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Is it Better to Replace or Reface Kitchen Cabinets?

To Replace or Reface? That is the Big Question

So, you’re going to change your kitchen cabinets. Planning this home improvement project can be exciting as you imagine the new looks you can achieve with a new color or theme. But through the course of your planning, you will encounter big dilemmas in finalizing your remodeling plans ( One of the biggest challenges is deciding whether you should go with cabinet refacing or replacing.

Let’s check out the following points and decide what option is best for your kitchen renovation.


This process involves: 1) installing brand new drawer fronts and cabinet doors; 2) painting or refinishing your existing storage areas; 3) installing new laminate veneer or new wood over existing cabinetry and drawers. To achieve a completely different look, the interiors of your cabinets can also be sanded, stained, or painted. Finally, new pulls, hinges, and handles are added to complete the transformation.

This is a great alternative for homeowners who can’t afford an overall remodeling of their cabinets since the costs are around 50 percent less and the work can be done in a shorter amount of time. Another great advantage is your kitchen can still be functional and your activities in the area won’t be disrupted that much since the process won’t require moving appliances. Families who can’t stall meal schedules will find this helpful. This is also beneficial in lessening your impact on the environment since you’ll be using less cabinet hardware and wood, glass, or other materials.


This requires taking down your existing cabinetry and replacing everything with new storage units. Obviously this means more cost and time spent on your kitchen remodeling. But before you disregard this option and stick to refacing, you should know that sometimes the latter process won’t work. Some sample situations are: 1) your current cabinets are not functional and are too small for your wide pans, tall fruit reserve jars, or other kitchenware; 2) your existing storage isn’t made of high-quality materials and is in bad shape already. Basically, if you need to redo your kitchen layout or change the overall design, then replacing is the way to go to achieve that.


A combination of refacing and replacing cabinetry is an option that not many homeowners think of. But this can actually be a great idea to consider when you need to improve the functionality and layout of just some of your cabinets while other units can be rehabbed. If you are also planning to bring in new appliances that won’t fit into your existing storage layout, then you can just replace the shelves or drawers located near the assigned spot of your new oven or refrigerator to accommodate its shape and size.


To determine what remodeling process will be best, you first need to identify what you want to achieve with the layout, functionality, and look of your new kitchen. Then consult with kitchen remodeling specialists like us and so we can plan the best design together.   


BY: Jim Scott

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