November 20, 2014

Regardless whether you have recently purchased a home or you have lived in the house for quite some time, an outdated kitchen can be a detriment to the overall look of the home. It can be a barrier that would make an otherwise stylish house looked tired and old. Fortunately, most older kitchen cabinetry are built sturdy so you can consider other options for bringing them up-to-date without the need to replace them for functional reasons.

Alternative: Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing is a great alternative to completely replacing you older kitchen cabinets. Refacing gives you the opportunity to re-dress the cabinets for a more aesthetic appeal without the time and money required for a major renovation. Unlike a full remodeling job, which can take several weeks or even months to complete if walls need to be knocked out or plumbing rearranged, a cabinet refacing can usually be completed in one to two weeks. This eliminates the mess and hassle of a larger remodeling project. Although it’s considerably cheaper than a full remodeling job, it produces a similar effect in the kitchen’s appearance and increases the resale value of your home. You can save some serious cash with this technique and it’s amazing what refacing can do to change the look of the aging space.


Refacing cabinets can cost 30-50 percent less than replacing existing cabinets with cabinets of comparable quality. Obviously, the total cost to reface depends on the number of cabinets, the refacers and hardware choices, but it’s worth doing the math to see if it would be a wise choice for you.


There are combinations and variations to the definition of refacing cabinets and the degree to which cabinets are refurbished is up to you. Simply painting or restraining your cabinets can have a dramatic effect to their look. However, most refacing projects include replacing the doors and drawer fronts with a completely different door style or wood species, like veneer.

Cabinet refacing is the process of replacing (or switching out) the doors and drawer fronts by using veneer to cover all of the exposed parts of the frame that matches the new finish. In the simplest terms, you leave the cabinets intact and in their original place. By doing so, this eliminates the time, expense and effort of dismantling the old cabinets and replacing them with new, which is a major renovation project. The advantages to this method are a less complicated procedure, less financial burden and less material heading off to the landfill.

This system works well with older cabinets that have a partial-overly on the doors where the frame is visible. However, if cabinets have full-overly doors with no face frame and flush-inset doors, you can still reface the cabinets. In either case, you want to order doors that match the existing ones you’re replacing, rather than just measuring the cabinet openings and creating an inch overlap.


When you have finally made the decision to reface your cabinets, you can choose to do it yourself or hire a contractor. If the refinishing plans are simple, it may be worth your while to do it yourself, saving even more money on labour costs. However, if you live a busy lifestyle and time is a major factor for you, regardless of the simplicity of the project, you can hire a contractor to do the job in even less time. If the project is complex in nature, hiring a contractor is a wise choice because they are experts at managing these types of projects.

Professional refacing companies offer a wide range of finishes, colours, designs and styles to suit your needs and taste. There are a variety of refacers, such as laminate which is easy to clean and maintain. There are also solid wood refacers, which present a classic look and known for the same durability as wood. Some contractors may also remove and replace shelves and hardware that appear broken or outdated. In addition, the refacing company may make some adjustments to the cabinets, such as making them slightly taller or broader. They may also change the configuration of doors versus drawers, replace any slides on drawers that stick or do not function properly. Lastly, a contractor might give you the opportunity to add a venting outlet to a microwave oven cabinet or box in appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators.

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