I thought the panels in the kitchen cabinets looked a little swollen, but now a carpenter tells me that three are actually buckled. I don't think anything cosmetic can help. Am I looking at a total cabinet replacement, or can the existing cabinet doors be fixed and matched correctly? Is the savings of repair over replacement worth considering?
Morgan D. ~ San Jose, California
If the damage to your kitchen cabinets has been caused by moisture, then I would certainly consider replacing the entire cabinet. It is also very important to fix the underlying problem which caused your cabinet doors to swell in the first place, as future water damage may occur if left unfixed. Unfortunately, it can cost a lot to replace all of your kitchen cabinets, so it would be worth it to determine the costs of replacing only the cabinet doors, and leaving the original cabinet boxes in place.
A potential problem when replacing only the cabinet doors is getting the entire cabinet to look right when the job is complete. If your kitchen cabinets are several years old, the color of the wood may have darkened over time or the color could have faded from the sun. Either way matching the color of the new doors to the color of the original cabinet boxes might be difficult. You may want to consult a cabinet shop in the San Jose area and see if they can build you new cabinet doors that match the existing cabinet color and finish. If matching the color of the new doors and original cabinet boxes is not possible, a less expensive alternative to a total cabinet replacement might be cabinet refacing.