Should I Replace Countertops Before Refacing Cabinets?

Should I Replace Countertops Before Refacing Cabinets?

Question: Should I Replace Countertops Before Refacing Cabinets?
Answer: It’s generally recommended to replace countertops before refacing cabinets to ensure a cohesive and seamless look in your kitchen renovation.

Should I Replace Countertops Before Refacing Cabinets? The Countertop Conundrum

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and often the space that craves renovation the most. But when it comes to sprucing up your kitchen, a question arises: should you replace your countertops before refacing your cabinets, or vice versa? This seemingly simple question can significantly impact the outcome of your project. Let’s delve into the factors to consider to make an informed decision.

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Assessing Your Cabinets: Durability and Design

The condition of your cabinets is the primary consideration. Are your cabinets structurally sound? Do the doors and drawers open and close smoothly? If they’re sturdy and meet your functional needs, refacing can be a great option. Refacing involves applying a new veneer or laminate over the existing cabinet doors and frames, creating a fresh look without the cost and mess of a complete cabinet replacement. [ 1 ]

If your cabinets are warped, sagging, or have significant water damage, refacing won’t be a viable solution. In such cases, replacing the cabinets entirely is necessary to ensure a solid foundation for your new countertops. Consider the layout as well. If you’re happy with the current configuration and storage space, refacing allows you to maintain the functionality while achieving a modern aesthetic.

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Related Article: What is the Least Expensive Way to Redo Countertops?
Related Article: Do Countertops Sit Directly on Cabinets?

Countertop Considerations: Material and Matching

The material of your countertops also plays a role. Natural stone countertops, like granite or quartz, require precise measurements during fabrication. If you plan to reface the cabinets later, it’s difficult to guarantee a perfect fit after modifications are made. Additionally, some countertop materials, like laminate, are more forgiving when it comes to minor adjustments during refacing.

On the other hand, refacing first allows you to select a countertop material and colour that complements the new cabinet finish. This ensures a cohesive look and eliminates the possibility of the countertop clashing with the refaced cabinets.

The Importance of Project Flow: Minimizing Disruption

The order of these projects can also impact the workflow and minimize disruption in your kitchen. Replacing countertops is a messy process that involves dust, debris, and the removal of the existing countertop. If you plan to reface the cabinets afterwards, you risk damaging the new finishes during the countertop replacement.

Conversely, refacing the cabinets first keeps the dust and mess contained. Once the refacing is complete, the countertop replacement can proceed with minimal impact on the newly refreshed cabinets. This sequenced approach ensures a smoother renovation process.

Budgetary Balancing Act: Prioritizing Costs

Budget is a crucial consideration in any renovation project. Refacing cabinets is generally less expensive than replacing them entirely. Keep in mind that the cost of refacing can vary depending on the size of your kitchen, the material chosen, and the complexity of the design.

Replacing countertops can also be a significant investment. The price depends on the material, size, and thickness of the countertop you select. By carefully considering your budget and prioritizing the aspects you wish to improve the most, you can determine the most cost-effective approach for your kitchen renovation.

Consulting the Experts: Seeking Professional Guidance

Kitchen renovations can be complex undertakings. To ensure a successful outcome, consulting with a professional contractor or designer is highly recommended. They can assess the condition of your cabinets, recommend suitable materials for countertops and refacing, and provide valuable insights into the project flow and budget considerations.

A qualified professional can guide you through the decision-making process, ensuring that your kitchen renovation not only meets your aesthetic preferences but also functions seamlessly within your budget.


Ultimately, the decision of whether to replace your countertops before refacing your cabinets, or vice versa, depends on your specific needs and priorities. By carefully evaluating the condition of your cabinets, the materials you desire, the project flow, and your budget, you can make an informed choice that transforms your kitchen into a beautiful and functional space.



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