How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What is the average life expectancy of kitchen cabinets?
Monday, December 9, 2019
How long do kitchen cabinets last?
You can expect kitchen cabinets to last from 30 to 60 years, with an average of 45 years. Cabinets begin to show signs of age after about 20 years, such as doors that don’t fully close, drawer fronts coming loose, and surface dings—especially at heavily used areas like below the sink. Kitchens are also one of the most popular remodeling projects, and cabinets are often replaced at about the 30 to 40 year point because they are outdated.
Also, we have found two types of kitchen cabinets that do not hold up as long as expected:
•• Older particleboard budget cabinets, often installed in mobile homes (not MDF). Any moisture makes the material puff up and crumble. A short-term puddle of water caused failure of a small area of the floor of a cabinet shown below, but long-term moisture causes the entire cabinet floor to collapse.
••.MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) cabinets with Thermofoil facing often have separation of the facing, peeling back at the corners, especially on the the return edges of doors below the sink and other lower cabinets, after about 15 years The MDF remains intact, but the thin skin can be difficult to resecure and the cosmetic defect may have to be lived with until the cabinets are replaced.
Here’s a bar graph that compares the life expectancy of kitchen cabinets to other types of storage.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?
Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about LIFE EXPECTANCY:
NOTE: These life expectancies are based on data provided by InterNACHI, NAHB, FannieMae, and our own professional experience. Because of the numerous variables that can affect a lifespan, they should be used as rough guidelines only, and not relied upon as a warranty or guarantee of future performance.
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