Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacement: The Cost Comparison

May 5, 2024

Is It Cheaper to Replace or Reface Kitchen Cabinets


Key Highlights

  • Refacing cabinets costs less than replacing them.
  • Refacing cabinets can freshen up your kitchen without a full remodel.
  • Cabinet refacing costs vary based on renovation size, materials, and labor.
  • Can reface a cabinet on almost any budget. It can cost from under $1,000 to over $15,000.
  • Refacing cabinets is eco-friendly. It means refinishing the current cabinet boxes.


Deciding whether to replace or reface cabinets is critically important when renovating kitchens.

Cabinets are a great influence on your decor and productivity. Taking out old cabinet doors depends on hand warming and kicks. Adding new ones is more expensive but this replacement involves removing and installing new cabinets.

Refacing updated doors and fronts is a less costly alternative.

Examine the costs, steps, and benefits of refacing versus replacing to select the best choice for your kitchen remodeling project.

Understanding Cabinet Refacing and Replacement

Before we compare costs, it’s good to know the basics. Refacing updates cabinet looks without changing the structure. It means new doors, fronts, and finishes while keeping the existing boxes and drawer boxes intact. On the flip side, replacing cabinets means taking out the old ones and putting in new ones, including new cabinet doors, which might need pro help and extra expenses like tearing down and disposing of old materials.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Refacing is a popular choice for kitchen facelifts that doesn’t involve a full replacement. During the refacing process hinges are moved from their current position and doors and drawer fronts are exchanged with new ones made into different materials like wood or laminate.

It may also include adding a new finish to the cabinet boxes to match the updated doors, giving a fresh look. This option is suitable for those happy with their cabinet layout but looking to enhance the appearance.

What Does Cabinet Replacement Entail?

Cabinet replacement signifies changing old cabinets for new ones, a process that takes time and costs money. The new means taking down existing cabinets and putting up replacements.

Professional help is usually needed for cabinet replacement. It might involve demolition, disposal, and adjustments for new cabinets.

This could mean changing the layout, doing electrical and plumbing work, and adding new countertops. Though it allows a fresh kitchen design, cabinet replacement is pricier than refacing.

Cost Comparison: Refacing vs. Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Costs are one of the main considerations for homeowners. They must choose between refacing and replacing kitchen cabinets.

  • Cabinet replacement offers a completely new look and design at a higher price
  • Cabinet refacing provides a fresh and updated look at a more cost-effective price
  • Cabinet refacing beats out the initial costs of cabinet replacement when compared directly
  • Kitchen cabinet refacing typically costs on the order of $1,350 to $12,500. Most homeowners who have this work done spend in the vicinity of $3,925
  • Custom cabinetry in a large kitchen may well push the replacement price ahead of $24,600 if choosing to replace.

Initial Costs and Budget Considerations

When thinking about changing kitchen cabinets, consider initial costs and budget. Refacing needs less labor than replacing. This can lower costs.

Overall cost depends on project size, materials, upgrades, and modifications. Material costs for refacing vary based on finish and quality. Wood veneer or laminate is cheaper than solid wood.

Labor prices change depending on project complexity and professional rates. Set a budget and think about all factors when choosing between refacing or replacing cabinets.

Long-Term Value and ROI of Each Option

When deciding between replacing or refacing kitchen cabinets, consider costs, long-term value, and ROI. Refacing can update the look, appeal to buyers, and increase home value.

It’s a cost-effective way to enhance aesthetics without a full remodel. On the other hand, replacement brings a bigger transformation and may raise home value but requires a higher initial investment with potentially less ROI than other projects.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Cabinet Refacing

Figuring out the factors that affect cabinet refacing costs allows you to decide how much of a project you want to budget for.

  • Refacing the choice of materials, like wood veneer, laminate, and other materials all affect the price.
  • Wood veneer is generally more expensive than laminate but can bring a richer look and durability than the latter
  • The size and layout of your kitchen also play a role in cost, with large kitchens needing more materials and labor
  • Labor can range widely in price, depending on the location and complexity of the project

Material Choices for Refacing

When you want to reface cabinets, you have a choice of materials. Your choice affects cost, durability, and appearance.

  • Wood veneer: Known for its natural and fancy appearance, available in various wood types with unique patterns and colors.
  • Laminates: The synthetic materials are varied in color and texture. Much cheaper than veneer.
  • Thermofoil: The surface is smooth with a glossy look. Acrylic gives an ultramodern appearance to cabinets.

The Size and Layout of Your Kitchen

The cost of refacing kitchen cabinets depends on the kitchen size and layout. More cabinets mean higher costs. Bigger kitchens need more materials and labor, increasing expenses. Each cabinet door replacement adds to costs.

Kitchen size affects labor costs too. Large kitchens need more time and effort, raising labor expenses. Unique cabinets or custom features can increase costs due to extra labor. Complex features may require more work.

Advantages of Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing to reface kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them has benefits. It’s cheaper and faster, providing kitchen remodeling at a fraction of the cost. Refacing is speedy, done in days versus weeks for a replacement, with less disturbance.

You can still use your kitchen normally during the process. Different materials and finishes can give your kitchen a fresh appearance without significant renovations.

Less Time-Consuming Than Full Replacement

Cabinet refacing is quicker than replacing cabinets. It updates the look in days, not weeks. Refacing focuses on doors and fronts, causing less disruption.

Yet, durability may not match new cabinets since only the appearance changes. Despite this, it enhances kitchen aesthetics affordably.

Minimal Disruption to Daily Life

Redoing or painting kitchen cabinets to update them can be a pricey project, but minor refinishing causes little disruption. It can revive a dated look and update old kitchen designs

It is much more convenient for people who live in their homes to just have minor things done such as refacing kitchen cabinets instead of taking out all of the bins and going there. With less mess and noise, refinishing is a great way to update your kitchen without spending a fortune.

When to Consider Cabinet Replacement Over Refacing

Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective option for many homeowners, but cabinet replacement may be more suitable in certain situations. Factors to consider include the extent of structural damage, desired layout changes, and custom storage needs.

Structural Damage and Considerations

Consider replacing cabinets instead of refacing them when there’s severe damage. If frames are in bad condition due to water damage or warping, it’s better to replace them.

New cabinets ensure structural support and a fresh start if the existing ones are poorly installed or damaged. But if the cabinets are in good shape, refacing can update their look without major renovations.

Desire for a Completely New Kitchen Layout

If you want to change your kitchen completely, replacing cabinets might be best. Refacing only updates how cabinets look outside without changing the whole kitchen layout.

By replacing the cabinets, you can create a new layout that better fits your needs. This might include rearranging wall units, adding or taking away some, and switching appliances and fixtures around.

When you are remodeling big-time with new countertops, flooring or backsplash, it is more feasible to replace cabinets. It helps create a unified design that transforms your entire kitchen area.

How to Decide Between Refacing and Replacing

Deciding between changing or updating your kitchen cabinets can be tough. To decide well, check your needs, talk to pros, and think about your budget.

See if your cabinets are in good shape or need repairs. Think about the kitchen layout you want and how updates can help.

Talk to experts like cabinet refacing services for advice. They can suggest what’s best for your renovation plans.

Assessing Your Kitchen’s Needs and Your Budget

Assess your kitchen’s needs and budget. Use this to decide between refacing and replacing the cabinets. Check your cabinets for damage, review the layout’s functionality, and assess if modifications are needed.

Consider your renovation budget to determine the best option. Keep in mind that cabinet replacement may be costlier due to labor and materials. Factor in any additional upgrades planned for a cohesive kitchen design.

Consulting with Cabinet Refacing Professionals

If you’re unsure about replacing or refacing kitchen cabinets, ask cabinet refacing pros for advice. JMT Cabinets specializes in updating cabinet looks, providing cost, assessing your cabinets, and suggesting options.

Professionals can help with materials, finishes, and customization to achieve your desired look. Consulting them ensures a satisfactory project result that meets your expectations.


When deciding whether to replace or reface your kitchen cabinets, factors such as budget, time, and the results play into it. While refacing your cabinets provides a less expensive, less jarring alternative with ongoing convenience; ripping them out from the walls besides giving a fresh start may lead you in entirely new directions.

But think, which choice will bring the longer return on investment to your kitchen? If you’re unsure which way the decision should go, getting in touch with cabinet refacing pros is a good option. Making an informed decision means that your kitchen renovation will allow you to achieve the results you want within budget. Feel free to get in touch for more personalized advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Long Does Cabinet Refacing Typically Last?

    Our refaced cabinets last several years due to the quality of our materials and workmanship.

  • Does Cabinet Refacing Increase Home Value?

    With cabinet refacing, you can bring your kitchen back up to modern-day standards. In addition to years of enjoyment from having a bright new kitchen, chances are potential buyers will find an updated look more appealing.

  • What is included in cabinet refacing?

    Cabinet refacing includes getting new doors and drawer fronts to replace those currently in place. It may also involve putting a new veneer on the cabinet boxes for them to match their new doors. New hardware such as hinges, handles, and drawer pulls can be installed as well.

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