Kitchen Cabinets Should you Replace or Reface?

Kitchen Cabinets Should you Replace or Reface?

When it comes to a kitchen remodeling project, kitchen cabinets can cause the renovation costs to rise rapidly. Plus, there is the challenge of finding the perfect cabinets for your kitchen design which will still fit into your budget. You’ve probably heard of refacing cabinets as an alternative but is refacing right for your new kitchen or should you replace your existing cabinetry with new cabinets. Here’s what you need to know.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Refacing your kitchen cabinets is often the least expensive of the two options. With refacing your current cabinets and layout remain. Refacing is actually the covering of your existing exposed frames with a thin veneer of wood or laminate. Once the veneering process is complete, doors and drawer fronts are installed to match, followed by hinges, pulls, knobs and molding.  Refacing can only be completed if your existing cabinet ‘boxes’ are in good structural condition, meaning no water damage, cracks or breaks, or warping. You have the choice of a variety of colors, grains, patterns, textures, and more from which to choose but the cabinetry footprint remains the same.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing your kitchen cabinets is exactly as it sounds. Your old cabinetry is removed. You choose all new cabinetry and it is installed in the layout of your choice – either the existing layout or a completely new and more functional layout. New kitchen cabinets offer a plethora of styles, colors, grains, textures, and patterns. You can also select wood – oak, cherry, maple, etc. – as well as stain or paint colors or any available material of your choice for your cabinets. In addition, with new cabinets you customize your kitchen remodel’s footprint. 

The Pros and Cons of Refacing versus Replacing

  • Refacing costs less than replacing, often as much as half.
  • If you are only taking on cabinets in your kitchen renovation, refacing requires less time than replacing, you don’t have to tear out old cabinets, and you can use you kitchen during the refacing project.
  • When refacing, your kitchen layout (good or bad) remains the same.
  • On the other hand, if you are remodeling the kitchen completely, the old cabinets are already down and timing is not a significant factor, as your new cabinets will be installed according to the renovation plans.
  • When replacing, you can redesign your kitchen for function and aesthetics.

Cost Comparison Refacing versus Replacing

Refacing generally costs less than replacing, but keep in mind, you are using the old cabinet structure with refacing while with replacing, the cabinets are completely new. Cabinet refacing with laminate in a 10’ x 12’ kitchen would cost around $3,000. Refacing the same cabinets with real wood veneers would run on average $6,000.

Replacing cabinets in a kitchen of like size would average $5,000 for stock cabinetry, $10,000 for semi-custom cabinetry, and $20,000 or more for custom-made cabinetry.

In both instances, the larger the kitchen, the greater the costs. In addition, in each project, new hardware could add anywhere from $4 to $50 for each knob, pull, or hinge.

The Bottom Line – Refacing, Though Less Costly, May Not be the Best Choice

If you truly want to achieve all the benefits of kitchen remodel, refacing may not be the best choice. Refacing can never overcome a poorly functioning kitchen layout. Only a complete renovation can deliver the functional and beautiful kitchen of your dreams. Plus, refacing cannot be completed on any cabinets with structural issues or damage to the cabinets themselves.

As a cabinet wholesaler, Tops Kitchen Cabinets can help you find the ideal replacement cabinets – high quality and within your budget- from base models to premium cabinets, face-frame or frameless, in all the colors and finishes available. Plus, at Tops, you’ll find competitive pricing to ensure you can transform your kitchen into the functional beauty you long for. 

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