Is Cabinet Refacing a Viable Alternative?

The Economy may not be in the condition to take on a complete kitchen remodeling project, but many people are considering less costly option which may just be the perfect solution for the pocket book. Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

First, I think we need to take sometime to describe in detail exactly what cabinet refacing consists of and to discuss the procedures taken in a cabinet refacing project. Cabinet refacing in a nutshell is a process where a company will use your existing cabinets as a base for your new kitchen. Typically, all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed and discarded. Next, the cabinets are prepped for refacing which may consist of sanding or cleaning your existing cabinets exteriors. Then a facing is put over your old cabinets to give them a new look. Generally, the facing material could be a laminate, a thin veneer, or a 1/4″ Solid Wood facing. The 1/4 Solid Wood Facing is usually the best Quality Refacing Material available. The thin veneers can bubble and peel. The laminates can crack and peel. Once the cabinet have been faced over then new drawer fronts and doors are installed. Usually new hinges and decorative hardware are also installed. Some companies give options for new drawers, new tracks, new cabinet accessories among other items. Companies also offer to face over the cabinet bottoms. (i.e. the bottom side of the wall cabinets) Some other options offered are Finishing off the interiors of the cabinets, offering glass doors with a wood frame, offering additional cabinets to be incorporated into the kitchen design.

The best cabinet refacing companies meet the following criteria:
1. A showroom to show examples of their work.
2. An excellent rating with the BBB(Better Business Bureau). You can visit their website at
3. An excellent rating on “Angies’s List”( A contractor rating service in which the consumers rate their contractors. You can visit their website at
4. Excellent references. Keep in mind when you ask for references you want to to get references of customers with the following criteria:

The customers are recent customers(within the last 3-6 months).

The customers should be in the same general geographical area.

The customers should have contracted for similar type work and a similar dollar value.

A good cabinet refacing company should be able to offer many options to the consumer. For example, they can reface your base cabinets where you have granite installed(and don’t want to have removed) and replace your upper cabinets(or wall cabinets). They should be able offer some new cabinets to match their refaced cabinets in order to possibly add an island or peninsula, add some new cabinets on an open wall, add end panels around your refrigerator to give it a built in look. Also, they may be able to cut down an existing cabinet rather than replacing the entire cabinet or even add another row of cabinets if you have dead space above your existing wall cabinets.

Other services which may be available may include professionally painting or refinishing your existing doors or cabinets or both.

If you want to get an idea of the cabinet refacing vs. replacing cabinets vs. complete kitchen remodeling, I am going to give an example of the costs.

The average cabinet refacing job costs $10,000. I have seen small kitchens done for $5000 and large kitchens done with new granite and tile work for as much as $30,000. The average cost for a custom cabinets in an average sized kitchen is $20,000. I have seen small kitchens with a custom cabinet cost of 10,000 and large kitchens with many upgrades for $50,000 or more. A complete kitchen remodeling project costs on average $40,000, I have seen projects completed for as little as $20,000 for a small kitchen. A medium kitchen could run $50,000. A large kitchen could run $100,000 or more.

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