Kitchen Cabinet Renovation
LESLIE: Valerie in North Carolina has got a kitchen project. What’s going on and how can we help?VALERIE: Yes, I replaced the kitchen cabinets in my kitchen. It’s been over 10 years ago. And I had a freezer in the kitchen but I’ve gotten rid of that since then. And now I’m trying to fill that space in with a cabinet that will look OK and I’m having a hard time matching what I have here.
LESLIE: Well, have you thought about not exactly matching and choosing something that’s in the same finish but compliments it; say, with like a glass-front door or something a little bit different that makes it it’s own special piece?
VALERIE: Well, I thought about that. The person that I talked to about the glass front said the inside would still have to match and because the color has changed that I’d have a hard time doing that also.
LESLIE: What color are your existing cabinets?
VALERIE: It’s an oak; just like a golden oak color.
LESLIE: Is it something where if you got an unfinished cabinet you’d be able to purchase a stain and stain it on your own to match?
VALERIE: I guess that’s a possibility. I hadn’t really thought that way.
TOM: That’s probably the best way to go because this way you’d have control of it. If you got the unfinished oak cabinet, what I would also do is go out and buy a couple of pieces of oak scrap …
TOM: … and then you could experiment with some different stains. Get one that’s maybe a little lighter than what you have; one that’s a little darker; and come up with one that matches as close to that cabinet as you possibly can get it. If you use an unfinished cabinet and you have total control over the coloration, I think that’s probably the best way to get something that’s really close to what you have. And then even if you put it in and it still looks a little bit different, as the sunlight gets to it over the years you’ll find that it gets warmer and warmer and eventually it’s probably going to match perfectly with what you have.
VALERIE: OK, well that’s a good – I hadn’t thought of doing that myself.
TOM: Yeah, in this situation I think that makes the most sense.
VALERIE: Can I ask another question that’s related to that? I’ve got – since that freezer left I had laminate floors put in.
VALERIE: And somebody told me that I was going to have trouble putting something down on top of a laminate if a put a cabinet there.
TOM: Why would have trouble putting it on top of laminate?
VALERIE: They said something about it kind of floats; the floor should float.
TOM: This cabinet’s going to go on top of the existing laminate floor?
VALERIE: That’s right.
TOM: I don’t see any reason you can’t do that except you’re going to find that the laminate floor went up to – like against the original cabinets; that you may find that a new cabinet is taller when you put it side by side.
TOM: And if that’s the situation you have two options. You can either cut out the laminate and sort of drop the new one in.
LESLIE: So that it’s at the same height as the others.
TOM: Or you could cut the new base cabinet.
VALERIE: Oh, OK.
TOM: Cut a half-inch off it or so and make it a bit shorter so that it fits right over that floor.
VALERIE: Oh. OK, well that’s a good idea then. I’ve come across all kinds of problems and I didn’t realize it was going to be so difficult just to put one cabinet in there.
TOM: Well, we are your problem solvers, Valerie, so thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
VALERIE: (laughing) Well, thank you.