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Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing vs Replacement: Which Do You Need?

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing vs Replacement: Which Do You Need?

As you know, the kitchen is the most popular room in the house. And living with tired and damaged cabinetry can be depressing.

Homeowners have two choices: replace or reface kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet refacing can mean replacing the drawer fronts and cabinet doors. Or it can mean paint or refinish the existing fronts.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about both options. Including the pros and cons of replacing and refacing cabinets in your kitchen.

Pros of Refinishing Cabinets

Cabinet refacing costs approximately half the price of replacing cabinets. This is one of the biggest benefits to opting to reface kitchen cabinets.

Many homeowners choose to do the cabinet refacing themselves which also saves them money.

Also, it’s more environmentally friendly since you won’t be throwing away your existing cabinets.

One of the best things about cabinet refacing is that you can leave all your appliances plugged in and in place. That means that even while you’re kitchen is under renovation, it is still functional.

Refacing cabinets is faster than replacing cabinets. It often takes less than a week from start to finish.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Cons

When you reface kitchen cabinets, you aren’t changing the layout of your kitchen. So, if the space is poorly designed and not functional, a new look to the cabinets won’t change that.

Also, because cabinet refacing is less expensive. Some homeowners splurge on costly hardware or veneer. Then, the savings compared to cabinet replacing may not be there.

Also, there is some skill required to successfully reface kitchen cabinets. If you aren’t handy at all, you could run into problems.

Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of replacing your cabinets altogether.

Pros of Cabinet Replacement

When you completely replace your tired kitchen cabinets, you can move things around. Basically, you’re starting with a blank canvas and can even move the placement of the sink or stove. Of course, that means that the cost of your project goes up.

Brand new cabinets allow you to choose whatever you want. From pull-out shelves, and custom-sized cabinets to deep drawers and built-in dividers, you can have it exactly as you want.

You also get to choose the materials and colors. There are truly countless style and color options available.

Cons of Cabinet Replacement

The main con of cabinet replacement is the cost. You’ll pay twice as much or more to replace your cabinets compared to cabinet refacing.

Also, this project will take longer. Your contractor will have to pull out the old cabinets. You’ll first have to take everything out of your cabinets and find where to store them.

You’ll also likely have to move your appliances. And find another place to eat while your kitchen is under construction.

Cabinet replacement can be quite loud and messy.

How Long Does it Take?

Simply replacing the front of the cabinets could be complete in just one weekend. Of, if you plan to strip the old cabinets and either stain or paint them, it could take a couple of weekends.

Learn the proper way to paint from start to finish to make sure the job looks professional.

The cabinet replacement timeline depends on your contractor. If your cabinets are being custom built, your project will start later than you’d probably like.

Also, do you have one worker or a crew? Is your contractor coming each day until the project is done or for set times during the week?

Often, contractors book multiple jobs at once. Make sure you ask how long the project will take before you choose a contractor.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

If you still aren’t sure whether to replace or reface kitchen cabinets, here are a few other factors to consider.

Cabinet Interiors

With new cabinets, new interiors are included. But if you choose to reface kitchen cabinets, you should think about updating the insides too.

You can sand, paint or veneer your interiors for a different style. And you can add pull out drawers or lazy susans into your cabinetry while the doors are off.

Consider Open Shelving

If you have older cabinets that are still in decent shape, you might want to think about open shelving.

You can remove the doors and keep them off. You could reconfigure the shelves for a new look.

You can even add beadboard backs or paint the interiors a different color. Both are fun ways to add a bit of fresh air to your kitchen for less.

Replace and Refinish

There’s no law that says you can replace and refinish your cabinets.

Certain cabinets naturally get a lot more use. These ones wear out much sooner than the rest.

You could replace these and refinish the cabinets that are holding up well. This is a practical way to save money and send fewer materials to the landfill.

And in the end, you’re adding value to an aging home. The project would be one of the top priorities if your house is looking a little dated and beat up.

Don’t Forget Hardware

Regardless of whether you choose to replace or refinish your cabinets, don’t neglect the finishing touch.

The hardware you choose for your drawer pulls and cabinet knobs can make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen.

From modern to farmhouse fresh, there are hardware options for every decor.

Bottom Line

Thanks for reading. We hope this guide on kitchen cabinet refacing and replacing has helped you make an educated decision about your kitchen.

Remember, the right decision depends on how long you plan to stay in the house, your budget, and ultimately how quickly you want the project done.

Next, learn how to repair faucets and sinks and save yourself a call to the plumber.