New Kitchen Cabinets Or Reface?

Thursday Jan 25th, 2024


Refurbishing your kitchen cabinets and pondering the best approach? While simple fixes like painting and hardware updates may suffice, there's a juncture where more substantial intervention is required: cabinet refacing or cabinet replacement. In this insightful guide, we'll delve into the nuances of each, providing you with a comprehensive understanding to make an informed decision tailored to your kitchen's needs.

Distinguishing between cabinet refacing and replacement is crucial. Cabinet refacing involves a veneering process, updating the cabinet's appearance by installing new drawer fronts, cabinetdoors, and applying veneer to the exterior. While the insides typically remain unchanged, it offers a cost-effective aesthetic upgrade. On the other hand, cabinet replacement entails removing and replacing the cabinets entirely, enhancing both appearance and functionality. The key distinction lies in structural improvement, with refacing primarily focusing on outer aesthetics. Consider factors such as your current cabinet condition, budget, and whether you prefer a DIY or professional approach when making your decision.

When comparing the two, appearances on the outside can be deceivingly similar. Cabinet refacing aims to transform and update the outer look using veneer, doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, creating a visually pleasing result. However, the internal aspects sharply differ, with refaced cabinets maintaining the status quo and replaced cabinets benefiting from updated insides due to new cabinet boxes.


The installation process also varies in terms of DIY feasibility. Cabinet refacing, requiring specialized veneering techniques, is typically performed by experienced professionals. In contrast, cabinet replacement offers a more DIY-friendly approach, with various sources, from home improvement stores to local kitchen remodel centers, providing options for replacement.

Considering costs is crucial. Cabinet refacing may seem less expensive, but in some cases, it can be comparable to replacement costs. If budget constraints are a primary concern, painting cabinets is an alternative. On average, cabinet refacing costs around $7,000, while cabinet replacement can range from $13,500 to $26,000.


Choosing between cabinet refacing and replacement depends on various factors. Refacing is ideal when your cabinet boxes are in solid shape, cost is a primary concern, you're remodeling, and you prefer to keep your current kitchen layout. On the other hand, replacement is better suited for new constructions, layout changes, or when your cabinets are in poor condition, especially during a whole-kitchen remodel.

Environmental considerations also play a role, with cabinet refacing being more eco-friendly, contributing less to landfills compared to the potential waste generated by replacing cabinets. Additionally, donating cabinets to recycling yards like Habitat for Humanity's ReStores is a sustainable option.

In summary, understanding these distinctions will guide you toward the most suitable choice for your kitchen, aligning with your preferences, budget, and environmental considerations.

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Steve Bulatovic

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