The Difference Between Reface Versus New Cabinets

As a home owner who has thought about possibly giving your kitchen or bath a face lift, or a change that may not be as intense as brand new cabinets and an entire re-haul of your kitchen or bath you may have come across a term called “Refacing” I want to explain exactly what this means, and also let you know why this may be the correct choice only in very particular situations. 

Refacing is the term used for removing all the cabinet doors, rawer fronts, hinges and drawer glides, and replacing with new one’s,  the drawer boxes, glides and hinges would also get replaced. 

Most reface projects can be done within a week, as long as materials are ordered well in advance, this is a good option when the counter top will be maintained, and when the overall layout won’t be changed. If you as the homeowner start to tweak, modify, or add to the existing footprint, and also decide that you actually want a new counter top. The cost difference between keeping the old cabinet boxes, versus getting new cabinet boxes, along with the new doors, drawer fronts, glides, and hinges. Is minimal. The cost of materials is less compared to new cabinets. But the cost for labor is high, specially because to get someone who knows how do do a reface Job properly is difficult. If you do want to change the counter top, chances are a reface job is going to end up costing more than replacing the cabinets and putting a new counter top over brand new cabinets. There is one other main difference if you may still want to keep your old cabinet boxes. Should you need to carry your remodel project in the shortest amount of time; having a reface job done versus the complete demolition of cabinet, electrical and plumbing preparation, patching and painting would run a lot longer time compared to doing a reface. If however you are planning on remodeling your space but want to change appliance sized, or location of any of these appliances, a reface project is not recommended at all. The other thing to take into account is the quality of the substrate of the cabinet boxes. Many times I have seen clients tell me that their cabinets are made of solid wood material. First off a good quality cabinet box is made of plywood not solid wood and secondly, upon further analysis most of the time cabinet boxes are made of particle board. Which is not a good material for a long term product. 

If money is a concern not changing the counter top or any of the interior hardware, drawer boxes or glides is OK to change the look by painting the cabinets, or replacing with new doors and drawer fronts. Otherwise consider removing and disposing of all the cabinets to replace with a layout you are happy about, and with the features you want. Also you don’t want to put a good quality stone over inferior quality cabinets. 

For more tips and for help with your own kitchen or bath remodel. 

Contact Yvonne Landivar of Landivar Design Inc. 


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