Can I just replace my kitchen doors?
Yes, it is possible to replace just your kitchen doors, if you want to refresh your kitchen without the full cost of replacing the kitchen, including cabinets.
There are a few things to consider when doing this, so please read on for more advice on what to consider when refreshing your kitchen.
Measure your doors carefully
The key to the doors selection is getting the measurements right. Most UK doors are made to a reasonably standard size, so the first thing to work out is if yours are standard.
Measuring from top to bottom, the following are the normal standard UK doors:
Base units doors: 715mm high
Standard wall unit doors: 715mm high
Tall wall unit doors: 895mm high
Don't worry if they are a couple of millimetre off, as long as they are shorter than the standard cabinet size, so they don't catch when you open them, you should be fine. Standard UK cabinet sizes:
Base units: 720mm high
Standard wall units: 720mm high
Tall wall units: 900mm high
Measure the drill holes positions
The drill holes, that you use to fix the doors to the units using hinges, also need to be measured. If these line up with the drill holes, you are all good to go. If not, you will need to find someone that will pre-drill the doors to your specific needs, or you will need to buy undrilled doors, and drill them yourself.
As an example, our doors are measured at 98mm from the top and bottom of the doors (to the centre of the drill holes). Once again, don't worry if they are a couple of millimetres off this size. You will be able to adjust with the hinges.
Choose the drill side/hinge side
For some doors, you will need to choose which side the door will need to be drilled. Please bear in mind that the drawer fronts will not be pre-drilled, so you will need to fix these, depending on the drawer make you use. The drawer manufacturer should give you all the details as needed.
If you have a pattern or grain on your door, or you have an integrated J pull/J handle door, you will need to select the hinge side in advance of buying the door. This will also be the case if the top and bottom hinge are at a different position. Again, for our pre-drilled doors, the drill holes are drilled at 98mm from the top and the bottom of the door (to the centre of the drill holes).
Choose your door finish/style
The next part is the fun part, choosing the colour and style for your new kitchen doors. There are hundreds of choices out there, so we would recommend starting by coming up with a style theme first of all. Will it be modern, contemporary, traditional, minimalistic? These should give you an idea of the style you are looking for.
Modern kitchen doors
Most modern style are either plain slab or J profile doors, whether the J profile that is manufactured into the doors negates the need for a separate handle to be fixed to the door. Both of these styles tend to come in matt or gloss finishes, so you can choose the best that works for you. Gloss tends to be good for reflecting light, especially in the lighter colours, so definitely think about that style if you have a dark or small room. Matt tends to be more forgiving when it comes to showing up dirt.
Contemporary kitchen doors
Contemporary kitchen door cover a vast swath of doors, but are usually a little more unusual, like the concrete or gloss copper doors, or include some of the more modern wood effect finishes. These tend to work in more modern houses. It is also possible to use the contemporary doors as a centrepiece, perhaps just in one run of the kitchen, or even just in one cabinets, to break up the design. Especially when using with other more mute kitchen doors, like light grey or white kitchen doors.
Traditional kitchen doors
Most traditional kitchen doors are either timber framed doors, or vinyl wrapped doors. The timer framed doors have a shaker design, made of five piece timber, and often painted. Vinyl wrapped kitchen doors offer the widest variety of kitchen doors. These are normally made of MDF, which means they can be routed out for a greater selection of designs. Because the finished cut/routed doors are then wrapped in vinyl, you also tend to get a greater variety of colours and finishes with this style of door.
It is very likely that your new doors are not going to match the colour of your original cabinets, but don't worry, this is where the accessories come in. There are numerous accessories available with each kitchen door range. These accessories are used to both finish the kitchen off, and also to kind any cabinets that would otherwise be on display.
The number of type of accessories will vary from one range to another, but as a minimum you would expect to see end panels, plinths and either a multi-purpose rail, or light pelmets and cornice.
Plinths and end panels
The plinths, or kickboards, are attached to the legs of the cabinets, to hide the legs, and also to stop things rolling under the cabinets. The end panels are fitted to any visible cabinet exterior, such as at the end of a run of cabinets. As the plinths and end panels match the colour of the doors, they help finish off the kitchen design.
Light pelmets and cornice
You also traditionally fit a light pelmet and cornice, although in recent year light pelmets are not as essential, as it is normally possible to fit thin LED lights to the underside of wall cabinets, so they cannot be seen, even without pelmets.
Pelmets and cornices are still used for certain designs, and are almost always used for traditional and shaker kitchens. Ultimately they are a design decision, so whether you want to use them or not is largely a personal choice.