Refacing vs. Replacing Kitchen Cabinets: What to Know






The choice of whether to reface or replace your kitchen cabinets is crucial if you’re sick of them and ready for a change. Although cabinets are a common fixture in many kitchens and bathrooms, at some point you might want to update your cabinets. You have a variety of options for altering the look or performance of your cabinets, including refacing and replacement. Which choice is the best? Your needs and the extent of the change you want to make will determine how to proceed.

In the kitchen, cabinets play a significant role and take up a lot of space, helping to define the space’s appearance and functionality. Given their significance, it is likely that if you don’t love your cabinets, you won’t love your kitchen either. Two options are typically considered by homeowners looking to update the appearance of their cabinetry: refacing or replacing;

Let’s define each choice first before going into its benefits and drawbacks.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing: Kitchen cabinet refacing is the process of replacing only the cabinet doors while keeping the cabinet boxes. The basic refacing project entails installing new cabinet door and drawer fronts and covering the exposed face frames of the cabinets with a matching wood or plastic veneer. This is a fantastic way to reduce expenses while remodeling.

Cabinet Replacing: Replacing your cabinets is exactly what it sounds like. Your old cabinets are all taken out, new ones are hung, and new doors and hardware are installed. Due to the complexity of the measuring and leveling components, this is typically done by professional installers.

Hiring professionals

A little guidance along the way can make the process go more smoothly. We always recommend choosing competent kitchen contractors to assist you in understanding the benefits and difficulties of refacing and replacing your kitchen cabinets. There are countless door styles, wood species, and paint or stain options available with custom kitchen cabinets.

Your preference for your current kitchen’s footprint will most likely determine which of these two options you select. The first thing to do is to go to your cabinets. Check your current cabinet boxes for any damage indicators, such as mold, mildew, crooked doors, or stuck drawer boxes. If you need to replace the cabinet boxes, your remodeling project will probably be more extensive.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing


  • Lower cost than replacement
  • Keeping cabinets out of landfills is better for the environment.
  • Less chaos and disturbance


  • Cabinet boxes need to be in good condition.
  • Every box is still the same size and is placed in the same places.
  • Interiors are not refaced.

Refacing your cabinets might be the best choice if you’re happy with the current design and they’re showing signs of wear and tear. You only need to replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts if the cabinet boxes are still in good shape.

Refacing your cabinet boxes is a quicker and less expensive way to completely change the look of your kitchen. You can reface your own kitchen cabinet doors and drawers yourself if you’re willing to do it. You’ll need to buy all the necessary supplies and hire the necessary tools.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Replacing


  • Allows you to add more space if necessary.
  • Enhanced resale value
  • Encourages you to rethink your kitchen entirely


  • Higher in expense than refacing
  • Massive disruption
  • Trashes cabinets that could be used

Although replacing all of your cabinets can be a challenging task, it can also be exciting. You are free to alter your design, add extra storage, or even new lighting. Most homeowners who choose replacement do so for reasons other than aesthetics. They desire a kitchen that not only reflects their style but also how they entertain, cook, and eat. In other words, new cabinets can change the layout of the kitchen to better suit the needs and habits of your family.


Though choosing between refacing and replacing cabinets can be driven by cost, keep the big picture in mind, especially if you’re doing a major kitchen remodel or addition. In those cases, replacing your cabinets makes more sense than refacing what you already have. If your cabinet boxes are in good shape and you aren’t planning a major kitchen remodel, refacing may be the best option.


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