I’m pretty amazed at all the cabinet refacing articles I’ve been seeing the past several years on remodeling websites and in home improvement magazines. The general thinking seems to be that with many families being careful with their household budgets these days, refacing is the most inexpensive option for giving your kitchen a quick makeover.
However, what many of these articles fail to mention is that there’s another option that may be just as budget friendly and give you brand new cabinet boxes along with the new faces, doors, and drawer fronts refacing promises. Cabinet refacing is just as it sounds – the faces of your cabinets are covered with a new veneer and if you have exposed end cabinets, those sides are covered as well. But what about the boxes themselves – if they’re showing their years of use, does refacing help them at all? Unfortunately the answer is no – most refacing projects only involve the exterior of the cabinets and if the boxes were originally constructed with particle board, you may even be throwing good money after bad.
Before signing on the dotted line with any kitchen refacing contractor, you should always price out replacing your existing units entirely with RTA kitchen cabinets. In many cases installing new RTA cabinets will cost about the same or maybe even less than refacing the cabinets you already have. What are the drawbacks? Well, for one thing you will have to remove your countertop which can normally remain in place during a refacing job and you might have to unhook a few plumbing connections and appliances. Of course, you will also have to remove the existing cabinets, but depending on your kitchen, that usually only takes a few hours.
However, the upside is that you get brand new cabinet boxes with all wood construction and you can even upgrade some of the configurations while keeping the same overall footprint. If you always wanted more drawer space in your kitchen, substitute an RTA 18 inch drawer base and 18 inch single door base cabinet for your existing 36 inch double door base cabinet. They should fit in the exact same space without any modifications at all. Installing new cabinets can also be a great opportunity to upgrade your appliances such as adding a wine or beverage cooler or even that dishwasher your older kitchen has always lacked.
Refacing can be a great way to give your kitchen a quick transformation, but it may not always be the most economical or practical choice.