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Kitchen Remodel vs. Resurface

A kitchen remodel and kitchen resurface are two different ways to improve your kitchen. Each has it's benefits, each has its down side. If we were to look at cost, from a cabinet standpoint, it is about the same, with resurfacing coming in a little under remodel. But what are they, respectively?

Kitchen remodeling usually entails tearing out the entire kitchen: cabinets, walls, flooring, etc.

This is a very invasive method. Sometimes, if the sheetrock is still good (minor dings that can be patched) and no electrical and plumbing need to be moved, than the wall may be able to remain. But, as far as the flooring, it's hard to get the new cabinets to line up exactly with the old flooring. So, unless you have the exact flooring to patch, the flooring typically needs to be redone. Which, if it's an older kitchen and you want to update the entire look, would be necessary. So, you have the cost of the new cabinets, possibly sheetrock (but definitely patching), repainting, flooring, and counter-tops, maybe even lighting. So the numbers start adding up and your kitchen remodel can range from $10,000 to $50,000 depending. But what you have is an entire, updated kitchen.

The alternative method for updating your kitchen is cabinet resurfacing.


This process entails leaving the existing cabinets in place, removing and replacing the doors and drawer fronts, sanding the cabinets to bare wood, veneering on new panels and/or edge banding, and refinishing the cabinets. Because you leave the existing cabinets in place there is no need to replace your flooring. Everything gets taped off around the cabinets, so, if done properly, there is no need to repaint the kitchen.


The cost between just new cabinets, and resurfacing, because of the labor involved, is miniscule. But if you just want a new look, without replacing your floor, walls, or changing the cabinet layout, this is where resurfacing shines.


What you need to understand is that resurfacing is not the magic bullet of cost savings. Once you start replacing flooring, redoing your walls, trying to save and move existing cabinets, trying to alter existing cabinets, then you've negated the benefits of resurfacing. At that point, it would be more feasible just to have new cabinets installed. The labor involved in moving, altering, resurfacing and trying to save existing cabinets is comparable to the cost of installing most pre-fab cabinets. So you need to weigh your options. Are you looking for just an updated look without much else, or are you wanting an entire, new kitchen?

Kitchen remodeling and resurfacing, Riverside, Ca and the entire Inland Empire