To Reface or Replace

Refacing, sometimes also called “face lifting,” can be an economical alternative to replacing kitchen cabinets. Refacing cabinets involves replacing existing cabinet doors, hinges, drawer fronts, drawer boxes and hardware and re-laminating of cabinet face frames and finished end panels with new wood veneer. In effect, an existing kitchen can be completely transformed without removing the existing cabinet boxes, countertops, flooring, backsplash or appliances.

The most common myth about cabinet re-facing is that it can always be done for a fraction of the cost of new kitchen cabinets. This is the most common sales pitch used by companies that strictly offer cabinet re-facing. Because Bath Kitchen and Tile Center offers new cabinets, complete kitchen remodeling, and cabinet re-facing, we are able to give objective insight into what is best for any unique situation.

Simply put, cabinet re-facing is perfect for the client who is happy with everything about their kitchen but their cabinets. They are happy with their countertops, their appliances and their floor. Cabinet re-facing is very labor intense. While the cost of materials is typically less than that of new cabinets, re-facing an existing cabinet is much more labor intensive than replacing them with new ones. Also, the cabinet doors and drawers are typically the most costly part of the cabinet.

If you remove countertops, appliances, flooring and the doors and drawers of the cabinet, all that is left is the cabinet box, which is typically the least expensive part of the cabinet. In this instance, it is most always more cost effective to replace the entire cabinet rather than re-face it. In many instances, it is even less expensive to replace them with new cabinets.

If your client is happy with their current countertops and appliances, re-facing is a cost effective way to give their kitchen a face lift. In this case, no plumbing is needed; no electric is needed; and the demo of the existing product is minimal and is very in-expensive with little cost for debris removal. An old oak kitchen can literally be transformed into a painted and glazed masterpiece or an elegant cherry showplace in a couple of days with little to no interruption in your client's daily routine. The process is fairly simply for an experienced craftsman with the proper tools, especially if you have experience working with wood veneers.

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