Cabinets-to Reface or Replace? That is the question.


Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is a great way to add value and update your home. These rooms are two of the the most important rooms in your home to buyers when they are shopping for their dream home. You will recoup more of the money invested in a remodel by updating these rooms than any other rooms in your home. A complete kitchen remodel including replacing cabinets can be quite expensive since it is labor intensive involving tear out, building new cabinets, plumbing, electrical, and finally installation. Add to that the cost of materials-cabinets, counters, backsplash, sink, hardware, plumbing, appliances, etc. If you’re on a tighter budget or happy with your cabinets and just want a newer look, an affordable option is to simply reface the existing cabinets.

There are several considerations in addition to budget before determining which way is best for your project. First determine if your cabinets are sturdy and structurally sound with no water or other damage. If they are very old and damaged they may not take the refacing process well and you will not be satisfied with the results. In that case your only option is to replace them. Once you have determined if the cabinets are fine to reface you have other decisions to make.

You can keep the cabinets as is and simply have them painted or stained. You may want to update the style of the doors and drawers to a more updated style such as Shaker style doors. Shaker style doors are very popular, classic and blend nicely with many design styles.Keep in mind, however that 75% of the cost of cabinetry is the in the frame and doors. Replacing them will not be significantly less expensive than completely replacing the entire cabinet. Next decision is stain or paint and choosing a color. Chose a stain or paint color that coordinates and compliments your counters and floors. Next you can change or add new hardware pulls and knobs in a finish that suits the rooms other fixtures.

If your budget allows you may decide to change the counters in addition to refacing the cabinets. Quartz is becoming the preferred counter material of late. It has all the excellent qualities of granite and requires no sealing so there is less maintenance and cost. There are many pattern choices from solid to some with more movement resembling granite. If you add new counter material you will want to select a new sink and faucet. A full remodel would include appliances and even flooring. The options are only limited to your budget and requirements. Whatever you decide, replace or reface, the cabinets will get a needed facelift and give you the feeling of a new room to enjoy.

As always when in doubt, consult with an Interior Designer who is experienced with both processes for good advice and trusted trades to help you with your project.