Should I Reface or Replace My Kitchen Cabinets?

new kitchen remodel in Tucson with curved bar and custom kitchen island

If you’re ready to revitalize your tired, old kitchen cabinets, you may wonder which is better — refacing or replacing? To guide your kitchen update, we’ve put together some information and advice to help you weigh your options, learn the difference between the two, know what considerations to keep in mind, and see what the current cabinet trends are.

Refacing vs. Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet refacing involves installing new doors and drawer fronts onto your existing cabinet frames, followed by replacing the hardware. You essentially swap out the “skin” while keeping the “bones.” This could be a viable option if:

  • Your cabinet frames are in good condition.
  • You like the function and layout of your current cabinets.
  • You don’t need any more storage space.
  • You like the existing floor plan of your kitchen.

Cabinet replacement is a total overhaul of your cabinets. It involves removing the exterior doors and the structural frames, wiping the slate clean and making room for a whole new setup. Consider this option if:

  • Your cabinets have sustained damage over the years.
  • You want to change the cabinet layout.
  • You plan to add more storage.
  • You’re considering a kitchen renovation.

What To Consider When Refacing or Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets


This is often the first consideration homeowners make when debating refacing vs. replacing the kitchen cabinets. While refacing typically costs less than custom or semi-custom cabinets, costs can add up.

For instance, if you have your eye on high-priced hardware, your project could nearly approach the cost of new stock cabinets. And if that’s the case, you may as well reap the rewards of a full-fledged cabinet replacement.

Durability & Longevity

Examine your cabinets’ structure carefully. Do the shelves sag under the weight of a full stack of plates? Are there unappealing water stains or mildew smells? If you have any doubts about the overall condition of your cabinetry, refacing may not serve you well.

Cabinet Layout

Does your L-shaped kitchen have wasted corner space? Do you need more room for your vast coffee mug collection? If so, cabinet refacing isn’t good enough. You’ll need to replace your cabinets if you want expanded storage, a new layout, or custom features to maximize every square inch of space.

Time Frame

Refacing your kitchen cabinets typically takes a few days at most, while replacing them can take weeks, especially if the project is part of a larger kitchen renovation.

If you’re in a hurry, refacing is a tempting option. Just remember, the long-term results are more important. Plus, having an out-of-commission kitchen is a perfect excuse to eat out for a while.


With refacing, your options are limited because you have to work around your existing cabinet frames. Meanwhile, new cabinets are available in a virtually endless variety of styles, colors, and finishes.

Your selection can range from stock to semi-custom to fully custom to fit your needs and budget.

Kitchen Cabinet Design Trends

No matter which route you take, keep these current kitchen cabinet design trends in mind:

  • Natural wood finishes
  • White, off-white, or gray painted cabinets
  • Two-toned kitchens (dark lower cabinets with light upper cabinets, or dark island with light wall cabinets)
  • Shaker-style doors and drawers
  • Open shelving
  • Custom storage features
  • Contrasting hardware
  • Floor-to-ceiling cabinets
  • Built-in LED lighting
  • Major appliances hidden behind faux cabinet doors

Contact Aaron & Co. for Kitchen Cabinet Replacement & Remodeling

Ready to replace your cabinets? Aaron & Co. can get the job done. We can even help you re-envision the space with a top-to-bottom kitchen remodel.

Don’t just replace the cabinets — update the counters, install a new backsplash, and put in new flooring while you’re at it! We’ll work with your budget to help you create the kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Contact us online or call (520) 999-4138 to start designing your dream kitchen today.