Understanding Cabinet Refacing

Understanding Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is a great way to change the look of your kitchen without spending much amount. People are obsessed with having good looking cabinets in their kitchen. Often people choose kitchen remodeling just to change the look of the cabinets. And for that sometimes they get ready to replace a good structural shape to install new different looking cabinets. 

There are several ways to renovate cabinets while remodeling the kitchen. Two of the most used ways are to either refacing or get completely new ones.  

Think twice about choosing any option as renovating cabinets possess the highest portion of the budget to remodel the kitchen. Both replacing and refacing adds value and look to the kitchen. Before thinking of upgrading, you must give it a thought if is it worth it to reface kitchen cabinets or not?  

Quality of current kitchen cabinets and the budget can help you understand whether to choose to renovate or not. You can boost the look of your kitchen by refacing cabinets, but it is a bit costly to opt for. 

What is cabinet refacing?

Cabinet refacing is the covering to the current cabinet doors and drawer face with a layer of laminate, wood, or thermofoil. Often replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and the drawer boxes can help you get the best look without replacing all these things. Cabinet refacing is cost-effective compared to replacing the cabinets entirely. All this depends upon the quality of current cabinets and kitchen design. Sometimes the hardware is also replaced depending if they are working properly or not. Most of the time, refacing is chosen when the cabinets are in good shape, and the design of the kitchen is functional. 

Refacing is also an environment-friendly job and demands a lot fewer resources compared to build whole new kitchen cabinets. 

How Refacing Works?

Cabinet refacing is the process of changing the cabinet skin. It involves replacing the drawer faces and the doors with a new veneer, wood, or thermofoil. Often the hardware, including the handles, hinges, and drawer pulls are also replaced while refacing.

There are several contractors who have got cabinet refacing specialists working for them. A person with skills and patience can also do cabinet refacing. It can be done with a veneer kit, which includes glue, wood veneers, polish and other material along with specially made cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Here is the process:

  • Cabinet doors, drawers, and their fronts are removed while the other drawer boxes remain stable.
  • The fronts of the cabinets are replaced with a wood veneer, thermofoil, or a melamine-based material.
  • The sides of the cabinet are covered with laminate or wood veneer.
  • If there is a need, then new door hinges are attached.
  • Brand new drawers and door fronts are installed.
  • If needed, other hardware can be installed, such as drawer pulls, brand new handles, etc.
  • You can give it a stylish finish with the use of lighting, glass panels, installing crown molding, or other accessories.

It takes two to 5 days for the cabinet to refacing, depending upon the size of the kitchen and the number of cabinets. Here is an example of a three-day plan that may look like this:

  • Day 1: Removal of doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. Start to do veneering. Winding up the day with cleaning.
  • Day 2: Keep installing veneer with winding up the day with cleaning.
  • Day 3: Final veneering. Install new drawer fronts and doors along with hardware. A final touch up is given and make sure there is no work left to do. 

If you are doing this yourself with the kit materials, take a whole week to get the best results.

ultra modern white kitchen cabinets

 Evaluating Cabinets for Refacing

You have to check each and every cabinet before choosing for refacing. The conditions of old cabinets determine whether they need to reface or to be replaced. Often old cabinet boxes are good to go due to their sturdier construction. Check these elements before deciding refacing:

  • If the cabinets are smooth and in good condition as new veneers demand solid smooth surfaces to bond properly.
  • A hardwood face in good condition can accept veneers and can support new doors.
  • The hardware inside the drawers is in good condition. Drawers that lack shelving and are not working properly may not be a suitable candidate for refacing.

Cost of Refacing

Refacing cabinets are cost-effective compared to new cabinets. But is it enough to finally decide to reface cabinets? NO, in general, a professional refacing will cost nearly 50% of the cost of the kitchen with custom cabinets (new). Also, sometimes the cost could end up being the same depending upon the upgrades and hardware add ons while the refacing process.

Usually, it costs between $100 to $150 per opening to reface kitchen cabinets. It will cost nearly $4,500 to $9,500 to reface the entire kitchen. 

A professional refacing for a 12 by the 10-foot kitchen will cost $900 to $2,500 for laminate veneers, but it can rise up to $2,500 to $7,000 for real wood veneers. For a larger kitchen that uses the best-quality veneer, it can cost more than $10,000. Additional hardware installation can cost you $3 to $45 per piece depending upon your choices. 

It may cost you between $5000 to $20,000 for installation, depending upon your decision to replace or reface. In simple words, a typical size kitchen will cost you $10,000 to $20,000 for a whole new kitchen, but you can wind up the refacing between $5,000 to $10,000.

If you choose to do it yourself, you can expect the cost to be nearly $300 to $700 for the veneer materials, in addition, the cost of new drawer fronts, hardware, and doors. Also, the cost of replacing the kitchen cabinet depends on where you buy the materials. You can buy kitchen cabinets online from hundreds of choices, which can save you thousands of dollars. 

Pros and Cons

You must consider the limitations and the advantages of cabinet refacing before choosing any kitchen remodeling option.

                                                            Pros                                                Cons
  • Refacing is a perfect choice if you are satisfied and happy with the kitchen’s layout design.
  • Hundreds of options to choose from. You get different veneer options for both real wood and laminates.
  • Cost-effective. Refacing costs nearly half the price of the new custom cabinets with a stylish look.
  • Refacing is environment-friendly, which keeps the landfills out of chemicals and saves new trees from being cut to make new cabinet boxes. 
  • It just takes 2-4 days for the whole remodeling. 
  • Wood veneers demand an additional cost to maintenance.
  • The Veneer is challenging for DIY as it demands a level of skills and patience.
  • There are no chances of changing the kitchen’s layout. The design problem will not be resolved.
  • Cannot update the interior of the cabinets. Additional costs may be required for any changes, if possible.
  • The additional repairs and hardware can increase the expenses.
  • Adding new hinges, doors, cabinet fronts can lead to mismanagement of the budget.

Buying Refacing Materials and Services

You can perform an online search in order to know the top-rated professionals to get the cabinet refacing services. You can also find cabinet refacing contractors locally in your city or town. Also, you can get the refacing kits online on shopping sites like amazon or locally near the place you live. 

Before hiring any refacing professional, you must do some market research about the firm’s past works and their ratings among the past customers. It is recommended to hire a local professional from your town so that you can easily get back to them if any issue arises afterward. 

Final Thoughts

Kitchen cabinet refacing can be opted if your current cabinets are in good shape and well constructed. You can add a new style to your kitchen with refacing without changing the existing layout. But if the existing cabinets are not in good condition and you want to change the layout of the kitchen, you can go for installing brand new cabinets.

Manoj Datic