kitchen with sink and open kitchen cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets: Remodel Options for Refacing, Replacing and Hardware

When considering a remodel of your kitchen , one of the most important decisions to make involves whether to reface or replace your cabinets. Learn more about the pros and cons of each, and how to accessorize in style either way, before getting started on this project.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinet Doors

If you need to keep kitchen remodel costs low, then refacing cabinets provides significant savings when compared to replacement. Refacing involves keeping all of the boxes that contain shelves and drawers. You simply swap in new fronts, frames and hardware, and match exposed surfaces to the new finish. The cost of doing this proves much lower than demolishing existing cabinets and paying for new boxes in addition to new fronts.

You would be surprised at what a difference refacing can make in the look of a kitchen, especially if you go for an entirely new finish on cabinetry. Also, you can have the project completed by a professional handyman within three to five days.

When Replacing Kitchen Cabinets Makes Sense

Refacing does not fit all situations, though. If your kitchen has an inefficient layout and too little storage space, you cannot always move existing cabinets and add more. It makes most sense to start from scratch and design the kitchen you truly want and need, one with attractive cabinetry , a proper workflow and more than adequate storage.

You also must take into consideration the condition of your existing cabinets. If they are of lesser quality or in a deteriorated state, they may not be suitable for refacing. Also, a kitchen remodeling project that involves fixing structural problems, such as sloping floors , would require new cabinetry.

The expense of replacing kitchen cabinetry runs much higher than refacing, as noted above. You must factor into your costs the purchasing of new cabinets, including boxes, and paying for labor to demolish the old cabinetry as well as install and finish new cabinetry and finishing of new cabinetry. This project also will take significantly longer than the three to five days required with refacing.

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Ideas

Whether you decide to reface or replace, another important decision of your kitchen remodeling project involves choosing new hardware. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I plan to replace the appliances? How about the faucet ?

If you do not, you must choose new hardware that complements the existing surfaces. For example, if you have white appliances and a bright brass sink, choosing brushed chrome for your new hardware will create a design conflict. Choose new hardware in materials that complement ones that will remain. All of the surfaces need not match - that proves impossible in most cases - but they should all work together to create an uninterrupted visual flow.

Also think about what style of pulls you prefer, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics. Do you like simple knobs or do you need handles that serve multi-functions, such as ones that can be used to open a drawer and also hold a towel? Again, keep the design of whatever you choose consistent with that of any remaining items.

If your kitchen remodeling project will involve not only a new look for cabinetry but also new appliances and other items, then your options greatly expand. You can start from scratch in terms of design elements, creating a look that flows regardless of existing elements and not around them.

When considering a kitchen remodel, involve your professional handyman early in the process. He or she can help with all aspects of the project, from designing the layout to helping with important decisions relating to functionality and décor.

This article is part of the Kitchen Remodeling series. Read more for more kitchen makeover tips from Mr. Handyman.

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This post is part of our series on Home Renovation Ideas.

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