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Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacing: Is It The Way To Go?

kitchen remodel

Many customers ask about the merit of refacing their existing cabinets rather than replacing them. Sounds tempting since your could forego the cost of removing everything, buying new cabinets and installing the new cabinets and trim.

Here are some influencing considerations . . .

  • New doors and drawer heads to fit your existing cabinets will need to be custom made, making them more expensive than the standard size doors of new cabinets.

  • The frames and exposed ends of your existing cabinets will need to be veneered in place to allow matching the new stain or paint of the doors.

  • Finishes applied in the home will not have the same durability or quality as those applied in a factory setting with baking ovens and ideal dust control.

  • Replacing the doors and drawer fronts does nothing to update the interiors of your cabinets to provide full extension, cushion close drawers and easily adjustable shelves or other convenience features.

  • Refacing leaves you with the same exact kitchen layout you already have.

  • Most people replace their countertops as part of the update of the kitchen. So the labor to remove and reconnect the sink, remove and install a new top, are already accomplished. Removing the existing cabinets and installing new ones takes similar labor to refacing.

So, what you are left with is pretty similar cost and time to reface as it will be to replace the cabinets assuming you were already replacing the countertops.

But, whether you reface or replace as is you still have not taken advantage of an improved layout, removal of soffits with taller cabinets, adjustment for the wider and taller refrigerators popular today.

Before proceeding you should enlist the help of a kitchen design professional to show you what optional design ideas there could be for your kitchen. This is often available without cost.

In the end, it really comes down to what the homeowner is really looking to get out of this project. If they're just looking to give their kitchen a bit of a facelift, refacing could be a great option. But for those who are looking to have more structurally sound cabinets and possible rearrange, a replacement will most likely be necessary. Either way, it's important to work with an experienced contractor to ensure the kitchen remodel goes exactly as planned.

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