The kitchen is the busiest room of almost every home – where everybody goes to prepare food and drinks, cook, and dine on a daily basis. Whether you have a large open plan kitchen or the smallest galley kitchen, the high amount of traffic will inevitably lead to wear and tear on your kitchen units.
Here at Kitchen Warehouse, we understand that complete kitchen units are an integral part of the overall kitchen structure. However, it’s not always possible or practical to replace a room’s worth of kitchen cabinets just to freshen up your kitchen’s appearance – buying a new kitchen isn’t cheap.
The average cost of a new kitchen is less than you might think, but it can still be expensive for many people. It can take years to save up enough to cover the costs of your dream kitchen, but there’s an alternative route that’s both faster and cheaper than a total refit. If your existing cabinets are fine but the frontages look a little tired, why not just replace the kitchen doors instead?
The most cost-effective solution for a kitchen makeover is to replace the cupboard doors and drawer fronts while retaining the fitted units, reinventing the room for a fraction of the price.
Replacement kitchen doors are far more affordable than whole units, and installing them is easy and quick compared to a full kitchen renovation. Giving your kitchen a trendy new look can even increase the value of your home, which is a win-win if you intend to sell the property in the future.
Interested in swapping your kitchen cupboard doors? This guide goes through everything you need to know about replacing kitchen cabinet doors, including the why, when, and how. Keep reading to find out more about replacement doors with design and installation tips from Kitchen Warehouse.
Why would I need replacement kitchen doors?
Kitchens go through a lot, so visible signs of wear and ageing are bound to develop in the parts you use most often. Countertops and cupboard doors regularly come into contact with everything from oily fingertips to pigmented foods, and young children can have a habit of swinging on the doors in family homes. Whatever your kitchen goes through day-to-day, the following may appear:
- Accidental scratches, chips, dents, and cracks
- Discolouration, marks, and stains from spillages
- Damaged door hinges or warped wood from careless use
- Heat and moisture damage (e.g. peeling paint, water marks)
Even when you use your kitchen responsibly and stay on top of cleaning, it’s practically inevitable that scrapes and splotches will build up over time. Exposure to sunlight can also cause colours to fade, making your finishes look patchy. It’s easy to ignore these issues as long as your kitchen is still functional, but there comes a point when a worn appearance really brings down the room.
Whether through want or necessity, due to badly ageing décor or poor condition, replacing cabinet doors is more viable for many than investing in an entire new kitchen suite. If your doors are the main feature letting your kitchen down, they’re the first thing you should update to give the space a new lease of life. This also gives you a great opportunity to explore design trends and preferences.
When should you replace your kitchen doors?
Like most furniture or appliances, kitchen cabinets have a limited lifespan, meaning they’ll only last a certain amount of time before you’ll need to replace them. This could be 5 years, 10 years, or even several decades, depending on the construction materials and how rigorously you use it.
When you see the room every day, it’s easy to become used to it, no longer noticing how shabby your cabinets look. It might take a passing comment from a family member, friend, or other visitor to see your kitchen through an outsider’s eyes and realise that it desperately needs an upgrade.
At Kitchen Warehouse, we want everyone to take pride in their kitchen and achieve the look and level of finish that they really want. This is why we recommend updating a run-down kitchen with replacement doors, which is a relatively fuss-free and quick way to give your cupboards a facelift.
It’s fine to endure minor cosmetic damage for months or even years, but if super-scruffy doors are making your kitchen a dingy and unpleasant place to be, then it’s definitely time to do something about it. With replacement doors, you won’t have to wait long to get the kitchen you deserve.
You’ll only need to save up for longer and invest in new kitchen units if the carcasses themselves are damaged or old and incompatible with the doors you want. Since hardwearing kitchen cabinets can last for a decade or more with proper care, replacing cabinet doors allows you to refresh shoddy frontages more frequently and at less expense. So, is it time for you to take the initiative?
5 benefits of buying replacement kitchen doors
Want to know one of the best-kept secrets about reinventing your kitchen? Spending money you don’t have to spare isn’t the only way to do it, but most people aren’t aware of the affordable alternative – replacement kitchen doors. Here are five major benefits of replacement doors:
1) Spending less money
As we know, buying kitchen units complete with doors and drawer fronts costs a lot more than just buying the doors separately. In times of economic strain, consumers are likely to gravitate towards cheaper options. Carcasses will last a lot longer than moving parts like doors and hinges, so why fix what isn’t broken? Changing the doors achieves the desired effect without breaking the bank.
2) Saving time and effort
Not only can replacement kitchen doors save you money, but they’re also less time-consuming to order and install, so you can enjoy your new kitchen sooner. Production and delivery will be faster than it would for entire units, and removing the old doors and attaching the new ones takes less time and doesn’t leave as much mess. It’s easy to DIY, too, instead of paying a professional fitter.
3) Providing a stylish new look
When the cupboard doors are closed, you’re unlikely to even notice the colour of the units behind them. It’s the style and finish of the outward-facing doors that leaves the biggest impression. By switching to a trendier type of door, you can create the illusion of a total kitchen transformation – without shelling out for new units. This is the number one hassle-free way to spruce up a kitchen.
4) Adding modern mechanisms
Replacing doors doesn’t involve any radical layout changes, but it does give you a chance to take your cabinets to the next level. At Kitchen Warehouse, all of our replacement doors come with soft-closing hinges from the German manufacturer Hettich, making it safe, smooth, and quiet to open and close them. You can also add kitchen accessories like built-in storage and new handles.
5) Getting more out of your units
Even the most well-made kitchen units will need replacing eventually, but they’ll hold up for many years beyond the doors. Due to all the pulling and pushing, swinging and slamming, and the light, temperature, and moisture changes that come with their location, exposed doors will deteriorate at a faster rate. When you replace them, you’re making your kitchen last for longer by maintaining the still-functional framework. You can replace the doors several times throughout the unit’s lifespan.
How to choose replacement kitchen doors
If you’re considering new kitchen cabinet doors, you might not know where to start, especially if it’s been a while since you last browsed through kitchen designs. Luckily, Kitchen Warehouse has years of industry experience in supplying a vast range of high-quality kitchen units and doors. Here are some tips on shopping for replacement kitchen doors and choosing the best design.
Where to find replacement cabinet doors?
The first step is searching online for kitchen ideas to narrow down what you’re looking for. Our kitchen installation gallery has plenty of inspiration for both classic and colourful cupboard doors. You can also browse our replacement door collections directly on our site to see product images.
However, viewing in person is often preferable, as the photography in online kitchen brochures can’t always capture how a colour and finish looks in real life. If you’re within travelling distance of Ripon in Yorkshire, then we’d recommend visiting the Kitchen Warehouse showroom to check out our stock with your own eyes. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak directly with our staff.
Even if you can’t make a trip to our showroom, you can still order kitchen door samples online. We’ll send you a small sample of the chosen door style so you can see how it looks in your kitchen. If you order a set of doors in that style, we’ll even deduct the cost of the samples from your order!
Which kitchen colour scheme to use?
When you’re updating the doors but not the units in your kitchen, the first major decision is whether or not you want the new doors to match the units.
If there are no outwardly visible edges, matching isn’t too important. If there are, you’ll either have to choose a colour as close as possible to the unit or commit to creating a contrasting look. The style of your worktops will also influence this choice.
Bear in mind that exact colour-matching for products from different brands and suppliers isn’t very likely, so only go down this route if you’re fine with settling for a close approximation. It’s crucial to order a sample to test against your units if you intend to do this. Even if you decide on another hue, it’s advisable to stick with the same finish – such as matt doors with matt units, or gloss with gloss.
Don’t forget about the fittings, either. Everything from your light fixtures to electrical outlets to appliances also affects the harmony of your kitchen design, so take those colours and styles into consideration, too. You can always select suitable new kitchen accessories like handles and taps.
Modern or traditional kitchen cupboards?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different kitchen designs out there to choose from. However, we can most easily categorise kitchens under the umbrella of ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ styles. For example, solid wood kitchens are considered traditional, while high gloss kitchens are modern.
Contemporary kitchens tend to go for minimalism, such as handleless cabinet doors, while ‘old-fashioned’ kitchens focus on textures. Things can get confusing when traditional designs are given a contemporary twist, like modern Shaker-style kitchens or handleless wood kitchens, but these mixed styles can offer the best of both worlds. It all comes down to your personal preferences.
If your existing kitchen feels old and drab, replacement doors can modernise the room. If high gloss slab doors are too much of a step forward, you can find a middle ground with combinations like textured matt kitchen doors or colourful painted wood kitchen doors. Or maybe you long for a classic country-style kitchen, in which case, oak kitchen cupboard doors would be your best bet.
Which door styles are available at Kitchen Warehouse?
Regardless of the size of your kitchen and your taste in kitchen cabinets, we guarantee you’ll find a replacement door design that you love on the Kitchen Warehouse website. We stock more than a dozen different kitchen collections with a wide range of colourways to choose from for each type.
Here are 6 examples of popular replacement kitchen door styles we supply in our online store:
1) Shaker kitchen doors
Traditional Shaker doors are constructed using five pieces of wood, with four of these forming a frame on top of the door slab, which then creates an inset centre panel. We’ve recreated this style in our Luxury Shaker kitchen doors. We offer an affordable alternative with PVC Smooth Shaker doors and a contemporary version in our modern Shaker kitchen doors, available in 6-12 shades.
2) Handleless kitchen doors
The ultimate minimalist kitchen foregoes external hardware, opening via touch or a nearly invisible ‘J-pull’ groove instead of a handle. You can add some shine to your kitchen with our best-selling handleless high gloss doors, or keep it subtle with our handleless matt kitchen doors. We even offer handleless wood kitchen doors for an extra touch of class. These handleless replacement doors are available in 7-11 hues.
3) Gloss acrylic kitchen doors
Not only do we supply lacquered high gloss kitchen doors, but we also provide a cost-effective acrylic version. Our acrylic gloss kitchen doors come in 11 varieties, including neutrals, brights, and even wood-effect. We also offer matt acrylic kitchen doors, for affordable style without the shine. These are available in 12 unique colours, including plum red, indigo blue, and kombu green.
4) Matt kitchen doors
As mentioned, acrylic matt kitchen doors and handleless matt kitchen doors are both available on our website in several colours. However, the most exclusive designs are reserved for our textured matt kitchen doors. If you want cheaper replacement doors that imitate the aesthetic of wood or stone without the price tag of the actual material, these MFC slab doors are the perfect substitute.
5) Solid wood kitchen doors
In addition to handleless solid wood kitchen doors, we supply classic solid oak kitchen doors with handles for a more traditional look. There are three designs to choose from – the farmhouse-friendly Jefferson kitchen collection, and Shaker-style Madison and Wakefield kitchens. These replacement doors use sustainably sourced grade A+ oak, which brings a natural warmth.
6) Painted kitchen doors
If the rich tones of natural wood and a visible grain pattern aren’t quite what you want, never fear. We can provide beautifully painted kitchen cupboard doors in several styles to add a splash of colour to a faded room. Our painted Shaker kitchen doors come in neutrals and blues, while the painted solid wood kitchen doors introduce blues, greens, and even pink to our oak kitchen doors.
How to redecorate your kitchen on a budget
As we’ve discussed so far, the best way to redecorate a kitchen on a budget is simply to reface the cabinets with replacement kitchen doors. Forget the disruption, burgeoning costs, and longer lead times that come with the upheaval of a full kitchen replacement. Since replacing cabinet doors will only cost around 20% of the price, you can redistribute these significant savings into other areas.
With the extra cash you save, you could touch up other parts of the kitchen that need some TLC. Here are 6 ways you can invest in your kitchen transformation when you’re on a limited budget:
- Paint the walls – a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference, and you could even add vinyl splashbacks above your counters to achieve a tile effect!
- Update your sink area – kitchen sinks are important for preparing food and cleaning, so why not install a new kitchen sink and/or new mixer taps?
- Switch out old fittings – you don’t need to buy a whole new kitchen to get a brand new look, just replacement doors and stylish kitchen door handles.
- Invest in task lighting – a dim and dingy kitchen isn’t a comfortable place to cook and clean, so smart light fixtures are a practical way to brighten the place up.
- Colour co-ordinate accessories – not everything has to match, but it’s much more visually appealing to have cupboards, appliances, and other furnishings in complementary colours.
- Replace kitchen worktops – this is a trickier one, because new kitchen counters aren’t cheap, but it’s possible to get imitation marble, granite, or wood with concrete or vinyl.
It’s the little touches that add up to the big picture, like co-ordinating light switches and sockets with ironmongery or buying chic new cushions for your dining chairs. Whether you want a uniform appearance or contrasting accents, there are so many ways to update an old kitchen on a budget.
How to replace your kitchen doors (step by step)
One of the biggest concerns you might have about ordering replacement kitchen doors is how difficult it might be to install them. You don’t have to worry, though, because attaching new cabinet doors is easy. Even if your DIY skills are lacking and you get a bit stuck, Kitchen Warehouse has some helpful ‘how to’ videos, where our expert team members show you exactly what to do.
If you’re not a visual learner and prefer to read written instructions, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide to replacing kitchen cupboard doors below, covering everything from measuring to fitting.
1) Measure your current kitchen doors and cabinets
Before you even start browsing for your new kitchen doors, you need to know which sizes to look for. There’s nothing worse than having your heart set on a specific design, only to find out that it isn’t available in the right dimensions. So, get a tape measure and make a note of the correct sizes.
Starting at one end of the kitchen and working your way around, preferably clockwise, open each unit one by one and measure each side. Check the height and width from the back of the door or drawer-front and the depth from the side, and write them all down in millimetres for accuracy.
It’s difficult to measure doors with bevelling, moulding, or other decorative features properly from the front, which is why we recommend measuring the back, unless it’s a plain slab door. Be sure to record the number of doors and drawers you need in each size, whether in drawing or list form.
2) Order replacement kitchen doors online
Once you have the sizing details for your kitchen doors and drawers, you can look through the collections available on the Kitchen Warehouse website and check the dimensions of each design against your current doors. We offer a wide selection of sizes, including standard, short, and tall, so you should be able to find replacement doors of all kinds that fit your existing kitchen units.
When you’ve chosen your favourite design, you can either order a sample first to see how it looks in person, or purchase a set of all the doors you need right away. Simply add the kitchen doors, drawer fronts, and any panels or plinths to your cart, then check out and pay when you’re ready.
You should receive your replacement door delivery within 7 working days (excluding acrylic or painted doors, which can take 15-30 days to produce). We’ll send them well-packed to prevent damage in transit, but you can always contact us if they arrive in less than perfect condition.
3) Remove old doors and prepare new doors for fitting
Using the appropriate size and type of screwdriver, unscrew the hinges on your current cabinet doors and remove them. Take the handles off and lay them down flat, with the inside facing up. Take the replacement for each specific door and lay it next to the old version so you can see where the hinge holes should be. Then get a pencil and your tape measure to mark the new door like so:
- Measure from the top of the door to the centre of the top hinge hole, then from the hinge-side edge to the hole.
- Take the same measurements for the bottom hinge hole and apply them to the new door.
- Use your pencil to mark the spots where those measurements meet on the back of the new door, forming two small crosses.
- The measurements should be the same on both doors (generally between 18-23mm from the edge to the centre of each hole).
These markings will indicate where you’ll need to drill the hinge holes on your new kitchen door. To help you do this, we provide a special hinge hole drill bit for free. Just insert it into your drill, place the spike on the centre of each cross, and drill a little at a time until you’ve made a hole about 10mm deep. Test out the hinges and screws to check the holes are the correct depth.
Repeat this for every door until all your hinge holes are drilled. Then, align the hinges so they’re square with the edges of the door. Use a 2mm drill bit to create small pilot holes where the screws will go in between. Once this is done, you can fit the hinges, hang the door, and put in the screws.
If anything is unclear, we have a complete guide to drilling hinge holes in kitchen doors on our blog, which goes through the process in detail. Click for more information and a ‘how to’ video.
4) Do the same for the drawer fronts
If your kitchen somehow has only cupboards and no drawers, you can skip this step. For those who do have kitchen units with drawers, you’ll need to follow the same process you did for the doors.
Work around the room from left to right, starting with the top drawer and working down for multi-drawer units. Remove the drawer fronts and their handles, then lay them facedown beside the new drawer fronts, just like you did with the cabinet doors. Again, get your tape measure and a pencil.
Measure the old drawer front from the top down to the centre of the screw holes on each side. Then measure from the outside edge to the centre of the hole. Transfer these measurements to the new drawer front and mark a small cross in pencil. The markings should be the same on both sides.
Place your 2mm drill bit on the centre point of each cross and lightly drill pilot holes for the screws. We recommend drilling around 10mm deep for 3.5 x 16mm screws. Then you can screw the drawer front on and slide the complete drawer back into its unit. Repeat for every drawer.
5) Balance the doors so they line up properly
You may find that you need to adjust your kitchen doors and drawers so they line up smoothly at the top and bottom. Not only do strong and even lines simply look better to the eye, but they also mean that your doors will function properly. Uneven doors are often difficult to open and close.
Ensuring that the doors line up and have the same margin between them is called ‘balancing’. To balance your kitchen doors, you’ll need to adjust the hinges. There are three ways to do this:
Up or down – loosen the two screws attaching the hinge to the cabinet and move the door slightly up or down as needed before tightening the screws again.
Outward or inward – turn the screw at the back of the hinge and the door should move away from the cabinet slightly, or closer to the cabinet, depending on the direction of turning.
Left or right – manipulate the screw at the front of the hinge nearest the door to move it either left or right until the door fits perfectly against the unit frame.
6) Prepare the handles for the doors and drawers
Once all your kitchen doors and drawer fronts are drilled, fitted, and lined up nicely, you can finish the job by attaching the handles. The handle style can make a massive difference to the aesthetic of your new kitchen, so it’s important to choose new handles that look good against your doors.
To fit the handles, first place a piece of low-tack masking tape on the front of each door where you want the handle to sit. Hold the handle in place against the surface to decide where you prefer it to be. Use your pencil again to draw a line on the masking tape to the left and right of the handle.
Using your tape measure, make a third pencil line exactly in the centre of the two lines you’ve just drawn. Measure from the outside edge of the door to the centre line and write down this number. Every handle should be the same distance from the door edge when you drill a hole at this point.
Repeat the measurement, masking tape, and pencil line process for every door and drawer. Avoid drawing directly on the surface, and remember to make the lines a little longer than the handle.
Now you can place the handle on its side against the lines and make sure it sits at the right height. Mark where the bottom screw hole will be when it’s in place, so the pencil lines now form a cross.
Next, measure the handle itself from the bottom screw hole to the top screw hole. Measuring from the top of one screw hole to the top of the other makes it easier to achieve an accurate figure than measuring from centre to centre. Measure this distance up from the bottom screw hole marking you’ve already made on the door and make a second cross where the top screw hole should be.
7) Drill holes and attach all the handles
Hold the handle in place against the markings and check that it lines up properly. If you’re confident of the measurements, you can proceed to drill the holes for your handles.
Use a 2mm pilot bit to drill from the front of the door until you come through the back. Always keep the drill square to the door when drilling to keep it straight. Once this is done, use a 5mm bit to drill halfway through the door from the front. Repeat this from the back until you meet the first half. The purpose of this halfway technique is to avoid damaging the timber/chipboard or the finish.
When all the holes are fully drilled, remove the masking tape and begin attaching the handles by hand. Insert the screws through the holes from the back and twist them carefully, holding the handle in place at the front. You can tighten them up with a hand-held screwdriver if you need to, but never use a power-assisted drill. Repeat for every door/drawer until every handle is attached.
Ready to replace your kitchen cabinet doors?
Whether you’re still shopping for replacement kitchen doors or you’ve proudly finished fitting them yourself, we’ve outlined everything you should consider when installing new doors and drawers. It’s amazing that you can upgrade your home with a small amount of money and work.
As industry experts at Kitchen Warehouse, we’re always happy to share our secrets and build a rapport with our clients, ensuring that every customer achieves the result they’re hoping for. Our replacement kitchen doors are some of the most affordable yet high-quality products of this type on the market. We work directly with manufacturers – no middle-men – to give you the best deals.
We’ve been selling quality kitchens and replacement doors at trade prices for years from our base in the North Yorkshire area, earning ourselves a reputation for accommodating every customer’s needs and budget. Take a look at our completed projects and testimonials to see for yourself.
Our services are unparalleled by any other kitchen door supplier. If the standard doors we supply aren’t available in the sizes you need, we may still be able to help. We can manufacture made-to-measure kitchen doors with your custom measurements for Acrylic and Luxury Shaker designs. Simply email the details to [email protected] to request a bespoke quotation.
For more guidance on our products, or how to change your kitchen doors, simply get in touch with a member of our friendly team today. Give us a call on 01765 640 000 or fill out our online enquiry form for a swift response. If you’re in the Yorkshire area yourself, why not come and visit our kitchen showroom at Hutton Moor Farm and speak to our knowledgeable staff in person? We’re open 6 days a week – 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday and 10am to 3.30pm on Saturdays.
This guide was rewritten in February 2022.