When Replacing Cabinets Beats Refacing Them

When your kitchen cabinets are beginning to wear down or you want a new kitchen design, or even if you’ve recently moved into a new home and are looking to alter your cabinet appearance or function in some way, you’ll be faced with a major decision: To reface the existing cabinets, or replace them? Refacing refers to a process of replacing old cabinet drawers and doors, with veneers attached to frames that can create a new style and functional space.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we have a wide variety of base cabinets, vanity cabinets, wall cabinets and many other choices if you’ve determined the time is right to replace cabinets during your home remodel. There are several situations where refacing simply isn’t possible, or isn’t advised at all due to high costs and low success rates. Here are some of these situations, plus why replacing cabinets might be the right choice for you.

 replacing cabinets beats refacing

Low-Grade Cabinets

Refacing is a strong process that can use lamination and other formats to help strengthen an existing cabinet, but there are limits to the materials it can impact. If your previous cabinets are low-grade options made with particle board or some other cheap material, refacing often simply won’t be possible.

This is because cabinet refacing requires a decent foundation. Cheap materials are liable to break down during the refacing process, or not long after, costing you even more on the back end.

Full Remodel of Kitchen Layout

Cabinet refacing is mostly meant for cabinets that will retain their prior configuration, or will be changing very little here. If you’re changing up the entire kitchen or moving cabinets to a new area, they can’t be refaced and must have replacements in new areas. There are some situations where you’ll reface certain cabinets, but also install certain new ones during a partial remodel.

Metal Cabinetry

They aren’t too common anymore, but metal cabinets and frames used to be very popular for their durability. They still might be found in some older homes, but unfortunately, their strength and material means they can’t really be refaced.


While refacing services can go a long way in terms of changing up and improving the appearance of your cabinets, they can’t really make an impact when it comes to smells. Whether you’ve left rotting food in a cabinet or some other odor has found its way in, unless you can remove it in some other way, cabinet replacement will be needed to completely be rid of it.

Simply Beyond Repair

And finally, there are cases where even if your prior cabinets are made of strong, modern materials, they’ve just worn down over time. Maybe this is due to heavy use or poor care, or perhaps some combination of both. If your cabinets are dealing with rot, water damage, pest infestation or swelling due to humidity that cannot be reversed, replacement might be your best bet.

For more on situations where cabinet refacing is not possible or unadvised and new cabinets are needed, or to learn more about any of our kitchen cabinets or remodeling services, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.