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Old 04-14-2014, 07:12 PM   #1
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


We are doing a kitchen remodel and I am wondering if the original cabinets cannot be refinished. They are 23 years old original construction. The doors appear to be thin pieces of oak with molding about he edges. One of the larger doors, located under the sink, is slightly warped.

We are pleased with the basic configuration of the cabinets, with one exception. The wall oven cabinet cannot accept more than a 27" oven and we want a 30". I am wondering if rather than rebuilding that cabinet, it can be widened, which would necessitate reducing the width of the cabinet on the left. If so, all the original doors and door fronts will fit with the exception of the one at the bottom of the oven cabinet.

I am thinking of having the cabinets refinished in an off white paint and replacing the tile counter tops with granite or quartz. If I do that, I am wondering how to deal with laying the top. I believe the front of a sub top is covered up by the existing row of tiles across the front.

Any ideas other than to trash the existing stuff? I don't plan on doing this jog myself, but bringing in a pro. So far, though, I get the feeling that they will sell me on what they are making the most and not on what I need.

Pictures follow. The bottom one is where the oven cabinet needs to be wider. I know this is hard to answer but am looking for suggestions on how to go. I am in Orange County, CA.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:48 PM   #2
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


The face frames of the cabinets appear to be solid oak, so that's decent. The countertops look like they are about 4" thick which is weird. As for putting in a 30" oven, it depends how wide the existing cabinet is. It also depends on the exact model of the oven, and the trim kit that goes around it. There's no way to say if you can widen the cabinet or not until you pick out the oven. If you need to widen it a half inch on either side to make it fit, then go for it, if it's more than that, you are screwed.

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Old 04-14-2014, 07:50 PM   #3
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


It would be much easier (and less costly) to keep the current configuration and just refinish the cabinets and have a new countertop installed.

Otherwise, tear it all out and build a custom oven/microwave cabinet and new cabinets that fill in the remaining area. I doubt if you could find pre built cabinets that would fit.

If it was me, and the oven was top priority, I'd tear it all out and start over. So the question is Just how bad do you want a 30 inch oven? :-)

Good luck.
Mike
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


we refinished these cabinets on a small remodel job then installed some tile and floor...
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:35 PM   #5
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


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The face frames of the cabinets appear to be solid oak, so that's decent. The countertops look like they are about 4" thick which is weird. As for putting in a 30" oven, it depends how wide the existing cabinet is. It also depends on the exact model of the oven, and the trim kit that goes around it. There's no way to say if you can widen the cabinet or not until you pick out the oven. If you need to widen it a half inch on either side to make it fit, then go for it, if it's more than that, you are screwed.
I don't think the countertops are that thick, but won't know until I pop some tiles off. If I widen the oven cabinet, I am pretty sure I need an inch and a half on each side. I can visualize how it would be done, and it would be a lot of work.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


If you need 1-1/2" on each side, you would be removing the entire face frame. Plus, you still wouldn't get enough room because of the two side pieces. Measure the interior of your cabinet and see what that dimension is because that's the most you could get out of the cabinet.

The top of your lower cabinets would be about 1" over your doors/drawers. The top of your countertops is about 3-4" over that. I'm not sure what's making up that difference.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:42 PM   #7
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


You got it Mike, as does MT Stringer. If we can live with a 27" oven its a piece of cake. I am going to see if the boss will go with that. The one inside dimension of the old one is just under 19", but newer ones measure over 21" and she might go for that. He r biggest gripe has always been that a standard cooky sheet doesn't fit and I don't want to dump several thousand just so she can fit a cooky sheet.

It looks like you do good work, Ben. Why is everyone on the East Coast or in Canada?
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
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If you need 1-1/2" on each side, you would be removing the entire face frame. Plus, you still wouldn't get enough room because of the two side pieces. Measure the interior of your cabinet and see what that dimension is because that's the most you could get out of the cabinet. You have that right. The outer width of the cabinet is only 28 inches. Near as I can figure I would have to take the cabinet apart and rebuild it with longer stringers, top, bottom, back, and a new drawer at the bottom.

The top of your lower cabinets would be about 1" over your doors/drawers. The top of your countertops is about 3-4" over that. I'm not sure what's making up that difference. I have poked up in there and it fells like there may be stringers running front to back with plastic film over them and something like clay or concrete over that, which would have allowed them to float the top of the tile.
I think that as long as we are committed, I may get the wife to authorize me to pop some tiles off so I can get a look at how that top was made.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


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I think that as long as we are committed, I may get the wife to authorize me to pop some tiles off so I can get a look at how that top was made.
Check closely. I would bet the countertop is only 3/4 inch thick plywood with the tiles on top. The front piece is probably just 2 inch trim with the tiles attached to it.

You might have to remove the tiles on the countertop to see how the top is attached to the cabinet frame. It is also possible that the countertop is attached from underneath with screws.

Here is an example I just finished building. Note the top of the cabinet only has a couple of stretchers. The granite installer put down a 3/4 plywood sub base over that, then the granite on top of that for a smooth level installation.

Hope this helps.
Mike
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


Why not just put a 1 1/2" filler on each side of the cabinet.The side panel can be cut at the top of the cab.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:20 PM   #11
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


Here is a photo of a matching counter in one of the bathrooms, but with one of the tiles removed. It looks like the cabinet face only extends 1/2" under the tile apron, then there is 1/2" slats that run from front to back. Laid on top of the slats is tar paper over which there appears to be a 1" thick bed of concrete. It could be something similar to hardiboard, but I think they floated the tiles on a bed of mud.

Whatever the exact construction, I think if the same surface level is to be achieved something has to be done to raise the granite up so that you don't see the ends of the slats. Perhaps a decorative piece of granite or similar wood furring to cover the ends of those strips.

My wife will let me go with keeping the 27" wall oven cabinet as longs as I have an island built.. I will do that unless I end up with a talented finish carpenter that figure a way to enlarge the existing wall oven cabinet without to terrible an expense.

The photos on the right shows the mud mold used to hold the tile apron and the one on the left is taken with it and some of the paper pulled up.
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Last edited by Klawman; 04-15-2014 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Why not just put a 1 1/2" filler on each side of the cabinet.The side panel can be cut at the top of the cab.
I don't quite grasp what you are saying, but if I do it might work. Could you clarify so dummies like myself might understand. (I think you are suggesting opening up the cabinet by extending the sides with a 1.5" strip of oak along the left and right. I can easily cut some larger tops and bottoms, as well as shelves for the microwave and wall oven. I would probably leave the bottom utility drawer as is, unless I can get matching molding to make a wider one.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:02 PM   #13
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


Yup, that's a mess all right...didn't I tell you it looked like the countertops were 3-4" thick??

I don't think you are going to be able to get the new countertops at the same level. You are going to have to remove the old counters and repair the walls and cabinet sides, then have the new granite laid on top.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:00 PM   #14
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


It is sounding like I had better look further into new cabinets. I met with one outfit that is pretty well established, beautiful large showroom, its own factory with CNC machinery that I walked through, but they want $50K for nice alderwood cabinets, granite counters and backsplash. This does not include appliances, but appliance installation, with all the plumbing and electrical already installed as it all goes in the same place. I still take purchase the appliances, sink and faucet, get flooring elsewhere, and take care of the little painting needed. I am not sure, but think that $50 is a lot for their scope of work. The $50 does not include the island table pictured.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:11 PM   #15
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Kitchen Cabinets - Refinish, Reface, Replace


If the cabinet boxes are OK then you could refinish the boxes and buy new doors and have a completely different look for less money. From what I am seeing you can expand the oven cabinet and not mess up the cabinets to the left and there looks to be a little space to the right where the ref is.

If you replaced the doors and drawer fronts it would be easy to favor the left side to gain more room for the oven cabinet to be expanded. It looks like you have a filler on the far left so the doors and drawer fronts could be offset to the left and still not look out of place. It looks to be doable and not have to do a tear out, if a tear out you would just be replacing good wood with good wood.

For $50 thousand I know I could figure a way to make another counter top to cover the bad place that one is in.

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