Custom Cabinet Refacing Cost

How much does it cost to apply kitchen cabinet refacing?

Whether a homeowner is tired of their dull and dreary kitchen or a new buyer wants to make their house into a reflection of their personal style, one of the simplest approaches to an update is through custom cabinet refacing. This uses the existing "boxes" and simply replaces doors and drawer fronts, while also resurfacing the remaining cabinet areas.

For this discussion we will consider the materials and requirements of a custom cabinet refacing project for the "average" kitchen. The average kitchen, which stands at roughly 200 square feet, will have approximately 30 linear feet of cabinetry. This means that there is going to be around fifteen linear feet of base mounted cabinetry and another fifteen linear feet of wall-mounted cupboards and shelves. Every surface that is matching in design and style to the pre-existing cabinetry will also have to be refaced as well. This might mean a refrigerator surround, a kitchen island, and free-standing cupboards elsewhere in the space too.

Is this a DIY project? Not really, though there are kits and materials sold for this sort of work at many home improvement stores, the veneering techniques used are extremely advanced. Most homeowners hire professionals to perform this sort of work.

The average costs and materials associated with this project include:

  • Selecting the contractor - we have already discussed the need to find a qualified professional for this project, and it is a good idea to visit a website such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for recommendations about custom cabinet refacing providers in your area. It is also a great idea to head to a few home improvement stores to see what they will charge for similar work. Regardless of which provider is selected, it is a good idea to ask for references and to ensure that proper licensing and insurance is in place;
  • Selecting veneer 1 - there is real wood veneer 1, RTF, and plastic or melamine 2 materials from which to choose. The prices vary widely, but a mid-grade kitchen opting for the durable RTF would cost approximately $150 to $170 per linear foot. This means that the average household would see prices of around $4000 for the completed project; and
  • Don't forget the extras - while the cabinetry is apart and being refaced, it is a good idea to upgrade hinges 3, pulls, and handles. These can really make a statement, and range in price from as low as $2 per item to as high as $20 or more. Be sure that your contractor will include the installation of individually purchased materials in their work (some will not install items that were not purchased directly through them).

Additional considerations and costs

  • Arrange for the contractor to discard all of the old drawer fronts and doors properly. One of the major reasons that so many people opt for refacing rather than outright replacement is the ability to prevent wasted lumber and heavy chemicals (used in the creation of most composite woods used for cabinets) from rotting in a nearby landfill.
  • Upgrade moldings - many homeowners know that moldings will have to be removed during a refacing project, and they use this as a good opportunity to upgrade them to match the looks of the new surfaces.

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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 Melamine: A common way to refer to melamine resin, which is a combination of the chemical melamine and formaldehyde that produces a smooth and durable hard surface. It is commonly used in Formica countertops and laminate flooring
3 Hinges: 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

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
Albert Lea, MN
-20%
Alexandria, VA
+2%
Arlington, MA
+41%
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Baton Rouge, LA
+19%
Benton, AR
-26%
Berkeley, CA
+39%
Bloomfield, NJ
+27%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chesapeake, VA
-6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Cypress, CA
+24%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Decatur, GA
+9%
Delano, CA
-19%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Dublin, CA
+35%
Erlanger, KY
-5%
Folsom, CA
+6%
Gadsden, AL
-23%
Gardner, MA
+11%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Henrico, VA
+6%
Holmen, WI
+3%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Keller, TX
+20%
Laurinburg, NC
-26%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Naperville, IL
+47%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orangeburg, SC
-32%
Overland Park, KS
+15%
Raleigh, NC
-3%
Rialto, CA
-1%
Riverside, CA
+13%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
Salinas, CA
+1%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Smyrna, GA
+10%
Southbury, CT
+21%
Suffern, NY
+22%
Texarkana, TX
-30%
Tulsa, OK
-14%
Warren, MI
+13%
White Lake, MI
+32%

Labor cost in your zip code

Methodology and sources