Refacing vs. Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets: What is Better For Your Home?

If your kitchen cabinets look tired, dingy, or simply outdated, it’s definitely time for an update. While you could rip everything out and start anew, that’s not always the best approach.

Oftentimes, you can get the perfect look by simply deciding between refacing vs resurfacing cabinets. You have to understand what each process entails, however, before making that important decision.

Fortunately, we’re here to help with this guide on resurfacing vs refacing kitchen cabinets. Here’s what you need to know to decide which approach is better for your home.

What is Cabinet Resurfacing?

Although often erroneously referred to as cabinet refacing, cabinet resurfacing is anything but refacing. So, what is cabinet resurfacing exactly? The resurfacing process typically involves the application of a self-sticking veneer to the surface of the cabinet.

If you go one step further with this approach, you may also want to have the old cabinet doors and drawer fronts replaced outright. But you can have the thin wood veneer or laminate applied to the surface of the cabinet doors if you prefer.

When to Have Kitchen Cabinets Resurfaced

Resurfacing kitchen cabinets works best when fixing minor blemishes, such as:faded old kitchen cabinets

  • Scratches
  • Dents
  • Faded colors

The thin laminate and wood veneer covers up the cosmetic issues, creating a new look while hiding the damage. Since the veneer sticks right over the top of the original surface, some blemishes can show through, especially those that affect the depth/height of the surface causing blemishes to show through. 

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing often comes up when deciding whether to fully remodel the kitchen or just give it a high-quality facelift. Since that decision does not come lightly, you need to fully explore just what is cabinet refacing.

Kitchen worker is doing the cabinet refacing Unlike cabinet resurfacing, refacing uses solid wood to fully restore the kitchen cabinet surfaces. The installer removes the old cabinet doors and trims pieces to start the process. Then, cabinet faces are fitted with pieces of solid hardwood in the customer’s choice of finish. Seams and fasteners are nearly invisible. It’s important to note that not all companies do this alike. Where American Wood Reface uses premium-quality ¼-inch thick solid wood, others are known to use thinner or lower-quality materials such as vinyl. The cabinet sides and bottoms get covered as well to create a uniform appearance.  

Fully refaced cabinets, when done right, look amazing with their beautiful solid wood-facing and handcrafted cabinet doors. You can take the look to the next level with new countertops and new kitchen backsplashes to compliment the refaced cabinets and custom cabinet doors made especially for your kitchen.

Top Reasons to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

You might also choose to reface the cabinets as a part of your kitchen remodel. The restored cabinets will look brand new without the huge investment of time and resources used in the installation of new cabinetry. You can feel good about repurposing your cabinets, too, because it helps keep excess materials out of the landfill and preserves natural resources.

Refacing vs Resurfacing Cabinets

When deciding between refacing vs resurfacing cabinets, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. a handy man doing some kitchen cabinet refacing You can then make a well-informed decision on how to proceed with your kitchen upgrade.

If you’d like to save money on the job and the quality of the material is not important to you (and no cabinet modifications are needed) then cabinet door resurfacing might work well for you. Installation of the thin veneer or laminate materials doesn’t cost as much as real wood, after all, especially if you reuse your old cabinet doors (there are limitations on what types of doors contractors will do resurfacing on, its best to check!).

Cabinet refacing, on the other hand, does cost more upfront, but it has the potential to save you money in the long run. Especially when considering a complete kitchen remodel. Solid wood materials withstand daily use, resulting in much less wear and tear over the years. Custom or handcrafted cabinet doors can boost your return on investment, too, resulting in more money in your pocket over time if you are looking to resell your home.

Resurfacing your kitchen cabinets is faster than refacing, however, it’s only by a few days. If you’re in a hurry, you just might want to just have the veneer put right over the top instead of waiting for a more in-depth install of the wood panels. While refacing can take more time and more time to start (since the doors are custom-made), the results are well worth the wait. So, if you want a particular look and a much higher quality build, then you’ll just need to work the extra time for cabinet refacing into your kitchen remodel project.a handy man doing some kitchen cabinet refacing

In the end, the choice is yours on which approach you’d like to use for your kitchen cabinets. Do you want a low-cost solution at the sacrifice of quality and appearance or do you want a superior look that will last much longer and is highly durable? 

So, close your eyes and think about what you want your kitchen to look like, the quality of the build, and its durability. Then, select the finish you think will match your vision best. If you’d like some help, check out our kitchen cabinet selections here.

Seek Expert Advice Before Remodeling Your Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re still not sure whether to choose refacing or resurfacing cabinets, look to our experts for the insights and guidance you need. At American Wood Reface, we specialize in restoring kitchen cabinets using high-quality hardwood materials.

As your leading cabinetmaking experts for over 25 years, we understand what each build needs to look like and work at its best. We only offer the highest quality of materials, craftsmanship, and service, ensuring you get excellent results every time.

If you’d like to get started, we welcome you to give our team a call today at 1-800-645-4594 for a free consultation. We’re available whenever you’d like to chat about your project and get the insights you need to make excellent remodeling decisions. So, please feel free to reach out at your earliest convenience. We serve Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.