Should You Reface or Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets?

When it comes to giving your kitchen a fresh new look, deciding between refacing your cabinets or replacing them entirely is a big decision. SCS Contracting is here to guide you through this process. Here are four (4) key factors that can help you decide the best route to take for your kitchen makeover.

1. Budget

Budget is often the biggest factor in any remodeling project. 

Refacing cabinets is generally more cost-effective than replacing them. If your budget is tighter, refacing can offer a significant change in appearance for a lower cost. However, if you have a larger budget and desire a completely new layout or high-quality materials, replacing your kitchen cabinets is probably the best way to go.

2. Condition of Existing Cabinets

The current state of your cabinets plays a crucial role. If the structure of your existing cabinets is strong and sturdy, refacing could be an excellent option. This process involves replacing the doors, drawer fronts, and applying a new veneer to the cabinet boxes. On the other hand, if your cabinets are old, damaged, or not functioning well, it might be best to replace them entirely to ensure longevity and functionality.

3. Desired Changes in Layout

Consider how much change you want in your kitchen layout. If you’re looking for a simple update in style or color, refacing should suffice. However, if you’re aiming for a significant change in the kitchen’s layout, such as moving cabinets around or adding more storage space, replacing your cabinets is necessary to achieve those structural changes.

4. Environmental Impact

Refacing is a more environmentally friendly option since it requires less material and generates less waste. If you’re conscious about your environmental footprint, refacing your existing cabinets can be a sustainable choice. Replacing cabinets, while offering more options and flexibility, involves more manufacturing and can have a higher environmental impact.

Pros and Cons of Refacing Cabinets vs. Replacing Cabinets

Refacing Your Cabinets


Cost-effective – It’s generally cheaper than replacing your entire cabinetry.

Less invasive – The process is quicker and doesn’t require a complete kitchen overhaul, meaning less disruption to your daily life.

Environmentally friendly – Uses less material, which is better for the planet.


Limited changes – You’re working with your existing layout and cabinet boxes, so there’s less room for structural changes.

Not a solution for damaged cabinets – If your cabinets are in poor condition, refacing won’t fix underlying issues.

Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets


Completely customizable – Offers the chance to totally change your kitchen’s layout and design.

New and improved – Everything is brand new, which can improve functionality and durability.

Opportunity to fix issues – Replacing allows you to address any hidden problems like mold or structural damage.


Cost – It’s typically more expensive than refacing, requiring a higher budget.

Time-consuming – The process takes longer and is more invasive, meaning your kitchen may be out of commission for a while.

Higher environmental impact – Produces more waste and requires more materials.

The decision between refacing and replacing kitchen cabinets depends on your budget, the condition of your existing cabinets, and the level of changes you want to make in your kitchen’s layout. Refacing offers a budget-friendly, less invasive update with a lighter environmental footprint but limits the extent of changes you can make. Replacing your cabinets is more expensive and invasive but allows for complete customization and the opportunity to fix any underlying issues. Consider these factors carefully to make the best choice for your kitchen remodel.

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