Replace Or Resurface the Kitchen Cabinets? Here Are Your Options

Replace Or Resurface the Kitchen Cabinets? Here Are Your Options 1

If you want to make some style changes in the kitchen, you might be thinking about replacing the cabinets. Before you rip out the kitchen cabinets and start a complicated and expensive remodel project, there are some things you must consider. You need to know whether you want to reface, refinish or resurface the cabinets. These are economical alternatives to replacing them completely. If you are happy with the current kitchen layout, you may want to consider these options. Let’s understand the difference between them. 


If you want to resurface the kitchen cabinets, it involves a process where the current cabinet framework will be resurfaced using wood veneer or laminate. The existing cabinet boxes will remain the same but the cabinet doors and the drawer fronts will be replaced. It is also possible to replace the face frames, cabinet side panels, as well as moldings to ensure everything matches. It will cover up the blemishes while allowing you to change the door style, wood, and color for a clean look. Whenever you resurface the kitchen cabinets, you can consider installing highly decorated hardware. 


Resurfacing and refacing are used interchangeably a lot of times. It is a common term used by professional remodelers. It means that the face, which is the front side of the kitchen cabinet gets a facelift. It is a lot like resurfacing. When it comes to refacing, the choices of finished look are many. You can find veneers in a range of colors, grains, textures, and patterns. You can mix and match them to give your kitchen a facelift. Rigid thermofoil doors come with a durable plastic coating on the fiberboard and is a good alternative to laminate doors and wood. Even plastic laminates come in a range of patterns and colors and they are reasonably priced. Consider matching laminates for the drawer fronts and doors. Another alternate is a real wood veneer which is slightly expensive but wood should be carefully sealed to protect from moisture. They include standard species like maple, cherry, and oak. Lastly, refacing is only possible if the existing cabinet boxes are in good condition and structurally sound. If they have warping or water damage, eliminate this option. 


There is a difference between refinishing the cabinets and refacing the cabinets. A kitchen cabinet refinishing means that all the components of the current cabinet remain the same and you only change the finish and color. It is sometimes accompanied by chemically stripping the current finish from the wood and applying new paint. 

What should you choose?

When you are deciding between the kitchen cabinet refacing or refinishing, there are a couple of things you must keep in mind. Refinishing is not an option if the cabinets are made of thermofoil or laminate because the material cannot be stripped or sanded and it is not possible for the paint to stick. If you are not happy with the kitchen layout or current style, you can consider resurfacing the kitchen cabinets. But if budget is a constraint, then refinishing is a good option. It can cost about two-thirds of the cost of refacing and refacing will cost about 80 percent of the cost of installation of the replacement cabinets. 

How is the process done?

No matter what you choose, there will be a professional installer who will visit your home and take the measurements first. This will help them decide on the amount of wood or veneer required. It will also help them take the right sizes and quantities for the drawer fronts or door and the amount of hardware necessary. Once the material is in hand, the installer will remove the old door fronts and prepare the surface of the cabinet box by washing the exterior using a degreaser. If there are any flaws, they will be repaired to ensure a smooth and secure fit. Then the installer will apply veneer to the cabinet surface and mount the new doors, or drawer fronts. It could take about four to five days for the entire process. 

What should you choose?

These are the top three options available for you. It will allow you to give a new look to the kitchen without spending a lot of money on it. Hence, no matter what you choose, consider the current condition of the kitchen cabinets. You can seek the advice of a professional here. If the professional thinks that it is not a good idea to resurface and you should only consider replacement, then that is an ideal way to go. Keep your preferences and the budget at the forefront, this will help decide on the type of material you will use. However, kitchen cabinets are a very important part of the household and it makes no sense to choose low-quality material only to save a few dollars. 


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