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Reface or Replace: Which is Best for My Cabinets?

kitchen countertop and cabinets

Cabinets take up a lot of real estate in the kitchen, so it’s no surprise they’re usually #1 on homeowners’ to-do lists when they’re looking to give their space a makeover.

But when it comes to updating cabinets, you’ve got options — and typically, it comes down to refacing and replacing.

So, what’s best: refacing or replacing?

Well, the answer isn’t that simple. The best option for you will depend on a few factors, including:

In this blog, we’ll give you the rundown on how each of the above factors can impact your decision, so you can figure out the best makeover option for you.

First, though, let’s quickly define the differences between refacing and replacing cabinets.

Ready to take the first step in your cabinet makeover journey? Schedule an appointment with our experts online or by calling us at (480) 641-9611.

Looking for a little more information about your cabinet upgrade options? Check out our pages on cabinet refinishing, cabinet refacing, and cabinet remodeling.

Refacing vs. replacing: What’s the difference?

Before you can decide the best course of action, it’s important to understand the difference between refacing and replacing.

Cabinet refacing means replacing cabinet doors and applying a veneer or new paint or finish over the boxes of the cabinets. However, this process can vary depending on which company you hire.

Some companies apply cheap, peel-and-stick veneers on cabinet boxes and replace the doors. Unfortunately, cabinets that are covered with veneers rather than a high-grade finish don’t last as long and are known to chip, warp and peel more easily compared to those coated with a durable finish.

More reputable companies, like Cabinet Coatings, never use cheap veneers. Instead, we install brand new, solid-wood doors and drawer fronts, update hardware and apply our ultra-durable coating to cabinet boxes. We also apply a high quality, durable finish that lasts much longer than peel and stick veneers. Keep in mind, a quality refacing can last decades, while peel-and-stick veneers can start to peel after a year.

See more details about Cabinet Coatings’ cabinet refacing services.

Cabinet replacing/remodeling means your existing cabinets will be completely removed and new cabinets will be installed. While refacing only impacts the look of your cabinets themselves, replacing can completely alter the appearance and design of your kitchen by giving you the opportunity to change the layout and functionality.

See more details about Cabinet Coatings’ cabinet remodeling services.

Now that you understand the difference between refacing, let’s get into the factors that can help you decide between them.

Factor #1: Your current layout

Before you make any decisions, you’ll want to ask yourself if you’re satisfied with the current layout of your cabinets. If you’re happy with the amount of storage, counter space and overall functionality of your kitchen, refacing may be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re in need of extra storage, more countertop space or you just feel like your current layout doesn’t provide the functionality your kitchen needs, then replacing your cabinets with new ones may be the right choice. Replacing cabinets allows you to fundamentally change the layout of your kitchen or create custom cabinets that are designed for your unique needs.

Factor #2: The current condition of your cabinets

The next thing to consider is the current condition of your cabinets, inside and out.

Are your cabinets well-built and sturdy? Do your drawers slide smoothly? If your cabinets are in good shape, but you’re just looking to change their appearance, refacing would be your best option.

If the exterior of your cabinets is starting to bubble or peel, or if you notice water damage or warping, it may be time to replace your cabinets with new ones. If you’re unsure about the condition of your cabinets, a professional contractor can help you determine the best solution.

Factor #3: Other major changes to your kitchen

Are you only interested in making changes to your cabinets or is your cabinet makeover part of a larger remodel?

If you’re already replacing major appliances or installing new countertops, it may be wise to consult with a professional to determine if your cabinets should be part of the remodel. You could end up paying more by having two separate projects going on.

However, if your cabinets are the only thing on the to-do list, they’re in good shape overall and you’re not making changes to your kitchen’s layout, refacing is a great choice.

Factor #4: How much you want to spend

And finally, determining your budget will help you decide which option makes the most sense. Refacing is the more budget-friendly option. With refacing, you can achieve a brand-new look at a fraction of the price of a full remodel or replacement.

Refacing costs:

The average price of a professional cabinet refacing project typically ranges between $5,000 and $15,000.

Replacing costs:

The average price of a professional cabinet replacing project typically ranges between $7,000 and $30,000.

It’s important to note that overall cost can vary greatly for either option. Pay careful consideration to the contractor you hire for your cabinet project, the quality of materials and the number of cabinets. These factors, among others, can impact price.

Not sure if either of these options work for you?

If you’re looking for another way to give your cabinets a new look, refinishing is another makeover option to consider.

Generally speaking, cabinet refinishing restores your existing cabinet doorsand boxes to make them appear new. Most cabinet refacing and refinishing companies will sand, prime and clean your current cabinets and boxes before applying a new finish (coating, stain, laminate, veneer, etc.).

Both refinishing and refacing are less expensive alternatives to complete cabinet remodeling or replacement.

Ready for your cabinet upgrade?

Cabinet Coatings is the premier destination in the Phoenix valley and Arizona for cabinet refacing and replacing projects. No other cabinetry business in the valley has been around as long as we have. And that experience shows in our work every day.

If you have a project in mind that you’re excited to get started, then give us a call today at (480) 641-9611 or contact us online.

Tim Statezny