Over time, with wear and tear, even the finest cabinets will lose their glow. If you are thinking of giving your cabinets an overhaul, but having second thoughts about the high cost of replacing them, cabinet refacing is an excellent option. You will get the new look – the exact look you want – without shelling out a lot of money. You can actually do it yourself, or, better yet, look for a company that specializes in the process of cabinet refacing.

But before you dive in, take a deep breath, because there is a plethora of options to consider when choosing the type of materials that appeal to your senses. Besides appearance, there is price, durability, maintainence and installation of the available materials.

Let’s take a look at the various materials that are commonly used in cabinet refacing today. Wood veneer, plastic laminates and rigid thermofoils are among the most commonly selected cabinet refacing materials.

The most affordable (and least durable) among cabinet refacing supplies are plastic or vinyl laminate. If you are planning to use one of these as your kitchen refacing material, do not expect it to last for a long time. It does not have an authentic appearance and nobody will be fooled into thinking it is something other than an imitation of the original design.

Although most expensive, (but MUCH LESS expensive than new cabinets) wood veneer is a popular choice for kitchen cabinet refacing material. It looks realistic and is available in popular woods such as birch, oak, cherry, walnut, and mahogany. There are many, many more choices, so you are sure to find one that fits your taste and/or design. It is beautiful and natural and will give you many years of satisfaction.

The newest, and most durable of the 3 cabinet refacing materials is called rigid thermofoils or RTF. It is made of a fiberboard substance and is coated with pressure molded vinyl foil. It has unique qualities and can imitate the look of real wood tones, granite or even marble. RTF provides a seamless look, can be easily cleaned, is resistant to moisture and mold, and is less resistant to heat. It is available in a broad variety of textures and designs.

Once you start your cabinet project, you will probably notice other items associated with the cabinets that are looking drab or dated and may need replacing. A trip to the mall may be in order for kitchen supplies like knobs, pulls, hinges and drawer tracks. With so many varieties on the market today that will compliment your veneer, your only challenge will be deciding which one of the many options to select. If you are looking for something really dramatic, you can choose moldings and trims that add all sorts of custom character to your cabinets. Moldings and trims can take you in many directions from French provincial trims, to crown molding with ropes or dentil molding, a series of closely spaced, rectangular blocks that are brought together to form a unique look.

Of course you can get your cabinet refacing supplies at home improvement stores where you can gather advice of professionals, or if you are a do-it-yourself type, there are plenty of resources online. Just remember when selecting your materials to consider cost, appearance, durability, maintenance and installation. And don’t forget the deep breath – there’s a lot to take in.