Reface or Replace?

Reface or replace? This is one of the hardest questions to answer when considering a major kitchen remodel. There are two ways to approach a kitchen remodel; one is a cosmetic refresh, the other is a major intervention. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Let’s discuss.

Reface or Replace?


There are several ways to cosmetically refresh your kitchen. Painting your existing cabinets is a very popular way to do this. Yes, it is a ton of work, but the great thing is that it can be done in a shorter timeframe with less disruption than a full kitchen remodel. This can be done as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project, or you can contract the job out to a professional.

Another cosmetic refresh option is to reface your kitchen cabinets. This is where the doors and drawers fronts are replaced with new ones and the rest of the boxes are cladded to match. This is best done by a professional company that specializes in cabinetry refacing.


Painting or refacing your existing cabinets has many advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that it should be less work than a full remodel. You may also be able to keep your existing countertops, plumbing, and fixtures, tiled backsplash, and floorcovering.


Many choose the cosmetic refresh option if they don’t plan on living in the home for a long time. This is a great option if you are planning to flip a house. This is also a great option if you don’t need to change your kitchen layout, add drawers or alter the utility of the space.


Simply put, a full kitchen remodel is a major undertaking and is a much deeper solve to the problem. Most people end up here once they have determined the root cause of why they want or need to remodel their kitchen. Many try for a quick cosmetic solution, but soon determine that it is more feasible to do a full kitchen remodel.



Choose this route if you are ready to change everything in the space. This includes new cabinetry, countertops, flooring, sink, and taps, etc. This will also give you the opportunity to improve all of the things you currently dislike about your current kitchen. Typically, this will include layout, adding more drawers and installing larger appliances. At the end, you will get a beautiful, brand new space that will serve you for many years to come.


One of the biggest misconceptions of a full kitchen remodel is that they are dramatically more expensive. If you isolate the costs of the cabinets and countertop, you may find that a full kitchen remodel is only 10-20% more expensive than the refacing option. Of course, the cost will vary from market to market, depending on the firm you choose in the United States. This is a pretty small investment to have the opportunity to fix a potentially dysfunctional kitchen layout and transform your space into your dream kitchen.



Think of refacing or painting your kitchen cabinets as a faster solution that provides cosmetic results. Compare this to restoring a classic car. Restoration can sometimes be more expensive than purchasing anew. This can be a great solution for some clients, however, some find that the results are somewhat superficial.

A full kitchen remodel is like purchasing a brand new car. You get to fully customize every option and detail to fit your space and budget. For some, this is an extremely fun project and for others, it can be daunting.

In closing, we always recommend doing what works best for your budget, timeframe, and space. Do lots of research to evaluate the pros and cons of each solution. Work with as many professionals as you can to objectively collect the information required to make an informed decision.


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