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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Should You Choose Refacing a Kitchen Cabinet Over Replacing It?

The kitchen has, over the last few decades or so become the center of activity in many homes all over the world. People are simply too busy to sit down and eat a meal in a formal dining room most of the time, so a kitchen dining nook has become far more popular and for many families, the kitchen countertop has simply become a place to sit and hang out.

For these reasons and many more, for most homeowners that their kitchen function well and look great is more important than ever. And it is especially important when selling a home, as the kitchen is one of the biggest considerations most home buyers have at the top of their list.

A big part of any kitchen is the way the kitchen cabinets look, as it is really the cabinets and countertops in any kitchen that really define it. Those who are unhappy with the way their kitchen cabinets look would often love to replace them, but the cost of doing so can be very high and the mess and hassle involved in kitchen cabinet replacement can be hard to deal with as well. There is a more affordable and effective alternative though – choosing to reface kitchen cabinet units instead.

Why Choose to Reface a Kitchen Cabinet?

When most homeowners say that they are unhappy with their kitchen cabinets they are often not talking about the cabinets themselves but the way they look on the outside. The insides are fine, it is the exterior appearance that is bothering them. The cabinet doors and hardware may be a color that is not appealing, or the styling may be old and outdated. Or it may just be as simple as that the cabinet doors are old, worn and showing their age. All of these are great reasons for a change, but do you really have to rip all of those perfectly serviceable cabinets out in order to achieve the look you want. Often the answer is no – kitchen cabinet refacing will be all a homeowner needs to commit to get the results they are looking for.

What is Kitchen Cabinet Refacing?

Kitchen cabinet refacing involves only altering the exterior of the cabinets that already exist. Often it involves replacing the cabinet’s doors altogether, although that is not always the case. Sometimes something as simple as a coat of paint and new hardware can do the trick.

There are those homeowners who are handy – and creative – enough to reface a kitchen cabinet by themselves but most people do turn to a professional cabinet refacing expert to help them achieve the look they want.

The good news for them is that cabinet refacing is far more affordable than cabinet replacement and can be achieved in just a few days at most while a cabinet replacement project takes far longer and effectively means that the space cannot be used at all while the work is in progress.

Kitchen Cabinet Refacing – How it Works

If a homeowner is opting for full kitchen cabinet refacing – rather than just repainting the doors and drawer fronts they have – the whole process from start to finish is a straightforward one, although it can be very tricky for an amateur to pull off.

The first step is the careful removal of all the old door fronts and drawer fronts. The inside of the cabinets – usually referred to by professionals as the cabinet boxes – are then refinished using a wood veneer or RTF coating (rigid thermofoil) Once this is set and dry the new doors are carefully installed and any new additional hardware is added as well. The new set up is then checked and tested to make sure that all the new doors and drawers fit just right and that everything opens and closes in the way that it should.

In the hands of a good professional, the procedure is usually completed in a day or two and the end result is a kitchen that is completely transformed – but at about 50% of the cost of kitchen cabinet replacement.

Is Refacing Kitchen Cabinets an Eco-Friendly Choice?

Many people do feel that refacing is indeed a “greener” way to improve your kitchen than opting to replace all the kitchen cabinetry is. When you choose cabinet refacing the cabinet boxes are reused, which saves them from ending up in a landfill somewhere and with fewer new raw materials being utilized chances are that more than a few trees are being spared the chop as well.

Can Even Old Kitchen Cabinets be Refaced?

According to most professional kitchen cabinet refacing companies then as long as the cabinet boxes are structurally sound, then almost any set of kitchen cabinets can be refaced and refreshed, even those that have been in place for decades! In fact, sometimes these pros say that dealing with older kitchen cabinets is easier as they do have a tendency to be sturdier and stronger than some of their newer counterparts.

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