"Patching" water damaged cabinets


We have two rental units that have cheap kitchen base cabinets which are basically made from "particle board." Since kitchens "stuff" leaks from time to time, the bases have all gotten wet and the particle board is literally falling apart.
For various reasons I want to fit this "in situ." (The main reasons are cost and the fact that we don't want to have to mess with the plumbing more than necessary.)
Any hints? I would appreciate the benefit of the experience of anyone else who has had this type of problem and how he managed.
Thanks in advance.
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Exactly what does "in situ" mean?
And in the future only buy all wood cabinets. I don't think you can fix particleboard. You can re-veneer them, but that's actually more expensive than putting in a replacement piece of plywood, and doesn't fix the underlying wood. I am not sure if you can fix it in place but it may be possible to hack out the crappy particleboard, then somehow fasten in a piece of plywood, then stain and varnish it. The problem with that is that you are still trying to attach a piece of good wood to other crappy particleboard. It might be possible to forget about mounting it in and make the replacement piece more like a pedistol (spelling"?) and just set it in place.
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In place. Generally, I don't want to have to take them from where they are to repair.

I could not agree with you more about only having "real wood" in the house.
With the possible exception of "Tempered Masonite" I would not use any kind of "pressed wood" product. You can get water in any room of the house from such things as a "forgotten" carpet "steamer" to an overwatered plant.
But my immediate problem remains: I want to get two kitchens back to "rental" condition without springing for a complete re-model.
In my case, the "faces" of the cabinets are all "real" wood. But the kick boards and the usually hidden sides are the junk stuff.

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it will be less work to just replace the cabinents and a nicer job, attractive to next tenant.
lowes has kraftmaids cabinents cheap and very nice
fixing them in place if they are truly bad is too much hassle
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Except that: 1) I have to disconnect the plumbing; and 2) I have to take off the counter tops.
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If you are good with a sawzall, jig saw or circular saw you can cut out the base and rebuild with " plywood. You would have to support the upper part of the cabinet of course. With careful cutting you can cut out the shelf (the tenant wouldn't need that, they can just set their stuff on the subfloor). Six or eight mending straps or joist connecting straps would finish it nice. (imagine some of the conversation your tenant is going to have with his friends). <G>
Honestly, the best approach is to replace the cabinet carcase with the same manufacture or something close. The plumbing is easily avoided and you usually can loosen the countertop enough to slide cabinets, dishwashers etc in place.
Bill
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I've the exact same situation, remedied by building a supporting grid of half-lapped material, and laying a 1/8 or 1/4 inch moisture resistant skin over the top. Usually you've got to cut the new floor in two in order to get it into the cabinet. Lay a bead of glue down, install the new floor, and nail in place. HTH. Tom
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I've the exact same situation, remedied by building a supporting grid of half-lapped material, and laying a 1/8 or 1/4 inch moisture resistant skin over the top. Usually you've got to cut the new floor in two in order to get it into the cabinet. Lay a bead of glue down, install the new floor, and nail in place. HTH. Tom
Actually I meant cross-lapped. Tom
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John Gilmer wrote:

More information, please. How many cabinets, how extensive is the damage? Particle board covered with ..... paint? printed finish? formica?
I have done minor repairs - a very small area - by digging out the loose particles and filling in with wood filler. If the damage is just a spot here and there, and not visible, just leave it and make sure the plumbing is in good shape.
Basic, no frills cabinets can be had for not much money. If you are renting a dump, just rip them out and let the renters bring their own. If rent income doesn't cover maintenance, fix it and raise the rent.
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