Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

3 reasons to reface cabinets and save your sanity

by Iris Price
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Along with appliances, buying new kitchen cabinets can be a major remodeling expense. If you're like most people, your appetite for a new kitchen remodel can often be bigger than your budget -- or your needs. When it comes to deciding on whether to buy new cabinets or just reface the ones you have, however, budget might not be the deal-breaker. Refacing can cost more than purchasing and installing new cabinets, depending on what kind of cabinets you want to buy versus what kind of refacing you choose.

If you were thinking you can automatically save money by refacing, does that surprise you? Why would you reface instead of replace kitchen cabinets if refacing costs more? Here are a few reasons that make refacing an obvious choice.

3 reasons to reface instead of replace cabinets

  1. You're in a hurry. This is probably the best reason of all to reface. It's like the lunch-break face lift for your cabinet doors. Refacing by a professional generally takes just a few days to complete. It might take DIYers a little longer, and fixing mistakes while you "learn as you go" can cost a bit extra, but it's certainly within the scope of a handy person's skill set. Refacing can involve "the works" -- new doors and matching veneer facings -- or it can be as simple as adding some decorative moldings and refinishing everything with paint or new stain.
  2. You want less disruption. Refacing not only takes less time, you don't have the noise and dusty mess that ripping out all of your kitchen cabinets can cause. If someone in your family has allergies to dust, needs to study or work from home, or you can't find a convenient time of the year to have your kitchen offline for a while, refacing can be a lot less invasive than tearing out and installing new cabinetry.
  3. You want to keep your granite or other stone counters. Kitchen cabinet professionals advise refacing when you have countertops like granite or concrete that can be damaged or destroyed when the lower cabinets are removed. If you're married to your countertops for life -- or at least for as long as you plan to live in your home -- refacing is the way to go.

Refacing is best-suited for kitchen remodels that do not involve a new layout, but if you were nodding "yes" to any of the reasons above, it pretty much goes without saying that taking the old cabinets out and moving them around was probably not in your game plan, anyway. It isn't the money you want to save. It's your sanity.

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