The Pros and Cons of Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

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If you are thinking about upgrading your kitchen cabinets, you typically have two main choices, kitchen cabinet refacing or replacing your kitchen cabinets. Opting to get kitchen refacing services enables you to refresh your kitchen cabinets without the tedious process of removing and replacing them.

The process involves taking off the fronts of your cabinet doors and drawers to attach a fresh surface. Additionally, it could involve updating the hardware, such as hinges, handles, and drawer pulls.

The biggest advantage of kitchen refacing is that you get to keep the existing cabinet structure, which avoids the need for custom sizes and long processes.

On the other hand, replacing your kitchen cabinets involves removing the old cabinetry and installing new ones. This option is suitable when your existing cabinet boxes are damaged or sagging or if the layout is no longer functional for your needs.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Choosing to replace your kitchen cabinets enables you to significantly enhance your cabinet’s durability and lifespan.

However, keep in mind that replacing cabinets generally costs more than refacing due to the expenses associated with removing the old cabinets and installing the new ones.

If you are a homeowner and would like to upgrade your existing kitchen cabinets, here are some pros and cons of refacing kitchen cabinets to consider.

Pros of Kitchen Refacing

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Cost Savings Compared To Full Replacement

One of the key advantages of cabinet refacing over a full replacement is the potential for substantial cost savings.

This process involves updating the look of your cabinets without the need for extensive demolition and new installations, which are major contributors to the higher costs associated with full cabinet replacements.

By choosing to reface, homeowners can achieve a fresh kitchen aesthetic at a fraction of the cost.

Refacing typically costs 30% to 50% less than installing new cabinets, making it an attractive option for homeowners on a budget.

Faster Completion Time

Unlike the installation of new cabinetry, which can be time-consuming and costly, refacing utilizes existing cabinet structures, significantly reducing labor costs and renovation timelines.

This approach not only expedites the makeover process but also substantially decreases the mess and inconvenience typically associated with kitchen remodels, such as construction dust and debris.

Additionally, refacing provides an excellent opportunity to personalize your kitchen’s aesthetic with a variety of finishes, handles, and colors, breathing new life into your space with less hassle and investment.

Most cabinet refacing projects can be finished in a matter of days, minimizing disruption to your daily routine.

Minimal Disruption

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Unlike a complete kitchen renovation, which may require weeks of upheaval and inconvenience, cabinet refacing is a relatively non-invasive process. Contractors can work on the cabinet exteriors without disrupting the layout of your kitchen or interfering with plumbing, electrical, or other fixtures.

Eco-Friendly Alternative

In addition to being cost-effective and more efficient, refacing your cabinet also serves as a great eco-friendly alternative to cabinet replacements.

Cabinet refacing stands out as a sustainable kitchen update method, sharply decreasing landfill waste compared to full replacements. It also cuts down on the need for new materials, thus lowering the environmental impact of manufacturing and transportation.

This eco-friendly approach allows homeowners to stylishly refresh their kitchens without compromising on environmental values.

Since kitchen cabinet refacing does not involve complete demolition and reconstruction, this method preserves the bulk of your kitchen’s structure, drastically cutting down on construction waste and the extensive use of new resources.

Improved Resale Value

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Updating your kitchen cabinets through refacing can enhance the overall aesthetics and appeal of your home, potentially increasing its resale value. A modern and well-maintained kitchen is a major selling point for prospective buyers, making cabinet refacing a worthwhile investment.

Cons of Kitchen Refacing

Limited Design Choices

While refacing can give your kitchen a fresh look, the choices in finishes and styles are bound by the original cabinet structure. This can limit your ability to fully realize a specific design vision or match new, trendier styles that could require different cabinet shapes or functionalities.

Although it’s possible to choose another kitchen cabinet color, if you want a dramatic kitchen transformation, refacing your kitchen cabinets may not be the best option. 

The process doesn’t allow for significant alterations to your kitchen’s current layout or style, as it involves updating the look within the confines of your existing cabinetry.

Potential Underlying Structural Issues

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Some of the problems with refacing kitchen cabinets include the risk of not addressing deeper structural issues. Because kitchen cabinet refacing often only focuses on the exterior, there are instances where deeper structural issues such as water damage and mold are often overlooked.

Failing to immediately address these structural issues can result in frame damage or deterioration, possibly resulting in future complications and additional expenses.

Not Suitable For All Cabinet Types

Cabinet refacing can be a convenient option if your cabinets are structurally sound and made from materials that can support a new finish.

However, it’s not suitable for cabinets that are already deteriorating, made from metal, or designed with non-standard dimensions.

These types of cabinets might not hold up well to the refacing process, making replacement a better option for a long-lasting upgrade.

Limited Longevity

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While cabinet refacing can give your kitchen a facelift, the lifespan of the refaced cabinets may be shorter compared to brand-new cabinets.

Over time, wear and tear on the refaced surfaces may become more apparent, requiring maintenance or additional updates sooner than with new cabinets.

Potential Hidden Costs

While cabinet refacing is generally more affordable than full replacement, there may be hidden costs to consider. Additional expenses can arise if unexpected issues are discovered during the refacing process, such as the need for repairs or modifications to the existing cabinets.

Deciding if refacing suits your kitchen depends on your cabinets’ condition and your renovation goals. If your cabinets are in good shape and you’re satisfied with your kitchen’s layout, refacing is an efficient update.

However, if you’re aiming for a significant change or dealing with damaged cabinets, replacing them might be the better choice. Evaluating your needs, budget, and the scope of desired updates will inform your choice to reface or replace your cabinets.

Consult a Professional Before Starting Your Project

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Before starting your kitchen refacing project, it’s important to seek professional advice from kitchen cabinet experts, as they can give you a comprehensive assessment of the state of your kitchen and detect any underlying structural issues to avoid costly repairs in the future.

Additionally, these professionals are familiar with the latest trends, the best materials, and the latest technologies in kitchen design.

Consulting with a professional can unlock possibilities for your kitchen renovation that you might not have even thought of, ensuring the end result is both stunning and practical.

Experts help sidestep the typical errors seen in DIY projects, which can lead to savings in both time and money and significantly reduce your stress levels.

Furthermore, advice from a seasoned professional is indispensable in comprehending every aspect of your renovation. They assist in laying out a viable timeline and budget tailored to the intricacies of your project.

They’re your guide through any necessary legal procedures and can direct you to trustworthy contractors and quality materials, ensuring your renovation progresses without a hitch from start to finish.

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