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What to Look Out For When Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

What to Look Out For When Refacing Kitchen Cabinets



Refacing kitchen cabinets can be an excellent way to give your kitchen a fresh and updated look without the cost and hassle of a full cabinet replacement. However, it’s essential to be well-informed and attentive to details to ensure a successful cabinet refacing project. In this article, we will address the ten most commonly asked questions about what to look out for when refacing kitchen cabinets.


Question 1: What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is a process that involves updating the external appearance of your kitchen cabinets while keeping the existing cabinet framework intact. It typically includes replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, as well as applying a new veneer or finish to the cabinet boxes. Cabinet refacing can give your kitchen a fresh and modern look without the expense of a complete cabinet replacement.

When considering cabinet refacing, it’s crucial to understand the scope of the project and what it entails. It’s not a solution for cabinets that are structurally unsound or in poor condition. Refacing is best suited for cabinets with sturdy frames that are in good shape but need a cosmetic makeover.

Question 2: 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, cabinet refacing can cost between $4,000 and $9,000 for a typical kitchen. This cost includes new cabinet doors, drawer fronts, hardware, and the labor required for installation.

To get an accurate estimate for your specific project, it’s advisable to obtain quotes from reputable cabinet refacing professionals in your area. They can provide a detailed breakdown of costs based on your kitchen’s unique characteristics and your design preferences.

Question 3: Can I Reface Cabinets Myself?

While it’s possible to undertake a cabinet refacing project as a DIY endeavor, it’s not recommended for everyone. Cabinet refacing requires a certain level of skill, tools, and patience, as it involves precise measurements, cutting, and fitting of materials. If you have experience with woodworking and cabinetry, you may be able to tackle the project yourself. However, for most homeowners, hiring a professional cabinet refacing company is a safer and more convenient option.

Question 4: What Material Options Are Available for Cabinet Refacing?

When refacing kitchen cabinets, you have several material options to choose from for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Common choices include solid wood, veneer, laminate, and thermofoil. Each material has its unique characteristics, and your choice should align with your desired look, durability requirements, and budget.

Solid wood offers a timeless and elegant appearance but can be more expensive. Veneer provides a wood-like look and is more budget-friendly. Laminate and thermofoil are durable and come in various colors and finishes, making them a practical choice for a modern kitchen.

Question 5: How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Take?

The duration of a cabinet refacing project depends on the size of your kitchen, the complexity of the design, and the availability of materials. In general, a typical cabinet refacing project can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days to complete. This includes removing old doors and drawer fronts, preparing the cabinet surfaces, installing new materials, and adding finishing touches.

It’s essential to plan accordingly and consider how the temporary disruption to your kitchen will impact your daily routine. Discuss the project timeline with your chosen cabinet refacing professional to ensure it aligns with your expectations.

Question 6: What Hardware Should I Choose?

Selecting the right hardware is a crucial aspect of cabinet refacing, as it can significantly impact the overall aesthetics of your kitchen. When choosing hardware, consider factors such as the style of your kitchen, your personal preferences, and the functionality you need. Common hardware options include knobs, pulls, handles, and hinges, and they come in various finishes and designs.

Hardware should complement the chosen cabinet material and finish. For example, if you have a traditional kitchen, classic brass or bronze hardware might be a suitable choice. In a contemporary kitchen, sleek and minimalistic hardware could be more appropriate.

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

Cabinet refacing primarily focuses on updating the external appearance of cabinets, so it doesn’t involve significant alterations to the cabinet layout. However, if you wish to make structural changes to your kitchen, such as adding or removing cabinets, changing the cabinet layout, or relocating appliances, it’s best to discuss these modifications with a kitchen remodeling professional.

Question 8: How Do I Choose the Right Cabinet Refacing Company?

Selecting the right cabinet refacing company is crucial to the success of your project. To find a reputable company, start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have had similar work done. Additionally, research online reviews and check with local business associations.

When evaluating potential cabinet refacing companies, consider factors such as their experience, portfolio of past projects, customer testimonials, and warranties offered. It’s also important to obtain multiple quotes to compare prices and services before making a decision.

Question 9: What Maintenance is Required After Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing materials are selected for their durability and ease of maintenance. However, to ensure the longevity of your refaced cabinets, it’s essential to follow proper care and cleaning guidelines. Typically, this involves wiping down cabinet surfaces with a damp cloth and using mild, non-abrasive cleaning products. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbers that can damage the finish.

Regular maintenance also includes checking and tightening hardware as needed to prevent loosening over time. By following these simple maintenance steps, you can keep your refaced cabinets looking pristine for years to come.

Question 10: What Are the Benefits of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing offers several benefits, making it an attractive option for homeowners. Some key advantages include:

  • Cost-Effective: Refacing is generally more affordable than a full cabinet replacement.
  • Minimal Disruption: The process is quicker and less invasive than a complete kitchen renovation.
  • Eco-Friendly: Refacing reduces waste by reusing existing cabinet frames.
  • Customization: You can choose from a wide range of materials and finishes to achieve your desired look.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing can transform the appearance of your kitchen, but it’s essential to be well-informed and make informed decisions throughout the process. By understanding the scope, costs, and materials involved, you can ensure a successful cabinet refacing project that enhances both the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

In the previous sections, we discussed the ten most commonly asked questions about cabinet refacing, covering topics such as cost, materials, DIY options, and more. In this continuation, we will delve into additional considerations to ensure a smooth and successful cabinet refacing project.

Question 11: What is the Difference Between Cabinet Refacing and Cabinet Painting?

Cabinet refacing and cabinet painting are two distinct approaches to kitchen cabinet makeover, and understanding their differences is crucial. While cabinet refacing involves replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and adding a new veneer or finish to the cabinet boxes, cabinet painting focuses solely on changing the color and finish of the existing cabinet surfaces.

Cabinet painting is a more budget-friendly option and works well when the cabinet structure is in good condition, and you desire a simple cosmetic change. Cabinet refacing, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive transformation, allowing you to change the cabinet style, hardware, and materials.

Question 12: Should I Upgrade Cabinet Hardware During Refacing?

Upgrading cabinet hardware is an excellent opportunity to enhance the overall look and functionality of your kitchen cabinets during the refacing process. New hardware can provide a modern and fresh appearance and improve usability. If your existing hardware is outdated or worn, it’s highly recommended to consider replacing it with updated knobs, handles, pulls, or hinges that match your design style.

Question 13: Can I Add Additional Cabinets During Refacing?

While cabinet refacing primarily focuses on the aesthetics of existing cabinets, it is possible to add additional cabinets or modify the layout to some extent. If you require extra storage space or want to reconfigure your kitchen layout, discuss these possibilities with your cabinet refacing professional.

Adding new cabinets can be integrated seamlessly with the refacing process, ensuring a cohesive and attractive final result. However, keep in mind that extensive layout changes may require a more extensive renovation project.

Question 14: What Should I Look for in Cabinet Refacing Materials?

Selecting the right materials for your cabinet refacing project is critical to achieving the desired look and durability. When choosing veneers, laminates, or solid wood, consider factors such as:

  • Durability: Ensure the materials can withstand daily use and exposure to moisture.
  • Aesthetics: Match the materials to your desired style, whether it’s traditional, modern, or another design.
  • Budget: Stay within your budget while selecting high-quality materials that will last.

Discuss your material options with your cabinet refacing professional to make informed decisions that align with your kitchen’s style and functionality.

Question 15: How Can I Maximize Storage Efficiency During Refacing?

Cabinet refacing provides an opportunity to improve the storage efficiency of your kitchen cabinets. To make the most of your space, consider adding features such as pull-out shelves, lazy Susans, spice racks, and tray dividers. These enhancements can help you better organize your kitchen and make it more convenient to access your cookware and utensils.

Discuss your storage needs and preferences with your cabinet refacing professional to incorporate these features seamlessly into your cabinet design.

Question 16: What Are the Common Mistakes to Avoid?

To ensure a successful cabinet refacing project, it’s essential to be aware of common mistakes and pitfalls that can occur. Some mistakes to avoid include:

  • Neglecting proper measurements: Accurate measurements are crucial for a precise fit.
  • Choosing the wrong materials: Ensure the materials you select are suitable for your kitchen’s environment.
  • Rushing the project: Take the time to plan and execute the refacing process carefully.

By being mindful of these potential pitfalls and working closely with experienced professionals, you can minimize the chances of encountering issues during your cabinet refacing project.

Question 17: Can I Incorporate Energy-Efficient Lighting?

Cabinet refacing provides an opportunity to incorporate energy-efficient lighting solutions into your kitchen. Consider adding LED under-cabinet lighting to improve visibility and create an inviting ambiance. LED lighting is not only energy-efficient but also long-lasting, reducing the need for frequent bulb replacements.

Discuss your lighting options with your cabinet refacing professional to create a well-lit and energy-efficient kitchen space.

Question 18: What is the Environmental Impact of Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is an environmentally friendly option compared to full cabinet replacement, as it reduces waste by reusing existing cabinet frames. Additionally, choosing sustainable materials and finishes can further minimize the environmental impact of your project. Look for certifications such as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) for wood products or low-VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes to make eco-conscious choices.

Question 19: Can I Reface Cabinets in Other Areas of My Home?

While kitchen cabinet refacing is a common application, the same principles can be applied to other areas of your home, such as bathroom cabinets or built-in shelving units. Refacing can provide a cost-effective and transformative update to various spaces, helping you achieve a consistent design throughout your home.

Question 20: What Are the Latest Trends in Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing, like any design-related field, experiences trends and innovations. Keep an eye out for the latest trends in materials, finishes, and hardware to ensure your kitchen stays up-to-date and stylish. Some current trends include open shelving, two-tone cabinets, and matte finishes. Incorporating these trends can give your refaced cabinets a fresh and modern look.

In conclusion, cabinet refacing is a practical and cost-effective way to refresh your kitchen’s appearance. By understanding the differences between refacing and other options, making informed material and hardware choices, and considering additional enhancements, you can ensure a successful and visually appealing cabinet refacing project that revitalizes your kitchen space.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the key considerations and frequently asked questions about cabinet refacing, a popular option for revitalizing your kitchen. Cabinet refacing offers a host of benefits, from cost-effectiveness to reduced environmental impact, making it an attractive choice for homeowners seeking a kitchen makeover.

Throughout the articles, we’ve covered a wide range of topics, including the basics of cabinet refacing, cost factors, DIY versus professional installation, material options, and the importance of selecting the right hardware. We’ve also delved into additional aspects like layout modifications, storage optimization, lighting, and staying updated with the latest trends.

While cabinet refacing can be a rewarding project, it’s essential to approach it with careful planning and consideration. Whether you’re aiming to transform your kitchen into a modern masterpiece or simply refresh its appearance, understanding the nuances of cabinet refacing is crucial.

By asking the right questions and making informed decisions at every step of the process, you can ensure that your cabinet refacing project yields a stunning and functional kitchen that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Remember to consult with experienced professionals, explore material options, and stay attuned to the latest design trends to achieve the kitchen of your dreams through cabinet refacing.

Read: Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets and Make Savings

Read: Benefits of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets and Ways to Save Money

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