Is It Cheaper To Reface Or Replace Cabinets?

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Is It Cheaper to Replace or Reface Kitchen Now


When it comes to kitchen or bathroom renovations, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to reface or replace your cabinets. Cabinets are a major focal point in any space, and they can significantly impact the overall look and functionality of the room. However, cost is also an important factor to consider. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of refacing and replacing cabinets, and determine which option is cheaper.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing involves replacing the doors and drawer fronts of your cabinets, while keeping the existing cabinet boxes intact. The process also includes applying a new veneer to the visible parts of the cabinets, such as the face frames and exposed sides. This gives your cabinets a fresh, updated look without the need for a full replacement.

What is Cabinet Replacement?

Cabinet replacement, on the other hand, involves completely removing the old cabinets and installing brand new ones. This option allows for more flexibility in terms of design and functionality, as you can choose from a wide range of styles, materials, and configurations.

The Cost of Refacing Cabinets

Refacing cabinets is generally considered to be a more cost-effective option compared to full replacement. On average, refacing cabinets can cost around 30% to 50% less than replacing them. The exact cost will depend on factors such as the size of your kitchen or bathroom, the materials used, and any additional features or upgrades you choose.

The Benefits of Refacing Cabinets

There are several benefits to choosing cabinet refacing over replacement. Firstly, it is a much quicker process, often taking only a few days to complete. This means less disruption to your daily routine during the renovation. Additionally, refacing cabinets produces less waste, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Lastly, if your existing cabinets are still in good condition and you’re happy with the layout, refacing allows you to keep the elements you like while giving them a fresh new look.

The Limitations of Refacing Cabinets

While refacing cabinets can be a cost-effective solution, it does have its limitations. For example, if your cabinets are damaged or have structural issues, refacing may not be possible or practical. Additionally, refacing will not address any underlying problems with the cabinet boxes, such as warped or water-damaged wood. In such cases, full replacement may be the better option.

The Cost of Replacing Cabinets

Replacing cabinets involves a higher upfront cost compared to refacing. The price can vary greatly depending on the quality of materials, the size of the space, and any additional features or customizations. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 or more for a full cabinet replacement.

The Benefits of Replacing Cabinets

Despite the higher cost, replacing cabinets offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for greater customization and flexibility in terms of design, materials, and features. You can choose cabinets that perfectly suit your style and functional needs. Additionally, full replacement provides an opportunity to address any structural or layout issues, such as adding more storage or improving the flow of the space. Lastly, new cabinets can increase the value of your home, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

The Limitations of Replacing Cabinets

While replacing cabinets offers more flexibility, it is a more time-consuming and disruptive process compared to refacing. Depending on the complexity of the project, it can take several weeks or even months to complete. This means you’ll have to find alternative arrangements for your kitchen or bathroom during that time. Additionally, full replacement generates more waste, which can have a negative impact on the environment.


When it comes to deciding between refacing or replacing your cabinets, cost is a significant factor to consider. Refacing cabinets is generally cheaper and offers a quicker, less disruptive renovation. However, it may not be suitable for cabinets with structural issues. On the other hand, replacing cabinets provides more customization options and addresses any underlying problems, but comes with a higher upfront cost and longer timeline. Ultimately, the choice depends on your specific needs, budget, and the condition of your existing cabinets.