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Is It Worth It To Reface Kitchen Cabinets

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When you are faced with broken down cabinets that have lost their shine, instead of demolishing and replacing the shelves entirely, you could opt to reface them. But is it worth it to reface kitchen cabinets?

Refacing cabinets include the replacement of rusted hinges, handles, drawer pulls, and the application of a coat of new veneer over the existing surface of the cabinets. The doors and drawer fronts require must, however, be replaced and not just painted over.

Refacing kitchen cabinets is worth it because it is a much cheaper way of breathing new life in your kitchen compared to replacing the entire set. 

How Cabinet Refacing Works 

This process would normally take a professional two to four days to complete depending on the size of your kitchen. If you plan to DIY, it may take you at least a week to get the job done. Either way, the process is the same.

  • Remove the cabinet doors, the drawers, and the fronts
  • Apply veneer or Rigid Thermofoil which is a product made of melamine to the cabinet boxes
  • Laminate the cabinet sides
  • Install replacement door hinges or stick with the old if their condition is good
  • Install new handles, drawer pulls, and other fixtures
  • Install optional cabinet accessories

You may opt to Do it Yourself (DIY) if you have the patience and skill for it. You would only need to buy the veneer kit that contains wood veneer, application materials, and then place an order for cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

How to determine if your cabinets are good candidates for refacing

Most vintage cabinets are made into sturdy constructions that can accommodate new veneer doors successfully. However, there are many more determinants that could qualify your cabinet for a facelift. 

If your cabinets are made of strong plywood or MDF panels that are in good condition and smooth to the touch, these can seamlessly pair up with the new veneers that are smooth and solid in structure.

If your old cabinets have face frames made of solid hardwood, they are solid enough to anchor and hold new doors.

If your cabinets have limited storage accessories and they are lacking in shelves and if their drawer tracks are inefficient, they may attract replacement or repair costs that are simply not worth the cost or the trouble.

Cost of refacing your kitchen cabinets 

As earlier established, it is cheaper to get your cabinets refaced as compared to replacing them. However, it is important to point out that refacing will cost at least 50% of a new custom cabinet installation. 

This figure rises to about 80% of installing stick cabinets bought from a home improvement store. To reface a standard 10 by 12-foot kitchen using laminated veneer, it would cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000 and $2,500 to $6,000 if using real wood veneers. 

The hardware you will use could cost you $2 to $50 depending on how high-quality your taste is. Considering that to install a full kitchen with new custom cabinetry could set you back approximately $20,000 and the refacing of the similar-sized kitchen cabinetry would set you back about $10,000, then you need to weigh your options.

The people who go the DIY route would be the ones to save in bulk because they could spend just about $200 to $500 to buy the veneer kit, new drawers, and hardware. 

Cost of buying replacement accessories

Accessory
Price
Hardware (standard)
$2 – $5
Hardware (high-standard)
$20 – $50
Hinges (pair)
$15 – $50
Organizers (standard)
$50 – $200
Organizers (High-end)
$150 – $800

Benefits of refacing your kitchen cabinet

Weigh out your pros and cons carefully before settling on a kitchen cabinet refacing.

Pros 

If you have a functional kitchen layout and one you would not like to change, then a cabinet refacing is what you need to vamp it up.

With several new veneer options, you may want to consider refacing those old kitchen cabinets of yours. Consider the costs as well.

  • Wood veneers are strips of wood that are applied to cover up exposed surfaces and are available in walnut, birch, maple, cherry, oak, and plenty of other wood tones. They cost anywhere between $2,500 to $6,000 and they last for years.
  • Plastic laminate comes in two types and they are available in either solid colors or wood grain looks. The melamine kind is a low-pressure laminate that is cheaper but can chip easily. While Formica is a high-pressure type that is more resistant to water than melamine. They cost between $1,000 to $4,000.
  • Rigid Thermofoil (RTF) is a flexible vinyl that can be molded over medium density fiberboards of varying styles. It gives the appearance of painted bards without evidence of brush strokes and looks like wood but only cheaper. They go for $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Solid and Plywood doors are paired to match the wood veneers on your boxes and once installed, you can repair any damage that may arise as need be. They are the most expensive and cost upwards of $5,000 to $10,000.

Another pro to cabinet refacing is the cheaper cost that gives the owner the desired new look on a budget.

A huge plus to cabinet refacing is the eco-friendly aspect it presents. As many cabinets have been made of MDF which contains hazardous chemicals, it makes sense to retain them instead of tossing them out where they would go on to harm the environment. It also saves the trees from being cut down to make new cabinets.

Conclusion 

Considering that you won’t need any layout changes anytime soon, refacing your kitchen cabinets is the best alternative you can go for if you need your kitchen to look fresh again.

Whether you choose to pay a professional to do it quickly for you on you opt to do it yourself to save some cash, refacing kitchen cabinets is without a doubt worth it.

FAQ 

How many colors can I choose from when refacing my kitchen cabinets?

Using the proprietary finish system, you can pick from over 35 available colors. However, some brands do not use paint to finish the cabinet doors because it is not long-lasting.

How long will refaced cabinets last?

Given proper care, the refaced cabinets will last decades. As long as you invest in good material for the cabinet doors, hardware, and craftsmanship, your cabinets should not require much maintenance.

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