Should I Reface or Replace my Kitchen Cabinets?

Refacing or Replacing Your Cabinets

Do you ever walk into your kitchen and cringe at the site of your outdated cabinets? Has entertaining at your place become more of a hassle than a joy due to the embarrassment you may feel when someone enters your kitchen?

Kitchen remodeling projects can require a lot of time and money out of your pocket. You want to be sure that any decisions made on this project will suit your home.

We at JSB Home Solutions have been remodeling Central Ohio kitchens for the last 45 years. We have expertise in the two primary forms of cabinet renovation: cabinet refacing or complete cabinet replacement.

When giving your kitchen a fresh look, the choice between refacing and replacing cabinets can be pivotal. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of both processes. We’ll explore the timelines, costs, and benefits of refacing and replacing kitchen cabinets. By the end of this article, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether replaced cabinets or refaced cabinets are best for you, regardless of what contractor you work with.

What is a refaced cabinet?

Cabinet refacing is where your installation crew will use the original box and maintain the cabinet’s original structure. The original cabinet box will be covered with whatever materials are needed to update the surface of the cabinet.

Most refacing projects are going to remove the actual doors that are on the cabinet to be replaced with an entirely new door and hinges. They will also remove the existing drawer front, drawer box, and drawer glide and reinstall an entirely new drawer front, drawer box, and drawer glide.

Different companies offer different surfaces for refacing a cabinet. For example, at JSB, we use a quarter-inch hardwood panel that gets pinnailed to the original box for refacing. Other remodeling companies might provide an eighth-inch laminate that is glued to the cabinet surface. This is an imitation wood product as opposed to the true hardwood that we use at JSB.  The surface of your refaced cabinets could be anywhere from a veneer to an actual piece of hardwood.  Thicker materials and true wood will last longer and provide more warmth to the space.

Timeline of Refacing Cabinets

The timeline of refacing cabinets is efficient, as the process can be done in as little as three days. Your installers will come in and remove the old doors, drawer fronts, drawer boxes, and drawer glides.

After the removal process is finished, the installers will start refacing your cabinets. All of the quarter-inch S4S, what the hardwood is called, will come in 8-foot sections and are cut to size on site.

Once the cabinets are refaced, the installation crew will put on the new doors, new drawer boxes, new drawer glides and new drawer fronts.

If you are getting new countertops, your countertops will be installed first, prior to the refacing taking place.  This is to protect your beautiful new cabinet fronts from damage from the heavy countertops during installation.

Cost of refacing cabinets

The cost of refacing your cabinets will vary drastically due to the quality of the material being used. Most of the time, the options are an eighth-inch veneer with a fiberboard or participle board door vs. quarter-inch hardwood paneling with a true hardwood door.

The cost of the project will vary based on what company you’re using to remodel your kitchen and what materials are used. You can save money with a reface, but the difference is not huge. Generally, you can save anywhere between 5 to 15% by choosing to do a reface.

Benefits of refacing a cabinets

What are the benefits of refacing my cabinets?

Well, does this situation describe you? Let’s say that you had beautiful new quartz or granite countertops installed just a few years ago, and you love them, and you have no desire to replace them – well you are in luck – a reface is a perfect option for you!  Refacing does not require removal of countertops.

Another benefit of refacing your cabinets is the time it takes to complete the job. You will save a significant amount of time by choosing a reface. With JSB, our remodeling processes are generally kept clean. But, with any project, you’re looking at a crew in your house for anywhere from two to four weeks. A refacing project could have everything done within five days.

One final benefit to refacing your cabinets is the ability to still make alterations to cabinet layouts. For example, if you have a cabinet with a single drawer, and two doors, but you wanted that cabinet to have 3 larger drawers; in a reface – that can still be accomplished.

What are the drawbacks of Refacing?

The biggest drawback of refacing your cabinets is that the inside of the cabinets do not change.  When you open your cabinet, what you see today, is what you will see after the reface. If you do not like the insides of your boxes today, you won’t like them when they are refaced.

Another drawback of refacing is that you cannot change the physical location of the cabinets as the boxes are all remaining in place.

The alternative to refacing your cabinets is to replace your cabinets completely.

What are Replaced Cabinets?

The replacement process of updating your kitchen cabinets involves removing the old cabinetry from your kitchen and replacing them with brand-new cabinets. Replacing your cabinets is a more significant undertaking than refacing. The process costs more and takes longer to complete.

On the flip side, the cabinets that will be installed are brand new. The higher price tag and renovation time are worth it for many homeowners.

Replacing your cabinets is a worthy investment for homeowners who are ok with the timeline and cost. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages can help you figure out if replacing is the right solution for you.

Timeline of replacing your cabinets

Replacing your cabinets will take at least two and a half to three weeks to complete. Longer projects can go as long as four to five weeks. The timeline all depends on the scope of work involved.

The installation crew will come in and remove the old cabinets off of the wall. As the homeowner, you can keep the cabinets if you want otherwise the crew will dispose of them if you choose not to keep them.

While the cabinet installation is going on in the home, the countertop company will measure for the countertops and begin to fabricate the stone. This process takes about five days.

While this process is happening, your installation crew will put down the existing tops or plywood on the new cabinets and a temporary sink will be hooked up so you can still have a functioning kitchen.

When meeting with remodelers, ask if they will do this temporary sink for you because not many companies do. Most companies will say you will be without a kitchen for as long as the process takes which could be weeks, to even months.

Once the new countertops are installed, the installation crew will return to hook up the new plumbing, garbage disposal, faucet, and finish by completing the backsplash.

Cost of replacing the kitchen cabinets

The cost of your replacement kitchen project is determined mainly by what you, the homeowner, will choose for your kitchen. Most full replacement remodels with JSB will cost around $35,000 to $50,000 dollars.

A full kitchen remodel at JSB typically includes all new cabinets, all new countertops, a new faucet, and a new backsplash. Other elements like lighting and such can also be completed.

Benefits of replacing your kitchen cabinets

A benefit of replacing the cabinets in your kitchen is that you can do whatever you want with the space. It is a clean slate, a fresh start – and it’s all completely brand new! You can put cabinets where there weren’t any before and you can change your kitchen layout to a certain extent.

When JSB Home Solutions replaces your cabinets, you get custom, Amish-built hardwood cabinets. The cabinets are built by hand and not mass-produced. They are made to fit your exact wall measurements to ensure the space is most effectively used.

Every cabinet will have a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer and our limited lifetime craftsmanship warranty as well.

Drawbacks of replacing your kitchen cabinets

The biggest drawback of entirely replacing your kitchen cabinets is the price. Budgets are a real thing and can make or break whether a project is done. We want you to be pleased that you renovated your kitchen comfortably within your budget.

Kitchen remodeling projects are investments in your home and we want to be sure that you are making the best investment for you, and your family.

Another drawback is the timeline of a full kitchen replacement remodel. With a more extended project, problems can arise. Cabinet constructions could be delayed or the installation crew discovering preexisting plumbing issues that need fixed are examples of these.

Deciding on refacing or replacing your kitchen cabinets

In the quest for a kitchen transformation, deciding between cabinet refacing and complete cabinet replacement can be a difficult decision. The decision hinges on your preferences, budget constraints, and the desired impact on your home. You can choose the efficiency of refacing or the comprehensive transformation of replacement.

Either way, we at JSB Home Solutions are here to help. We specialize in both refacing or entire cabinet replacement, and we would love to help you navigate which option is best for you.

Next Steps!

Schedule a free consultation to see how JSB Home Solutions can help transform your home!