What are the Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets?

What are the Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets?

Question: What are the cons of refacing kitchen cabinets?

Answer: Potential cons of cabinet refacing include limited design changes and the need for well-maintained cabinet structures.

What are the Cons of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets? – The Potential Downsides of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to home renovation, the kitchen is often at the top of the list. From upgrading appliances to reconfiguring the layout, there are many ways to improve this central space. One common focus is the cabinets. Many homeowners are faced with the decision: should they replace their kitchen cabinets entirely, or could they benefit from cabinet refacing?

While refacing has many benefits, it’s important to take a balanced approach and consider the potential drawbacks. This blog post aims to provide you with an understanding of the cons of refacing kitchen cabinets.

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Understanding Cabinet Refacing

Before diving into the disadvantages, let’s quickly revisit what cabinet refacing entails. This process involves updating the exterior surfaces of your cabinets — the doors, drawer fronts, and visible sides — while keeping the existing structure intact. New veneers are typically applied to these surfaces, and new doors and drawer fronts are installed. Though this can provide a dramatic visual overhaul, there are some potential drawbacks worth considering.

Drawback One: Not a Solution for Structural Damage

One of the most significant drawbacks of refacing kitchen cabinets is that it can’t resolve any existing structural damage. Refacing essentially offers a facelift to your cabinets, but it doesn’t repair underlying structural issues.

If your cabinet boxes are in poor condition — perhaps they’re warped, water-damaged, or simply old and frail — refacing won’t solve these problems. You’ll still have the same old cabinets underneath the new façade. In this case, full cabinet replacement might be a more beneficial route.

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Related Article: Does Cabinet Refacing Include Painting?
Related Article: Can you Reface Really Old Kitchen Cabinets?

Drawback Two: Limits to Layout Changes

If you’re thinking about significantly altering the layout of your kitchen, cabinet refacing might not be the best solution for you. Refacing won’t change the structure or the layout of your cabinets — it only changes their outward appearance.

Should you wish to add more cabinets, change the configuration of existing ones, or make substantial alterations to your kitchen’s layout, refacing won’t meet your needs. In such scenarios, a full cabinet replacement is usually necessary to bring your vision to life. [ 1 ]

Drawback Three: Potential Cost Discrepancies

While cabinet refacing is often marketed as a budget-friendly alternative to full cabinet replacement, the cost benefit isn’t always as significant as you might expect. The final cost will depend on several factors, including the quality of materials you choose, the size of your kitchen, and the complexity of the job.

If you opt for high-end materials and finishes, the cost of refacing can quickly add up. In some cases, the price can even approach that of installing lower-end new cabinets. Therefore, it’s essential to get detailed quotes and fully understand the costs involved before making your decision.

Drawback Four: Temporary Solution

While cabinet refacing can extend the life of your cabinets, it’s often seen as a temporary solution compared to a full cabinet replacement. The veneers used in the refacing process can peel over time, particularly in areas of high use or near heat and moisture sources.

In addition, while refacing gives your kitchen a new look, it doesn’t provide the longevity of new cabinets. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time and foresee another kitchen renovation in the future, it might be more cost-effective to invest in new cabinets now rather than face additional costs down the line.

Conclusion: Weighing the Pros and Cons

While cabinet refacing offers a way to update your kitchen’s look without the cost and hassle of a full cabinet replacement, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks and consider these in the context of your specific situation.

The decision to reface or replace your kitchen cabinets ultimately depends on a variety of factors, including the condition of your current cabinets, your budget, your future plans for the space, and your personal preferences. By considering both the pros and cons, you can make the best decision for your home.


1. https://www.deancabinetry.com/should-i-reface-or-replace-my-kitchen-cabinets/

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