Should You Reface Your Kitchen Cabinets Or Replace Them? Here Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Cabinet Refacing

7 February 2019
 Categories: , Blog


If you'd like to save money on your kitchen remodel, you may want to consider refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them. Refacing your cabinets updates their appearance while leaving the original cabinet boxes intact, which reduces on material and installation costs. Cabinets are a very large part of every kitchen remodel, so saving money on updating cabinetry is an attractive proposition for homeowners. However, there are some downsides to refacing your cabinets. The most significant is that you won't be able to change the layout of your cabinetry. To help you decide on refacing your cabinets or replacing them, here are the advantages and disadvantages of cabinet refacing.

What Is Cabinet Refacing?

When you have your kitchen cabinets refaced, their outer appearance is entirely changed while still keeping the original cabinet boxes. The hardware and drawers are removed and replaced, and then the face of the cabinet is sanded down in order to provide an even surface. Thin plastic laminate or wood veneers are glued on to the faces of your cabinetry using a very strong adhesive that's resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. Refacing allows you to entirely change the appearance of your kitchen cabinets without the hassle of removing your old cabinets and installing new ones.

What Are the Advantages of Cabinet Refacing?

The primary advantage of refacing your cabinets is cost — you can update your kitchen's look for a fraction of the cost of fully replacing your cabinets. Since cabinets are such a large part of a kitchen remodeling budget, saving money on cabinets by refacing them instead of replacing them can save you a significant amount of money on your remodel.

In addition, you have the same cabinet choices available to you as you would if you fully replaced your cabinets — if you see a set of kitchen cabinets you like in a kitchen showroom, you can order the same cabinet hardware, drawers and faces in order to reface your cabinets with the same appearance. You don't need to feel limited when you decide to save money by refacing your cabinets instead of replacing them.

What Are the Downsides of Cabinet Refacing?

The main downside of refacing your kitchen cabinets is that you're not able to change their layout. Your cabinets will still have the same arrangement and size after your remodel. If you're happy with your current kitchen cabinetry and only want to update their appearance, then refacing is a good option. However, if you have an outdated kitchen layout or cabinets that are too small or too difficult to reach, then you may want to pay the extra money for a full cabinet replacement.

The other downside of cabinet refacing is that you're left with the same cabinet boxes. In most cases, cabinet boxes last for a very long time without needing replacement. The main enemy of cabinet boxes is humidity — fluctuations in your home's humidity can cause your cabinet boxes to warp or crack. If you live in an area with humid summers and very dry winters, you may need to replace your cabinet boxes as part of a full kitchen cabinetry remodel.

Overall, the decision to reface your cabinets or replace them primarily comes down to how satisfied you are with your kitchen layout. While the appearance of your cabinetry is important in kitchen design, the layout plays a big role in making sure your kitchen is comfortable to use. If you dislike cooking in your kitchen because of its awkward cabinet design, then you may want to go ahead with full replacement of your kitchen cabinets. One way you can make the decision easier is to visit a kitchen showroom and imagine yourself cooking in the kitchens on display — modern kitchen design keeps usability in the forefront while still remaining beautiful, so some of the sample cabinet layouts can give you an idea of what cooking in a well-designed kitchen feels like.


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