There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking to refurbish, replace or rejuvenate your kitchen. One popular way to breathe new life into an old and worn kitchen is by focusing on the kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets take a lot of beating over the course of their lives. Being the centre of the house and the hive of activity in the home, the kitchen sees its fair share of wear and tear. The kitchen cabinets are no different. 

Yet deciding that giving your kitchen cabinets a makeover is only the first of many decisions. You still need to decide whether or not to go down the replacing or refacing kitchen cabinets path.

Both options offer positive benefits and negatives, and both are good options for transforming your kitchen. So, what exactly is the difference?

What is Refacing?

Cabinet refacing has been a popular method of renovating kitchens for a long time. Basically, refacing your kitchen cabinets involves the installation of just new fronts to your drawers and doors. Instead of replacing the entire cabinetry, refacing is about replacing the exterior veneers. There are three main methods of refacing kitchen cabinets but we’ll go into that a little later.

What is Replacing?

Replacing kitchen cabinets involves the entire removal and–as it sounds–replacement of the existing cabinets and/or drawers.

Doors, drawers and the interior are all expertly removed (most often by professionals) and replaced from top to toe. While there are plenty of pros and cons to replacing, replacing is an effective way to gut and rebuild a kitchen into something completely new.

Resurfacing vs Replacing: A Breakdown of the Pros and Cons

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: The Pros


There are multiple ways to reface cabinets and drawers in a kitchen depending on what suits you.

  1. The simplest way is to just remove the doors and fronts of the drawers and replace them with an entirely new veneer. This of course comes ‘dangerously’ close to just plain kitchen cabinet replacing.
  2. Alternatively one can just place new wood panelling or laminate sheeting/veneers over the front of the existing exterior.
  3. One last method of refacing involves neither the replacement of panelling or veneers. Rather by refinishing and repainting the existing cabinetry you can rejuvenate it effectively through simple aesthetics.


Refacing kitchen cabinets is absolutely the cheaper of the two kitchen renovating methods we’re covering. Less material and less labour all adds up to savings of up to 50% with refacing cabinets costing as little as half the price of replacing.

Cosmetic and Aesthetic Only

If your kitchen is looking a bit worse for wear but isn’t actually compromised structurally or functionally, there may not be a reason to gut it from the inside out. Refacing your kitchen cabinets when the actual cabinet and drawer boxes are still in good shape and working fine is an effective, efficient way of making the most of your budget, time and energy.


By refacing, you’re just replacing the outer, exterior part of the kitchen cabinets rather than the whole thing. This means that the entire renovation process is quicker and more pain-free. Moreover, you won’t have to move all your appliances, dishes and other items necessarily to get the work done.

More Eco-Friendly

With less material being ripped out and thrown out, cabinet refacing is the more environmentally friendly and less waste-causing option.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets: The Cons


While still cheaper than replacing, the refacing kitchen cabinets cost you could be facing is still extensive if you’re re-doing the entire kitchen. While it will add value to your home, it won’t be quite as high a renovation in terms of value as full replacement.


Many people think that refacing their cabinets is going to be an easy job. The truth is that it can actually be quite difficult. It’s not as easy as simply taking off some doors and popping on some new ones. There’s a steep learning curve involved and doing a professional job can require a lot of skill and experience.

Finding Professionals

Refacing cabinets was once a much more popular way of renovating a kitchen. As full-scale replacements have increased in popularity, the number of professionals and companies offering quality refacing is becoming smaller and smaller. Finding the right professional tradespeople can be more difficult than expected.

May Not Work

All of the pros of refacing only apply if it’s even an option. Kitchen cabinets that are just too old, worn, broken or rotted may not even be in a state that can be saved through refacing. Replacement may be the only option in those instances.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets: The Pros

Effective For Broken Cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are broken, ruined, worn, rotted or just unusable, replacing them can be your best option. It doesn’t matter whether the interior structure or boxes are still solid. If you have the budget for a full-scale replacement, you can bring your kitchen back from the brink.

Flexibility In Layout

Unlike refacing kitchen cabinets, replacing allows you to restructure the entire layout. You can add on, re-shape or just tweak the kitchen however you see fit. Refacing is just the replacing of the veneers of the cabinetry, whereas with replacement there are far fewer restrictions in what you can achieve and do.

Complete Refresh

If you have the budget for a full cabinet replacement, nothing will quite refresh your kitchen like a cabinet replacing. From the appearance to the feel to the layout, your kitchen will feel like an entirely new space with all new living opportunities. 

Add Value

More so than just refacing, cabinet replacement will add significant value to your home. Replacing will add valuable functionality and aesthetics to your everyday living but also prove to be a smart and worthwhile investment down the line.

Professional Availability

While you can try do-it-yourself, if you prefer the safer route of going with professional installers there are plenty of available experts in the industry to help you get the job done.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets: The Cons


While we included the price discrepancy in the pros of refacing, it’s worth restarting here. The cost of replacing kitchen cabinets is going to be significantly more than the alternative. There’s a lot more work to be done, a lot more effort involved and a lot more material that needs to be bought, sourced and installed. The flip side as we mentioned is of course the extra value it will inject into your home.

DIY Difficulty

Yes, it might be possible but cabinet replacement is anything but easy. From the sourcing of the actual drawers and cabinetry, to the heavy lifting and installation involved, you’ll need to have adequate skill and experience in do-it-yourself projects.

Plus, remember that ensuring the precise levelling of cabinets beneath structurally sound benches is very, very important. So if you’re going to do it yourself, make sure to do it right.

Still Not Sure? Give Euro Marble A Call!

There are plenty of pros and cons to both replacing and refacing your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Your preferences, budget and objectives will all help determine which option is right for you.

Need some help? We’re here for you. Just give us a call on (02) 8585 2999 or get in touch online today.

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