Many HGTV and home improvement shows have made popular the idea of just refacing existing cabinetry. Is that truly a good option, or are you better off replacing the complete cabinet? Before we can help you answer this question, let’s go over the difference between refacing and replacing cabinets.

What’s the Difference Between Refacing or Replacing Cabinets?

Refacing cabinets means refreshing the outer part of the cabinets — namely, the doors and hardware. Old doors are removed, stripped and covered with new veneer. The face of any exposed cabinetry is covered to match. Then, the doors are reinstalled with new hardware. The result is a completely new look that maintains the size and layout of the existing cabinetry.

Refacing cabinets usually requires skilled help from a professional, since working with veneer can be tricky. Replacing cabinets is more feasible for a talented DIY-er, although working with a contractor will likely earn better results

Replacing cabinets requires more labor, but can offer more flexibility if you wish to change your kitchen layout or storage capacity. To replace cabinets, the existing cabinets are completely removed and new ones are installed according to your new kitchen layout. Cabinet boxes, doors, and hardware are all brand new.

Refacing cabinets is generally cheaper than replacing them, but it’s only effective if you’re already happy with the quality and placement of your current cabinets. If you’d like something completely new, then replacing will offer you the results you’re looking for, for a better value.

Let’s look at a few examples of when you might choose to reface or replace cabinets in your home.

Reface or Replace Cabinets? New Home Addition.

“My current kitchen feels cramped and dark. It’s time to expand my small kitchen and I’m going to rearrange the space to create an eat-in area. To do this, I’ll have to take out some of the old cabinets.”

Replace. Rather than reinstalling your old, outdated cabinets, it makes more sense to replace your cabinets with new, sturdy storage that meets the expanded needs of your home addition. You’ll likely already have a contractor helping to remove old cabinets and they can ensure that the new cabinets are installed soundly and professionally.

Reface or Replace Cabinets? Remodeling on a Budget.

“I’m remodeling my kitchen on a budget. The cabinet boxes are still in good condition but the doors are scratched and worn. I still like the layout of my kitchen cabinets and there’s plenty of storage.”

Reface. Refacing cabinets is most effective when the structure of the cabinets is still sound. If you’re happy with the current layout and storage capacity of your cabinets, then refacing can update your kitchen design without the time or cost of getting new cabinets installed.

Reface or Replace Cabinets? Update and Renovate.

“I’m renovating my old home, and the kitchen needs a lot of work.The existing cabinets look outdated and are no longer level. I want to update the design and get more use out of the tired space.”

Replace. If the cabinet boxes are in poor or less-than-optimal condition, refacing will not improve their quality or structural soundness. It will be smarter to replace your cabinets now with higher quality pieces in a style you love, than to reface and have to replace them anyway in a few years.

If you’ve decided it’s time to replace your cabinets, the Zeeland Lumber & Supply team can help! With brands like Marquis, Eclipse, and Shiloh, you’re sure to find an option you love. Stop into one of our showrooms or contact us online today for more information.

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