Everyone understands what replacing kitchen cabinets means: tearing out the existing cabinets, installing new ones, and usually spending a lot of money. On the other hand, a lot less people know or understand what cabinet refacing means.
Cabinet Refacing is when the existing kitchen cabinets where the cabinet frames are left in place and covered with a layer of wood or laminate called a "veneer" and the Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts (and some time Drawer Boxes)are replaced to match the veneer. As opposed to replacing, refacing your kitchen cabinets can save you thousands while still giving you the look of a brand new kitchen.
There are tons of options in Cabinet Doors and Veneers to choose from, giving you a wide variety of looks to go with. The most expensive material for both cabinet doors and veneers will be real wood, which you can get in oak, cherry, maple or paint-grade hard maple, as well as plenty of stained wood color options.
For a less expensive option, you can use durable and moisture resistant laminate Cabinet Doors which are available in hundreds of different colors and patterns. Still less expensive is RTF, or rigid thermofoil, which is MDF (medium density fiberboard) covered with a durable vinyl coating. Laminates are the most popular option and are relatively affordable, but you can choose to go up or down in price from there.
Replace or Reface?
This comes down to two things: personal preference and how much you want to spend. Cabinet refacing offers savings that can be as much as a third of the cost of replacing. If your kitchen is designed poorly to start with, refacing will leave you with a better looking version of a still badly designed kitchen, whereas replacing gives you options for starting from square one again. And if you decide to go with exotic woods or Veneers for your refacing then your savings will be cut considerably. Otherwise, refacing is generally the preferable option.
Benefits of Cabinet Refacing
When you compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a professional, it can be very tempting to pull up You Tube and start searching how-to videos. Just remember that if you’re not that handy, you may end up spending more than you would have in the end, when you have to hire someone to fix your mistakes andreface your cabinets.
All in all, refacing generally has less hassle, is less expensive, and takes less time than replacing all of your kitchen cabinets, plus there’s the added bonus that you can still use your kitchen pretty much unfettered while the process is going on.
Other Remodeling Options:
Major Kitchen Remodeling
Painting Your Cabinets
Keeping Your Current Kitchen
An updated kitchen can boost the overall value of your home. You most likely spend a lot of time in your kitchen, so why not make it a comfortable space for you and your family?
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