Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Refacing vs. new cabinet doors: Which wins on savings?

by Shannon Lee
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

For many homeowners, their kitchen cabinets are the first things that get an overhaul during a kitchen remodel. But replacing cabinets can be rather pricey. Knowing what to expect from cabinet door prices can help you decide if cabinet replacement or cabinet refacing is right for you.

What to expect from cabinet door prices

If you choose to replace your cabinets altogether, expect a much higher price tag than simply replacing or refacing the doors. Basic cabinets for a 10-by-12 foot kitchen can run between $4,000 to $5,000 or more, not including installation costs. Semi-custom cabinets can cost between $8,000 and $10,000, while custom cabinets can hit your pocketbook for $16,000 to $20,000 or more.

Though there might be times when a complete cabinet replacement is necessary, such as in the event of water damage or other kitchen catastrophe, replacing the cabinet doors is often a cheaper option.

Expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for doors made of rigid thermofoil, also known as RTF, or plastic laminate. Cabinet doors made of 1/4-inch real wood veneer can cost between $2,500 and $6,000 for the job, while a higher-quality wood veneer can run into the $7,000 to $9,000 range or more.

Finally, there is the cost of new hardware. Simple hardware can be purchased at a local home improvement store for a few dollars per piece. Custom designs or colors can run into the $20 to $50 range.

For truly cash-strapped budgets, there is the option of do-it-yourself refacing. Materials for a do-it-yourself cabinet refacing job can run between $200 and $500 for a typical kitchen. Those materials include cleaning solvents, cleaning brushes and rags, paint or stain for your cabinets, brushes and other accessories necessary to handle the job. If you choose new hardware for your cabinet doors, expect a small bump in your bottom line.

Professional cabinet door installation can save money

Though it might be tempting to go the do-it-yourself route, keep in mind the benefits of hiring a professional contractor to handle installation of new door fronts. Professional installation can help ensure that any warranties are not compromised. The work should take only a few days in the hands of a professional, which can mean your kitchen remodel or makeover moves much faster than you might have expected.

You might actually save money, as some do-it-yourself projects become too big for a homeowner to handle, leading to hiring a professional to clean up the attempted work. The peace of mind of having the work done properly the first time can be worth the extra cash.



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