You’re tired of your kitchen and the fact all of your cabinets either look old or aren’t working properly. Depending on where you live, refinishing a kitchen—cabinets and all—can cost from $15,000 to $30,000. Sometimes it can cost even more depending on your choice of materials. For some people and some situations, that is the only realistic option. Other people are in a position in which refacing their cabinets is a better option, not only because it can cost half or less than half of the cost of redoing the entire kitchen, but also because the process can be a few days rather than a few weeks.
When Should You Replace
Replacing cabinets should happen if you hate the layout of your kitchen. If the cabinets don’t meet your daily needs because of size or layout, replacing might be the best option. If you have metal cabinets and they are showing signs of rust, they probably need to be replaced. If your kitchen floor has settled and made your cabinets off-kilter, replacement is the most likely answer.
When to Reface Cabinets
Basic refacing of kitchen cabinets includes putting new cabinet doors, drawer fronts and covering exposed face frames of the cabinet with matching wood or plastic veneer. Some people will also have counters replaced at the same time, or they will have and additional cabinet added to their space. New, matching hardware is also added, along with new drawer pulls when needed.
Often, refacing is done with either plastic laminates, rigid thermofoils, or wood veneer. The plastic laminates are generally created with solid colors, or a wood-grain look and their limitations are that the doors are almost always plain fronted styles. RTF is a vinyl foil pressure-molded MDF product that can be shaped and molded into different styles. Wood veneer costs 10% to 25% more than other options, but it can match almost any wood the customer wants.
If you can afford the expense and don’t mind having your kitchen turned upside down, replacing cabinets might be a good option. But if you are tired of drawers sticking and handles coming off, but you otherwise like the layout of your kitchen, replacing might be a better solution.