Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Why style affects cabinet refacing costs

by Susanne Clemenz
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Before you choose an architectural style for refacing kitchen cabinets, learn why one style can cost significantly more than another. Let's price out a couple of styles and note the differences that affect prices.

A typical cabinet refacing job

Let's assume a kitchen with 18 linear feet of lower cabinets and drawers, 14 linear feet of uppers, and a pantry with bi-fold doors. Most lower units have a 6-inch-high top drawer and two 10-inch-high drawers below them. Here are ballpark prices from an online supplier based on two different cabinet door styles:

  1. Premium Traditional style: These cabinets are select grade cherry with a cider finish and a mocha accent glaze. The door panels are inset with one wider rope beading and two plain beads on the door frames. The center panel is raised and door corners are mitered. This deluxe set of options has a rough price of about $4,600.
  2. Craftsman/Shaker style: These red oak cabinets with a nutmeg finish and no accent glaze have door panels inset with squared edges and no ornamentation at all. The door and drawer frames are butt-joined rather than mitered. This style, while still all-wood, has a ballpark price of $1,300 from the same source as above--a $3,300 difference!

Other choices affecting cabinet refacing costs

You can increase or decrease the cost of refacing your cabinets in many ways. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Having the doors and drawers custom-made locally can cost you more, but provide more options. Be sure to get prices from several sources.
  2. Ordering the job with unfinished surfaces and doing the painting or staining yourself will save money.
  3. Using veneers, whether laminate or wood, or choosing medium density fiberboard for the center panels will save you money.
  4. Shipping and installation, not included in the sample prices above, increase your costs.
  5. Veneers for the cabinet cases that match the new doors typically add to the final price.

The Traditional style costs more than the Shaker style because it is more labor-intensive. Simple slab-style doors often cost less. Regardless, refacing offers tremendous savings over replacing the entire cabinets. And who doesn't love big savings!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and remodeled two others. She worked with architects and contractors on floorplans, electrical, painting, windows, flooring installations, flood prevention walls and stonework, major drainage issues, an irrigation system and landscaping.

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