Replacing vs. Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: A Guide for Your Clients

When kitchen cabinets become old and worn out, the answer seems simple: replace them. However, cabinet replacement is an extremely expensive job, one that many of your clients may not be able to afford. Instead, a more cost-effective option is refacing. To help your clients decide between refacing and replacing, there are a few factors they need to consider, including the cost of the job and the state of their old cabinets. Use this guide to help your clients better understand replacing vs. refacing and help them choose.

What is Refacing?

You will first need to explain to your clients exactly what refacing entails. Refacing refers to the process of leaving the old cabinet boxes intact while replacing cabinet doors and drawer faces along with covering the cabinet face frames with a thin coat of veneer. The refacing material is available in multiple options: plastic laminates, rigid thermofoils (RTFs) and real wood veneers. Refacing is a great option for your clients because it takes much less time than replacing (typically less than a week).

The Cost of Refacing vs. Replacing

In addition to taking less time, your clients will be pleased to hear that refacing is a much more budget-friendly option than replacing cabinets. Refacing costs about 50% as much as replacing, and according to Consumer Reports, the average cost was $150-$300 per cabinet door in 2012.

A typical refacing job could range anywhere from $1,000-$9,000 depending upon how many cabinets your clients need to reface, what style of doors they want, and what type of veneer they choose, with real wood on the higher end. In contrast, replacing kitchen cabinets will typically cost your client anywhere from $4,000-$20,000, depending upon whether they choose stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets.