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Refacing with RTF Doors for Your Kitchen Cabinets: Price Considerations

by Judi Sandall

If you're looking for new kitchen cabinets and price is an issue, you might want to consider refacing with new cabinet doors, particularly if the original cabinet boxes are sound. Using rigid thermafoil (RTF) cabinet doors rather than solid wood can make a substantial price difference. RTF is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fused to medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, or particle board.

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More expensive than formica and less expensive than real wood, RTF cabinet doors come in different styles--shaker, raised panel, and plain--and in solid colors and wood grain. RTF kitchen cabinets are durable and easy to clean.

Cautions about RTF cabinets include susceptibility to moisture and the possibility of delamination (layers separate) and discoloration as well as heat damage, with the vinyl pulling away from backing material. Although you can reduce these negative aspects by making sure that heat shields are properly installed and that the underlying material to which the PVC is fused is of good quality--MDF and plywood are generally sturdier than particle board.

Kitchen Cabinets: Price Considerations for Refacing with RTF

Prices can vary depending on the quality of the underlying material for RTF cabinet doors, but estimates from one online supplier showed the following kitchen cabinets price comparisons for doors:

  • Plain RTF: $17.50-$20.50 sq. ft.
  • Shaker, raised, or flat panel RTF: $19.50-$21.00 sq. ft.
  • Unfinished shaker oak: $14.50-$17.00 sq. ft.
  • Unfinished flat panel (various woods): $14.50-$18.75 sq. ft.
  • Unfinished raised panel (various woods): $17.95-$23.00 sq. ft.

Remember that these prices don't include installation, drawer fronts, hardware, molding, finishing wood cabinet doors, and shipping, although some online suppliers provide free shipping depending on the amount of your purchase.

High quality RTF replacement kitchen cabinet doors can give your kitchen a fresh look without shredding your bank account. Many online manufacturers and suppliers provide extensive information on their sites to help you educate yourself about refacing with RTF. You can also get free quotes to help you make an informed decision about kitchen cabinets prices.

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