Cabinet refacing or refinishing are viable options to freshen up your kitchen’s look. Cabinet refinishing vs refacing, choose what is best for you and clear up all misconceptions with creativekitchensllc.com.
At Creative Kitchens, we’ve noticed that when it comes to cabinets, one of the greatest misconceptions people have is the difference between cabinet “refacing” and “refinishing” (luckily, everyone seems to have the term “replacing” down). People seem to fall into two camps: they’re either unsure of what each entails, or they think the two terms are interchangeable. About the only thing anyone seems certain of is that both processes are cheaper than buying new cabinets. And if your cabinets are well-made and in good condition, refacing or refinishing are viable options to freshen up your kitchen’s look. Let’s clear up all misconceptions in short order – and while we’re at it, make you semi-experts on refacing and refinishing.
What is refacing and refinishing?
The process of refacing , also commonly called resurfacing, is where the existing cabinet framework is resurfaced with laminate or wood veneer replacement material. You keep your existing cabinet boxes, but replace all cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones. You can also replace cabinet side panels, face frames and moldings so that everything matches. This covers up all blemishes and finish problems on your cabinets and allows you to change the wood, color, or door style for a clean and updated look. When refacing your kitchen cabinets you can even choose to install new highly decorated hardware or crown molding. The typical refacing involves removing doors and drawer fronts from cabinets and roughing up the old finish on face frames and side panels to prepare them for the new covering. Then the installer will glue and sometimes nail the new finish over the old to ensure that the nail holes are filled and the seams and edges trimmed to make them unobtrusive. New panels or molding are used to trim out the exposed undersides of the upper cabinets to give them a finished look, and the base cabinet toekick is replaced. Finally, new cabinet doors and drawer fronts are attached, and new hardware is mounted on each of them.
Refinishing involves keeping all components of your existing cabinetry and simply changing the color or the finish, which is often completed via hand sanding or chemically stripping the existing finish from the wood, then applying new paint or stain. There generally are three finish options: plastic laminates, rigid thermofoils (RTF) and wood veneer. Refacing laminates come in a wide variety of solid colors and wood-grain looks. Slightly more expensive than RTF, laminates nevertheless lack malleability, which means they’re limited to plain cabinet door styles when compared with RTF. RTF is a very malleable vinyl foil pressure-molded over medium-density-fiberboard doors. It can be shaped and molded in a range of styles, including arched and cathedral doors, raised panel and eyebrow raised panels. RTF comes in a fewer solid colors than laminates, but its wood grain is made to look realistic.
Okay… so, what’s the cost?
Refacing is the more expensive option of the two. HomeAdvisor.com places the national average for refacing at around $6,600. There are several factors that cause the price tag to vary, such as materials used and the number of cabinets involved. The key statistic to remember here, though, is that you’ll pay about half as much for refacing as you would replacing (it really rolls off the tongue).
Refinishing. According to Improvenet.com, the national average to refinish cabinets in a kitchen is a little more than $2,400. Again, the more cabinets, the higher the price tag. Also, the complexity of the job can make a difference: smooth front cabinetry without detailing, carving, or trim is simpler to refinish than cabinets with complex designs and details. Evenly refinishing complex carved or detailed cabinets takes more time and skill, and therefore may more expensive.
Keep in mind, though, that these are just rough estimates to be used as a yardstick!
How do I know which process is right for my kitchen?
For those who want to update the look of their kitchen without changing the layout, refacing can be a great route. There’s a wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from, even wood finishes. And, since it takes only a few days at most, the inconvenience factor is minimal. But, if you like your cabinets are in great shape and you like the style, but the color is all wrong, that’s where refinishing comes in. Or, you can go wild and mix and match. For example, stain the cabinets bring out a beautiful oak color, but have a door or two replaced with glass panes to show off the fine china and crystal. The possibilities are endless.
There’s no substitute for having a professional perspective on your cabinetry needs. At Creative Kitchens, we use our expertise to give you exactly what you’re looking for down to the last detail. We pride ourselves in providing the best cabinet refacing services in Portland. And, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more skilled team for cabinet refinishing in Portland .
But why not schedule a consultation to find out for yourself? Contact Us today to find out how we can unlock your kitchen’s potential.