Kitchen Cabinet Redo: Replace or Reface?

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If you’re planning on kitchen remodeling, then it’s highly likely that kitchen cabinets are a big priority. That’s no surprise since updating kitchen cabinets is one of the top ways to modernize your kitchen. They also can be one of the greatest kitchen remodeling expenses. New kitchen cabinets can exhaust almost 50% of your kitchen renovation budget. If you’re unsure if you can afford to devote this much of your kitchen renovation budget to new cabinets, there’s another option: kitchen cabinet refacing. When deciding whether to replace or reface kitchen cabinets, there are many things to consider.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

If you truly enjoy the layout of your existing kitchen but just want to get an updated look, then refacing may be the right choice for you. You’ll need to make sure that the basic cabinet structure is in good condition first. You don’t want to “throw good money after bad money,” as the saying goes. It makes better sense to replace cabinetry if it wasn’t high-quality to begin with. You may want to consult an expert to inspect your existing cabinets to search for traces of water damage or excessive wear and tear or even faulty construction.

The Basic Process of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

The estimate for typical completion of cabinet refacing is only a few days, since it’s a much less involved process than cabinet replacement. Another huge benefit of cabinet refacing is that the kitchen stays functional during the redo, since the appliances don’t have to be removed. A functional kitchen during remodeling is a huge plus! The other benefit, of course, is the financial one. Kitchen cabinet refacing costs approximately 40-50% less than replacing kitchen cabinets. There are three primary ways to reface cabinets:

1.) Install brand new fronts on each cabinet and drawer.

2.) Paint or refinish current cabinet and drawer fronts.

3.) Install new laminate or wood veneer on top of old cabinet and drawer fronts.

Once the refacing is accomplished, you’ll want to add updated hinges and handles. Some homeowners also consider further updates with glass, crown molding, or a custom pot drawer. And don’t forget the insides of the cabinets can get a makeover too. You might want to make them more functional by adding pull-out drawers and/or rotating shelves.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

If the original kitchen cabinets are in good condition and of quality construction, refacing may not be the best option if your current cabinet design or kitchen layout doesn’t feel efficient or functional. If you are looking for major design or kitchen layout changes, those can be better accomplished by replacing kitchen cabinets. For instance, consider your current cabinets. Are they deep enough for your saucepans? Are they tall enough to accommodate your baking trays? If not, that’s a design flaw that you can’t fix with refacing. You’ll want to go with replacing.

Another alternative for homeowners with older cabinets in good condition is to consider converting to open shelving. Cabinet doors can be entirely removed, while interior shelves are removed or reconfigured inside the existing frames. Some people consider refinishing the interior in a different color from the exterior for a dramatic contrast.  Another fun design option is to add beadboard backs. Either option can result in a fresh new trendy look for your kitchen cabinets!

Mix-and-Match Option

One final option for consideration is the mix-and-match, which experts say many homeowners overlook.  With this kitchen redo option, some existing cabinets are refaced, while other existing cabinets are entirely replaced. You may have original upper glass cabinets in part of your kitchen, for example, that you wish to keep, while the lower cabinets may need to be refaced for an updated look.

Whichever option you go with, be sure to consult a professional. A professional can help you with everything from design recommendations to most efficient layouts for your kitchen. This will ensure that your kitchen cabinet redo results in cabinets that are not only beautiful, but efficient as well!

Are you ready for a kitchen redesign that includes updated cabinets? Call us at 952-985-5383 for a free consultation.


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