Cabinets Refacing Cost

The average cost of applying kitchen cabinet refacing is around $12,000.

In this guide

Pros and cons
Requirements
Refacing vs refinishing
Parts that can be refaced
Refacing options
Labor
Replacing vs refacing
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to apply kitchen cabinet refacing?

Kitchen cabinet refacing can breathe new life into your existing cabinets, giving them a fresh, new look. During the refacing process, your cabinet doors, drawer fronts, and end panels are removed. The stiles and frames are given a fresh new color or veneer 1, and new door and drawer fronts are installed, along with new hardware. 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 average kitchen contains roughly 30 linear feet of cabinetry, with refacing running about $400 per linear foot on average, including materials and labor. This makes the cost of refacing your cabinets around $12,000.

Pros and cons

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, as well as 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 as well, such as changing from raised panel to shaker style doors.

Refacing only takes about 2-4 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, nor will they 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 would need a full kitchen remodel.

Refacing won’t give you new options for how you use the cabinets either; this option won’t include things like slide-out trash cans or custom drawers for an island 2. It will simply update the look and style of the room.

Requirements

The requirements for refacing your cabinets are simple. You need to be satisfied with the current layout of the room, since refacing will not address space issues. You also need to be satisfied with the current size of your cabinets, as refacing will not make them larger or smaller.

Finally, the cabinet box itself needs to be in good repair. No sagging bottoms or deteriorating stiles. The cabinets should be in good condition overall, and just in need of a cosmetic update.

Refacing your cabinets can be a great way to update the look of an outdated kitchen, replace old or broken door or drawer fronts, or completely restyle the space. If you are considering updating before selling your home, refacing is a faster, less expensive, and less invasive option than replacing the cabinets.

Refacing vs refinishing

Refacing your cabinets is not the same thing as refinishing them. Both methods will 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 will give you the option of a new style as well. Refinishing raised panel doors will give them new life, but it won’t make them look more contemporary if that’s your goal.

Refinishing is often less expensive than refacing, however, with refinishing costing around $2,500 on average and refacing costing roughly $12,000 for the same amount of cabinetry.

Parts that can be refaced

The most obvious areas of the cabinets to be refaced are the door and drawer fronts, but any “finished” areas of the cabinet 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, which are visible when you open the cabinet doors.

The doors and drawer fronts are replaced completely, but these 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.

Refacing options

Just like new cabinetry, refacing materials come with several options. Some materials can only be used on specific styles, while others can be used to create many styles.

MaterialProsCons

Plastic Laminates (RTF)

($70/linear foot)

No nail holes

Smooth, even finish

Requires precise application

Not suitable for all areas

Not suitable for all door styles

MDF

($70/linear foot)

Can be used to back a thin cabinet

Many thicknesses available

Not as durable as other materials

Not suitable for all areas

Pressure sensitive veneer

($80-$100/linear foot)

Easy to work with

No nail holes

Requires precise application

May delaminate with moisture

Can’t be used in some areas

Non-adhesive veneer

($80-$100/linear foot)

Thicker veneer

Can cover large areas

Can cover face frame cabinets

No nail holes

Requires precise application

May delaminate with moisture

Plywood 3

($100-$150/linear foot)

Can be used on all areas

Many options for securing

Veneer is thin

May delaminate with moisture

Solid Hardwood

($200/linear foot)

Many sizes and lengths available

Many wood species and grains available

Costly

More difficult to work with


Labor

Choosing the material, finish, and door style of your new cabinets is just one part of the refacing process. When you have your cabinets refaced, a few things may happen depending on the material that you choose.

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, as well as any existing finish material like toe kicks, end panels, and veneers are removed from your cabinets. New veneer or laminate is cut to fit your stiles, end panels, toe kicks, and cabinet facing. This is either glued or nailed into place.

Your existing doors are either given a new veneer and reinstalled, or the new doors and drawer fronts are installed. New cabinet hardware is installed with the finished door and drawer fronts.

This takes about 2 to 4 days on average to complete, depending on the size of your kitchen and the materials you’ve chosen.

The average cost of the labor portion of your job is around $235 per linear foot, and can vary widely depending on the size of the kitchen and the materials. Materials which are more difficult to install will raise the cost, while easier to install materials will lower it.

Replacing vs refacing

Cabinet refacing isn’t right for every kitchen. If the layout is 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 also be a better choice.

Cabinet replacement, however, is much more invasive and will take much longer than simply refacing. The old cabinets are completely removed, and at this point in time, the flooring, plumbing, and electrical are most likely 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 2-4 days that refacing takes.

New cabinets are also more expensive than refacing, with an average cost of $18,600 for the same 30 linear feet. This total does not take into account the new plumbing, flooring, and counters that may accompany the project.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Cabinet replacement

If the majority of the cabinets are in good shape, but a few need to be replaced, you can do so at a cost of around $500 per linear foot of new cabinetry. For 30 linear feet of cabinetry, this would cost $18,600.

Accessories

In some cases, you may be able to add accessories to the cabinets such as moldings, new sliding panels for trash cans, lighting, or new lazy Susans for corner cabinets, although not all refacers will offer this option, typically, this will add around:

  • $100 per linear foot 3 for moldings.
  • $200 per light for under cabinet lighting.
  • $200 for each organizer or lazy Susan added.
  • $300 for panels for hidden trash cans.
  • $400 per linear foot 3 for glass inserts.

Countertop refinishing

If you have a laminate countertop, you may want to have it refinished at the same time. It will cost around $775 to refinish or reface the laminate.

Hardware

It’s common to change the hardware on your cabinets when refacing them. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $100 per knob or pull and between $1 and $25 for each hinge 4.

Additional considerations and costs

  • It is possible to DIY this job, but not recommended. Some companies do sell kits, where you input the type and size of cabinetry you have, and they will send premade materials. This cost of this runs around $100 per linear foot.
  • Permits are not always needed for refacing, because you are not changing the size, scope, or layout of the kitchen. Double check with your municipality to be sure, however, before you begin.
  • Refacing can be considered an eco-friendly option, because you are reusing a large part of the existing cabinets. Selecting eco-friendly materials for the refacing can also help.
  • Older cabinets are often more structurally sound than newer ones, which makes refacing a better choice for kitchens that have a good layout, rather than replacing the boxes.
  • You may also choose to remove the doors from your existing boxes if they are in good shape and converting to open shelving.
  • Before signing any contracts, read them thoroughly, and follow up on references and insurance to make sure they are current.
  • Have your cabinets tested for lead 5 paint if they were painted before 1978, and make sure your refacing contractors take special precautions if this is the case to prevent lead dust from entering the air. They are also required to give you a brochure entitled “Protect Your Family from Lead in the Home” before they begin.
  • All figures in this cost guide are an estimate, and we advise that you keep your expectations and options open when getting actual quotes. Make sure that you obtain a minimum of three quotes from professional refacers to compare before you begin.

FAQ

  • How does cabinet refacing work?

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.

  • How much does it cost to have your cabinets refinished?

The average cost of cabinet refinishing is around $2,500 on average for 30 linear feet of cabinetry.

  • How much is the average kitchen cabinet refacing?

The average cost of refacing a kitchen with 30 feet of cabinetry is around $12,000.

  • How much does it cost to have someone paint your kitchen cabinets?

Painting and refinishing kitchen cabinets is around $2,500 for 30 feet of cabinets.

  • Is it cheaper to replace kitchen cabinet doors?

It is less expensive to replace your kitchen cabinet doors and reface the cabinets than it is to purchase new cabinetry.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Veneer: A thin layer of decorative finishing applied to a coarser construction material
2 Island: A kitchen counter that is not attached to walls or other surfaces, and that can be accessed from all sides
3 Plywood: An engineered construction material manufactured from thin slices of wood glued together in alternating grain patterns for strength
4 Hinge: A type of joint that attaches two items together but allows one of them to swing back and forth, such as a door attached to a door frame
5 Lead: A naturally occurring heavy metal that is highly toxic to humans, and has been used in paint, gasoline, piping, and other applications

Cost to apply kitchen cabinet refacing varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, MA
+41%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Benton, AR
-26%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Burke, VA
+24%
Canton, OH
-8%
Carmichael, CA
+6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clairton, PA
+7%
Clayton, NC
-31%
Daly City, CA
+51%
Del Valle, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Florence, SC
-14%
Fullerton, CA
+22%
Gatesville, TX
-31%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Grayslake, IL
+36%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Kenosha, WI
+9%
Kinston, NC
-23%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lowry, VA
-21%
Manhasset, NY
+51%
Michigan City, IN
-4%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Monroe, GA
-17%
Montgomery, TX
+27%
New Castle, DE
+9%
New York, NY
+77%
Norman, OK
-21%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Orangeburg, SC
-32%
Overland Park, KS
+15%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
+3%
Princeton, NJ
+43%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
Smyrna, GA
+10%

Labor cost in your zip code

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