Cabinet refacing can breathe new life into your existing cabinets, giving them a fresh, new look. The process of refacing involves removing the doors, drawer fronts, and end panels of the cabinets. Then, the frame and cabinet are given new paint, stain, or a new veneer. Cabinet refacing can be done in any room with cabinets, although it is most commonly sought for kitchens and bathrooms.
The average cost to reface cabinets ranges from $7,000 to $12,000, with most people spending about $10,000 to reface 30 linear feet of cabinets with wood veneer on raised panel doors with updated hardware. At the low end, you could spend as little as $6,000 on refacing 30 linear feet of cabinets with RTF plastic laminate and no hardware or accessory upgrades. At the high end, some cabinet refacing prices are as high as $22,000 for refacing 30 linear feet of cabinets with hardwood and high-end hardware and accessories.
|Cabinets Refacing Cost|
|National average cost||$10,000|
Cabinet refacing, also known as cabinet resurfacing, is a process that involves removing the doors, drawer fronts, and end panels. Then, the frames and stiles are painted, stained, or given a new veneer. The doors and drawers will have new fronts installed, usually along with new hardware to complete the look. In most cases, your existing cabinet boxes and cabinet layout remain the same; only the front of the cabinets are impacted. Cabinet refacing is not for every project. The boxes need to be in good condition, and you need to be satisfied with the existing layout. If those conditions are met, though, refacing can be a less invasive way to get a new look in your kitchen.
The requirements for refacing cabinets are simple. If you’re satisfied with the current layout of the space and the size of your cabinets but want a fresh look, this could be the solution. The cabinets need to be in good shape. Any that have sagging bottoms or damage to other areas need to be replaced, not refaced. If they need more than a cosmetic update, this is not the right job. Refacing is a way to update the look of an outdated kitchen or bath or replace or repair old or damaged drawer fronts and doors. If you want a quick restyle or are looking for an affordable update before you sell, refacing offers a faster, more affordable, and less invasive solution than a full cabinet replacement.
The most obvious areas of the cabinets to be refaced are the door and drawer fronts, but any “finished” cabinet areas are also refaced to match. This includes the toe kick below the cabinets, any filler panels between them, the end panels, moldings, and the stiles visible when you open the cabinet doors. The doors and drawer fronts are replaced completely. The other areas may be given a veneer or laminate finish to match them to the new finish of the cabinets. All of these areas are included in the cost per linear foot.
The average cost to reface cabinets per linear foot ranges from $210 to $750, with labor included. The final price involves several factors. The cost per linear foot varies depending on the material used for resurfacing, how much damage repair and prep work needs to be done, and how much material is required for the job. Materials like MDF and laminate will be cheaper than hardwoods and premium veneers. The accessibility of the cabinets that need refacing impacts the labor costs involved and increases the cost.
You can expect to spend from $60 to $500 per linear foot on materials alone to reface cabinets based on the type of material used. As with new cabinets, refacing materials come in several styles and options. Only certain materials may be used on specific types of cabinets, while others can be used for several different styles. In the table and subsections below, we will look at the most common materials used to reface cabinets, the associated costs, and the pros and cons of each. Then, you have an idea of your options for refacing, helping you decide which materials best fit your budget and cabinet refacing needs.
|Cabinet Material||Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|RTF||$60 - $70|
|Melamine||$60 - $70|
|MDF||$70 - $80|
|Laminate||$80 - $100|
|Pressure-Sensitive Veneer||$80 - $100|
|Wood Veneer||$80 - $100|
|Plywood||$100 - $150|
|Hardwood||$200 - $500|
The average cost to reface an RTF cabinet is $60 to $70 per linear foot for the materials needed to complete the job. This durable material is a plastic laminate that looks like natural wood but lasts for much longer with less care. It’s an inexpensive option for those on a budget. However, the material may not be suitable for all areas since it is susceptible to moisture and swells in humidity. Cabinets with plastic lamination should be refaced carefully by professionals to ensure that they are installed properly and that the right materials are used for the job.
Refacing melamine cabinets has an average cost of $60 to $70 per sq.ft. for materials because melamine is a form of low-pressure laminate similar to the RTF materials discussed above. Melamine is less durable than high-pressure laminates like Formica but offers an affordable option for refacing cabinets that you already have. If you have existing melamine cabinets, they can easily be refaced with new melamine if you prefer that to any of the other materials available. Be sure to discuss the exact laminate material choices with your contractor to get an accurate quote and the best material for your needs.
Many people use MDF wood cabinets in their kitchen, which have an average refacing cost of $70 to $80 per linear foot for the materials alone. MDF is available in several different thicknesses and can be used to reface and add structure to an already thin cabinet. MDF isn’t as durable as some materials and is prone to moisture and dry rot damage, so it may not be suitable for all areas. However, it’s a common choice for those on a budget who need a mid-range solution that is affordable and offers enough selection for their taste. Some people may choose to construct MDF cabinets and then reface them with a durable or premium material like laminate or a veneer.
The average cost of refacing laminate cabinets ranges from $80 to $100 per linear foot for 3D laminate materials. This laminate is easy to install, has a realistic grain to provide the same look as wood, and offers a low-maintenance option. It wraps corners and is scratch-resistant. However, it may lose some of the lamination on the edges over time with regular wear. It’s slightly more expensive than sheet laminate but offers a higher-quality finish and a more modern look.
The average cost of installing pressure-sensitive veneer to reface cabinets is $80 to $100 per linear foot for the materials alone. This material is preferred because it is easy to work with and doesn’t leave nail holes behind. This veneer requires a precise application, so it cannot be used in DIY projects. It can be affected by moisture, too, so care should be used on cabinets installed in areas prone to excessive moisture. It is thinner and easier to work with than thicker wood veneer but may not afford all of the benefits. Still, it provides a good choice for those who need something thinner, even though the costs are on par with standard veneer.
The average cost of wood veneer cabinet refacing for materials only is $80 to $100 per linear foot. This is thicker than pressure-sensitive veneer, offering coverage for large areas and a more durable surface. It also covers face frame cabinets. No nail holes are there to worry about, leaving a clean finish when you’re done. Like all veneers, this one could be affected by moisture, so its use should be carefully planned. It requires precise application and is not something that you want to attempt as a DIY project.
If you choose to reface your cabinets with all-new plywood, you can expect to spend $100 to $150 per linear foot on the materials. This material can be used anywhere and has several options for securing the veneer to the cabinets. Plywood veneer is subject to potential delamination with moisture exposure, but it is more durable than the other options on this list. This material requires professional installation and provides a higher quality finish with longer lasting results. It is a good choice for those wanting something a little more high-end without a full replacement.
Refacing with hardwood cabinet materials is a premium option and costs between $200 and $500 per linear foot for the hardwood, depending on the type chosen. Several species and types of wood grains are available in several different sizes and lengths. This costly option offers the best finish for those wanting to upgrade without a full replacement. Of course, many contractors suggest that if you are refacing with hardwood, consider a replacement. However, that will be a decision that you can make because refacing will provide years of durable use.
The average cost to reface cabinets based on the location ranges from $6,000 to $22,000. While the space typically determines more of the cost than the actual room where the cabinets are being installed, that can have an impact. For example, to provide better water and moisture resistance, cabinet materials and refacing options may be limited and more costly in a bathroom. However, kitchens typically cost more simply because they have an average of 12 cabinets, to the average bathroom’s 2 or 3 cabinets. In the table and subsections below, we’ll look at the best options for refacing cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, including which materials are best, any important considerations, and the cost variations of each so that you can determine how much to expect for your project.
|Cabinet Location||Refacing Cost (Labor Included)|
|Bathroom||$6,000 - $10,000|
|Kitchen||$7,000 - $22,000|
If you decide to reface bathroom cabinets, you can expect to spend $6,000 to $10,000, depending on how many cabinets you have and what material you choose for refacing. Bathroom cabinets are usually cheaper because there aren’t as many as there are in the kitchen. However, if you choose to have premium materials used or extra features added, that could incur an additional cost. You must choose water-resistant materials like laminate (which comes in multiple varieties) that can withstand the high humidity and moisture content in the bathroom for the best and most long lasting results.
The average kitchen cabinet refacing cost is $7,000 to $22,000, depending on how many cabinets need refacing, what materials are used, and the cabinet material. If any damage needs to be repaired before refacing, that incurs an additional charge. You may pay a premium for high-end materials or if you choose to add accessories like lazy Susans, wine racks, under-cabinet lighting, and other features. Laminate and cheaper veneers offer an affordable selection, while premium hardwoods will incur the highest cost but produce the best outcome.
Of the average $7,000 to $12,000 to resurface 30 linear feet of cabinets, approximately $4,500 to $7,500 of the project will be labor, while the other $2,500 to $4,500 covers the cost of materials. That includes any paints or stains, new hardware, and other prep or finishing materials needed to complete the job. Choosing the material and finishing details for your cabinets is just one part of the process. Once that is done, the labor begins. Bear in mind that you may pay more for cabinets that are difficult to install or access.
Other factors that impact how much you pay for cabinet refacing costs with labor include how much prep work is required for the job if demo or removal must be done first and what type of material is being used for refacing. If any damage to the cabinets needs to be repaired, that impacts your cost. You may spend more to resurface cabinets if they are a soft or thin material that is more delicate and requires special care or for the installation of premium hardware and accessories in addition to cabinet refacing. All these factors impact the final labor cost.
The labor process involves several steps. First, you’ll have your cabinets measured, both inside and out. Your boxes and existing doors will also be examined. In some cases, your existing doors may be able to be used again, with a veneer or a laminate face put on top. In other cases, you will get entirely new doors. The doors and drawer fronts and any existing finish material like toe kicks, end panels, and veneers are removed from your cabinets. Your cabinets are cleaned, sanded, and prepared to receive their new finish.
New veneer, laminate, or wood is cut to fit your stiles, end panels, toe kicks, and cabinet facing and glued or nailed in place. A protective coating is usually placed over the new veneer or finish to help it last. A new veneer may be added to the existing doors and then reinstalled, or new doors and drawer fronts may be installed. New cabinet hardware is installed with the finished door and drawer fronts. At this time, the cabinets and counters are wiped clean, and your kitchen is finished. This takes about two to four days to complete, depending on the size of your kitchen and the materials you’ve chosen.
Cabinet refacing is a worthwhile investment when a full replacement or renovation either isn’t necessary or possible. Cabinet refacing can give an old kitchen a new look for less money than new cabinets would cost. The options for refacing are numerous. You can use solid wood, veneers, laminates, and other materials, and several finishes to customize your cabinetry. When installed and cared for properly, refaced cabinets will last another 20 to 30 years, or even longer, depending on the condition of the box and the type of materials used. It’s possible to use refacing to change the style of cabinets, such as changing from raised panel to shaker style doors. Refacing takes two or three days to complete, which is significantly faster and less invasive than having new cabinets installed. You can also still access your kitchen while the work is being done.
Cabinet refacing does not address underlying issues with the cabinets themselves. They will not add extra support to a deteriorating box or fix things like sagging shelves. This is a cosmetic update only, not a structural one. Refacing also won’t address issues with the layout. A cramped space or a poor working triangle won’t benefit from refacing. To address these issues, you need a full kitchen remodel. Refacing won’t give you new options for using the cabinets. This option won’t include slide-out trash cans or custom drawers for an island. It will simply update the look and style of the room.
Cabinet resurfacing can last for a decade or longer when done properly, so it isn’t something that needs to be done regularly. The better care you take of your cabinets and counters now, the less they will need replacing or repairing in the long run. Once your cabinets are resurfaced or refaced, you can care for them with regular cleaning and maintenance. Wash them with a simple soap and water solution regularly to remove dust, debris, food grease, or other residue. Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture and clean up spills right away. Also, watch for signs of damage from the hardware or other objects, as those could impact the quality of the cabinets and lead to the need for repairing or refacing sooner than otherwise necessary.
Refinishing is often less expensive than refacing. However, refinishing costs around $3,000 to $3,500, while the cost for cabinet refacing is about $7,000 to $12,000 for the same amount of cabinetry. Refacing your cabinets is not the same thing as refinishing them. Both methods change the appearance of your cabinets but will do so in different ways. Refacing removes the current door and drawer fronts and changes the finish or material covering the stiles and end panels.
Refinishing leaves the existing doors and drawers in place and gives them a new color or finish. Both methods are less invasive than replacing the cabinetry, but refacing gives you the option of a new style. Refinishing raised panel doors gives them new life, but it won’t make them look more contemporary if that’s your goal. You need to compare these options to determine what is best for your project based on your budget and your desires for the finished result.
|Project||Average Cost (Labor Included)|
|Refinishing||$3,000 - $3,500|
|Refacing||$7,000 - $12,000|
The average cost of refacing cabinets is $210 to $750, while the cost to replace the same amount of cabinets would be $400 to $3,500 per linear foot. Of course, this does not consider the new plumbing, flooring, and counters that may accompany the project. Cabinet refacing isn’t right for every kitchen. If the layout doesn't work for your needs, or if the space is cramped, then refacing won’t help this. If the cabinet boxes themselves are in poor condition, replacing them will be a better choice.
Cabinet replacement is much more invasive and takes much longer than simply refacing. The old cabinets are completely removed, the flooring, plumbing, and electrical are updated to accommodate the new layout. The new cabinets and plumbing are installed, then the counters, and finally the appliances. All of this can take a few weeks from start to finish, during which time you will not have a working kitchen. This is in contrast to the two to four days that refacing takes.
|Project||Cost per Linear Ft. (Labor Included)|
|Refacing||$210 - $750|
|Replacement||$400 - $3,500|
While you are refacing your cabinets, you may choose to have your countertops refinished at an average cost of $400. The costs may vary depending on the type of laminate you choose and the counters you currently have. You will want to consult with your contractor to determine the best course of action. Refinishing counters involves removing or preparing the old surface and then applying a new laminate surface in the color and style of your choosing to create a brand new look without fully replacing the countertop.
Several different accessories could be added to your new cabinets. They will all incur an additional cost on top of the refacing itself. You can expect to spend $100 to $400 per linear foot for moldings and glass inserts and between $100 and $400 per unit for new under cabinet lights, organizers or lazy Susans, hidden trash cans, or wine racks. Not all refacing companies offer this option. However, if it is something you want, you should inquire about all of your options.
The average cost of cabinet hardware ranges from $1 to $100 per piece, depending on the style of hardware and quality that you choose. Knobs and pulls will be more expensive than hinges, which run closer to $1 to $25 each. You can often buy sets of hardware to reduce the costs. Some refacing projects may offer to include new hardware as part of the job, but they may leave it up to you. You could also save by providing your own hardware that you’ve picked up from your local home improvement or home store.
If you decide to replace your bathroom mirror cabinet, you can expect to spend an average of $250 to $900, including the cost of installation. The final cost depends on the type of mirror you choose, how it is installed, and how much space is required. You may spend more or less if you want a premium design or a high-end material, but you can also find cheaper options and choose a mirror without a cabinet if you prefer that look or want to save a little extra money.
Cabinet refacing takes your existing cabinet boxes and gives them a new finish, new doors, drawer fronts, and hardware to give your kitchen a new look in a less invasive way than replacing your cabinets.
The average cost of cabinet refinishing is around $3,000 to $3,500.
The average cost of refacing a kitchen with 30 feet of cabinetry is around $10,000.
Painting kitchen cabinets is $3 to $12 per sq.ft.