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7roses 06-28-2009 10:27 AM

reclaiming bathroom cabinetry for laundry room - how to adjust to counter height?
I have several linear feet of bathroom cabinetry in very good shape from 1 master plus 1 guest bath. The guest bath sink and cabinet were replaced w/ a pedestal, and the master will be replaced w/.... something. At any rate, the cabinets are definitely coming out. The old ugly laundry room cabinets are destined for the dumpster. You see where I'm going w/ this, of course. I'd like to reclaim the nearly 20 linear ft' (it's a really big master bath) of cabinetry for the laundry room, but it is not standard counter height, having been built for a bathroom. Short of having new boxes built, and just recovering the old doors and drawers, is there some way I can refit the cabinetry in its entirety to a new higher height. (The counters will of course be replaced.) I know I always have the option to just leave them as is, but still top them w/ a new counter. Thanks from a Newbie for any advice. 7roses is online now Report Post Edit/Delete Message

PaliBob 06-28-2009 02:38 PM

[size=2]You can make all kinds of modifications to cabinets if you have the right tools.

I modified a multi bay Melamine entertainment unit with a 25" tube TV to hold a 46" LCD by sharing space with the adjacent bay, using a Festool
TS55 to cut out part of the vertical bulkhead.

I assume that you are asking if existing Base cabinets can be cut down in height to be moved and mounted on the wall. The general answer is YES but there are variables to consider mainly is it worth it?

If the originals are in good shape with no water damage and they are NOT mass produced cheapies then they can be altered both in height and depth with a Festool, Makita, or DeWalt Track saw.

IF you’re not set up to do this yourself (tools?) then a Trim Carpenter or well equipped handyman can do the job.

Paragon 06-28-2009 02:39 PM

7 roses My next question is what is the existing height the top is at right now with counters installed? You state you want the tops to be at standard counter top height and want to know how to get them there but how far off are the cabinets at the current time?

Thurman 06-28-2009 02:49 PM

IMO- I would look into having boxes built that the used cabinets would sit right down on top of. One problem that comes to mind is the end pieces on the cabinets. Depending on how the cabinets were built to start with the toe boards may just come off and higher toe boards could be installed. But not with the ends as the probably go all the way from the underside of the counter top to the floor. That's why I recommend just building a "riser" so to speak. If it's built properly, and matched up as best it can be, it will not be that noticeable in a laundry room, especially if they are painted. Good Luck, David

7roses 06-28-2009 03:08 PM

Hi Tool Geek - Thanks for your reply. I'm actually asking if they can be built *up* to be higher, not cut down to be lower. I think cutting them down to be lower would certainly be an easier job. I have no qualms about investing in the right tools. Plus, if I save money on reclaiming the old cabinetry, that's more money for tools, right:)? The cabinets themselves are actually in very good shape. They've just outlived their attractiveness in the bathrooms, which are getting an update purely for cosmetics (no damage, just a bit out of date). What gave me the idea in the first place are the multiple posts from people reclaiming old kitchen cabinets for their garages, plus not 1, but 2 contractors who, unsolicited, told me my cabinets are all in really good shape, and they would be happy to take them off my hands for use elsewhere if I wanted to replace them. This is one of those 'lower priority' spaces in the house, so reclaimed stuff seemed like a good budget minded way to go. I could just remount them in the new location as is, but that would mean that they would be ~4" shorter than standard counter ht. I really appreciate your input.

7roses 06-28-2009 03:11 PM

Hi Paragon - I've just remeasured everything, and it looks like they'd be about 4"-5" low depending on what we chose for counter top. Up close, they really are in good shape. I'd really like to put them to good use for several more years.

Paragon 06-28-2009 03:12 PM

7 roses

You can get a little lift but I think lifting them 4" would make them look goofy. it would be one thing if it were an inch or so but I am not so sure about going a whole 4". I always tell my clients that these projects are theirs and that is what s important to remember it is your project but I think you would loose some aesthetic value trying to gain some monetary value.

Good luck

7roses 06-28-2009 03:20 PM

Thurman - Thanks! That's exactly what I was just staring at this morning. The end pieces do span the vertical, but it does look like the toe boards could be replaced. The master bathroom cabinetry makes a 90 degree turn, and so does the laundry room. That could fit right in perfectly. I need to make up 4-5" to reach standard counter height. Do you think this is too much to add to the toe boards? I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

7roses 06-28-2009 03:35 PM

Paragon - Thanks again. I would definitely like to avoid goofy. That's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. I'm really new at this stuff! Ok, so now that we agree adding 4" to the toe board and 'platform' underneath would give the base cabinets an undesirable 'goofy' factor, the next question is: is the 4-5" not worth it at all, and should I just reclaim the cabinets as they are to the new location? Will the shorter than standard counter height also be out of place ie. also goofy?? In case I wasn't clear earlier, these are all base cabinets, and will remain base cabinets. If you ignore the fact that there are sinks on top of all these cabinets now (I can deal w/ the false drawer fronts - that's easy), they are at what I would call 'desk height'. Maybe I should use that to my advantage in designing the new laundry room, which actually is also huge for such a function. Again, I really appreciate your input.

PaliBob 06-28-2009 04:20 PM

David Thurman's Ladder Base suggestion would still look conventional if a cosmetic filler panel was added to mask the original cabinet toe-kick.

Paragon 06-28-2009 04:35 PM


I appreciate your reference to the sketchup reference and I use this myself in my work with my clients here are some renderings I have done

I also think that the new toe kick would achieve the increase in height no doubt but having a nearly 8" toe kick would look awkward and out of place whether it was re skinned or not.


I think you are precisely on the right track with your design. I think it would look just fine having the cabinets at the existing height and I don't think anyone would register the deficient height. Nost don't if left well enough alone and if they are attractive solid cabinets then use them and work with what you have. Redo the drawer fronts and doors if need be and change the hardware, new laminate top and voilą you will be very much in business. I think sometimes we can do more damage than good when we worry about the details too much and if you have function right now, don't worry so much about form in this instance.

7roses 06-28-2009 07:07 PM

Hey Everybody - Thanks! I'll probably leave well enough alone then, and install the reclaimed cabinets as they are in the new location w/ a new countertop. The drawers and door fronts are still in great shape, so no need to do those. The added bonus is that they are already stained the same as some built-ins (original to the house, as are the cabinets) in an adjacent room. Hey, this part of the project is getting cheaper and cheaper! How many times does that happen?? Uhhh, NEVER! Thanks again to everybody for your help. I'll be back often when work on the main part of the house begins, especially the master bath (soon to be cabinet-less:) and kitchen, not to mention refacing the fireplace, adding a hearth and the all important installation of about 1500 sq ft of hardwood. That great wooshing sound you hear is the money coming out of my bank account. Thanks again to everybody who replied to my post.

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