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The Pros and Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets to Save Money

The Pros and Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets to Save Money


In this comprehensive article, we will explore the various aspects of refacing kitchen cabinets as a cost-saving option. We’ll address 10 of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with a clear understanding of the pros and cons associated with this renovation method.


Question 1: What Is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a kitchen remodeling process where the existing cabinet framework remains in place, but the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and sometimes the hardware are replaced or updated. This method allows you to give your kitchen a fresh look without the expense and hassle of completely replacing the cabinets.


  1. Cost-Effective: Refacing is typically more affordable than completely replacing cabinets.
  2. Less Disruption: Since the cabinet structure remains intact, there is less mess and disruption during the renovation.
  3. Eco-Friendly: Reusing the cabinet frames is environmentally friendly as it reduces waste.
  4. Customization: You can choose from various styles, finishes, and hardware options for a personalized look.
  5. Quick Turnaround: Refacing projects are often completed faster than full cabinet replacements.


  1. Limited Structural Changes: Refacing doesn’t allow for major layout or structural changes in the kitchen.
  2. Not Suitable for All Cabinets: Extremely damaged or poorly designed cabinets may not be suitable for refacing.
  3. May Not Increase Home Value: While it improves aesthetics, it may not significantly increase your home’s resale value.
  4. Quality Variation: The final result depends on the quality of materials and workmanship.

Question 2: How Does Cabinet Refacing Compare to Cabinet Replacement?

Cabinet refacing and cabinet replacement are two distinct kitchen renovation options with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cost-effective
  • Less disruptive
  • Eco-friendly
  • Faster completion
  • Limited structural changes

Cabinet Replacement:

  • Allows for complete customization
  • Opportunity for layout and structural changes
  • Increases home value more significantly
  • Long-term investment
  • Higher upfront cost and longer project duration

Choosing between refacing and replacement depends on your budget, goals, and the condition of your current cabinets.

Question 3: What Are the Steps Involved in Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing typically involves several steps:

  1. Assessment: Evaluate the existing cabinets to ensure they are suitable for refacing.
  2. Design Selection: Choose the cabinet door style, finish, and hardware.
  3. Measurements: Precise measurements are taken to create the new cabinet fronts.
  4. Removal and Preparation: Cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware are removed, and the cabinet frames are prepared.
  5. Installation: New cabinet fronts and hardware are installed.
  6. Final Touches: Adjustments are made, and any necessary touch-ups are completed.

Each step is crucial to ensure a successful refacing project.

Question 4: What Types of Cabinet Materials Are Used in Refacing?

The materials used in cabinet refacing vary based on your preferences and budget. Common options include:

  • Wood: Solid wood or wood veneer for a traditional look.
  • Thermofoil: A laminate material that’s easy to clean and maintain.
  • Laminate: Durable and available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
  • Acrylic: Offers a sleek, glossy appearance.
  • Metal: For a modern or industrial aesthetic.

Your choice of material will impact the final look, durability, and cost of your refaced cabinets.

Question 5: Can I Reface Cabinets Myself, or Should I Hire a Professional?

While some DIY enthusiasts may attempt cabinet refacing, it’s generally recommended to hire a professional for several reasons:

Reasons to Hire a Professional:

  1. Expertise: Professionals have the skills and experience to ensure a quality outcome.
  2. Precision: Precise measurements and installation are crucial for a seamless look.
  3. Warranty: Many professionals offer warranties for their work.
  4. Time and Convenience: DIY refacing can be time-consuming and challenging.

Hiring a professional ensures that your investment in cabinet refacing is worthwhile.

Question 6: What Is the Typical Cost of Cabinet Refacing?

The cost of cabinet refacing can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of your kitchen, the materials chosen, and your location. On average, refacing can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000 or more.

Factors that affect the cost include the number of cabinets, the complexity of the design, the material selected for the cabinet fronts, and any additional features like new hardware or storage solutions.

It’s essential to obtain multiple quotes from reputable contractors to get a better understanding of the potential cost for your specific project.

Question 7: Can I Change the Layout of My Kitchen During Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing primarily focuses on updating the cabinet exteriors, so it doesn’t provide the opportunity for significant layout changes. However, minor adjustments, such as adding or removing cabinets or altering the placement of drawers, may be possible.

If you desire a complete kitchen layout transformation, cabinet replacement or a full kitchen remodel would be a better choice.

Question 8: How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take to Complete?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on various factors, including the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the design, and the availability of materials. However, on average, a refacing project can be completed in 2 to 4 days.

It’s important to discuss the estimated timeline with your chosen contractor to plan accordingly and minimize inconvenience.

Question 9: Will Refaced Cabinets Look as Good as New Ones?

When professionally done with high-quality materials, refaced cabinets can look nearly as good as new ones. The final appearance largely depends on the craftsmanship and the materials chosen. Properly done cabinet refacing should result in a fresh and attractive kitchen.

Question 10: How Can I Maintain Refaced Cabinets?

Maintaining refaced cabinets is relatively easy. Regularly clean the cabinet surfaces with a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and avoid using harsh chemicals. Be gentle with the hardware, and consider periodic adjustments if needed. Proper maintenance can extend the lifespan and appearance of your refaced cabinets.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing can be an excellent cost-saving option for giving your kitchen a facelift. It offers various benefits such as affordability, minimal disruption, and customization options. However, it may not be suitable for all situations, and the final outcome depends on the materials and workmanship. Consider your specific needs and budget when deciding whether cabinet refacing is the right choice for your kitchen renovation project.

In this continuation of our exploration of cabinet refacing, we’ll delve into more essential aspects to help you make an informed decision about renovating your kitchen.

Question 11: Can I Reface Cabinets That Are in Poor Condition?

Cabinet refacing is ideal for cabinets that are structurally sound but in need of a cosmetic update. However, if your cabinets are in poor condition, with extensive damage, rot, or structural issues, refacing may not be a suitable option. In such cases, it’s advisable to opt for cabinet replacement to ensure the longevity and functionality of your kitchen cabinets.

Question 12: What Are Some Popular Cabinet Door Styles for Refacing?

When refacing your kitchen cabinets, you have a wide range of cabinet door styles to choose from. Some popular options include:

  • Shaker: Known for its simplicity and clean lines, making it a versatile choice.
  • Raised Panel: Offers a classic and traditional appearance.
  • Slab: A flat, solid door that creates a modern, minimalist look.
  • Beadboard: Provides a charming, cottage-inspired feel.
  • Glass Front: Adds a touch of elegance and allows for display of kitchen items.

Your choice of door style should align with your overall kitchen design and personal taste.

Question 13: What Are Some Eco-Friendly Options for Cabinet Refacing?

If you’re environmentally conscious, you can make eco-friendly choices when refacing your cabinets. Consider the following options:

  • Wood Veneer: Opt for sustainably sourced wood veneer for a natural and eco-friendly look.
  • Low-VOC Finishes: Choose finishes and paints that have low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to minimize off-gassing.
  • Recycled Materials: Some cabinet refacing materials are made from recycled content, reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Water-Based Adhesives: Request the use of water-based adhesives to minimize the use of harmful chemicals.

By making eco-conscious decisions, you can contribute to a greener kitchen renovation.

Question 14: Are There Any Disadvantages to Cabinet Refacing?

While cabinet refacing offers several advantages, it’s essential to be aware of its limitations and potential disadvantages:

  • Limited Transformation: Refacing cannot change the fundamental layout or structure of your kitchen.
  • Condition-Dependent: Successful refacing depends on the condition of your existing cabinets.
  • Not a DIY Project for Everyone: DIY refacing may not yield professional-quality results, and mistakes can be costly to rectify.
  • Limited Value Increase: Refacing may not significantly increase your home’s resale value compared to a full kitchen remodel.

Understanding these limitations can help you set realistic expectations for your refacing project.

Question 15: Can I Add Additional Features During Cabinet Refacing?

Yes, you can incorporate additional features into your kitchen during the cabinet refacing process. Some common additions include:

  • Pull-Out Shelves: Enhance storage and accessibility.
  • Soft-Close Hinges: Prevent slamming cabinet doors and drawers.
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting: Improve visibility and ambiance.
  • New Hardware: Update knobs, handles, and pulls for a fresh look.
  • Crown Molding: Add a touch of elegance to the upper cabinets.

Discuss these options with your refacing contractor to customize your kitchen to your liking.

Question 16: What Should I Consider When Choosing a Cabinet Refacing Contractor?

Selecting the right cabinet refacing contractor is crucial for a successful project. When evaluating potential contractors, consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Look for contractors with a proven track record in cabinet refacing.
  • References: Request references and check online reviews to gauge customer satisfaction.
  • Insurance: Ensure the contractor is adequately insured to cover any potential mishaps.
  • Detailed Quotes: Obtain detailed quotes that outline materials, labor costs, and any additional expenses.
  • Warranty: Inquire about warranties for both materials and workmanship.

By conducting thorough research and vetting contractors, you can make an informed choice for your project.

Question 17: Can I Reface Cabinets in Other Rooms Besides the Kitchen?

While cabinet refacing is most commonly associated with kitchens, you can also apply this method to cabinets in other rooms, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, or home offices. Refacing can provide a cost-effective way to update the look of cabinets in various areas of your home, maintaining a cohesive design throughout.

Question 18: What Are Some Alternatives to Cabinet Refacing?

If cabinet refacing doesn’t align with your goals or budget, there are alternative kitchen renovation options to consider:

  • Cabinet Replacement: For a complete overhaul and more significant design changes.
  • Painting Cabinets: A budget-friendly option to refresh the look of cabinets.
  • Refinishing Cabinets: Stripping and refinishing the existing wood for a like-new appearance.
  • Open Shelving: Removing cabinet doors and using open shelves for a modern and airy feel.

Each alternative comes with its own pros and cons, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Question 19: How Can I Ensure a Successful Cabinet Refacing Project?

To ensure a successful cabinet refacing project, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly Assess Cabinets: Ensure your cabinets are suitable for refacing.
  2. Plan the Design: Select the door style, finish, and hardware that align with your vision.
  3. Hire a Professional: Consider hiring an experienced contractor for quality work.
  4. Communicate Clearly: Clearly communicate your expectations and preferences with your contractor.
  5. Monitor Progress: Stay involved and monitor the project’s progress to address any concerns promptly.
  6. Quality Materials: Choose high-quality materials for durability and aesthetics.
  7. Regular Maintenance: After completion, perform regular maintenance to keep your cabinets looking their best.

By following these steps and staying informed, you can achieve a successful cabinet refacing project that enhances the beauty and functionality of your kitchen.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a viable option for those looking to save money while giving their kitchen a fresh appearance. It offers numerous benefits, including cost-effectiveness and a faster turnaround. However, it’s essential to consider the limitations and potential downsides before embarking on a refacing project. With proper planning, the right materials, and the expertise of a professional, you can achieve a stunning kitchen transformation that suits your budget and style preferences.


In this extensive exploration of the pros and cons of refacing kitchen cabinets to save money, we’ve delved into the key questions and considerations surrounding this popular renovation option. Cabinet refacing offers an array of advantages, making it an appealing choice for homeowners looking to refresh their kitchens without breaking the bank.

Pros of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Cost-Effective: Cabinet refacing is a budget-friendly alternative to full cabinet replacement.
  • Less Disruption: It minimizes the mess and inconvenience typically associated with kitchen renovations.
  • Eco-Friendly: By reusing cabinet frames, refacing reduces waste and is environmentally responsible.
  • Customization: Homeowners can choose from various styles, finishes, and hardware options to achieve a personalized look.
  • Quick Turnaround: Refacing projects are often completed more swiftly than complete cabinet replacements.

Cons of Cabinet Refacing:

  • Limited Structural Changes: Refacing doesn’t permit major layout or structural alterations in the kitchen.
  • Condition-Dependent: Successful refacing relies on the condition of your existing cabinets, which may not be suitable in all cases.
  • Modest Increase in Home Value: While it enhances aesthetics, it may not significantly raise your home’s resale value.
  • Quality Variation: The final result depends on the quality of materials and workmanship.

We’ve also explored various aspects of cabinet refacing, including the steps involved, material options, hiring professionals, costs, and maintenance. We’ve addressed common questions such as the comparison between refacing and cabinet replacement, cabinet styles, eco-friendly choices, and considerations for cabinet refacing in rooms beyond the kitchen.

Additionally, we discussed alternatives to cabinet refacing, providing homeowners with a comprehensive view of their renovation options. Lastly, we highlighted the importance of proper planning and clear communication with contractors to ensure the success of a cabinet refacing project.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a practical and cost-effective means of revitalizing your kitchen’s appearance. It offers a balance between affordability and aesthetics while minimizing disruption to your daily life. To determine if cabinet refacing is the right choice for your kitchen renovation, carefully weigh the pros and cons, consider your budget, and consult with experienced professionals. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can achieve a kitchen transformation that aligns with your vision and budgetary constraints.

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

Read: Get the Look You Want By Refacing Kitchen Cabinets Without Breaking the Bank

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