Replace, Reface, or Refinish?

Whether you want a simple face-lift or a complete remodel, deciding whether to replace, reface, or refinish your kitchen cabinetry is one of the largest home decisions you’ll make.  Below, we’ve created a basic comparison of the options available to you.

Cabinet Replacement

  • Average Cost to Complete: According to, the average cost of an upscale kitchen remodel is $80,000, 55% of which is cabinet replacement and labor.
  • Average Time to Complete: 12 weeks
  • Project Complexity:  Complex
  • Warranty: Variable
  • Potential Problems:
    • Unforseen Issues during demolition
    • Delivery delays
    • Incorrect cabinet measurements
    • Incorrect finishes
    • Incorrect cabinet delivery
    • Companies often use subcontractors to complete work

Cabinet Refacing

  • Average Cost to Complete:  According to online research there is a broad range of pricing due to the varying quality of the products. a 200 sq.ft kitchen in a Thermofoil door can cost as little as $7500.  The same kitchen in a solid wood door can cost double.
  • Average Time to Complete:  1-2 Weeks
  • Project Complexity:  Intermediate
  • Warranty:  Variable
  • Potential Problems:
    • De-lamination
    • Limited choice of finish and styles
    • Cabinets need to be sealed for moisture
    • Real wood veneers can drive up cost
    • Companies often use subcontractors to complete work

DIY Cabinet Refinishing/Refacing

  • Average Cost to Complete: $500.00
  • Average Time to Complete:  ???
  • Project Complexity: Complexity varies based on homeowner skill level
  • Warranty:  None
  • Potential Problems:
    • Owner needs extensive knowledge of refinishing/refacing
    • Additional costs are often incurred in hiring professionals for remedial work
    • Cabinets need to be in good shape
    • High potential for unexpected/undesired results
    • Time to complete can vary considerably based on homeowner availability
    • Incorrect application of products can result in premature failure of finish
    • Paint from the local hardware store will chip and flake, as it is often not formulated for cabinet refinishing, regardless of what the label indicates

In Place Cabinet Finishes

  • Average Cost to Complete: $6500.00
  • Average Time to Complete:  1 Week
  • Project Complexity: Moderate
  • Warranty:  20 Years
  • Potential Problems:
    • Cabinets need to be in reasonably good shape