Environmentally friendly cabinets make a significant difference in your health because they don’t emit unhealthy chemical vapors. One such as urea formaldehyde is a carcinogen that can also cause nausea, headaches, fatigue, and burning sensations in the eyes and throat. Green choices protect your health, and the environment as well by sparing the planet through protecting forests and reducing pollution and waste.
The average cost of remodeling a kitchen costs averages around $20,000, with cabinets taking up a third of the cost. If you’re not trying to spend your entire paycheck on cabinet remodeling, here are a few tips to get quality work done that’s environmentally friendly and not as pricey.
Instead of a total kitchen cabinet replacement, try a small makeover to give your kitchen a fresh new look. Add new drawer pulls and handles; replace broken hinges and door glides with durable hardware; use lazy Susans to be more organized and save space; sand and refinish or reface worn surfaces by using zero or low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, or plant-based oils.
If you absolutely feel like you need new cabinets, think about scaling back on the number you install, and put that towards fewer, yet greener ones. For example, think of open shelves in some parts of your kitchen that cost less and use less wood.
Shopping for new materials should be fun and non-stressful. When shopping, look for non-toxic materials that don’t contain urea formaldehyde. Acceptable alternatives include soy, PVA, and phenol formaldehyde. Make sure the cabinet exteriors are made out of good wood or bamboo that are FSC certified. To get more affordable alternatives, choose a veneer over a urea formaldehyde free composite core like plywood, MDF, or particle board. Solid metals are also good options since they don’t give off toxic gases. Most importantly, look for materials that have durability and the opportunity to recycle. Avoid salvaged or vintage cabinets with lead paint, and composite wood made with urea formaldehyde.
You can hire a professional for big jobs such as sanding and refinishing wood cabinet doors with water-based, low VOC sealants or paints; refacing doors and drawer fronts that have veneers of melamine; and replacing doors and drawer faces while leaving the cabinet and drawer shells intact.
Don’t think that because you buy cabinets made with urea formaldehyde, you are doomed. There are ways to reduce emissions such as airing your cabinets out in the garage for a couple weeks before letting them enter your home; and painting exposed surfaces of plywood, particle board, or MDF with multiple coats of a clear, water-based low-VOC sealant before the cabinets are installed, so you can access the backs.
Read more at Sierra Club Green Home to see how you can get started with your environmentally friendly kitchen cabinet makeover.
For More Information on Environmentally Friendly Cabinets for your home, contact Bradco Kitchens and Baths
6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Toll Free: 866 4 Bradco ( 272326 )