Browsing articles in "Kitchen Remodeling Charlotte Tips"
Jul 25, 2015
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Plywood Construction for Cabinets, is it Better?

What’s the difference? Does it really matter if cabinets are constructed using melamine or plywood? Here are the facts pertaining to melamine:

    1. The way it looks. When I show a customer a veneered piece of plywood vs. a piece of melamine for cabinet construction, 9 times out of 10, after looking at the depth, construction, and strength of the plywood, they are more inclined to ask for the plywood constructed cabinets than the melamine.
    1. When it gets wet or damp, it swells and comes apart! Does this make any sense? Kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinets are in wet areas. I can’t count the number of customers who have asked me why their melamine cabinets smell musty, are disintegrating, moldy, and the doors and drawers no longer close properly – “We just had them installed a few years ago” they tell me.
    1. Traditional melamine is really heavy.
    1. Light-weight melamine is ridiculous! It breaks, chips really easily, splinters, de-laminates, can’t hold a screw or nail, and is so thin, I can’t figure out how they can even make something with a veneer the thickness of paper! The melamine substrate looks like stained cardboard.
    1. Will not hold a screw for long (even confirmats), especially after the customer starts opening the doors. A few months down the road – they fall off! For example, I recently disassembled a melamine kitchen that was only a few years old that was built using glued and stapled 3/4″ material from one of those big box home improvement retailers. With only a hammer, it only took 10-15 minutes to knock down about 12 cabinets. They literally fell apart with a couple of blows. I removed the doors by simply pulling on them with one hand… I merely ripped the doors and hinges off in a single motion.
    1. It smells!
    1. Chips easily when cutting if the blade is not sharp all the time.
    1. Difficult to work with.
    1. The ends use edge-band – basically melamine strips with glue on them that are affixed to cover the particle board (saw dust) between the melamine sheets using heat.
    1. De-lamination issues. The melamine separates from the particle board that’s between the melamine sheets.
    1. Surface breaks when using screws.
    1. Sub-materials degrade over time (joints loosen).
    1. Hinges loosen easier over time (door sags).
    1. Will not hold moldings well without glue or nailers.
  1. Cheap (both ways).

Choosing melamine cabinets or plywood cabinets is really a choice that is up to you. There are pros and cons to each of these materials. After reviewing the summary below of the pros and cons of each material, you can then make a decision on what to use for your cabinets.

Stronger

Although melamine may be strong enough to do your cabinets, plywood tends to be stronger. This in turn makes your cabinets withstand more.

Hinges

Hinges tend to break away a lot sooner using melamine cabinet’s verses plywood cabinets.

Drawers

Drawers also tend to break away using melamine cabinet’s verses plywood cabinets. See Screws below.

Screws

Melamine doesn’t hold screws as well as plywood, and tend to chip away when screwing one in.

Expense

Plywood is more expensive than melamine.

Cleaning

Melamine wipes down very easy. Plywood is a bit harder to clean.

Finishing

Plywood must be finished by a varnish, paint, or stain – of your choice. Melamine comes pre-finished in a variety of colors.

Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD’s Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor, http://www.dadsconstruction.com.

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Jul 19, 2015
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Replacing Thermofoil Cabinet Doors

I am a professional cabinet maker. For the past eight years I have carved a niche in the area of repairs and alterations to kitchens and baths. Among the many request for repairs which I receive, replacing thermofoil cabinet doors is high on the list. First let me say that there are two other popular terms used to describe this style of door, MDF and vinyl wrap. There are usually two types of damage that are the most common with this type of door. The vinyl peels away from the board due to excessive heat or the plastic coating begins to loosen because the manufacture didn’t get enough glue on the surfaces of the board when the doors were being made. In both of these cases, the doors are usually beyond repair and must be replaced. Here’s the problem though, many customers have no idea where the actual doors came from. There are literally hundreds of MDF door manufacturing companies scattered throughout the United States and Canada. So, here’s what I do to get around this minor set back. Most of the time if I remove a vinyl wrapped drawer front from the drawer and look on the back side of it, there’s a sticker on it. This label will have the companies name, date of production, door style and color codes on it. Once we have this information we then contact the company to find out if the doors are still under warranty. Some MDF manufactures offer a five year guarantee against discoloration and de-lamination. Please note, heat damaged doors will not be covered with the guarantee. The next step is to request a catalog and color samples. Once these materials arrive we are then able to identify the door style, match the color and order the replacement parts.

Tips for protecting your thermofoil doors against heat damage:

1) Remove the drawers and doors that are next to your oven when you are using the self cleaning feature. When cleaning is in process there is a small amount of extreme heat that escapes through the edges of the oven door. This will melt the plastic and cause it to shrink and curl.
2) Avoid placing deep fryers directly underneath of the upper cabinet doors. Here again the heat will affect the edges.
3) Either pull or push toaster ovens away from the door edges so that the rising heat does not cause any damage to the doors.

A few words about the warranty coverage on thermofoil cabinet doors.

It’s important to know that even though your doors may be replaceable at no cost from the manufacture, you will still have to pay a professional cabinet man to make the exchange. Just as an example, if your cabinet man charges $50 per hour from start to finish the cost of 21′ of uppers and 21′ of base cabinets should cost around five to six hundred dollars. The company who originally made the doors should cover all of the shipping costs. So if the cabinet man says you will have to pay for having the doors shipped, I suggest calling the company directly and finding out for yourself.

Hire A Professional

Replacing thermofoil doors should be done by a professional. So, “don’t try this at home.” If you hire someone to do the work for you, it will save you a lot of time and aggravation in the end. Professional cabinet men have special drilling machines and templates that allow them to produce excellent results when they are replacing MDF doors.

If you would like to learn more about thermofoil cabinet doors visit the Fix My Cabinet website. There’s a special section that is all about cabinet doors.

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Jun 17, 2015
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Cabinets tips for finding the one for you

Are you planning to renovate your house? If yes, then you should pay special attention towards the kitchen and bathroom. Generally, people put all their money in the living room and bedroom, which is not right. It is very important to renovate the bathroom and kitchen in a perfect manner, so that each and every part of the house looks equally beautiful. We are living in the world where everything is ready made.

People don’t have time to waste on the construction of products. They want ready-to-assemble products, which they can buy from the local or online store and install it right away. When renovating the kitchen and bathroom, RTA cabinets are the most popular products among the people. It is easier for the sellers to ship RTA cabinets. Even the customers like RTA cabinets because they don’t have to call up any carpenter to install the cabinets.

The customers will also get a user manual along with the actual product that contains all the information on how to install the cabinet perfectly. This means that you can save money on hiring a professional to install cabinets. The cost of shipping will also be less due to the less weight of the product. It is important to compare the prices of the RTA cabinets before buying. There are so many companies available in the market today, so you can’t just stick to one company. It is vital to get quotes from at least five companies, so that you can choose the company with the lowest quote. If you are spending money in the renovation process, then you should pay attention towards the quality of the products.

You can get custom RTA cabinets in case you have any specific requirements. The dimension of the cabinets should match perfectly with the door style, construction materials and box. Moreover, it should match the drawer slide and hinge mechanisms as well. After choosing the right cabinets, it is important to consider the price of the cabinets. You must have outlined a specific budget for the entire renovation process, so you must find ways to keep the cost within the budget. There is not much difference in the price of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

When you are buying the custom white cabinets from an online store, then you won’t have to pay per-item shipping costs. You can pay the entire cost at one time, which would be a lot lesser. By ordering more products at a time, you can significantly reduce the shipping cost. The RTA industry is very competitive, therefore the price continues to fluctuate. So, if you are planning to buy kitchen and bathroom cabinets, then buy it now, or else the price will go up next week. Choosing a dealer is perhaps the most important point when buying the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The dealer you have chosen must have a good customer base.

Moreover, he/she should have a huge variety of products because every customer has his/her own unique specifications and needs, so a dealer must have a wide range of products to satisfy all of them. The cabinets are available in two styles – slab and shaker. The slab style is simple, smooth and elegant. On the other hand, the shaker style has more texture. You can choose according to your taste and requirements. It is necessary to do a little research before buying the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. You can save your precious time if you know exactly what you are looking for. You can ask your friends and relatives in case they know any place to find the best kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Domain Cabinets Direct is an online store that specialises in solid wood kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They have a large collection of stock and all of their items are delivered ready-to-assemble. Their collection is geared towards the modern end of the spectrum, with clear lined styles that are popular for modern kitchens and bathrooms. They have many choices, including dark wood, but most of their cabinets are made of bamboo, birch, maple, cherry, or oak. They do have cost effective options and they do focus on the value shopper. They can be contacted through their website or through their free phone line. You can visit their website at http://www.domaincabinetsdirect.com

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