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Kitchen Cabinets : RTF or Oak?

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  • Nov 5th, 2007 4:56 pm
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Newbie
Mar 3, 2006
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Calgary

Kitchen Cabinets : RTF or Oak?

I am going to reface my kitchen cabinets and am wondering on your thoughts of Rigid Thermal Foil (RTF) or go with Oak. The RTF ones I am looking at are the 5 piece constructed ones not the 1 piece. They look good and the salesman said most people are going with RTF because they are more durable.

RTF cost $12000.00 and Oak is $17000.00
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Apr 17, 2005
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nscementer wrote:
Sep 20th, 2007 1:09 pm
I am going to reface my kitchen cabinets and am wondering on your thoughts of Rigid Thermal Foil (RTF) or go with Oak. The RTF ones I am looking at are the 5 piece constructed ones not the 1 piece. They look good and the salesman said most people are going with RTF because they are more durable.

RTF cost $12000.00 and Oak is $17000.00
Personally prefer Maple for kitchen cabinets but that will probably be even more $$$...

I would pay more & get Oak vs. RTF, if you ever decide to sell your house, I think people will prefer actual wood cabinets vs. RTF... Some might compare it to laminate vs. hardwood floors :|

But whatever you choose, it will look great since it's new ;)
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Sep 11, 2006
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KELOWNA
Durable? Did he say in what respect? RTF is cheaper for a reason. Unless it is warrantied for a really long period of time, know it's been known to peel and wrinkle after a while (especially if it gets steamed regularly by something like an electric kettle being near by). Also if the base is some sort of fibreboard, it can chip and break more than any solid wood will. The other problem can come in the future as it's harder to paint something like that. There are good primers but when the base is as slippery as the foil it doesn't have the same hold it would on good old wood.

If it's in the budget and works with your plans for your house, stick with wood.
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May 1, 2005
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At those prices have you considered looking at other wood options? Thermofoil looks cheap and oak is so outdated.
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Bordello wrote:
Sep 20th, 2007 9:12 pm
... oak is so outdated.
Actually golden oak is the one that is outdated (as seen in the 80's and 90's). In other tones it's actually still considered popular and in the more tonal versions, is up and coming. A kitchen shop I was speaking with last week was telling me people are now drifting away from the tight even grained woods that have been popular (maple and birch for example) to get wood that has more variation in it. I guess we'll see how far it goes, but with oak it's the tone vs the wood that dates it.
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Dustbunny wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 4:00 am
Actually golden oak is the one that is outdated (as seen in the 80's and 90's). In other tones it's actually still considered popular and in the more tonal versions, is up and coming. A kitchen shop I was speaking with last week was telling me people are now drifting away from the tight even grained woods that have been popular (maple and birch for example) to get wood that has more variation in it. I guess we'll see how far it goes, but with oak it's the tone vs the wood that dates it.
Interesting. I wonder if Golden oak doors can be "modernized" with some stain and varnish, or if it would make sense to just replace the doors alone.
I'd love the see these new modern oak cabinets...I have to admit I always think of 80's when I think of oak.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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Aug 22, 2003
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So would I stealth. I absolutely can't stand oak in way, shape or form. I'm definitely not a grain girl.

Anyone notice that nscementer is actually talking about refacing and the quotes are for such? For that kind of money I'd be putting in new cabinets and not refacing...
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CSK'sMom wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 1:25 pm
I'm definitely not a grain girl.
:D Same here
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CSK'sMom wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 1:25 pm
So would I stealth. I absolutely can't stand oak in way, shape or form. I'm definitely not a grain girl.

Anyone notice that nscementer is actually talking about refacing and the quotes are for such? For that kind of money I'd be putting in new cabinets and not refacing...
GASP! I missed that part. Thats a lot for re-facing...Unless your kitchen is enormous, it seems pretty close to the cost of complete cabs.
Thanks for the memories, RFD.
Good-bye.
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Sep 11, 2006
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KELOWNA
Stealth you could restain your doors but you have to consider the style of them. If they have that cathedral type trim (domed on top) that can be considered 80's and if that bothers you, it's a lot of work to refinish. An easier plan is to paint them out and there are a lot of kitchens around done that way that look great. If you paint you can always add trim too to change the look. Even the cathedral top can be covered using wide trim which would make the door more of a shaker style instead. If you take a trip to a kitchen shop (not Home Depot or Rona as they don't have enough variety and aren't exactly known for being cutting edge), you could see the variety of finishes and doors which might inspire you with yours.

You could try what is called a 'wiping stain' sold at Lee Valley. It's supposed to go on top of factory finishes. It's that lacquer finish that stops other stains so if this one works, that saves a lot of sanding. The other option is adding a coloured glaze. You'd need to use an oil based (to stick to that lacquer finish) glaze, but you can add any colour you like and with a bit of testing (on a scrap) go as light or dark as you like as glaze is transparent so you can still see the wood if you like.

Unless you really hate it, oak is a good solid wood that has been used in houses for a long, long, time. Some of the best old and older things around are oak. You could take your cupboards all the way back if you think of what Stickley furniture looks like. It's all oak as are a lot of antiques. Oak looks quite different in the darker stains.

So you have options if you don't like the look you have and don't want to totally replace. You just need to see the possibilities and which work for you.

One thing I will mention is I had the 80's oak in the house I sold last year. I was going to paint them out until the stager told me that was a bad idea for resale as they are still considered more valuable to a lot of buyers than other types of doors. I have to say I found myself thinking similarly when I was buying not long after. Nothing made my opinion go down on a house like seeing cheap cabinets, new or not. At least with a good solid wood you know you have room to maneuver to fix them up.
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Nov 14, 2006
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I'd get MDF doors and in a simple design.

I was watching Sarah's House on hgtv (you can watch the episode online at www.hgtv.ca). MDF is cheaper, durable and your kitchen will look "current" and not outdated as it might with oak or another wood surface.
[OP]
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Mar 3, 2006
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Calgary
stealth wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 1:37 pm
GASP! I missed that part. Thats a lot for re-facing...Unless your kitchen is enormous, it seems pretty close to the cost of complete cabs.
I need 28 cabinet doors and 14 drawer fronts. This is for an install in February if I book today. I priced new cabinet at $40K with an install in April. This does not include a new granite counter top at $8K.

The joys of living in Alberta and trying to get contractors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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nscementer wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 6:21 pm
I need 28 cabinet doors and 14 drawer fronts. This is for an install in February if I book today. I priced new cabinet at $40K with an install in April. This does not include a new granite counter top at $8K.
$8K for granite :confused: ...must be very rare exotic colour....or the prices there are very inflated :|
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butter wrote:
Sep 21st, 2007 4:15 pm
... your kitchen will look "current" and not outdated as it might with oak or another wood surface.
Depending on what colour of oak you get, but you can make it look quite 'current' & great looking...plus most people will still prefer real wood over MDF or thermofoil :!:

As an example, here is an 'oak' kitchen that looks quite trendy & not outdated at all...
http://www.selba.ca/productgallery/imag ... _0085A.jpg
Member
Mar 28, 2005
491 posts
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I hate oak and non-wood ones as well. Go with maple or cherrywood.
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