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All You Need to Know About Refacing Kitchen Cabinets and Saving Money

All You Need to Know About Refacing Kitchen Cabinets and Saving Money


1. What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to give your kitchen cabinets a fresh and updated look without completely replacing them. It involves replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. The process also includes refinishing or painting the cabinet boxes to match the new doors, creating a cohesive and stylish appearance. Cabinet refacing is a popular choice for homeowners looking to save money while achieving a significant transformation in their kitchen.

Benefits of Cabinet Refacing

Here are some key benefits of choosing cabinet refacing:

  1. Cost Savings: Cabinet refacing is typically much more budget-friendly than completely replacing your cabinets. You can save up to 50% or more compared to the cost of a full cabinet replacement.
  2. Time-Efficient: Refacing can be completed in a shorter time frame than a full cabinet replacement. It minimizes disruption to your daily life and kitchen use.
  3. Eco-Friendly: By reusing your existing cabinet boxes, you reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of your kitchen renovation.
  4. Customization: You have the freedom to choose new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, allowing you to customize the look of your kitchen to your taste.
  5. Updated Appearance: Cabinet refacing can make your kitchen look brand new by giving it a fresh, modern appearance.

2. Is Cabinet Refacing a DIY Project?

Cabinet refacing can be a DIY project, but it requires some level of skill, experience, and the right tools. If you’re comfortable with woodworking and have previous DIY experience, you might be able to tackle a refacing project on your own. However, keep in mind that it can be a complex task, and mistakes can be costly to fix.

Steps in a DIY Cabinet Refacing Project

If you decide to go the DIY route, here are the basic steps involved:

  1. Gather Materials: You’ll need new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, veneer or laminate sheets, hardware, adhesive, and various tools like saws, sandpaper, and clamps.
  2. Remove Old Hardware: Take off the existing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware.
  3. Measure and Cut: Measure the cabinet boxes, cut the veneer or laminate to size, and adhere it to the cabinet surfaces.
  4. Install New Doors: Attach the new doors and drawer fronts, making sure they align correctly and operate smoothly.
  5. Finish and Paint: Sand and paint the cabinet boxes and new doors to achieve the desired finish.
  6. Install Hardware: Attach the new hardware to the doors and drawer fronts.
  7. Clean Up: Clean and organize your kitchen, removing any dust or debris.

While DIY cabinet refacing can save you money, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you’re unsure about your abilities or prefer a professional finish, consider hiring a professional cabinet refacing company.

3. How Much Does Cabinet Refacing Cost?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, and your location. On average, you can expect to spend between $4,000 and $10,000 for a standard kitchen refacing project. Here are some cost considerations:

Cost Factors in Cabinet Refacing

  1. Kitchen Size: Larger kitchens with more cabinets will naturally cost more to reface than smaller ones.
  2. Material Quality: The type of wood or laminate you choose for your cabinet doors and drawer fronts will impact the cost.
  3. Hardware: High-end hardware can add to the overall cost, so consider your budget when selecting handles, knobs, and hinges.
  4. Finish: If you opt for a custom paint or stain finish, it may cost more than standard finishes.
  5. Labor: If you hire professionals for the job, labor costs will be a significant portion of the overall expense.
  6. Geographic Location: Prices can vary based on where you live and the local cost of living.

To get an accurate estimate for your cabinet refacing project, it’s advisable to request quotes from local contractors or refacing companies. They can assess your specific needs and provide you with a detailed cost breakdown.

4. How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on various factors, including the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the work, and whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring professionals. Generally, a professional cabinet refacing project can take anywhere from 2 to 4 days for an average-sized kitchen.

Timeline for Cabinet Refacing

Here’s a rough breakdown of the timeline for cabinet refacing:

  1. Day 1: Removal of old doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Measurement and preparation of cabinet boxes.
  2. Day 2: Application of veneer or laminate to cabinet boxes. Installation of new doors and drawer fronts.
  3. Day 3: Painting or staining of cabinets if required. Installation of hardware.
  4. Day 4: Final inspection and touch-ups.

Keep in mind that this timeline can vary, and larger or more intricate kitchen designs may take longer. DIY projects may also take more time if you’re not experienced with the process.

5. Can I Change the Layout of My Cabinets During Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is primarily a cosmetic upgrade, so it doesn’t involve changing the layout or structure of your kitchen cabinets. The existing cabinet boxes remain in place, and the refacing process focuses on updating the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and finishes.

When to Consider Layout Changes

If you want to make significant changes to your kitchen’s layout, such as adding or removing cabinets, moving them to different locations, or changing the configuration, you would need to consider a full kitchen remodeling project. This involves removing the existing cabinets and starting from scratch to achieve the desired layout changes.

While cabinet refacing is a great option for updating the look of your cabinets, it’s not designed to address layout or structural changes. If you’re unsure about which approach is right for your kitchen, consult with a professional kitchen designer or contractor to explore your options.

6. What Materials Can I Choose for Cabinet Refacing?

When it comes to cabinet refacing, you have several material options to choose from to achieve your desired look. The choice of materials can significantly impact the aesthetics and durability of your kitchen cabinets.

Common Materials for Cabinet Refacing

Here are some of the most common materials used in cabinet refacing:

  1. Wood: Solid wood doors and veneers provide a classic and timeless look. Common wood species used include oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. You can choose between stained or painted finishes.
  2. Laminate: Laminate is a budget-friendly option that comes in various colors and patterns. It’s durable and easy to clean, making it a popular choice for modern kitchens.
  3. Thermofoil: Thermofoil doors are made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) wrapped in a heat-sealed vinyl. They are available in a wide range of styles and colors and are easy to maintain.
  4. RTF (Rigid Thermofoil): RTF doors are similar to thermofoil but have a thicker, more rigid construction. They offer a sleek, contemporary look.
  5. Acrylic: Acrylic doors have a high-gloss finish and are known for their durability and resistance to moisture. They create a modern and luxurious appearance.
  6. Melamine: Melamine is a cost-effective option with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. It’s available in various colors and can mimic the look of wood.
  7. Aluminum and Glass: For a sleek and contemporary style, consider aluminum frame doors with glass inserts. This option adds a touch of elegance and openness to your kitchen.

Your choice of material should align with your style preferences, budget, and maintenance considerations. Consult with a cabinet refacing professional to explore the best material options for your specific project.

7. Can I Change the Hardware During Cabinet Refacing?

Yes, changing the hardware is a common part of the cabinet refacing process and can have a significant impact on the overall appearance of your kitchen cabinets. Hardware includes handles, knobs, hinges, and pulls, and updating them can give your cabinets a fresh and modern look.

Considerations for Hardware Replacement

Here are some considerations when changing the hardware during cabinet refacing:

  1. Style: Choose hardware that complements the style of your kitchen. Modern kitchens often feature sleek and minimalist hardware, while traditional kitchens may have more ornate options.
  2. Finish: Select a finish that matches or contrasts with the material and color of your cabinet doors. Popular finishes include brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black.
  3. Functionality: Ensure that the hardware you choose is easy to use and provides a comfortable grip. Consider the size and shape of handles and knobs.
  4. Hinge Type: If you’re replacing hinges, make sure they are compatible with the new cabinet doors and that they allow for smooth and silent operation.
  5. Installation: Some hardware may require new holes or adjustments to fit properly. Professional cabinet refacers can handle this as part of the project.

Changing the hardware is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to update the look of your cabinets. It’s also an opportunity to add a personal touch to your kitchen’s design.

8. What Are the Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers several advantages, but it may not be the right choice for every kitchen renovation. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Pros of Cabinet Refacing

  1. Cost-Effective: Refacing is more budget-friendly than a full cabinet replacement, making it an excellent option for cost-conscious homeowners.
  2. Quick Turnaround: Refacing projects are typically completed faster than full replacements, minimizing disruption to your daily life.
  3. Eco-Friendly: By reusing existing cabinet boxes, refacing reduces waste and is environmentally friendly.
  4. Customization: You can choose new doors, finishes, and hardware to create a customized look for your kitchen.
  5. Updated Appearance: Cabinet refacing can make your kitchen look brand new without the need for a complete remodel.

Cons of Cabinet Refacing

  1. Limited Structural Changes: Refacing is primarily cosmetic and doesn’t address layout or structural changes.
  2. Existing Condition: If your cabinet boxes are in poor condition, refacing may not be a viable option.
  3. Cost Variation: The cost of refacing can vary depending on materials and labor, so it’s essential to get accurate quotes.
  4. Not Suitable for All Cabinets: Some cabinet styles may not be suitable for refacing, and a full replacement may be necessary.

Before deciding on cabinet refacing, assess your kitchen’s condition and your renovation goals. Consult with professionals to determine if refacing is the right choice for your specific situation.

9. How Do I Choose the Right Cabinet Refacing Professional?

Selecting the right cabinet refacing professional is crucial to the success of your kitchen renovation. A reputable and experienced contractor can ensure a smooth and high-quality refacing project.

Tips for Choosing a Cabinet Refacing Professional

Here are some tips to help you find the right professional for your cabinet refacing project:

  1. Research: Look for local cabinet refacing companies or contractors with a history of positive customer reviews and a portfolio of completed projects.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have recently had cabinet refacing done.
  3. Check Credentials: Ensure that the professional is licensed, insured, and has the necessary certifications for cabinet refacing.
  4. Request Quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple professionals to compare costs and services. Be wary of significantly low or high estimates.
  5. View Previous Work: Ask to see examples of their previous cabinet refacing projects to assess the quality of their work.
  6. Communication: Choose a professional who communicates effectively, listens to your ideas, and provides solutions to meet your needs.
  7. Timeline: Discuss the project timeline and make sure it aligns with your schedule and expectations.
  8. Contract: Have a clear and detailed contract that outlines all project specifications, costs, and timelines.
  9. Warranty: Inquire about warranties or guarantees on the work and materials used.

By carefully vetting and selecting a qualified cabinet refacing professional, you can ensure a successful and satisfying kitchen renovation experience.

10. Can I Reface Cabinets in Other Rooms Besides the Kitchen?

While cabinet refacing is commonly associated with kitchen cabinets, it can be applied to cabinets in other rooms of your home as well. Refacing is a versatile option for refreshing the look of cabinetry in areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms, home offices, and entertainment centers.

Rooms Where Cabinet Refacing is Applicable

Here are some rooms where you can consider cabinet refacing:

  1. Bathroom: Refacing bathroom cabinets can give your bathroom a fresh and updated appearance. It’s a cost-effective way to improve the aesthetics of your vanity and storage.
  2. Laundry Room: Refacing cabinets in the laundry room can enhance organization and create a more pleasant and functional space.
  3. Home Office: If you have built-in cabinets or shelves in your home office, refacing can help create a professional and inviting workspace.
  4. Entertainment Center: Refacing the cabinets surrounding your entertainment center can improve the overall look of your living or media room.

The process of refacing cabinets in these rooms is similar to kitchen cabinet refacing. You can choose materials, finishes, and hardware that suit the specific room’s style and function.

In summary, cabinet refacing is a versatile solution that can be applied to various rooms in your home to achieve a refreshed and updated look.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about cabinet refacing and how it can help you save money while transforming the look of your kitchen and other rooms in your home. From understanding the process and costs to choosing materials and professionals, you now have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your cabinet refacing project. Whether you’re tackling it as a DIY project or enlisting the help of professionals, cabinet refacing offers a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to achieve the kitchen or room of your dreams.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve delved into all you need to know about cabinet refacing and how it can help you save money while transforming the look of your kitchen and other rooms in your home. From understanding the process and costs to choosing materials and professionals, you now have the knowledge to make informed decisions about your cabinet refacing project.

Cabinet refacing is a versatile and eco-friendly solution that offers numerous benefits, including cost savings, customization options, and a quick turnaround. Whether you’re considering it for your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, home office, or entertainment center, the principles remain the same. You can refresh and update the appearance of your cabinetry without the extensive costs and disruptions associated with a full cabinet replacement.

Whether you’re embarking on a DIY cabinet refacing adventure or entrusting the task to experienced professionals, this guide has equipped you with the insights and considerations necessary to ensure a successful and satisfying home improvement project. By making the right choices in materials, hardware, and professionals, you can achieve the kitchen or room of your dreams while being mindful of your budget and the environment.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is not just a practical and cost-effective option; it’s a sustainable way to breathe new life into your living spaces and enhance the overall appeal and functionality of your home.

Read: Planning to Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets? Here’s How to Save Money

Read: The Pros and Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets to Save Money

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