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Old 02-13-2009, 06:58 AM
 
167 posts, read 1,018,925 times
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Default Birch Cabinet Doors Vs. Cherry / Maple Door

I recently got 3 people to give me a quote for kitchen cabinet refacing. First one uses birch wood doors and his estimate was <5K. He told he is going to replace the doors, sand existing kitchen frame front to expose wood and then stain everything to the color we like.


Two cabinet guys from Sears and Homedepot came and gave me a refacing quote for around 16K. Their cabinets are made out of maple or cherry. These people will put new doors and stick veneer on the sides and frame front.


I am so confused about these estimates. Can someone please tell me which one to believe. I have hears that cherry and maple wood is good but have no idea about the birch wood. I live in Raleigh, NC. Please recommend some good cabinet companies if possible.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,157,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trusam View Post
I recently got 3 people to give me a quote for kitchen cabinet refacing. First one uses birch wood doors and his estimate was <5K. He told he is going to replace the doors, sand existing kitchen frame front to expose wood and then stain everything to the color we like.


Two cabinet guys from Sears and Homedepot came and gave me a refacing quote for around 16K. Their cabinets are made out of maple or cherry. These people will put new doors and stick veneer on the sides and frame front.


I am so confused about these estimates. Can someone please tell me which one to believe. I have hears that cherry and maple wood is good but have no idea about the birch wood. I live in Raleigh, NC. Please recommend some good cabinet companies if possible.
Sorry you never read my posts before but you once again proved my point that Home Depot and Lowes charges full list price and Sears charges 25% over list price. Go anywhere but there for cabinets. Also that refacing is almost always more expensive then replacing. Refacing is like putting a nice new clean pressed suit and tie on a man who is wearing dirty worn out sneakers. And inside his pockets are still old and dirty with a zipper that is worn out.

Birch is sometimes called the poor mans cherry. The untrained eye can not tell the diffrence between cherry and birch. Birch is harder then cherry but still soft and is always used in refacing because it is easy to work with and very inexpensive. Cherry by comparision is very very expensive.

That $5000 estimate you got probably is not that bad at all. The $16,000 estimate is like paying $85,000 for 10 year old Dodge that is dented up with high milage. If you trust the small company for $5000 then go for it. Can you surprise him by getting some past customers numbers from him and call them to see if they were happy with him?

What about your countertops? Have you considered going all new cabinets?

If you reface then how bad are your old cabinet interiors, especially the sink base? Do all the drawer guides still work smoothly? Door hinges close without help? All these things are extras above the estimate the refacers quote you. They will not tell you untill you commit to the standard price. Sometimes when they are done and it looks all nice and shinny, only then do you notice how ugly inside the sink base looks or how none of the drawers close. Then they hit you with gigantic price markups. Refacing is a gimmic and even a scam in some cases. In my 30 years maybe 9 out of every 10 estimates I do when comparing with or competing with a refacer I beat their price.

Good luck to ya.......
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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For $16k you can probably get all new cabinets (not sure how many there are, but it would have to be a lot for more than that amount). $5k is not bad. You need to ask yourself if this give you what you want. If you like your layout and the cabinet boxes are in good shape then go for it. If not, then consider all new. Jay
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:58 PM
 
11 posts, read 152,392 times
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[quote=...

Birch is sometimes called the poor mans cherry. The untrained eye can not tell the diffrence between cherry and birch. Birch is harder then cherry but still soft and is always used in refacing because it is easy to work with and very inexpensive. Cherry by comparision is very very expensive.

.......[/QUOTE]

Hi. I'm confused! I was considering natural cherry for my new kitchen cabinets. I went to a different contractor today, and he said birch was "more" expensive, and recommended it over cherry. Help!

cat22
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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Just as cheery is called the poor mans mahogany really.Then there are alot of different mahogany's that makes a huge difference in the grain. Most of the mahogany you see how is the cheaper Philippine which doesn't have the great grain as cherry doesn't.It wasn;t that long ago that Cherry was fair cheap.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,157,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat22 View Post
Hi. I'm confused! I was considering natural cherry for my new kitchen cabinets. I went to a different contractor today, and he said birch was "more" expensive, and recommended it over cherry. Help!

cat22
I would steer clear of whatever simpleton told you birch cost more then cherry. He ain't playing with a full deck of cards. Cherry is the most expensive of the common materials that all cabinet manufacturers use. The only wood species costing more then cherry are several but are not commonly used. They are not easy to work with and are not commonly found in hardwood supply yards in any quanity.

When I did Celine Dions kitchen 9 years ago she chose maple. She tore my kitchen out in 2004 and had one custom built using African Cocobolo wood. This is a rare awesomely beautiful wood with dark brown to blackstrips and it's heartwood is a redish brown with yellow sap. Her maple cabinets cost around $80,000 and I'm told by my sources the Cocobolo wood alone, just raw solid stock plank cost her more then the $80,000 and she still had to pay some one to build them.

The true poor mans cherry is Alder. And many cabinet companies do carry at least a couple door choices in Alder. Alder is soft and actually comes from the birch family of trees but much more rare thereby costing more then birch but not as much as cherry. I would say an Alder cabnet is priced a tad more then oak but a tad less then maple and hickory.

By the way, birch is commonly used in paint grade cabinets. If you buy an ugly white or almond or any solid color cabinet, it probably is made of birch and all others will be made of poplar wood. Birch will make a real ugly color when stained. In it's raw state it looks just like cherry but when stain is applied birch becomes very ugly.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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desertrun41,

Thank you for your response. What about "red birch"?

cat22
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,157,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat22 View Post
desertrun41,

Thank you for your response. What about "red birch"?

cat22
First off you will not find any cabinet companies using red birch. It's just not popular or commonly found. I mght even lean on calling it a rare wood species. Red birch is the inner heartwood from a yellow or white birch tree. Red birch as you may expect does have more of a red tinge to it.

Truthfully I dont even know the cost of red birch but I do know it is very very very expensive. It is quite unlikely you will even find it for sale in even your better lumber supply stores. I can almost guaranty you red birch would be available by mail order only.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
1,293 posts, read 2,770,673 times
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I would choose maple. I have done some house remodeling myself using maple. It is extremley hard and durable. It is almost impossible to nail through without predrilling holes. Maple also gives a nice texture and shine when stained and worked right.
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:42 PM
 
11 posts, read 152,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
First off you will not find any cabinet companies using red birch. It's just not popular or commonly found. .
Apparently, there are several companies in California using Red Birch. Guess it's more readily available here.

Still haven't made my decision between Red Birch and Cherry.

cat22
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