How Much Does It Cost to Reface Kitchen Cabinets?

How Much Does It Cost to Reface Kitchen Cabinets?


The kitchen, often touted as the heart of the home, can see a lot of wear and tear over the years. Have you ever wondered how to give it a fresh look without a complete overhaul? Enter cabinet refacing, a method that’s gaining traction among homeowners for its cost-effectiveness.

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing, also known as a “cabinet makeover”, is the art of rejuvenating the external surfaces of your existing kitchen cabinets. In this transformation, the doors and drawer fronts are meticulously removed and replaced. Simultaneously, the old veneer is swapped out, and more often than not, even the hardware gets an upgrade. For those wanting an extra touch of flair, additions like crown moldings or glass panels might also be integrated into the process.

Though a skilled DIY enthusiast might be tempted to undertake this “cabinet makeover” as a personal project, handling veneers can be intricate. Hence, the job is best entrusted to a professional adept in cabinet refacing. Typically, for an average-sized kitchen, the whole revamp spans around three to five days. However, if you opt for any extra accessories or embellishments, you might need to factor in a bit more time.

the cabinet refacing process

Average Cost of Cabinet Refacing

The typical expense for cabinet refacing oscillates between $4,500 and $7,000. However, the final bill hinges on various determinants, such as the design of your kitchen, the dimensions of the cabinets, and the caliber of materials selected. To provide a clearer perspective, here’s an approximate cost breakdown for refacing cabinets in a standard 10’x10′ kitchen across different price points:

Things To Consider When Calculating Cost

Material Choices

Laminates might be on the affordable end, while real wood veneers could increase the cost. Your choice of materials can make a significant difference in the final bill.

Labor Costs

Your location and the professionals you hire play a role. For instance, specialized artisans might charge more than general handymen.

Kitchen size

Kitchen size will play an obvious role in determining the cost of cabinet refacing – the bigger your kitchen, the more cabinets to reface. While some contractors have a set price for cabinet refacing, most will charge based on the total linear square feet of your cabinets.
average cost of cabinet refacing by kitchen size

Additional Customizations

From intricate hardware to unique finishes, any additional custom touches can impact the overall cost.

Accessories and Hardware

While cabinet refacing doesn’t necessitate changing your hardware, many homeowners seize this chance to infuse a touch of contemporary flair with updated knobs and pulls that align with their cabinet’s fresh aesthetic. The financial outlay for such hardware can oscillate between $100 to a whopping $10,000, though a majority find themselves spending less than $1,000. Ultimately, the expenditure hinges on the chosen hardware’s design and constituent materials.
Beyond simply updating cabinet hardware, there’s a myriad of enhancements you can consider to elevate your kitchen’s charm. These might include:
  • Under cabinet lighting: $200-$300 per light
  • Crown molding: $5-$25 per linear foot
  • Glass cabinet inserts: $150-$200 per door
  • Pullout trash cans: $70-$200
  • Lazy Susans: $80-$300
  • Built-in wine racks: $500-$3,000
  • Spice storage: $70-$600

Why Should You Consider Refacing Your Cabinets?

If your cabinets are structurally sound but could use a visual upgrade, cabinet refacing emerges as a swift and budget-friendly solution to revamp your kitchen. The advantages of opting for refacing include:
  • Boundless Aesthetic Choices: With a range from classic wood veneers to contemporary textured melamines in any hue or design, refacing offers the flexibility to attain your desired cabinet aesthetic without the need for entirely new installations.
  • Efficient Turnaround: In contrast to the prolonged durations of comprehensive kitchen overhauls, refacing can remarkably metamorphose your kitchen or restroom space in a mere matter of days.
  • Eco-conscious Option: Retaining your original cabinet structure means fewer materials discarded, making refacing a greener alternative compared to full cabinet replacements.
  • Uninterrupted Kitchen Usage: The beauty of refacing is that it doesn’t halt your daily kitchen activities. This means fewer dinners ordered in and more home-cooked meals even during the process.
  • Affordability: By reutilizing your existing cabinet boxes and only updating the doors, drawer fronts, and veneers, you save considerably, making refacing a pocket-friendly choice.

Is DIY Cabinet Refacing a Good Idea?

While it’s feasible to undertake cabinet refacing as a DIY project, it’s not usually advised. Navigating the intricacies of veneer application can be quite challenging, especially for beginners. Even a minor misstep can lead to issues like uneven alignment, creases, potential tearing, or unsightly air bubbles. Without significant prior experience, you might find yourself facing more hassles than anticipated.

Decoding Cabinet Updates: Refacing vs. Replacing vs. Refinishing vs. Painting

When rejuvenating your kitchen cabinets, you’re presented with a slew of options: refacing, replacing, refinishing, and painting. Here’s a comprehensive comparison to help you make an informed decision:

Cabinet Refacing: This entails swapping out tired cabinet doors, drawer fronts, veneers, and possibly hardware with fresh versions for a renewed appearance. Notably, while you can transform your cabinet’s facade, the existing kitchen layout remains unchanged.

Cabinet Replacement: A more exhaustive option, it demands the extraction and discarding of your old cabinets in exchange for new installations. With this method, you have the liberty to reconfigure your kitchen’s layout if you wish.

Cabinet Refinishing: With this approach, the focus is on stripping away old paint or stain from your cabinets, prepping them for a fresh re-staining or painting. It’s essentially about giving the original material a renewed finish without altering its structure.

Cabinet Painting or Refacing: This is where things can get a bit tricky. Painting is an economical way to change your cabinet’s appearance without tearing them out. While refacing involves more comprehensive changes like replacing doors and veneers, painting simply updates the color or finish. However, the longevity and finish of painting can sometimes be less durable than refacing. When considering costs, painting typically comes out cheaper than refacing, but the final choice should factor in durability, desired appearance, and long-term value.

cabinet refinishing vs. refacing vs. replacing

Strategies to Trim Down Cabinet Refacing Expenses

While cabinet refacing is an investment, there are savvy ways to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Here are some tried-and-true tips to optimize quality without straining your wallet:

Shop Around for Quotes: Avoid committing to the first estimate you receive. Engage at least three credible professionals and compare their proposals to identify the best value proposition.

Prioritize a Warranty: Ensure your refacing service comes with a guarantee. This might mitigate potential expenses from unforeseen repairs or damage later on.

Reuse Existing Hardware: If your knobs and handles are still aesthetically pleasing and functional, a simple cleaning might rejuvenate them, eliminating the need for replacements.

Browse Local Stores for Hardware: Should you decide on a hardware update, your neighborhood hardware store might offer competitive prices compared to sourcing them from the refacing professional.

Explore Beyond Solid Wood: While solid wood is undeniably premium, alternatives like high-density fiberboard offer durability without the hefty price tag. Medium-density fiberboard, when treated well, can also be a cost-effective choice.

Opt for Cost-effective Veneers: As much as wood veneer radiates luxury, its maintenance and cost might not align with everyone’s preferences. Laminate or thermofoil veneers present a pocket-friendly option, boasting a vast array of designs and hues while being relatively low maintenance.

Tread Cautiously with Extras: For those contemplating add-ons, like under-cabinet illumination, it’s prudent to research affordable solutions or even DIY routes that won’t escalate costs disproportionately.

Is Refacing More Cost-Effective Than Replacing Cabinets?

Typically, opting to reface cabinets can result in a cost savings of between 30% to 50% compared to a full replacement. The reasons are manifold: there’s no need for the disposal of old cabinets, no rough-in tasks, and no expenses related to buying and transporting new cabinets. Moreover, the time and labor costs for installation are bypassed. Thus, hiring a professional to refresh your cabinets via refacing often emerges as the more economical choice.

Tips To Save on Cabinet Refacing Costs

While cabinet refacing offers a cost-effective alternative to complete replacements, it’s still an investment. To ensure you get the best bang for your buck, here are some strategies to consider:

Shop Around: Before settling, gather quotes from at least three trusted professionals. This will give you a clearer picture of the market rate and might save you from overpaying.

Warranty is Wise: Always inquire about warranties. Understanding what potential damages or issues are covered can save on unforeseen expenses in the future.

Reuse the Hardware: Instead of buying new, give your existing handles and knobs a thorough cleaning. Sometimes, all they need is a little TLC to shine again.

Local Hardware Deals: If you’re keen on updating the hardware, explore options at local stores. They often offer competitive prices compared to specialized installers.

Think Beyond Solid Wood: While solid wood undeniably offers a premium finish, materials like high-density fiberboard provide durability at a fraction of the cost. Medium-density fiberboard can also be an option, especially if you treat your cabinets with care.

Opt for Cost-effective Veneer: While wood veneer radiates luxury, it comes with maintenance and a steeper price. Materials like laminate or thermofoil are not only affordable but also low-maintenance, offering a plethora of design choices.

Be Cautious with Extras: If you’re contemplating additional features like under-cabinet lighting, research budget-friendly options or even DIY solutions.


Depending on the kitchen’s size and the project’s complexity, it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days.

Absolutely! Refacing reduces waste by reusing your existing cabinet structure.

Minor damages can be fixed, but cabinets with significant structural issues may need replacement.

With proper care, refaced cabinets can last as long as new cabinets, often 10–20 years.

Always ask for a detailed quote. While most costs are upfront, unforeseen issues, like discovering damage once the old veneer is removed, could lead to additional expenses.

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