Choosing Wisely: Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacement for Your Kitchen Transformation

newly refaced kitchen cabinets

Are you considering updating your cabinets? For many homeowners, the decision comes down to cabinet refacing vs. replacement. Cabinet refacing typically takes three to five days and can cost significantly less than replacing your cabinets. 

At American Wood Reface, we reface cabinets of any quality as long as they are in good condition. Additionally, we are equipped to repair doors, shelves, and drawer boxes, enabling us to address any necessary fixes during the refacing process. Our service encompasses many elements in your kitchen, as we know your home requires all the support it needs.

Let’s explore why you should opt for a cabinet refacing instead of a cabinet replacement.

Advantages of Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing with solid wood offers several advantages over entirely replacing your cabinets. The most significant benefit is that it can provide homeowners with fewer installation issues that may require extra costs over time. 

Moreover, it is cost-effective, has shorter timelines, minimizes mess and disruption, and promotes environmental sustainability through reduced waste. Explore our advantages listed below.

Cost Saving

couple being able to save more on their savings jar with  cost-saving cabinet refacing

Cabinet refacing costs are more likely less expensive than cabinet replacement. However, the price may vary depending on your desired materials and additional customizations. Since the cabinet boxes are retained in their original location with refacing, labor, and material costs are generally lower than replacement.

Shorter Timeline

The labor and process of cabinet replacement is more complex and time-consuming than refacing. All old cabinets must be emptied of their contents, then must be demolished and hauled away, which can take up to a week! New cabinets must be carefully placed, leveled, and installed. With replacement, there is potential for floor, wall, and trim mismatch issues that must be dealt with, adding cost and more time to complete the job. 

Less Mess and Disruption

Cabinet replacement typically causes more mess and disruption in your home than refacing. This is due to the extensive demolition and construction involved, which requires significant space within your home. In contrast, cabinet refacing results in less dust, mess, and disruption overall. Plus, cabinets are usually refaced without having to completely empty them of their contents, and appliances – if not being replaced – are generally left as is, allowing you to continue using your kitchen during the upgrade process. 

Environmental Aspect

Net Zero Concept and Carbon Neutral Environment : cabinet refacing reducing waste

When you replace your cabinets entirely, they end up in a landfill, contributing to environmental pollution and waste. The discarded cabinets consist of wood, metal, and plastics, which take time to decompose and release harmful chemicals. In contrast, the cabinet refacing process significantly reduces waste and is environmentally friendly, minimizing the negative impact on the environment.

Refacing with Solid Wood Improves Longevity and Durability

When you reface your cabinets with solid wood, you can expect your new doors and facings to last a long time. Solid wood is more durable and stable than other cabinetry materials but does require some care in handling to prevent dents and scratches on the finished surface. What makes solid wood a durable, long-term option is that it is less prone to warping, offers better hardware support, and is easier to repair and refinish. 

While engineered cabinet materials can be less expensive at installation, they can deteriorate over time. Laminates can delaminate and composites may lose structural integrity, they can be damaged by rough use, and screws may become loose. If you want to be practical, solid wood is worth the extra cost as it will not only avoid these problems, but maintain its superior beauty almost indefinitely. 

Comparing the Costs of Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacing

If you’re comparing cabinet refacing vs. replacement, consider all the benefits and costs to make an informed decision.

specilaist installing new cabinets

Cabinet Replacing Costs

Replacing your cabinets is the more expensive option. As mentioned earlier, the labor cost involves removing all your existing upper and lower cabinets as well as the countertops, and then repairing or correcting any fit issues, which translates into more associated costs and a longer time to finish. Moreover, the costs involved with removing and disposing of old cabinets are additional factors that contribute to higher expenses for homeowners.

Cabinet Refacing Costs with American Wood Reface

Cabinet refacing typically costs almost half of what a comparable-quality, total cabinet replacement would entail. The significant cost-savings of leaving existing cabinet boxes in place are key in reducing the project’s material and labor costs. We retain the original cabinet boxes, which are refaced (covered) with ¼” solid wood, and then we replace drawer fronts, cabinet doors, and hardware with brand-new components, essentially making the cabinets like new again. 

We provide a personal kitchen design specialist and expert carpenters to support each client’s cabinet refacing project. Our clients can choose from many options, including dozens of styles and finishes in eight different types of wood, ensuring their vision is brought to life. 

Additionally, our services extend beyond mere refacing; customers can enhance their kitchen’s functionality by incorporating features such as new countertops, a tile backsplash, and under-cabinet lighting.

Assessing Aesthetic and Functional Changes When Refacing

house wife assessing the newly installed kitchen cabinet's durability

Cabinet refacing can give your kitchen a new look and feel without impacting its functionality. If you like the design of your kitchen and want to keep it, refacing makes the most sense. Of course, some high-end refacers, like American Wood Reface, also offer cabinetry modifications that allow you to make changes to your kitchen layout or design if you wish. 

At American Wood Reface, we can move appliances to a new location and add an island or peninsula where there is sufficient room. What makes us a great option is that we offer cabinet and modification options and not just cabinet refacing. If you have a large kitchen renovation budget, you could change the locations of your sink or dishwasher, make room for a larger refrigerator, and add a wall oven. American Wood Reface also can install modern storage solutions, such as drawer banks, a lazy susan or wine rack, or a glide-out waste bin, to enhance the accessibility and functionality of your kitchen as well as increase storage space. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Durability and Longevity

Solid wood cabinet refacing offers exceptional durability, surpassing engineered wood. Its natural composition ensures longevity, providing you with a reliable product imbued with the timeless beauty of solid wood that can endure for decades. Solid wood’s distinctive graining and appearance, enhanced by the chosen finish, becomes an invaluable asset in your kitchen. Furthermore, maintenance requirements for solid wood cabinets and doors are minimal; they can be easily cleaned by simply wiping them with a soft, damp cloth.

In contrast, new kitchen cabinets typically last between 15 and 50 years, depending on the type of material. Laminated wood products don’t last as long as solid wood cabinets. They’re also prone to warping and scratching; the laminate surface can bubble and peel. It’s also important to understand that if you choose laminated kitchen cabinets, they usually can’t be repaired or refinished, and they’re at an increased risk of moisture damage due to spills.

Personalization and Design Choices of Cabinet Refacing vs. Replacing

elegant cabinet design with cabinet refacing

One of the most significant benefits of refacing your cabinets is choosing your preferred style. American Wood Reface offers solid-color cabinets as well as wood-grain cabinets. As expected, your solid wood can be finished to your preferred color. All of the species of woods American Wood Reface offers can be completed in various translucent finishes that allow the wood’s grain to show through. For example, you can order wood-grain finishes on birch, cherry, hickory, walnut, oak, or maple. We can create your solid color cabinets in birch in 26 colors, including white, off-white, black, blue, canvas, and cityscape. 

Along with choosing your color, you can select your style. We offer shaker, traditional, and many other styles of doors in both mitered and cope-and-stick 5-piece construction. We even provide custom cabinet doors and drawers where you can work with us to create a completely custom style and finish. Our wide variety of choices helps ensure you get exactly the look you want for your kitchen.

Transform Your Kitchen with Cabinet Refacing

When deciding between cabinet refacing vs. replacement, it helps to know each project’s details. Cabinet refacing can give your existing cabinet boxes a new lease on life while improving the functionality and appearance of your kitchen, at a reasonable cost and in a short amount of time. Replacing your kitchen cabinets can also give your kitchen a new look and feel, but often at a higher cost and in a longer timeframe.

If you’d like to explore refacing your kitchen cabinets with ¼ solid wood for a durable and timeless look, consider cabinet refacing with American Wood Reface. We offer a plethora of styles, colors, and options. We can extend your existing cabinets to the ceiling and install options to make your kitchen cabinets more functional. We can even add under-cabinet lighting.

To learn more and to schedule a free in-home or virtual consultation, contact us today!