Cabinet Refacing Vs. Cabinet Replacement: Which Is More Cost-Effective?

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Key Takeaway:

  • Cabinet refacing is more cost-effective than cabinet replacement: Refacing kitchen cabinets can cost up to 50% less than replacing them entirely. Refacing involves replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, while leaving the existing cabinet boxes in place, resulting in significant savings on materials and labor costs.
  • Cabinet refacing provides a new look and feel to your kitchen: Refacing is an ideal option for those who want to update their kitchen aesthetics while working within a budget. Refacing allows you to choose from a range of styles, colors, and finishes to transform the look of your cabinets while keeping the existing layout and functionality of your kitchen intact.
  • Cabinet replacement is necessary when existing cabinets are damaged or unsalvageable: If your cabinets are structurally damaged, water-damaged, or have other issues, replacement may be the best option. Additionally, if you want to make significant changes to your kitchen layout or functionality, replacement may be necessary to achieve your desired results.

Want to raise your home's value? Need to save money? Cabinet refacing or cabinet replacement – which is more budget-friendly? Read on to discover!

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Are you looking to revamp your kitchen or bathroom but are hesitant to spend a fortune on a complete cabinet replacement? If so, cabinet refacing may be the perfect solution. This section will delve into the specifics of cabinet refacing, explaining what it is and how it differs from a full replacement. Furthermore, we will explore the pros and cons of cabinet refacing to help you determine if this option is the right choice for your renovation project. Let's dive in and explore the details of this cost-effective alternative.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is a way to update kitchen cabinets' looks. It involves changing the doors, drawer faces, and hardware, but keeping the cabinet boxes and layout. Weighing its pros and cons is essential before choosing if it's better than replacing them.


  • – Refacing cabinets costs around 50% less than replacing.
  • – It generally takes only a few days to finish.
  • – It allows a remodeled look without a full remodel.
  • – No need to remove existing cabinets.


  • – Expensive: $4,000-$9,000.
  • – Per door cost of $30-$100.
  • – DIY painting costs $100-$200/25ft.
  • – Limited customization options.
  • – Installation can be hard and expensive.
  • – Replacement adds value when selling.

Professional Tip: Before deciding, consider the kitchen's layout and size. Get estimates for both options and factor in taxes, supplies, hardware, and installation. If refacing, use quality materials like Benjamin Moore ADVANCE or Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer for a professional finish.

What is Cabinet Replacement?

If you’re considering updating the look of your kitchen, one option you can explore is cabinet replacement. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at what cabinet replacement entails and examine the pros and cons associated with this process. The decision to replace cabinets can be a significant investment and can have a significant impact on the function and aesthetic of your kitchen. So, whether you are a DIY enthusiast or planning to hire a professional, understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of cabinet replacement is essential.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Replacement

Cabinet replacement can be a great choice for anyone wanting to give their kitchen a whole new look. But, it's important to weigh the pros and cons, as well as alternatives.

Here are the advantages of replacing cabinets:

  1. Customization: You can choose a different layout, style and hardware.
  2. Higher resale value: Upgraded cabinets can increase your home's value.
  3. Brand new look: Instantly give your kitchen a fresh, updated look.
  4. Quality: Get quality cabinet doors at a good price.

For the disadvantages:

  1. Cost: Materials, labor, tax and installation fees can be pricey.
  2. Hidden damage: Demolishing cabinets can uncover costly repair work.
  3. Time-consuming: Takes time, so you'll need another space to cook and eat.
  4. DIY project: Can be challenging if it's a large kitchen.

Alternatives to cabinet replacement:

  1. Cabinet refacing: Replace your cabinet doors with wood veneer for a natural look.
  2. Painting: Give them a new look without replacing them.
  3. Cabinet Door Replacement: Replace only the doors with professionally finished, painted doors.

When deciding on a cabinet replacement or an alternative, consider the wood type, door style, quality and kitchen size for an accurate cost estimate. You can also order cabinet doors online or from distributors, for a hassle-free experience.

Cost Comparison between Cabinet Refacing and Cabinet Replacement

One of the most significant considerations for homeowners when deciding between cabinet refacing and cabinet replacement is the cost. In this section, we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with both options.

  • First, we’ll explore the average cost of cabinet refacing and replacement, giving readers a comprehensive understanding of what they can expect to pay for each option.
  • Additionally, we will expand on this topic by outlining some of the factors that can influence the overall cost of these projects.

Average Cost of Cabinet Refacing and Replacement

If you're renovating your kitchen, choosing between cabinet refacing and replacement can be tough. Knowing the average cost is key to making a savvy decision.

Refacing involves changing only the doors, drawer fronts, and hardware, while painting or veneering the cabinet boxes. It costs $1,000-$3,000 for a small kitchen, and $3,500-$5,500 for a medium one. Plus, labor fees of up to $100 per hour.

Replacement, on the other hand, is pricier. Tearing out old cabinets and replacing them with new ones. A small kitchen costs $5,000-$15,000, and a medium one costs $15,000-$25,000. Plus, sales tax, installation, and hardware like hinges and hinge-boring.

It's essential to ask a contractor for estimates for both refacing and replacement. Compare costs and desired outcomes to pick the best value. Or, ordering custom-sized cabinets online or from factory-direct can provide variety with good prices, instead of dealing with retail.

Considerations for Choosing between Cabinet Refacing and Replacement

When deciding between cabinet refacing and replacement, there are several important considerations to take into account. In this section, we will explore three key factors that can help you make an informed decision:

  1. Assessment of the condition of the cabinets: It is important to assess the current condition of your cabinets, keeping in mind factors such as damage, wear and tear, and age. Refacing works best if the cabinets are in good structural condition, but need a cosmetic update. Replacement is a better option if the cabinets are outdated or damaged beyond repair.
  2. Desired outcome in terms of aesthetics and functionality: Consider what you want to achieve in terms of the look and functionality of your cabinets. Refacing offers a wide range of design options that can give a fresh new look to your cabinets, while replacement offers the opportunity to completely change the layout and add features like pull-out shelves or a Lazy Susan.
  3. Budget limitations: Budget is an important consideration. Cabinet refacing is often less expensive than replacement and can be completed in as little as a day or two. However, if the cabinets are in poor condition, replacement may be a better long-term investment.

By examining each of these sub-sections, we will analyze the pros and cons of both options, giving you the knowledge you need to determine which choice is the most cost-effective for you.

Assessment of the condition of the cabinets

Assessing your cabinet condition is essential in choosing between refacing or replacing them. There are a few factors to think about, such as:

  • Door style
  • Wood species
  • Cabinet layout
  • Hardware
  • Quality
  • Cost

Refacing is a more affordable option if your cabinets are in good shape. This process consists of fixing, refinishing, or wood-veneering the doors, and putting new hinges and hardware in place. Replacing cabinets gives an all-new look, but it's a more costly and complex method. Before making a final decision, you must consider the pros and cons. Get an in-depth estimate from a reliable painting company to make a wise choice.

If you decide to paint your cabinets yourself, buy top-notch finishing products and research well. That will help you get a polished finish.

Desired outcome in terms of aesthetics and functionality

Choosing between cabinet refacing and replacement is important. Refacing means replacing the doors, drawers and hardware but keeping the boxes. Replacement means completely remodeling with a new look.

Cost, installation process, volume discounts, custom-sized products, installation, repairing and cleaning should be considered when deciding. To refresh the look with a new paint or stain, painting or refacing is best.

To decide, weigh cost-effectiveness against desired outcome in terms of aesthetics and functionality. All factors that can impact the remodeling project should be considered. Ordering custom-sized products online or from retail stores can provide reasonable prices and estimates. Keep the installation process and tools needed for repairing or cleaning the wood in mind.

With these factors, you can make an informed decision on refacing or replacing your cabinets.

Budget limitations

Renovating a kitchen on a budget? Cabinet refacing and replacement are two options to consider. Refacing involves replacing cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while keeping the existing boxes. On the flip side, replacement requires removing old cabinets and adding new ones.

The cost of refacing depends on factors like style, size, wood species, and finish. Generally, a medium-sized kitchen can cost $4,000 – $9,000 for materials, labor, and hardware. Per cabinet door and drawer, it's $30 – $100. Per linear foot, it's $200 – $500.

Replacement is pricier. For a medium-sized kitchen, total costs are $5,000 – $15,000. This includes tear apart costs, materials, and labor. It's best to get an estimate from a painting company that covers new drawer fronts, hardware, base cabinets, wall cabinets, and other finishes.

To save on materials and labor, order replacement cabinet doors online instead of in-store. Another way to save is to paint the cabinets yourself before remodeling, which gives a brand-new look at a lower cost.

Timeframe for Cabinet Refacing and Replacement

When it comes to cabinet upgrades, homeowners often wonder about the timeframe for cabinet refacing versus replacement. In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of the time and convenience factors of both options.

Time and convenience can be important considerations for homeowners looking to upgrade their cabinets, and understanding the benefits and drawbacks can help them make an informed decision. So, let's take a closer look at the timeframe for cabinet refacing and replacement, and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Pros and Cons of Time and Convenience

Considering options between cabinet refacing and replacement? Time and convenience are key factors. Let's look at pros and cons for each.

Cabinet Refacing:


  • Quick process – 2-4 days.
  • No cabinet tear-down.
  • Cheaper than replacing.
  • Great option if you like layout.


  • Cost per door/drawer can add up.
  • Door cost $30-$100, not inc. labor.
  • Limited styles, sizes and wood species.
  • Quality of doors can vary.

Cabinet Replacement:


  • Brand-new look, opportunity to change layout.
  • More materials, styles and finishes.
  • Higher quality cabinets, built to spec.


  • Longer, more complex process – 4-8 weeks.
  • Expensive – $100-$650 per sq. ft., not inc. materials.
  • Teardown needed, messy and extra sanding/painting/refinishing work.
  • Retail experience, working with contractors adds stress.

Pro Tip: On a budget? Consider painting your own cabinets or hiring a pro painting company that charges hourly. This is an alternative to refacing/replacement. Don't forget to update hardware for a new look!

Conclusion: Which is More Cost-Effective?

As we wrap up our exploration of cabinet refacing vs. cabinet replacement, it's essential to keep in mind several crucial factors in determining which option is more cost-effective. In this section, we'll take a closer look at these factors, from the size and condition of the cabinets to the style and material preferences of the homeowner. We'll then provide our recommendation based on these factors to help you make an informed decision. Finally, we'll leave you with some final thoughts to consider as you move forward with your cabinet renovation project.

Factors to consider

When choosing between cabinet refacing and replacing, many factors are important. These include: the kitchen's size, the finish wanted, and the materials used. Plus, you must consider the cost of each cabinet door being replaced, labor, cabinet hardware, painting costs, square footage and painter hourly charges. Buying replacement doors online can be more cost-effective than shopping in stores.

Pro Tip: Think about the project's extent and the brand-new look you want when deciding between refacing and replacing. If you want to keep the same layout and your cabinets are still in good condition, refacing might be the best bet. But if you're after a full remodel, replacing cabinets is a must.

Recommendation and Final Thoughts

Weigh the costs of cabinet refacing and replacement. Take into account labor, materials, and finish. Refacing may be economical but not worth the investment if the desired finish isn't achieved. For medium-sized kitchens, refacing might be more costly than replacement due to high material and labor charges.

Consider these factors when deciding:

  • Cost of each cabinet door/drawer for refacing/replacement
  • Quality of door/drawer, wood species, and finish
  • Labor costs – hire a professional or do it yourself
  • Cost of painting cabinets with sprayers
  • Rip out cabinets or order new paint-grade doors
  • Ease of sourcing materials for replacement doors, including door styles/sizes
  • Sandpaper, laminate, or other materials needed to achieve desired finish

Get an estimate comparing refacing and replacement costs. The decision depends on personal preferences, desired outcomes, and unique needs of each renovation project.

Pro tip – Consult with a professional to get more insights and advice on the best choice for you.

Five Facts About Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacement:

  • ✅ Cabinet refacing is a more cost-effective option compared to cabinet replacement, with savings of up to 50% or more. (Source: Kitchen Magic)
  • ✅ Cabinet refacing involves changing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while keeping the existing cabinet boxes. (Source: Sears Home Services)
  • ✅ Cabinet replacement involves removing the existing cabinets and installing new ones, which can be time-consuming and expensive. (Source: Kitchen Solvers)
  • ✅ Cabinet refacing is an eco-friendly option as it avoids contributing to landfill waste and conserves natural resources. (Source: Best Cabinets)
  • ✅ Cabinet refacing can be completed within a few days compared to cabinet replacement, which can take weeks to complete. (Source: The Family Handyman)

FAQs about Cabinet Refacing Vs. Cabinet Replacement: Which Is More Cost-Effective?

1. Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacement: Which is More Cost-Effective?

The most cost-effective refacing cabinets vs cabinet replacement is cabinet replacement as it it involves updating the appearance of existing cabinets while keeping the cabinet boxes in place. However, the final cost will depend on various factors such as the size of the kitchen, the materials used, and labor costs. Cabinet replacement involves completely removing old cabinets and installing new ones, which can be more expensive and time-consuming. The decision between refacing and replacement depends on individual needs, preferences, and budget.

2. How Much Does Painting Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

The cost of painting kitchen cabinets can vary depending on factors such as the size of the kitchen, the type of paint used, and whether professional painters are hired, but on average, it can range from $500 to $3,000. on your budget

3. What Are the Material Costs for Cabinet Replacement?

The material costs for cabinet replacement can vary greatly depending on the type of wood species used, the cabinet door style and sizes, and the desired cabinet door finish. To get a detailed estimate, it's recommended to speak with a professional painting company or navigate the retail experience.

4. How Much Does Cabinet Door Replacement Cost?

The cost of cabinet door replacement varies based on the quality of the cabinet door and the source from which you purchase it. Ordering online can help reduce costs, but you'll need to factor in shipping costs and potential delays. On average, cabinet door replacement costs anywhere from $50 to $500 per door, but the price can vary widely based on the size and complexity of the project.

5. Is Refacing Kitchen Cabinets Worth It?

Whether refacing kitchen cabinets is worth it depends on several factors, such as the condition of the existing cabinets, desired look and functionality, and budget. Refacing cabinets can be a cost-effective way to update the look of a kitchen while avoiding the expense and inconvenience of a full replacement.

6. Is it Better to Replace Kitchen Cabinets or Reface Them?

To replace kitchen cabinets or  to reface them depends on factors such as the condition of the cabinets, desired changes, and budget, with refacing being a cost-effective option for updating the look of the kitchen while avoiding the expense and inconvenience of a full replacement, but replacing provides more design flexibility, though it can be more expensive and time-consuming..

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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