Cabinet Refacing vs. Cabinet Replacement: Which is Right for You?

Embarking on a kitchen upgrade? Wondering whether to opt for cabinet refacing or replacement? At Austin Floor & Design, we understand the dilemma. Cabinet refacing offers a budget-friendly facelift, preserving your existing layout while updating the look. On the flip side, cabinet replacement provides a fresh start but comes with a higher price tag. Let’s navigate through the choices together, weighing the pros and cons. Whether you’re leaning towards a cost-effective refresh or a complete makeover, Austin Floor & Design is here to guide you towards the kitchen of your dreams.

Understanding Cabinet Refacing:

What is Cabinet Refacing?

Cabinet refacing is like a facelift for your kitchen cabinets. Instead of tearing out the existing cabinets, the process involves updating the external elements, such as doors, drawer fronts, and hardware. The cabinet frames remain in place, providing a cost-effective way to give your kitchen a fresh look without the hassle of a complete overhaul.

The Process of Cabinet Refacing:


The first step is to assess the condition of your existing cabinets. If the frames are sturdy and in good condition, refacing becomes a viable option.

Removal of Doors and Drawer Fronts: 

The existing doors and drawer fronts are removed, leaving the cabinet frames intact.

Veneering or Painting: 

The exposed surfaces of the cabinet frames are either veneered with a thin layer of wood or laminate, or they are painted to match the new doors and drawer fronts.

New Doors and Hardware: 

Customized doors and drawer fronts are installed, along with updated hardware such as handles and knobs.

Pros of Cabinet Refacing:


Cabinet refacing is generally more budget-friendly than a full cabinet replacement. It allows you to achieve a fresh look without breaking the bank.


The process is quicker compared to cabinet replacement. Since the cabinet frames remain in place, there’s less disruption to your daily life during the renovation.

Less Waste: 

Refacing produces less waste compared to replacement, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

Preserves Layout: 

If you’re satisfied with the current layout of your kitchen, refacing allows you to maintain it while still giving your cabinets a new appearance.

Cons of Cabinet Refacing:

Limited Structural Changes: 

While cabinet refacing offers a budget-friendly facelift, it comes with limitations, notably in terms of structural changes. If you desire more than a cosmetic upgrade, cabinet replacement is the solution, allowing for unlimited design possibilities and substantial layout adjustments. Similarly, when considering a broader home transformation, including bathroom remodeling services, consult with professionals like Austin Floor & Design. Their expertise ensures cohesive design integration, providing a comprehensive and tailored approach to enhancing both your kitchen and bathroom spaces.

Quality of Existing Cabinets: 

If your existing cabinets are in poor condition or have structural problems, refacing may not be a suitable solution.

Limited Style Options: 

While there are various door styles and finishes to choose from, the design options may be more limited compared to a full replacement.

Understanding Cabinet Replacement:

What is Cabinet Replacement?

Cabinet replacement involves a complete overhaul of your kitchen cabinets. This includes removing the existing cabinets, addressing any structural issues, and installing brand new cabinets. It provides the opportunity for a more extensive transformation of your kitchen space.

The Process of Cabinet Replacement:


The existing cabinets are completely removed, leaving an empty kitchen space.

Addressing Structural Issues: 

Any structural issues, such as water damage or worn-out frames, are addressed before the new cabinets are installed.

Installation of New Cabinets: 

During the installation of new cabinets, professional cabinet services play a crucial role. These services, offered by experts like Austin Floor & Design, encompass precise measurements, meticulous assembly, and seamless integration. From ensuring proper alignment to expertly installing hardware, cabinet services ensure your new cabinets are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functionally superior, delivering a flawless and durable addition to your kitchen.

Additional Upgrades: 

This is an ideal time to make layout changes, install additional features like pull-out shelves or a pantry, and upgrade appliances.

Pros of Cabinet Replacement:

Complete Transformation: 

Cabinet replacement provides a blank canvas, allowing for a complete transformation of your kitchen. You have the flexibility to choose a new layout and style.

Address Structural Issues: 

If your existing cabinets have structural problems, replacement allows you to address these issues, ensuring a sturdy and durable kitchen.

Unlimited Design Options: 

When opting for cabinet replacement, you unlock unlimited design options to tailor your kitchen to perfection. From selecting materials and finishes to choosing unique hardware, the possibilities are vast. Additionally, professional painting services, like those provided by Austin Floor & Design, add the finishing touch, ensuring a flawless and durable finish that complements your chosen design, elevating the aesthetic appeal of your new cabinets.

Increased Home Value: 

A kitchen with brand new, high-quality cabinets can significantly enhance the overall value of your home.

Cons of Cabinet Replacement:

Higher Cost: 

Cabinet replacement is typically more expensive than refacing. The cost includes not only the new cabinets but also the labor for demolition and installation.

Extended Timeline: 

The process of cabinet replacement takes longer than refacing, leading to more disruption in your daily routine.

More Disruption: 

Since the existing cabinets are completely removed, there is more disruption during the renovation process.

Choosing the Right Option for You:

Factors to Consider:


If you have a limited budget, cabinet refacing might be the more suitable option. However, if you have the financial flexibility and are looking for a complete transformation, cabinet replacement could be the way to go.

Kitchen Layout: 

If you are satisfied with your current kitchen layout and just want to update the look, refacing is a viable choice. For those seeking a new layout or additional features, replacement provides the flexibility for such changes.

Condition of Existing Cabinets: 

Assess the condition of your existing cabinets. If they are in good structural shape, refacing is a practical option. If there are significant issues, replacement may be necessary.

Long-Term Goals: 

Consider your long-term plans. If you plan to stay in your current home for an extended period, a complete replacement might be a worthwhile investment. If you are looking for a more immediate, cost-effective solution, refacing could be the answer.

Consultation with Austin Floor & Design:

At this juncture, consulting with professionals, such as Austin Floor & Design, can provide valuable insights and guidance. Their expertise can help you assess your specific needs, explore design options, and make an informed decision tailored to your preferences and budget.


Is it better to replace or reface cabinets?

The decision to replace or reface cabinets depends on your budget, the condition of existing cabinets, and your design preferences. Cabinet refacing is a cost-effective option for a cosmetic update, preserving the existing layout, while cabinet replacement offers a complete transformation and is suitable for those with a higher budget and a desire for structural changes or a new kitchen layout. Consulting with professionals, like Austin Floor & Design, can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Is it worth it to replace kitchen cabinets?

Replacing kitchen cabinets is worth it if you seek a complete transformation, have the budget for a higher-end upgrade, and want the flexibility to address structural issues or change the layout. It provides an opportunity to choose from a wide range of design options, enhance your home’s value, and create a customized and modern kitchen space. Consulting with experts, like those at Austin Floor & Design, can guide you through the process and ensure a worthwhile investment.

Is cabinet refacing worth the money?

Cabinet refacing is worth the money if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to refresh the look of your kitchen without a full renovation. It’s a practical choice if your existing cabinet frames are in good condition, and you’re satisfied with the current layout. The process is quicker and more environmentally friendly, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a budget-friendly and sustainable upgrade.

Should I replace cabinets or just doors?

Whether to replace cabinets or just doors depends on your budget, the overall condition of the existing cabinets, and your design goals. If the cabinet frames are in good shape and you want a more budget-friendly option, replacing just the doors can provide a fresh look. However, if you desire a complete transformation, including structural changes or a new layout, replacing the entire cabinets may be the better choice.

What is the downside of cabinet refacing?

The downside of cabinet refacing is that it is primarily a cosmetic solution and won’t address underlying structural issues or provide an opportunity for significant layout changes. While it is a cost-effective option, the design choices may be more limited compared to a full cabinet replacement. Additionally, if the existing cabinets are in poor condition, refacing may not be a suitable solution, leading to potential issues in the long run.


In the end, whether you choose cabinet refacing or cabinet replacement depends on your unique circumstances and vision for your kitchen. Both options have their merits, and the key is to align your choice with your budget, design preferences, and long-term goals. With careful consideration and the support of professionals like Austin Floor & Design, you can embark on your kitchen upgrade journey with confidence, knowing that the heart of your home will soon reflect the style and functionality you desire.

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