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Kitchen Cabinet Refacing or Replacing Guide
Kitchen Cabinet Refacing or Replacing Guide

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Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing or Replacing Guide

Not sure if refacing or replacing your cabinets is the right move? This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons and make the best decision for your budget and dream kitchen.

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Table of Contents

  1. Signs You Need a Kitchen Cabinet Refresh
  2. Kitchen Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacing – Costs
  3. Beyond the Price: Benefits of Each Option
  4. When to Reface & When to Replace Kitchen Cabinets
  5. FAQs

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Signs You Need a Kitchen Cabinet Refresh

When your kitchen starts to feel dated or lacks functionality, the cabinets are often to blame.

Recognizing the need for a refresh involves observing several key signs. Kitchen cabinet replacement signs can be subtle or glaringly obvious, depending on the extent of wear or damage. If your cabinets appear outdated, they might not align with modern aesthetics or functionality, making your kitchen feel stuck in a bygone era.

Worn cabinets exhibit physical signs of deterioration. This wear can manifest as faded finishes, scratches, or dents, which compromise the kitchen's overall appearance.

On the other hand, damaged cabinets go beyond cosmetic issues. They may have structural problems, such as broken doors, dysfunctional drawers, or water damage. These issues can significantly impact the usability of your kitchen space.

image of modern kitchen cabinets

The decision to upgrade your cabinets isn't just about addressing wear and tear. It's also about evaluating if your current setup meets your storage needs and aesthetic preferences.

A kitchen remodel, even one that focuses solely on cabinetry, can transform the heart of your home into a more functional, inviting space.

Upgrading your kitchen cabinets can involve either minor fixes to address specific issues or a complete overhaul for a more substantial transformation.

Signs of Outdated Cabinets



Faded or peeling finish

Outmoded design/style

Worn out hinges or hardware

Insufficient storage space


Poor layout not meeting current needs


Structural damage


Mold or water damage



This table provide a clear comparison of the pros and cons of kitchen remodel refacing vs replacing cabinets and outline the signs of outdated cabinets with the appropriate measures to take.

Recognizing these signs is the first step toward a kitchen that not only looks better but also works better for your needs.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacing - Costs

When you want to change how your kitchen looks, you can either reface or replace your cabinets. Here's a simpler explanation of each option, including costs and materials.

Refacing Your Cabinets

Refacing means changing the outside parts of your cabinets to make them look new. The kitchen cabinet refacing cost per square foot is from $75 to $125. This is cheaper than getting all new cabinets and is a good choice if the inside parts are still in good shape.

For refacing, the best materials for refacing kitchen cabinets are laminate or wood veneer. Kitchen cabinet refacing with laminate is great because it's tough, easy to clean, and you can find lots of colors and designs. Kitchen cabinet refacing with wood veneer looks like real wood but is less expensive, giving your kitchen a natural feel without a big price tag.

If you're worried about paying all at once, look into kitchen cabinet refacing financing options. Many companies that do refacing offer plans to pay over time.

when old kitchen cabinets need to be replaced

Replacing Your Cabinets

The kitchen cabinet replacing cost per linear foot is between $150 and $500. This is more expensive but might be necessary if your old cabinets are damaged or you want a completely new kitchen layout.

You have lots of materials to choose from, like wood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), particleboard, metal, and glass. Each has its own look and price, so you can find something that fits your budget and style.

Here's a quick comparison:

What You're Doing



Good To Know


$75 - $125/sq ft

Laminate, Wood Veneer

Cheaper, quick update


$150 - $500/linear ft

Wood, MDF, Particleboard, Metal, Glass

More expensive, for big changes


Whether you choose to reface or replace, think about what you need, what you like, and how much you can spend. Both ways can make your kitchen look great, but knowing the costs and options can help you decide.

Beyond the Price: Benefits of Each Option

When considering kitchen cabinet updates, it's essential to look beyond just the costs. Both refacing and replacing cabinets offer unique benefits that can influence your decision.

Refacing kitchen cabinets offers several advantages. It is a cost-effective way to update the look of your kitchen without a complete overhaul.

Benefits of refacing kitchen cabinets include less disruption to your daily life, as the process is quicker and less invasive than full replacement. Additionally, refacing allows you to maintain the existing layout of your kitchen while still achieving a significant aesthetic transformation.

Materials like laminate and wood veneer provide various design options, enabling homeowners to achieve a new style at a fraction of the cost.

Replacing kitchen cabinets, while more expensive, comes with its own set of benefits.

Benefits of replacing kitchen cabinets include the opportunity for a completely new layout and increased functionality. This option allows for the addition of modern features like soft-close hinges, pull-out shelves, and custom storage solutions. Replacing outdated cabinets can also significantly increase resale value, making it a worthwhile investment for homeowners planning to sell their property.

Furthermore, new cabinets can address any structural issues, ensuring your kitchen is both beautiful and safe.

image of outdated kitchen cabinets

Aesthetic benefits are evident in both options. Refacing can bring a fresh look to your kitchen, while replacing offers the chance to completely redesign your space. Functional benefits also play a crucial role; refacing can improve the appearance of your cabinets, but replacing can enhance both the look and usability of your kitchen.

For those looking to update kitchen cabinets without replacing, refacing presents an attractive alternative. However, if your cabinets are severely damaged or you desire a new kitchen layout, replacing them might be the best option.

Ultimately, the choice between refacing and replacing depends on your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals for your kitchen.

Both options can significantly improve the look and functionality of your space, making it important to weigh the kitchen remodel refacing vs replacing cabinets pros and cons carefully.

Ready to say goodbye to outdated cabinets? But unsure if refacing or replacing is the answer?  MyGreenHome can help! Schedule a free consultation and explore your options with confidence.

Deciding Factor: When to Reface & When to Replace?

Making the right decision between refacing and replacing kitchen cabinets hinges on several key factors. If your cabinets are structurally sound but look dated, kitchen cabinet refacing may be the ideal choice.

This option allows you to update the appearance of your cabinets without the extensive cost and disruption of a complete replacement. Refacing is particularly appealing when you're satisfied with the current layout of your kitchen and simply want to refresh its look.

On the other hand, replacing kitchen cabinets becomes necessary when structural issues are present, or you wish to alter the kitchen's layout. If your cabinets are damaged beyond superficial fixes or you're aiming for a complete kitchen transformation, replacement offers the flexibility to redesign your space entirely.

This includes integrating modern functionalities that might not be feasible through refacing alone.

white kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinet refacing vs. custom cabinets presents a consideration of cost versus customization. While refacing is more budget-friendly, opting for custom cabinets during a replacement project allows for personalized solutions tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Ultimately, the choice between refacing and replacing should be based on your cabinets' current condition, your desired outcome for the kitchen remodel, and your budget.

Assessing these factors will guide you in making the best decision for your kitchen's needs, ensuring both aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Here a table summarising pros and cons of refacing or replacing kitchen cabinets





More affordable, with costs significantly lower than replacing.

Higher cost due to complete removal and installation of new cabinets.


Quicker process with minimal disruption to daily life.

Longer project timeline, especially if layout changes are involved.


Improvements are limited to surface changes; the internal layout remains the same.

Opportunity to enhance functionality with new storage solutions and layouts.


Depends on the quality of materials used for refacing.

New cabinets can provide longer-lasting durability and strength.

Discover Kitchen Cabinets Options For Your Kitchen

MyGreenHome's experienced partners can help you achieve the perfect balance of style and functionality. Get a free quote and see how you can create your dream kitchen.

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  • Is refacing kitchen cabinets a good idea? Yes, it's a good idea if you want to update your kitchen without a big cost. It makes your cabinets look new without replacing them.

  • How long will refaced cabinets last? Refaced cabinets can last as long as new ones, often more than 20 years. Keeping them clean and well-maintained helps them last longer.

  • When should you replace kitchen cabinets? You might need to replace your cabinets every 30 to 50 years. If they have damage or you want to change your kitchen layout, you might replace them sooner.

  • Is replacing kitchen cabinets worth it? Yes, if your cabinets are old or don't work for you anymore. New cabinets can make your kitchen work better for you and can add value to your home.

  • How much does it cost to reface vs. replace cabinets? Refacing cabinets usually costs less than replacing them. Refacing might cost between $75 to $125 for each square foot. Replacing can cost from $150 to $500 for each linear foot. The total cost depends on what materials you choose and how big your kitchen is.

Last update: 14 Apr 2024

Written by Anna

MyGreenHome editors Team is a professional team of copywriters and writes with dozens of years of experience covering consumers, financial and business products and services

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