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By : D. More, 01-29-2016

Kitchen cabinets do more than just hold your cups, plates, and pasta – they give your kitchen a funky, fresh look. Besides your countertops and appliances, the cabinets really define the appeal of your kitchen. Worn-out and outdated cabinet can ruin the appearance of your kitchen, even when all the other elements are updated in the space. One great way of adding an instant update is by replacing them, but refacing them can also be a great option depending on the budget and condition of your cabinets.

Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Refacing involves installation of new drawer fronts and cabinet doors, as well as covering the cabinets' exposed face frames with plastic or wood veneer. The process can take 2 to 4 days depending on kitchen size. All the drawer fronts and doors must be removed when refacing and the old finish roughed up to ready the surface for a new coating. The new coating is either nailed or glued over the old finish to achieve the desired look.

Replacing cabinets can be quite involving and it could take much longer if the ordering and planning of the new cabinets is taken into consideration. Keep in mind that the old cabinets have to be removed and their contents packed away. Although some homeowners can replace the cabinets by themselves, hiring a professional contractor is ideal, since they have the experience in measuring and planning to ensure that your cabinets fit in your kitchen perfectly.

Designing your Cabinets

You typically have 3 options for finish when refacing your cabinets - wood veneer, rigid thermo-foils (RTF), and plastic laminates. You can find laminates in a wide array of colors, although their use is limited to plain cabinet styles due to their rigidity. RTFs can be shaped into a variety of styles as they are made by flexible vinyl foil on medium density fiberboard (MDF). With wood veneer, you can easily get the warm, natural wood look on your cabinets, but you will pay more compared to RTF and laminates.

Replacing your cabinets has expanded options when it comes to cabinet designs, depending on your kitchen size, home decor, and your budget. You can have your cabinets in a wide variety of colors, sizes, styles, and materials.

Cost Comparisons

When you opt to reface your kitchen cabinets, you will notice that it is considerably cheaper than replacing them. Depending on the materials you want and the size of your kitchen, you can save almost half of what you would have spent replacing them, even at the high cost range. Replacing your cabinets includes several hidden costs that must be accounted for in a full remodel. For instance, you need to add the costs of molding, door handles, trim, and delivery charges. Moreover, any walls that were damaged or left exposed after the replacement need to be refinished, which adds on to the total cost.


A few decades ago, most kitchen cabinets were custom-made with high quality solid wood, constructed in place with excellent construction. The actual construction materials of the cabinets - including the sides, shelves, and surfaces - were stronger and more durable compared to new assembly line made cabinets. They might tend to look great in the store, but don't hold up as well for daily use.

Lead Paint

Despite the several benefits of refacing over replacing your cabinets, sometimes refacing may not be ideal. If your entire kitchen cabinetry was constructed and painted before 1978, the paint is likely to have lead on it. Disturbing or sanding this paint could lead to lead permeating your kitchen if it is not done properly. Although a professional who understands lead abatement can reface the cabinetry effectively, replacing it is the only way to be sure.

Limited Modification Options

Some older houses might have sagging or bowing cabinetry if they were not designed or built well in the first place. Refacing won't fix bad design or poor construction. In such cases, replacing your cabinetry is the best option.

You now have the pros and cons and it is up to you to make an informed decision to begin building your dream kitchen. 

D. More is a home improvement specialist and successful business owner. Check out his site, for the best in home remodeling.

To get connected with a kitchen cabinet professional or contractor in your area, consider submitting a request through EZBZ. It's free, and takes just thirty seconds. 
Thank you, for the information.
For replacements, remodeling and repairs, a must advisable fact is to get a professional hired for well done output. Recently, my uncle got a similar refurnished kitchen and living room, with a beautified outlook. He even went on some official websites like and got into clear view conclusion. Preferably you can go with the same. Good luck!
Michael Kuhn
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