The classic raised cabinets look beautiful in any kitchen or bathroom, from old-world charm to contemporary chic. The profile of the panel protrudes from a flat surface, adding eye-catching dimension to the doors and drawing out any fine details that were added. Raised cabinets are made from a variety of materials and can be painted or stained to match your room's décor.
Manufacturers and styles
Thomasville, Armstrong, KraftMaid and Wood-mode are just a few recognizable names in American cabinetmakers. Most manufacturers offer different choices of raised cabinets--classic rectangular panels, sculpted panels and arched panels that come in various styles from the more modern eyebrow shape to the traditional cathedral arches.
Materials and finishes
Thermofoil and laminate are largely popular in refacing projects. Rigid thermofoil (RTF) is a surfacing technique that applies pressure-molded vinyl to the shape of the cabinet door, which is usually constructed from medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard or plywood. One drawback to thermofoil is that it tends to discolor when exposed to extreme heat. Laminates is a ¾-inch overlay, which covers an MDF panel door. Remember, laminate is easy to clean but eventually tends to peel or chip. RTF raised cabinets are cheaper and available in all door patterns and fashionable colors, even unfinished, while laminates only come in pre-finished wood styles and colors.
Solid wood cabinetry comes stained in poplar, alder, maple, hickory, cherry and oak. Wooden raised cabinets are available unfinished, too, for painting or staining to match your room. Some manufacturers' styles, from simple panels or drawer slabs to panels with routed beading, cause raised cabinets' costs to differ slightly. Glazing, distressing, and custom-color matching are all pre-finished options.
For the green-friendly home, bamboo comes in a variety of colors from trendy flat blacks and fiery reds to warm browns or airy whites. Always ask your manufacturer what finishing techniques they offer before getting quotes. Most have samples at your disposal for better sense of textures and colors.
Resurfacing vs. renovation costs
Resurfacing your outdated kitchen to stylish raised cabinets is the way to go if you are looking for a cheaper and faster facelift. By replacing only the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware as opposed to renovating your whole kitchen, cost reduces significantly. Name brand raised cabinets, such as an unfinished Thomasville, are priced around $145 per linear foot as compared to a generic brand at $85 per linear foot.
If you want to redesign for a full makeover with stylish raised cabinets, consider a contractor to oversee the project. It's a big investment, usually ranging from $6,000 to $10,000. A professional can help plan your design while keeping within your stated budget. Cost can be controlled by using stocked merchandise as opposed to custom-built. Keep an eye out for used raised cabinets to help lower expenses. Also, consider installation: a seasoned handyman in your house may be able to reduce your final costs up to 25 percent.
Before purchasing cabinetry or materials, you can and should get quotes from reliable contractors. A contractor can suggest cabinet manufacturers whose products match what you have in mind. To find a professional and get started researching your options, fill out the form on this page. If you are going it alone, make sure all measurements, usually in linear feet, and accessory counts are accurate before considering quotes on cabinetry from at least three different manufacturers. Compare the brands' reputations and warranties.