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Laundry Room Cabinet Refacing

December 29th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Having been in the cabinet industry for over thirty years, I have had a lot of experience with cabinet refacing. Some related terms used to describe this process are re-laminating, resurface, refinishing, recovering, or resurfacing cabinetry. Laundry rooms are not necessarily the most popular areas of homes which generally get a cabinet face lift. Guests do not usually tour the laundry areas. Therefore, when people are remodeling cabinets this room is often left untouched.

In any case, because the cost of using this remolding method is much less than buying and installing new cupboards, refacing the laundry room is a great alternative to replacing the cabinets altogether.
Laundry Room Cabinet Alternative To Refacing
Oftentimes older cabinets are in excellent condition and they just need to be updated. Cabinet refacing is a great alternative to purchasing an entire new set of laundry cupboards. Especially if you are not planning on changing the design of the area, refinishing may be a much more economical route to take.

  • Tip: Wood and mica cabinetry can be recovered with veneer or plastic laminate. Also, it is possible to laminate on top of cabinets that have been painted. When re-laminating painted cabinetry, it may be necessary to use a non-flammable contact glue.

What Is Involved In Recovering Formica Laundry Room Cabinets

Let me just say this right up front, the mica cabinet refacing process is very messy and comes with many repulsive odors. All recovering methods will create dust. If your cabinetry professional does not inform you of this you will be in for a huge surprise, unless of course your reading this now.

There will be a  lot of  extremely fine dust particles that will be launched into the air. Insist that your chosen professional uses a light weight painters plastic to seal off the area in which they will be refinishing your cabinetry in. Keep this in mind though, have a little mercy on the workman, he must have some ventilation or else you will be dealing with very lightheaded handyman who has been sniffing too many glue fumes and paint thinner vapors.

  • Tip: Don’t rush your laundry cabinet recovering specialist. In order for them to achieve excellence, there will be a lot of tedious cutting and fitting of the plastic laminate or wood veneer. Make sure that you inform the company that you hire to do the job that large gaps that have been filled with caulking will not be acceptable.

Steps That Should Be Taken When Refacing Laundry Room Cupboards

  • Sealing off the area where the refinishing work will be done so that the dust and fumes will be somewhat confined.
  • Covering appliances, furniture and sometimes flooring with plastic or drop cloths to protect them from the dust settling on them or glue and cleaners from damaging them.
  • The surfaces should be cleaned with a rag that has been moistened with lacquer thinner. This is necessary to remove any grimy build up that has settled onto the surfaces that are being refinished.
  • Next, either a belt sander or block sander will be used to rough the surface up so that the contact glue will adhere properly. It is common for laundry room cabinet refinishers to use forty grit sandpaper for this step.
  • The Formica to be applied over the old laminate should be pre-cut already from the shop. The laundry room cabinet resurfacing installer should now take the pre-cut pieces and scribe (or, “form”) them to the contour of the walls or floor. This is usually done with tin snips and a belt sander.
  • Both the new piece of mica or real wood veneer and the cabinet surface will get a thin coat of contact glue applied. The glue is allowed to dry enough so that the moisture has evaporated.
  • The new plastic laminate is placed on the cabinetry and rolled with a J-roller. You may have noticed already, the new piece that the installer is working with is about an inch larger than the actual surface they are re laminating.
  • Now, wax or silicone is applied to the plastic laminate and then it gets trimmed with a router. The power tools is equipped with a flush trimming router bit.
  • The excess glue that gets on the cabinet parts is usually cleaned of with lacquer thinner or contact glue remover.
  • Tip: At the end of the day, after your cabinet installer has been breathing the glue and lacquer thinner fumes for the past eight hours, don’t pick the work apart. Simply tell him that there are a few areas that you would like to discuss with him in the morning.You wouldn’t try to have a normal conversation with someone who was under the effects of Anesthesia after having surgery would you? Well, your man or woman just spent their day breathing in very strong chemicals not to mention that they are probably physically exhausted as well.

Reface or Replace Laundry Cabinetry?

The process of deciding whether or not to reface or replace your laundry cabinets is the same as getting estimates for anything else. The Internet is a wonderful place to learn about the various options and steps that are related to getting your laundry cabinets recovered.

Find three resurfacing specialists in your area and gather estimates. Contact three cabinet companies who design and install new cabinetry and get estimates. Use your best judgment and get the finest job for your money. Ask for photos, references and also to see actual jobs that the cabinet recovering company has done.

  • Tip: Let your cabinet resurfacing specialist know that you would like an extremely detailed estimate. It’s important to know who’s doing all of the plumbing work and who’s going to be responsible for things like unexpected leaks. Obviously, this applies if you are having counter tops resurfaced. What about electrical issues, who’s responsible for what? All of the laundry room remodeling details must be in writing.

Having cabinet resurfacing work done is a messy process. If your company can be trusted, you may want to consider having the work done while you take a mini vacation. Deciding to reface could save you as much as 20% in comparison to installing new laundry cabinetry. In any case, refacing should be a consideration.

If the work is done properly, your old worn out laundry room cabinetry should look brand new when the refinishing process is finished.

Categories: Cabinet Resurfacing
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