Are you tired of looking at the same worn-out kitchen cabinets day after day? Maybe it’s time for a change. The reason may not even be that your cabinet door handles or hinges are old or worn. You may simply want a new look for your kitchen. Whatever the reason, it’s worth looking at your options to determine whether cabinet refacing is a good option for your kitchen.

When contemplating kitchen remodeling, you’ll need to decide whether your cabinets will be part of the upgrade, and if so, whether cabinet replacement or refacing is better for you. If you’re ready to switch things up and your kitchen cabinet boxes are still in good condition, consider cabinet refacing.

Kitchen cabinets are a key feature in your kitchen. Not only do they provide storage space in your kitchen, they also contribute to the aesthetics of the room.

Since they take up such a large surface area in your kitchen, the condition of your kitchen cabinets has a large bearing on how your kitchen looks. While many kitchen cabinets can last a long time, as the years go by, they will begin to lose their vitality or become worn or broken. Signs of wear and tear can become evident like the color fading or loose or broken handles and hinges. Not only can this potentially create a hazard, but old cabinets also affect how your kitchen looks.

Kitchen renovations are one of the most popular types of renovations and many people use this opportunity to do a cabinet remodel. If you’re not at a place where a complete or full kitchen renovation is an option for you, consider refacing your cabinets instead and focus on key areas in your kitchen that can give your kitchen a facelift. Resurfacing kitchen cabinets can be just as effective visually as replacing your cabinets. Cabinet refacing can be done at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to fully renovate your kitchen. And the best part is you can explore new materials to give your kitchen the updated look it desperately needs.

What is Kitchen Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is the process of replacing the cabinet skins to update your kitchen. This involves removing the front of cabinet doors and drawers and applying a new surface. This is also known as cabinet resurfacing. The process transforms your kitchen while allowing you to keep your current cabinets.

To reface kitchen cabinets, you would need to reinforce the existing cabinet frames with plywood, then apply a veneer made from wood or laminate over the plywood. The great thing about cabinet refacing is that you can experiment with different materials colors and styles on your existing cupboards.

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While cabinet refacing offers a lot of conveniences and allows you to save some money, there may be times when cabinet refacing may not be the right solution for what you want to accomplish. There was a time when complete cabinet replacement was the only solution due to old or worn cabinets.

Today, cabinet refacing is growing in popularity because homeowners are now realizing the benefits of embarking on a less-consuming project to achieve similar results. And as more and more homeowners continue to discover refacing, more and more contractors will provide this service.

Replacing vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

When deciding whether to replace your kitchen cabinets or reface them, you need to think about what your overall goal is. If you are conducting a full kitchen renovation, it does make sense to replace your kitchen cabinets as part of the renovation project. However, cabinet replacement is not always the best choice. There are times when refacing your cabinets may be the better option. Some factors that come into play are your budget, the timeframe you’re looking at, the activity in your household, and other factors.

Replacing kitchen cabinets involves completely removing the existing cabinets and hardware and replacing them with a new set of cabinets. You’ll need to hire experienced installers who will measure your existing cabinet space to ensure the measurements of the new cabinets are accurate. You need replacement cabinets that fit neatly into the space.

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It’s extremely important that the cabinets are level so that dishes and cookware in the cabinet do not roll to one side. Also, If your cabinets are not leveled properly, the counters may crack later on down the road.

Cabinet resurfacing has become more popular in recent years, but cabinet replacement has the upper hand in that regard. Many companies offer cabinet replacement services, but you may have to look a little harder for one to reface your cabinets. One of the major differences is the cost, which we will get into a little later. If your cabinet boxes are in good condition, we recommend simply refacing your cabinets. However, if you are doing a kitchen remodel and the cabinet boxes are not in the best shape, we recommend replacing your cabinets.

Tools and Materials Needed

While we recommend hiring a professional to reface your kitchen cabinets, many homeowners choose to take on the task as a DIY project, which can turn out to look just as good. Cabinet refacing does require a level of skill, homeowners can devote time to learning these skills and conduct this task themselves. Refacing your kitchen cabinets yourself will undoubtedly save the thousands of dollars it would cost to hire an expert to do the job.

If you choose to reface your cabinets yourself, you will need to make sure that you have the right tools and materials to accomplish the task.

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These include:

  • sandpaper
  • denatured alcohol
  • veneer
  • matching doors and drawer fronts
  • thin plywood or veneer blanks for cabinet ends
  • laminate cutter or utility knife and straight edge
  • veneer roller
  • water-based contact cement
  • door hinges
  • door pulls and knobs

Pros of Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

1. Cost effective

Building cabinetry is expensive. So if you’re able to forego cabinet replacement in favor of simply refacing the door fronts and handles, you’ll be able to save a significant amount of money and still achieve an updated look.

Typically, kitchen cabinet replacement can cost anywhere from about $13,000 to $30,000, while refacing roughly costs 30-50% less. Given the difference in cost, refacing your kitchen cabinets may be a better option for you if your budget is limited.

2. Not as time-consuming or disruptive

Aside from the cost of renovations, another reason people may dread the process is how disruptive it can be. A kitchen is one of the most commonly used rooms in a home, so naturally, most households want to cut down on the amount of time it is unavailable to them.

Because the scope of cabinet refacing is far less than cabinet replacement, the project will take much less time to complete. It takes time for kitchen cabinets to be built, and you would need to wait for your new cabinets to be ready. If you choose a popular choice, the wait could be several months.

Replacing cabinets also means that you would need to steer clear of your kitchen area while the project is underway. This can be problematic because it disrupts the normal flow in your household. Refacing does not create this restriction since there is not a major construction involved. In fact, you can continue using your kitchen while the work is in progress.

Further, you may be able to leave your dishes and cookware on the cabinet shelves while refacing is being done. This isn’t possible when you are replacing your kitchen cabinets. You will need to find a place to store all the cookware and dishes you store in those cabinets.

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3. Variety of styles

There are many cabinet refacing veneer options both in wood and laminate varieties. This gives you the opportunity to find a choice that suits your taste and wallet.

4. Major demolition not required 

Aside from the additional time that it takes to replace cabinets, think about the amount of dust and debris that comes along with removing cabinets. There will be a lot of dust in the air and the sound of hammering and drilling.

Refacing, on the other hand, gives your kitchen a brand-new look without having to embark on major demolition and construction.

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5. Increase in home value 

By simply refacing your kitchen cabinets, you’ll reap the rewards of the additional value it adds to your home. With very little disruption to your lifestyle or household, you can expect the newly refaced cabinets will definitely improve the look of your kitchen and subsequently, the value of your home.

Essentially, replacing your home is an improvement that can pay for itself in the long run.

6. Environmentally friendly option

The majority of cabinets on the market are made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). This material contains hazardous chemicals that are hard to recycle.

This means that when old cabinets are discarded in landfills, these chemicals do not break down easily and will most likely seep into the ground and make their way into the soil and groundwater. Since refacing cabinets does not discard existing cabinets, the old cabinets will be reused and continue to be a fixture in the home.

Cons of Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

kitchen before reno with old appliances

1. Current layout may not be functional

While refacing can transform your kitchen, it is just a cosmetic solution. Depending on how old your home is, your kitchen layout may be outdated, and a new layout may be a better fit for your home and lifestyle. Since refacing cabinets means keeping existing cabinets, if the existing layout does not serve your household well, you will be stuck with this original layout.

This is a perfect example of when refacing may not be the best choice for you. Redoing the layout of your kitchen would require replacing your cabinets and stationing them in a different area of your kitchen.

2. Not a good option for broken/damaged cabinets

Cabinet refacing can only do so much for your cabinets. It really is a way to update the look of the cabinets. If there are underlying issues including damage to the interior sections of the cabinet boxes, you cannot simply reface the cabinets hoping to solve the problem. Doing so may prove to be a waste of money as the cabinet boxes, at some point – most likely sooner rather than later – will need to be replaced themselves.

In this case, it’s more effective to simply replace the cabinets. Also take note that if the cabinets are already in poor condition, the process of refacing them may add additional strain to the already weakened parts, making the problem even worse.

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3. Does not improve the interior, underside of cabinets

There are times when you may contemplate updating your kitchen cabinets to cover up imperfections or mistakes made by a previous contractor to the interior sections of the cabinet.

For example, if the shelves are not level or some damage has occurred to the inner areas. If there are some unsightly areas in the interior of the cabinet boxes or under your cabinets, refacing the cabinets will not make a difference. Your best bet may be to paint over these areas instead.

Contact Us

Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons of kitchen cabinet refacing, there are certain mistakes that you can avoid. When you consider the advantages that come with refacing your kitchen cabinets, it’s quite clear that kitchen cabinet refacing is one of the most rewarding kitchen upgrades you can make. New cabinet fronts can have a tremendous impact on the appeal of your kitchen. Get the look of a brand-new cabinet set for a fraction of the cost, time, and hassle.

Our team at Top Home Builders can help you reface your cabinets and transform your kitchen into the vision of beauty you’ve been dreaming of. Our contractors are highly skilled, know how to reface cabinets efficiently and work diligently to ensure that we exceed your expectations. We’re proud to be the number one choice in kitchen cabinet refacing. Call today to connect with a member of our friendly team of professionals.