The Surprising Perks of Refacing vs Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

When considering kitchen remodeling projects, homeowners often deliberate the pros and cons of refacing their existing cabinets rather than doing a full replacement. While the upfront cost of new cabinets can seem daunting, refacing offers savings in more ways than one might expect.

Just what compelling advantages does a cabinet reface provide over a total rebuild?

Cost Savings

The bottom line budget differentiator makes remodeling ears perk up. The average cost of refacing kitchen cabinets ranges from $2,500 to $5,500, while a full replacement often starts around $10,000 and reaches $25,000 or more. By preserving your underlying framework rather than demolishing everything, you’ll save 40-60% on materials and labor.

Kitchen Refacing Kitchen Replacement
$3,000 – $7,000$10,000 – $30,000+

For homeowners quoted $15,000 to replace 12 cabinets, refacing with quality laminates cost just $6,000 while achieving their dream aesthetic.

Faster Timeline

Along with budget, homeowners cringe at the thought of their kitchens being disrupted for months. Refacing cabinets shaves significant time off the renovation calendar compared to demolishing and rebuilding.

pros and cons of refacing kitchen cabinets

The installation of custom-sized replacement doors and drawer fronts is less intensive than configuring an entire cabinet system from scratch. Precision measurements of existing spaces streamlines the process of tailoring new facade components for rapid mounting using durable adhesives as the primary technique.

Minimal Demolition

Some minor stripping of old surfaces occurs, but the underlying structures remain in place. New laminate or wood veneer surfaces adhere over stable side walls and interior divisions with few modifications. Unlike ripping everything out during replacements, most appliances and adjacent components of the room stay put.

Refacing savvy clients often rave over the swift 3-5 day revamps from blank canvasses to breathtaking spaces. Companies with refined techniques complete many jobs in just a few visits for customer delight.

Long-Lasting Updates

While refacing kitchen cabinets may not match the lifespan of brand new boxes, upgraded materials like thermofoil and high pressure laminates offer greater durability and longevity than traditional veneer. Their heat, moisture and impact resistance provide lasting protection paired with visual allure.

Sustainability Factors

For the eco-conscious homeowner, refacing offers a “greener” alternative that prevents adding cabinetry to overstuffed landfills. Salvaging the existing infrastructure definitely holds environmental advantages.

The EPA estimates over 9 million tons of furniture discards clutter landfills annually. Refacing reduces demolition debris dramatically by reusing intact cabinet shells.

Recycled and Renewable Materials

Many refacing materials also come from recycled and renewable sources like speedy-growing woods or reuse existing substrates in fabrication. Both contribute to lower embodied energy than newly constructed cabinets.

Approximately 600,000 tons of discarded kitchen cabinets clog landfills each year in North America. Refacing is an ethical means to curb waste.

Material and Design Options

Homeowners often want to update their style beyond a simple repaint. Refacing opens up a plethora of alternatives to create your dream aesthetic.

Choose from hundreds of door styles from shaker to slab to cathedral. Stains, glazes and painted finishes offer limitless customization. Display cabinets gain glass pane inserts to showcase treasured dishware.

Don’t underestimate the dramatic transformations from hardware upgrades as well. Drawer glides, knobs and pulls establish entirely fresh looks adapted to modern or traditional kitchens alike.

Mix and Match

Further elevate your design by mixing door styles, colors and finishes within the same kitchen. Contrasting textures from wood grains to sleek lacquers make stunning statements.

Update interior fittings like roll-out trays, lazy susans and other convenience add-ons to improve functionality in tandem with aesthetics.

Preserving Cabinet Boxes

The structural base of cabinets in older homes often offers footing superior to many new counterparts. All-wood joinery and solid hardwood frames withstand years of wear.

Ripping them out means losing quality bones and sinking unnecessary funds into fresh builds. Refacing preserves their integrity, saving thousands over replacing high-grade boxes.

Existing Cabinet GradeNew Cabinet Grade
All-wood joineryLaminated particleboard
Solid oak framesEngineered wood
Thick face framesThin veneers

Unless structurally unsound, capable cabinets gain revived beauty through refacing while avoiding replacement pitfalls.

Enhanced Features

Beyond outward aesthetic improvements, refacing introduces amenities absent from your original cabinets. Modernizing conveniences simplify daily tasks.

Storage Innovations

Insert pull-out shelves for easier access to goods in back corners. Roll-out tray dividers neatly organize cooking tools that were once chaotic piles. spin shelves and lazy susans transform confined corner openings into functional space.

Effortless Motions

Smooth retracting drawers with self-closing hinges prevent slammed fingers and noisy banging. child safety catches, touch latches and self-opening mechanisms all provide safer, more user-friendly environments.

Refacing facilitates introducing these refined details found in up-to-date cabinet models without astronomical costs of full swaps.

Ideal Candidates for Refacing

Specific circumstances better suit a refacing approach as opposed to complete kitchen overhauls. As long as underlying cabinet structures remain physically sound, many kitchens prove great prospects.

Kitchens Retaining Current Layouts

If your existing workflow and footprint meet household needs, refacing simply slaps on a fresh facade. New cabinets often involve reworking appliance locations and traffic flows.

High-Quality Cabinet Boxes

Kitchens with durable hardwood boxes and solid faceframe bones retention preserves their enduring materials. Refacing then revives their internal function.

Logistically Difficult Spaces

Navigating cabinet demolition and replacement in small, awkward spaces with limited access intensifies projects. Refacing avoids extensive modifications in troublesome floorplans.

Drawbacks to Consider

Despite advantages in cost and sustainability, refacing kitchen cabinets isn’t the optimal choice for every homeowner. Limitations related to layout, integrating components and longevity remain.

Restricted Layout Changes

Homeowners seeking revamped kitchen workflows cannot extensively move cabinet footprints or appliances easily. Those desiring wide-open concept living should opt for full-blown remodels permitting such flexibility.

Intermingling old boxes with brand new ones risks inconsistent finishes and less than seamless cohesion as well. Blending elements tends to work best installing completely new systems.

Shorter Lifespans Than Replacements

Brand new cabinets made of moisture-resistant engineered woods supported by warranties promise 20+ years over refurbished units with older core materials. Consider lifespan budgets when determining the ideal investment.

Renovation decisions require weighing numerous factors from cost to longevity and style. When existing cabinet bones boast quality craftsmanship however, refacing serves up savvy solutions.

Before resignedly defaulting to high-price demolitions explorations of refacing potential surprises many homeowners in affordability and sustainability. Revive rather than remove for wins all around!

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