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

You’re not happy with how your kitchen cabinets are looking these days. To solve this, you have two options – reface your cabinets or replace them altogether.
Logic would say to just reface them, as long as there is nothing structurally wrong with them. But this is not always true. Let’s compare…


Refacing is the easier option, but it is not always the better choice:

  • Not as Cost-Effective as It Seems: Refacing your kitchen cabinets usually ends up costing about 2/3 of the price of replacing them altogether, for a multitude of reasons (dollar signs for scale):
    • Doors ($$$$): By refacing, you are replacing the most expensive part of the cabinet – the doors.
    • Time Cost ($?): The designer will have to spend time matching the colours, finding the right hinges, etc. to go with your old cabinets. This could push back the timeline of your project.
    • New Cabinet Hardware ($$$$): New cabinet hardware by itself can be very costly.
    • Installer ($$$): Your installer (who you will be paying by the hour) would then have to figure out how to make new hardware work with old cabinetry that the hardware is not made to be used with. This process sometimes requires taking the whole cabinet apart and putting it back together again.
  • Not as Quick as It Seems: Refacing usually takes 8-10 weeks to complete.
  • A Stopgap Solution: Refacing does not solve rusting, wear and tear (water damage, de-lamination, finish peeling off, dents, dings, discoloration) or any structural issues, all of which are very common in older cabinets.
  • Kitchen Layout, Backsplash, and Countertop Stay Intact: If you love your kitchen layout, backsplash and countertop, refacing might be the way to go. Replacing kitchen cabinetry means that the old cabinets and countertop need to come out, as a kitchen remodel requires open space to work with. In the process of removing your countertop, your backsplash may also be damaged.

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Replacing your cabinets altogether seems like a bigger deal than it really is, and brings many benefits that refacing does not:

  • Durability: Unlike refacing old cabinets, brand new cabinets will be just that – brand new. If your cabinetry is showing any signs of wear and tear, new doors will not fix that. Think about this like putting new doors in an old car. Therefore, with the cabinet technology that exists today, they will not have any structural or rusting issues. With this comes peace of mind and long-term cost savings.
  • Get the Newest Features + Styles: Believe it or not, cabinetry has come a long way in the past few years. New cabinet technology and customization have introduced features and functions specifically tailored for different lifestyles. Why not spend a little bit extra to get a product that improves your life and makes your day to day routine a bit easier?
  • Raises Your Home’s Value: Somewhat related to durability, the peace of mind you would be getting with new cabinets transfers over into monetary value for a potential buyer, who would be willing to pay more for that peace of mind. Keep in mind that a potential buyer will also be opening the cabinets – even if the outside looks really nice, if the inside still looks old it will be a red flag to a buyer.
  • Maximizes Your Space: In today’s housing market, space is valuable. New cabinet features will maximize your space, storage, and accessibility. They can create storage areas where space was previously lost.

Specialist assembly New Kitchen To Replace Old One | Kitchen Art Design


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If this has helped you to decide on one option or another, we encourage you to book an appointment with one of our designers to get started on your project! At Kitchen Art Design, we can help you out with either option; but we would be lying if we said we didn’t prefer full cabinet replacement projects.

If you are still unsure, we also encourage you to book an appointment to consult one of our designers.  They will be able to offer personalized advice on what is the best fit for you, based on their expert opinion.