The term, cabinet refacing, can be used to describe 3 different types of upgrades.
Descriptions of each are listed below:
Cabinet refacing, in the traditional sense, also known as cabinet refinishing, is sanding down your existing cabinets and re-painting or staining them.
We do not offer this type of refacing since the only materials involved are paint or stain, which we do not sell and labor, which we
do not provide for this type of service. Cabinet refinishing, in most cases, makes sense
if you do most to all of the work yourself. The main advantages are 1) it costs very little to do
(again if you do the work yourself) and 2) it can completely change the way the kitchen looks (it might
not look like a new kitchen, but it will look like a different kitchen).
The main disadvantages are 1) you're stuck with the same door style and cabinet arrangement (which
might be what you do not like to begin with), 2) if you cannot
do the labor it may cost almost as much to pay someone to change the color as it will to change the doors and/or cabinets,
and 3) some door styles cannot be sanded down and re-stained or painted easily (specifially--recessed panel, formica and thermofoil
Cabinet refacing, in the more modern sense, is replacing all the doors and drawer fronts, but keeping
the cabinet box and drawers. When looking for new doors you can choose between buying
unfinished or finished doors. We sell unfinished doors and drawer fronts from
in many different styles and types of wood. As with refinishing, replacing with
unfinished doors makes the most sense for the do-it-yourself person who can
paint or stain, drill and install them. The main advantages are 1) it costs less than
replacing all of your cabinets (again if you do much of the work yourself), 2) it can completely
change the way the kitchen looks (and in this case the kitchen will look new, since the doors are
new and that is what everyone sees), and 3) you can keep the existing counter top (especially important
if you have a beautiful granite top you want to keep). Note that in most cases you cannot re-use an already
installed granite top. If you want to change your bottom cabinets, you will have to remove the existing granite
top, throw it in the garbage, install the new bottom cabinets and then install a new granite top.
The main disadvantages are 1) your have to keep the existing cabinet arrangement (which might not be
what you like, it can be outdated or too small), 2) if you have to pay someone to paint and install the doors,
you will end up spending almost as much as replacing the cabinets, 3) if you have the old style drawer boxes
(which are part of the drawer fronts) or they are broken, you will have to buy new drawer boxes and guides, which
could add about $100 per drawer to the overall cost (plus labor if you cannot install them) and 4) you are spending
a considerable amount of money and time to put new doors on old cabinets.
The prices for the doors run from $12.25 to $26.25 per
square foot for the most popular styles and wood types, or $37-$79 for a typical base
cabinet door and $49-$105 for a typical 30" high wall cabinet door.
Finally, all our manufacturers sell finished doors and drawer fronts, in standard
and in custom sizes, plus Decore-ative Specialties, sells finished thermofoil doors.
You can also get them pre-drilled and with the hinges. The main advantages are 1) there
is very little labor involved to install them (especially if you get them drilled and hinged), and as with
unfinished doors 2) it can completely change the way the kitchen looks and 3) you can keep the existing counter top.
The main disadvantages are 1) this can be fairly expensive, sometimes even more then buying new cabinets,
2) if you do not pick a color that is similar to the existing
cabinets, then you will still need to sand down and re-stain the frame of the cabinet and any exposed sides,
and as with unfinished doors 3) your have to keep the existing cabinet arrangement, 4) drawers may need to be
replaced, and 5) you are putting new doors on old cabinets.
Finished doors typically run 2 to 5 times the price of unfinshed doors.
My personal recommendations on which way to go are these: 1) If you like your layout and door style, but just
want to change the look of the kitchen without spending much money, and know how to use an orbital sander
and paint brush, then sanding down and re-painting is the way to go. It costs very little and does change
the look of the kitchen. 2) If you like your layout and your counter top but hate your door style (maybe it's
the old formica door style) and can do the labor, then buying unfinished doors and finishing and installing
them yourself is the way to go. If, however, you cannot do the labor, then it may make sense to buy finished
doors in a color that is similar to your existing cabinets. 3) If you like your layout but hate your door style
and counter top, then in most cases your are better off replacing the cabinets.