Budget Planning for Your Kitchen: Part 1

Your kitchen is the most used room in the house. It’s the room where all members of your family congregate first thing in the morning, after work and school, mealtimes and even more frequently on weekends. It is where discussions are had, decisions are made, homework is done, food is cooked and shared, and reluctantly, where a million dishes are washed!

So, the question most often asked when considering a kitchen upgrade or renovation is how much does it cost to create a space your whole family can be happy in? There is no clear-cut answer, and the price variance can be quite large.

Depending the size of your kitchen, the finishes you’re after and the style you want, it can generally cost as little as about $12,000 or upwards of $50,000 or $60,000! It would seem obvious that the larger the kitchen, the more expensive it is, as it takes more cabinets to fill it. However, it is possible for a small kitchen to also become quite costly if top-of-the-range finishes and appliances are used to fill it too!

A major factor on the cost of your kitchen is the material and finish that you choose for your doors. There are an enormous range available in the current market, all with their own pros and cons. We’re going to break down a few of the more popular choices to help you get a better idea of what you could be considering.

$$$$$ Solid Timber

A classic material that has been used time and time again throughout the decades. Solid timber is now considered a top of the range material, as it is solid and durable. It comes in a variety of colours, can be stained or painted to your heart’s desire and also has a range of different profiles that can enhance the style of your kitchen.

The maintenance however is high as it requires sealing or oiling the surface regularly to ensure bacteria doesn’t grow and to protect the wood from spills. Any liquid spills on solid timber doors or benchtops should be wiped immediately to avoid staining, which is perhaps not practical for families with children or pets!

$$$$ Timber Veneer

Timber veneer is made from real wood however is more cost-effective than solid timber because it is a thin sheet on ‘veneer’ that is secured to an MDF panel. In using timber veneer, you get the effect of solid timber, without the price tag attached!

However, as with solid timber, timber veneer needs to be sealed correctly in order to be durable for high traffic areas such as your kitchen. It is also extremely UV sensitive, therefore prone to fading and discolouring, and best used away from large windows.

$$$ 2pac or Polyurethane Paint

2pac has been an extremely popular finish for all variants of cabinetry over the past couple of decades due to its wide range of colours, finishes and applications. It is a seamless finish – the door is sprayed with hard-wearing paint so there are no edging joins visible (compared to timber veneer, vinyl or melamine door finishes).

The main advantage of 2pac is that the colour and finish can be custom to the client’s wildest specifications – bright red, dark navy or crisp white – if they make it in a paint colour, you can have it in your kitchen! 2pac can also be used on a variety of door styles, including shaker style doors, provincial routed profiles and the all-popular mitred fingerpull!

As it is a paint finish though, it can be prone to chipping if it isn’t treated properly – so we don’t recommend 2pac for people who like throwing their pots at their kitchen doors!

$$ Vinyl or Thermoformed Doors

Vinyl, or thermoformed doors, are made of a durable wrap that covers the door right up to the inside edge, so there are no edging and joins visible from the outside. This finish also comes in many colours and styles and can be used for profile doors, such as the beautiful shaker style, as well as simple flat doors.

Unfortunately, vinyl does have its downsides too – due to the nature of the product, it is prone to bubbling or peeling if exposed to heat for too long (such as above an oven or under a microwave) and can also react to moisture. If vinyl is the finish of your choice, we do have ways around these downfalls to ensure that you get the most out of your kitchen.

$ Melamine

For those on a budget but still wanting a clean, crisp finish, we recommend choosing a melamine door finish. Melamine is a compressed wood that is coated with paper and resin which can be produced in a range of colours and styles. They are also relatively durable and resistant to heat and stains if properly taken care of.

But…there is always a ‘but’…it is not entirely foolproof. It can be prone to chipping and scratching if treated poorly. Also, if it is left sitting in water or in high-moisture areas, the doors can swell, and the interior structure deteriorate over time.

As you can see, even if you had two kitchens of the same size with the exact same appliances and cabinetry, there can be a huge variance in price, just based on the finish of the cabinetry doors.

AJ’s Cabinets offers a seven-year warranty on all of the above finishes, plus a ten-year warranty on all our workmanship of the newly installed products.

See our next post for the costs involved in choosing your benchtop!

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