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If you’re looking into a kitchen remodel or are installing a kitchen in new construction, you have probably already discovered how expensive new and/or updated kitchens can be. In fact, the kitchen is arguably one of the most important rooms in the entire home (followed closely, by many accounts, by the master bath). There is good news, though, in the fact that there are ways to cut costs on an updated kitchen without sacrificing quality. One of the ways to do this is to find and install used kitchen cabinets.

What types of used kitchen cabinets are available ?

First of all, let’s discuss what used kitchen cabinets even are. Used kitchen cabinets are just what their name implies – kitchen cabinets that have either been on display in a retail space or kitchen cabinets that have already been used in a home. These are the two primary forms that used kitchen cabinets will take.

Used Kitchen Cabinets.

These are cabinets that were previously used in another kitchen. Likely, this type of used kitchen cabinet was removed in the first place because of a kitchen renovation. As such, the condition of functional used kitchen cabinets will likely be, well, used.

These used kitchen cabinets might be at any point on the spectrum for grimy, dirty, stained, dinged and dented, squeaky, split, cracked, and even non-functional. The only redeeming factor, after reading a list like that, of scoring some functional used kitchen cabinets is the price – these are going to be dirt-cheap, sometimes even free.

Pros & Cons of Used Kitchen Cabinets.

  • PROS: Budget-friendly – very cheap and/or free.
  • CONS: Take a while to hunt down, can be in poor used condition, might not fit your kitchen’s configuration.

Display Kitchen Cabinets.

These are cabinets that were previously displayed as a sample kitchen, such as in a kitchen/bath showroom or a home improvement store. They were likely removed and made available because the display was outdated, the line is discontinued, the store needed more space for new/other displays, or the store was going out of business altogether.

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Display kitchen cabinets are probably closer to looking and feeling “new” than their used kitchen cabinet counterparts, because it’s good for the showroom to keep the displays looking nice, but they are still not new. They might still be a bit dingy, dirty, or even mildly damaged…just without the real-life kitchen aspect.

What is more, you may get the whole perhaps name-brand kitchen setup at discount, including sinks, faucets, lighting, and relatively current styles such as farmhouse, glazed. In addition, the display will probably have some add-on features such as cabinet pull-outs, glass door inserts, and even cutting boards. Likely, display kitchen cabinets will cost a little more than used kitchen cabinets, but because of their wear-and-tear, they will likely be deeply discounted (50% to even 75% off) from the cost of new.

Pros & Cons of Display Kitchen Cabinets.

  • PROS: Can be in like-new condition, can be in full-size (10’x10’) along with extras, likely relatively current.
  • CONS: Will have been opened/closed/used thousands of times, still cost something.

What should I consider before going for used kitchen cabinets ?

There are significant challenges involving used kitchen cabinets that you need to be aware of before your wallet decides that this is ultimately the way you will go. In fact, the whole process of successfully finding and installing used kitchen cabinets can take much time and effort…so much so that you might want to consider, instead, other cost-saving alternatives (such as finding cheap kitchen cabinets). Before you make any hard and fast decisions one way or the other, be sure to consider the following:

#1 for Used Kitchen Cabinets:

Used kitchen cabinets were originally designed for another kitchen. Unlike custom kitchen cabinets, where you would hire a professional to come in and measure and make the cabinets to fit your space perfectly and beautifully, used kitchen cabinets come in one shape, size, configuration, whatever. And, unless your home is a carbon copy of the home that the cabinets came from originally, you’re probably going to have to get both creative and handy in making the used kitchen cabinets look seamless in your space.

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#2 for Used Kitchen Cabinets:

Used kitchen cabinets take some time to hunt down. Used kitchen cabinets in general aren’t as readily available as other forms of kitchen cabinetry for a number of reasons. Others performing their own kitchen renovations don’t take the time to carefully un-install their kitchen cabinets; instead, a sledgehammer and an hour or two make quick work of the used kitchen cabinets.

Then, when a homeowner has taken the time to strategically take down the used kitchen cabinets for reuse, and if the cabinets look like they will work for your own home’s kitchen style and size, you have to be on the lookout already to grab them right away. Sometimes, this process of hunting down the perfect set of used kitchen cabinets can take months, which can be a challenge if you’re on a strict kitchen remodel timeline.

#3 for Used Kitchen Cabinets:

Used kitchen cabinets will likely require some TLC to look decent. While some used kitchen cabinets are uninstalled simply because the homeowner’s tastes or budget has changed, the uninstallation of some used kitchen cabinets is because they are severely dated, damaged, or just plain ugly. In these cases, you’ll need to have the time and tools available to give the cabinets a makeover so that your own kitchen is improved with the remodel. Sanding, staining, painting, and installing new hardware are all completely normal tasks that need to be completed when you track down used kitchen cabinets.

#4 for Used Kitchen Cabinets:

Used kitchen cabinets have limited options…as in, take it or leave it. Essentially, if you’re able to be flexible on the type, material, and size/configuration of used kitchen cabinets that you get, this might be an excellent route for you to take during your kitchen install. However, the more rigid you are in your expectations, the harder time you’re probably going to have finding used kitchen cabinets that will bring you joy.

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Where can I find used Kitchen Cabinets ?

Really, you can find used kitchen cabinets anywhere where kitchen cabinets are no longer needed – even the homes of neighbors, relatives, and friends. Other than that, however, we recommend using the following for hunting down your perfect set of used kitchen cabinets:

Craigslist and/or other classifieds – You should keep your search local, because shipping costs will far outpace any cost benefit of going with used kitchen cabinets in the first place. Don’t forget that, generally, these are first-come, first-served…so you’re going to need some flexibility in your schedule for nabbing the perfect used kitchen cabinets as soon as they’re available.

Green Demolitions – This is an online company that sells display and other types of used cabinetry for about 50% off the retail price.

Local showrooms – You can contact local hardware stores and showrooms for updates on their displays and availability. By keeping up on this and establishing a good relationship with various showroom managers, you’re more likely to find some great display kitchen cabinets at equally great discounts.

Conclusion

In summary, while the considerable price tag drop of used kitchen cabinets can be quite appealing to the tight budget kitchen reno, it’s critical to note that used kitchen cabinets come with their own challenges that you should be aware of before you embark on this adventure.

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