your kitchen drastically.
7. After that, test the hinges. If you have to make any slight adjustments then unscrew, align and then screw again accordingly.
To finish, test opening and closing the door. Once you are happy with it, tighten the screws and make the hinges secure.
If your kitchen is in dire need of an upgrade, opting for just replacing the kitchen unit doors might be the cheaper and more effective way to go. Give your kitchen the new look it deserves without hurting your wallet by simply changing the doors and drawer fronts.