Remodel or Refacing Cabinets: What’s Best for Your Kitchen?

kitchen cabinets remodeling
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: August 8, 2023
  • Updated On: August 8, 2023

Kitchen remodel or refacing your cabinets are both popular choices for transforming your kitchen. The terms and options you’ll encounter can be quite confusing. By understanding the differences between these two options, you can make a more informed decision about how to improve your home’s heart. We will examine the features, benefits, and considerations of kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing in this article. So, let’s get started!

The Difference Between Kitchen Remodeling and Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing are both excellent ways to breathe new life into your kitchen. However, they are fundamentally different approaches. Let’s explore the key distinctions between these two renovation methods. Although they are different approaches, both kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing can be used to achieve the same goal of breathing new life into your kitchen.

Definition and Scope

Kitchen Remodeling: Kitchen remodeling involves a complete overhaul of your kitchen, including layout changes, flooring, electrical, plumbing, appliances, countertops, and cabinets. It aims to transform the entire space and give it a fresh, updated look. For example, if you want to add an island to your kitchen, you’ll need to include the cost of an electrician to install power and a plumber to add water and gas connections.

Cabinet Refacing: Cabinet refacing is a less invasive process that focuses solely on updating the appearance of your cabinets. It involves replacing the cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and hardware while leaving the existing cabinet boxes intact. For instance, if you have wooden cabinets, you could choose to reface them with a new laminate finish to give them a modern look.

Definition and Scope of kitchen

Time and Cost

Kitchen Remodeling: A full kitchen remodeling project is a significant undertaking and can take several weeks to complete, depending on the complexity. It requires skilled labor and a larger budget due to the extensive changes involved.

The result, however, will be worth it as it can drastically improve the look and feel of the kitchen space. Plus, the improved functionality of the kitchen will make it easier to prepare meals and entertain guests.

Cabinet Refacing: Cabinet refacing is a quicker and more budget-friendly option. The process typically takes a few days to finish, making it an ideal choice for homeowners seeking a fast kitchen facelift without major disruptions.

Refacing involves replacing the cabinet doors and Drawer fronts with new ones, as well as covering the existing cabinet boxes with veneer or laminate. This process is significantly less expensive than a full remodel, and it also produces significantly less waste.

Design Flexibility

Kitchen Remodeling: With a complete kitchen remodel, you have almost limitless design possibilities. You can reconfigure the layout, choose different materials, and customize every aspect of your kitchen according to your preferences.

This allows you to make sure that your kitchen meets all your needs and desires. You can also add features such as built-in appliances and storage solutions to make your kitchen even more functional. A remodel can make your kitchen more efficient and comfortable.

Cabinet Refacing: While cabinet refacing offers some design choices, it is more limited compared to a full remodel. You can select from various cabinet door styles and finishes, but the overall layout remains unchanged.

This makes cabinet refacing a more cost-effective option than a full remodel, as it is faster and requires fewer materials. Additionally, cabinet refacing is a great option for those who want to update their cabinets, but don’t want to go through the hassle of a full remodel.

Design Flexibility of kitchen

Structural Changes

Kitchen Remodeling: Since kitchen remodeling involves significant changes, it allows for structural modifications. You can knock down walls, expand the kitchen, or merge it with adjacent spaces to create an open concept design. This allows for more freedom when designing the kitchen and can provide a more efficient use of the space. It also allows for the installation of modern amenities like islands, custom cabinetry, and energy-efficient appliances.

Cabinet Refacing: Cabinet refacing is a surface-level update, so it does not involve any structural alterations. It’s a perfect solution if your kitchen layout already meets your needs, and you want to refresh the appearance. It is a faster and more affordable way to update your kitchen than replacing the cabinets altogether. As a bonus, refacing is a much more eco-friendly option since you don’t have to discard your old cabinets.


Can I combine kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing?

Yes, you can combine these approaches based on your needs and budget. For example, you could reface the cabinets while making other minor updates during a remodeling project.

Which option is more cost-effective, kitchen remodeling, or cabinet refacing?

Cabinet refacing is generally more cost-effective since it involves fewer material and labor costs compared to a full kitchen remodel.

Is cabinet refacing suitable for all cabinet types?

Cabinet refacing works best for cabinets that are in good structural condition. If your cabinets have extensive damage or structural issues, replacing them might be a better option.

Can cabinet refacing update the interior of the cabinets?

No, cabinet refacing only focuses on the external appearance. If you want to update the interior functionality, you may need to consider other options during a full remodel.

What can I do to ensure an eco-friendly kitchen remodel?

Opt for energy-efficient appliances, eco-friendly building materials, and consider recycling or repurposing old materials when possible.

How do I choose the right contractor for kitchen remodeling or cabinet refacing?

Look for licensed, insured, and experienced contractors. Check reviews and references to ensure they have a reputation for quality work and customer satisfaction.


Both kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing have their unique advantages and suit different situations. A kitchen remodel provides you with endless design possibilities and potential long-term value, while cabinet refacing offers a quicker and more budget-friendly way to give your kitchen a facelift. Consider your priorities, budget, and the condition of your current kitchen to determine which option aligns best with your needs. Whichever path you choose, a refreshed kitchen will undoubtedly breathe new life into your home, making it a more inviting and functional space for years to come.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.