How It Works / Refacing vs Remodeling

Cabinet Refacing vs Refinishing vs Remodeling

Updating your kitchen cabinets is a simple solution that will breathe new life into your kitchen. There are three common renovation options to consider, depending on the condition of your existing cabinets, along with your goals and budget.

My Kitchen Needs a Makeover, What Now?

You’ve tried your best, but you can’t ignore it any longer ... your kitchen needs a makeover, STAT! Perhaps you’ve already added a fresh coat of paint to the walls or upgraded to shiny new appliances ... but you still haven’t achieved the fresh look you’re craving. Perhaps you want to put your home on the market, but you’re nervous the dated kitchen is going to turn away potential buyers.

Updating your kitchen cabinets is a simple solution that will breathe new life into your kitchen. There are three common renovation options to consider, depending on the condition of your existing cabinets, along with your goals and budget:

Cabinet Remodeling: All your existing cabinetry is removed, including cabinet boxes, doors, drawers, hardware, and hinges.

Cabinet Refacing: Your existing cabinet boxes are reused and everything you see and touch on a daily basis is replaced, including doors, drawer fronts, hardware and hinges. All visible surfaces on your cabinet boxes are covered with an engineered material that matches your new doors.

Cabinet Refinishing: Your original cabinet boxes and doors are stripped, sanded, and stained or painted.

What’s Right for Me?

You’ve decided to update your kitchen cabinets and are probably excited to get going. Before you sign up for a big remodel, you may want to consider whether you can achieve the look you want without the stress, mess, cost, and complexity. If you like the layout of your current kitchen, you can achieve an amazing transformation in much less time.

Reface vs Remodel what's right for me

Cabinet Remodeling

The most drastic of your options, cabinet remodeling requires all your existing cabinetry to be removed.

Pros and Cons of Remodeling

  • You can change your layout or add functionality. You may opt to make large or small changes to the layout of your kitchen to make it more functional, add more storage or improve the flow from your kitchen to other rooms in your home.
  • Damaged cabinet boxes can be replaced. Remodeling is a good option if your cabinet boxes are warped or damaged because they will be replaced with new boxes.
  • It’s time-consuming and expensive. Cabinet remodeling tends to be the most expensive and time-consuming option, often taking several weeks to months in your home to complete.
  • It will disrupt your daily life. You won’t be able to access your kitchen during the remodel, so you’ll need to have a backup plan for cooking meals.

Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet Refacing is a less drastic option that can achieve an equally dramatic transformation in many cases. With Refacing, all your cabinet doors and drawer fronts will be replaced with new ones, and your cabinet exteriors will be refreshed with durable material to match your new doors. Your options for new door styles, colours, and design combinations are nearly limitless, so you can achieve the exact look you’ve been dreaming about.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refacing

  • It’s fast. Cabinet Refacing projects are generally completed in 1-4 days in your home, compared to several weeks for traditional cabinet remodeling
  • You can add customizations. Choose accessories and updates for a more custom look, such as add-on cabinets, crown moulding, and kitchen islands.
  • It’s an eco-friendly option. Refacing is a more sustainable choice because your cabinet boxes will be reused, saving the materials and emissions that come along with manufacturing and shipping new ones.
  • Major layout issues can’t be addressed. Cabinet Refacing can’t fix major layout issues, so if you don’t like the layout of your current kitchen, you may want to consider a different option.
  • Limited ability to fix damaged cabinet boxes. While it’s possible to replace a few damaged cabinet boxes in your project, if most of your boxes are in damaged or in poor condition, you’ll want to consider an option that includes full replacement.

Cabinet Refinishing

When homeowners are looking for a quick, cost effective way to update their cabinets, they often jump to refinishing. Commonly after researching the benefits of Refacing vs refinishing, many homeowners decide that Refacing provides many of the benefits achieved from refinishing, without many of the downsides. With Refacing, you get a ‘wow’ factor with a durable result that lasts.

Pros and Cons of Cabinet Refinishing

  • It’s a quick fix. If your cabinets are in good condition and you like their style, refinishing can be a quick fix with a big impact that really changes the look of the room.
  • Less expensive, but time consuming. Refinishing can be much less expensive than other options because all you need is paint or stain. However, if you’re going to do-it-yourself, it can be incredibly time consuming to achieve a professional-looking result. So if you consider the value of your time, it may not be as economical as it first appears.
  • Not all cabinets can be refinished. Cabinets that are damaged or warped will stay that way, even with a fresh coat of paint. If your cabinets have a dramatic grain pattern you’re hoping to hide with a coat of paint, this can be a near-impossible task.
  • It will show wear-and-tear. Refinishing simply doesn’t last as long as Refacing or remodeling. Before long, your refinished cabinets will start to chip and scuff.
  • You’re stuck with your current cabinet style. If your kitchen has flat, slab style doors, but you’ve been dreaming of shakers… keep dreaming. There’s no way to change the style of your cabinet doors when you choose refinishing, only the color or stain.

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