Should I Replace My Kitchen Cabinets or Re-Face Them?

To replace or refurbish - that is the question. Should you look to upgrade your kitchen cabinetry in a holistic way, or should you try to save what you have through a surface refinishing? There are pros and cons to both sides, but one is usually better than the other. Let's take a look at some of the benefits on both sides. You should have this information handy so that you can make an informed decision about the process. This includes having a working knowledge so that you can have an in depth conversation with your cabinet designer.

The Cost Effective Upgrade

If you want your kitchen to look good without doing a complete remodel, then you may lean towards a refurbishment or a repaint. Cabinet refacing is a tool that you can use whether you have modern cabinetry or a California style kitchen. The cost of completely tearing apart a kitchen under any of these circumstances is usually higher than repainting or refurbishing.

There is also putting up with the hassle of tearing your entire kitchen apart. Not only will you have to deal with the loss of your kitchen, but you may even have to move out of your home for a time depending on the upgrades that you are looking to accomplish.

What Does Refacing a Kitchen Really Mean?

The basic refacing project is a compromise of a repainting and a complete refurbishment. Refacing means replacing only the cabinet doors or drawer fronts while maintaining your existing cabinet structure. The process then involves covering the face framing with your chosen wood stain or veneer.

Refacing a kitchen is like replacing the skin. You get the look that you want without the hassle of completely tearing up the kitchen or having to buy new cabinets. If you are working on a tight budget, refacing is definitely an option that you may want to consider. Experts say that you can save anywhere from 30% to 50% of the cost of a full cabinet replacement. You also get to choose between a large variety of customized colors and designs, so the final appearance will be a match for your vision.

Refaced cabinetry can also be combined with completely new cabinetry, but this is not always advisable. Consult with a trusted professional cabinet designer if you plan on conducting this kind of hybrid upgrade.

Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Refacing is not the right move for every kitchen, however. If the current structure of your cabinetry is not good, then you may not be able to reface it properly. Refacing does not work at all for cabinets that are falling apart or somehow damaged.

Some people mistakenly believe that refacing can solve a rusting issue. This is not true. Refacing does not solve structural issues, either. It may actually make these issues worse. In these cases, you will need to go for a full replacement. For best results, work alongside installers that are experienced in precisely leveling and setting your base cabinets.

The cost of fully replacing your cabinets will probably be more expensive than refacing or refurbishing. However, there are major advantages to upgrading your kitchen cabinetry in this way.

  • Durability – If you install new, contrator grade cabinets in your kitchen, you get the advantage of longevity. Because you will have an experienced team looking at the small details, you get cabinets that look great and stand up to wear and tear.
  • Long term cost savings – Although you will pay more up front for a complete replacement of your kitchen cabinets, you will save more over the long term. If you have cabinets that do not need constant refurbishing, then you don’t have to stop and spend money on fixes every month or two.
  • The newest styles – You will get more customization choices when you go with a full remodel of your kitchen cabinetry. If you are looking to upgrade into a trendy style, this is the best way to go. You also gain the ability to completely match your cabinets to the rest of your kitchen in a very detailed way. The result is a kitchen that you can enjoy more and also raise the value of your home when it is time to sell.
  • Raising your home value – Newer kitchen cabinetry work raises the overall value of your home more than a surface level upgrade. When you are trying to sell, you never know if your potential buyers will have experts on their side as well, telling them that a surface level upgrade is not enough.
  • A higher quality of living – For many homeowners, simply the knowledge of having new and upgraded features in a home improves the quality of life. There is also the quantifiable upgrade of having cleaner cabinets that create maximum space for storage.
  • The ability to easily upgrade – If you decide later to refurbish or reface your newly replaced cabinets, you can certainly do that. However, because you are beginning with a strong foundation, upgrades will become easier than they would if you were starting with an older structure. The result here is the best of both worlds. You gain a customized look, but you do not have to give up on a durable, meticulously structured foundation.

The bottom line – in most cases, replacing your cabinet structure completely is usually better than refurbishing it. You should always consult with a trusted professional before committing to any decision, but in most cases, you gain many more benefits with a full replacement. Consider the total investment that you make in your home on a daily basis. Is the small, one time investment in having great cabinetry really that expensive in comparison?

Citation Kitchens is a custom cabinet design & build company focused on providing the very best in quality, design and service. Our core attributes are dependability, resourcefulness, straightforward advice and empowering design. On the journey to your new design, we treat you like family. Give us a call or an email today for your initial cabinetry consultation.

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