Marble counter top

Replacing vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Can’t quite decide between cabinet replacement and cabinet refacing for your kitchen remodel? It’s not always easy deciding which kitchen update is the better choice, especially if you don’t know what sets one apart from the other. Cabinet replacement and cabinet refacing both offer something different and one or the other could be more ideal for your specific kitchen cabinet remodeling needs. Knowing the differences between the two is a starting point in helping you make the right choice. 

What’s Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing involves installing new drawer fronts and doors/fronts and veneering the cabinet boxes with wood, rigid thermofoil, or plastic. The exposed undersides of the upper cabinets are trimmed to give the cabinets a finished look, and the base cabinets get new toekicks. New cabinet hardware is typically mounted on as well.

What is Cabinet Replacement?

Cabinet replacement involves removing existing cabinets entirely. Professional installers will ensure that the base cabinets are set and level to avoid any imbalance in the counter. Wall cabinets, cabinet doors, and new hardware are installed.


Cabinet refacing will give you more bang for your buck. Homeowner’s will get good value for their money, creating a kitchen with a fresh, new look, without a full kitchen makeover. The cost of cabinet refacing depends on the kitchen size, materials selected, and the number of options included, including things like trim, toekick, molding, draw liner and shelf, and hardware. 

Cabinet replacement cost is typically impacted by factors like removal and disposal, kitchen size, trim, custom work, and the number of cabinets. Custom replacement cabinets can cost significantly more, with kitchen size and the type of custom work being key factors.


A cabinet-refacing DIY job can be a tough job if you are not equipped with the necessary knowledge. Veneering is not the simplest process and a do-it-yourselfer may have a learning curve to contend with. Chances are, if you don’t have the complete know-how for the project, you’ll unknowingly cut corners, a 3-day job could take you a week to complete, and you may discover underlying cabinet issues that you can’t fix.

Replacing your kitchen cabinets as a do-it-yourselfer can be difficult, but you’ll have an easier time than if you were refacing unless you make the project more complex. You could end up modifying the functionality and layout of your kitchen to match your style and aesthetic appeal. The more you add to the project, the greater the likelihood of it becoming complex. Complex kitchen cabinet projects often require the use of seasoned professional contractors. It will be a much more expensive, labor-intensive, and time-consuming product, but it’s typically more straight-forward than a reface.

Professional Service

While there’s a shift happening as more homeowners become aware of refacing and its benefits, it’s not a service that is widely offered by most cabinetry companies & contractors. Think of cabinet refacing as a niche service, one that isn’t commonly offered by most carpentry or cabinetry businesses. 

When it comes to cabinet replacement, there is no shortage of companies or carpenters that provide this service. There are far more offerings of cabinet replacement than refacing.

Contact Us Today

Deciding to update your kitchen cabinets often boils down to choosing between a replacement or refacing. It’s about the factors that are most important to you. Review the pros and cons of both and see which best suits your specific need. Seek guidance from professionals if you have questions that need to be answered. Ultimately, refacing is less expensive & time-consuming while still providing you with the feel of a brand new kitchen, but for homeowners who are truly looking to redesign, a cabinet replacement may be necessary.

If you’re interested in learning about our team’s cabinet refacing services, reach out today by calling us at (508) 544-9800 or by filling out our team’s online contact form! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with your cabinetry needs!



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