Kitchen cabinets are practical and a major part of the room’s appearance. Old cabinetry that’s in poor condition can make even an otherwise attractive kitchen look outdated and dingy. Unfortunately, many homeowners experience sticker shock at the cost of replacing cabinets and decide to live with an ugly kitchen instead.
However, there is another option. The cost to reface cabinets is significantly less than replacing them, but the result is the same: a fresh and updated kitchen. Kitchen refacing also takes less time and is less disruptive than installing new cabinets.
If you’re ready to give your kitchen a makeover but have concerns about the cost and inconvenience, check out the benefits of kitchen cabinet refacing.
The Difference Between Kitchen Cabinet Replacing and Refacing
Kitchen cabinet replacement means removing the entire cabinet and installing a new one. If the cabinet structure isn’t in good shape or you want to change the kitchen layout, then replacement is the best option. Some homeowners also invest in new cabinets to upgrade their kitchen; for example, they replace lower-quality laminate cabinets with solid wood cabinets that last longer.
Kitchen cabinet refacing preserves the existing cabinet boxes and locations and replaces the outer layer. Essentially, the process replaces the cabinet doors and drawer fronts and refreshes the exposed surfaces of the cabinet boxes with a new veneer. The process retains the cabinet structure while transforming the outside appearance.
Some people confuse cabinet refacing with refinishing. However, cabinet refinishing is best for cabinets that are still in style but need some refreshing with a fresh coat of paint or stain. Refinishing does not involve replacing any of the structural elements of the cabinet, although some homeowners opt to replace hardware like hinges, knobs, and drawer pulls for a new look.
Is it Cheaper to Reface or Replace Cabinets?
The cost to reface cabinets is 20 to 30% less than the cost of replacing them. The average cabinet refacing cost is about $7,500, compared to about $14,000 minimum for contractor-grade (i.e., not custom) replacement cabinets. High-end custom cabinetry made from solid wood can run upwards of $30,000 or more.
Several factors influence the overall cost to reface cabinets, including:
- The materials you select: Cabinet refacing with real wood veneer costs significantly more than a high-quality veneer or laminate.
- The size of your kitchen: The more cabinets you have, the more expensive the project will be.
- The labor requirements: About half of the cabinet refacing cost covers labor. The more labor-intensive the project, the more it will cost. For example, opting to add storage accessories to the existing cabinets will increase labor costs.
- Location: The cost to reface cabinets in the Las Vegas area is typically lower than in other metropolitan areas, like New York and Los Angeles.
- Hardware replacements and other upgrades: Including cabinet upgrades like lazy Susans, plate racks, and details like lights or crown molding increase the overall cost. Upgrading the hardware can be a significant expense, too.
The more upgrades you add to the project, the more it will cost to reface cabinets. High-end materials and finishes can put the cost within the same realm as cabinet replacement, so weigh all of your options to ensure you’re getting the most value.
Is It Worth it to Reface Cabinets?
Refacing kitchen cabinets is an ideal solution for structurally sound but unattractive or outdated cabinets. If you’re happy with the current layout of the kitchen and just want to refresh its appearance, refacing is the most cost-effective solution.
Giving the cabinets a makeover, rather than replacing them, has a good return on investment, with the average ROI between 65% and 75% of the project costs. Refacing cabinets also helps extend their lifespan, adding several decades to their useful lives as long as you care for them. It’s also the more environmentally friendly option since it prevents usable cabinetry from ending up in landfills and requires fewer materials.
Refacing cabinets isn’t always appropriate, though. Significantly damaged cabinets — including those that have water damage, warping, or broken frames — require replacement. A skilled contractor can correct minor problems with existing cabinets, such as sagging or surface flaws, but major issues need a more substantial overhaul.
Cabinet refacing also isn’t going to solve problems related to a poor kitchen layout. If you don’t like the placement of the cabinets, or if you’re embarking on a total kitchen renovation, invest in new cabinets instead. Doing so allows you to reconfigure the room layout and add more storage space if you wish.
Do You Have to Remove Countertops to Reface Cabinets?
One of the biggest advantages of cabinet refacing is that it takes less time and is not nearly as disruptive, messy, and all-consuming as other kitchen remodeling projects. In most cases, the project only takes a few days since the installer only needs to reface surfaces and install the new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. The existing cabinet boxes remain in place the entire time, as do the countertops, appliances, fixtures, and other parts of the kitchen.
The fact that the work is comparatively easy is one reason the cost to reface cabinets is lower than to replace them. That said, you might find that your countertops look worse for wear once you have refreshed the cabinets. So while contractors do not have to remove countertops to reface cabinets, there’s a good chance you will decide to change the countertops, too, once the new surfaces are in place.
Call Four Star Interiors to Upgrade Your Kitchen Today
If you are ready to give your kitchen an entirely new look, call the Las Vegas contractors of Four Star Interiors. Our experienced crew works with homeowners throughout the region to breathe new life into their kitchens with custom cabinetry, cabinet replacements, and cabinet refinishing.
Call us today at (702) 602-6143 to request an estimate for the cost to reface cabinets in your Clark County, NV, home. Together, we can breathe new life into your cabinets and home!
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