Reface or Replace Kitchen Cabinetry? Let’s Explore the Pros and Cons:

By Bonnie Dietrich, Design and Sales Consultant, Allentown, and Jim Rhoads, Corporate Sales Manager

Cabinets like these can compete in price with a refacing project. Visit our showroom to learn more about these styles.

Refacing or replacing kitchen cabinetry are the two major options for updating your kitchen cabinetry. Both options have their pros and cons, so always encourage customers to consider them carefully.

Ultimately, your choice to reface or replace kitchen cabinetry will hinge on the goals you want to accomplish in your kitchen. Are you making it pretty for resale? Do you love the layout but want a fresh look? Are the cabinets in good condition but outdated? Would you like to make a few changes to your layout? Do you want to incorporate some of the latest organizational and operational innovations to keep your kitchen organized and running smoothly?

Compare costs
Many people assume that refacing is less expensive than replacing. But that isn’t always the case. We have several examples where our cabinetry estimates plus installation matched or were even less expensive than the estimate for refacing a kitchen. Much depends on the quality of cabinetry and the finish you are seeking.

More than a pretty face
Customers who ultimately choose to replace feel they can get more for their money with new cabinetry. Their new cabinets come with a warranty, and they have the flexibility to change their layout around. They can also take advantage of new storage and fresh hardware options including:

  • Lazy susans
  • Roll-out drawers
  • Pullout racks and organizers
  • New guides and clips
  • Internal hinges
  • Smooth-guide systems
  • Full-extension drawers
  • Soft-close drawers and doors

The reface value
Refacing can be an effective option if you simply want to spruce things up a bit. Before moving forward with this option, make sure that your cabinets are still in good condition. Things to look for are:

  • Bowing
  • Cabinets pulling away from the wall
  • Broken hinges or guides

These significant structural problems will not disappear with a fresh face and indicate that replacement is your best option. Also, ask how the refacing contractor plans to do the work. If it will be completed at your home, be prepared for a messy process!

Some considerations
If you’re leaning toward replacing your cabinetry, talk to your supplier about toe space. If you are not planning to replace your floor, the toe space of your cabinetry selection is an important consideration.

Remember, even if you don’t reface your cabinets, you may still be able to get value from them in your mudroom, basement or garage. And there’s quite a market for used cabinetry, if you’re willing to sell it!

Don’t underestimate the possibilities
No matter which way you are leaning, we recommend getting estimates on both refacing and replacing kitchen cabinetry. The results may surprise you and open up additional opportunities that you didn’t think were possible. To discuss your replacement cabinetry options, stop by our showroom and talk to our knowledgeable, experienced kitchen design consultants! They can help you with detailed measurements, estimates and product information.