New Kitchen Cabinet Doors: What To Buy & Avoid In 2022


Considering buying new kitchen cabinet doors, but aren’t sure how much you should spend? You’re in the right place! 

To learn what kitchen cabinet doors are within your budget, keep reading.

One of the easiest ways to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money is getting new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. 

Besides spending a fraction of the cost of getting new cabinets, this option is less time-consuming, less cluttered, and more environment-friendly. 

Here is how you can estimate your cabinet refacing cost.

In a Hurry?

We got you! Here are the main steps you need to follow to determine the cost of your new kitchen cabinet doors.

1. Condition of Cabinet Boxes: Check the current condition of the cabinet boxes first then take the measurements.

2. Cost: Expect the whole project to have an average cost of around $4,000 to $9,000.

The price range is wide and depends on these factors:  

  • material of the replacement doors
  • the style/aesthetics you desire 
  • cost of labor
  • the number of doors you need to replace
  • whether the doors are custom-made semi-custom, or stock

3.  Unexpected Expenses: Prepare for unexpected expenses around 25% of your total estimate. 

This can come from finishing and cleaning products, as well as if there are other labor or material cost for unexpected repairs your cabinet needs.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors Considerations

  • How to know if the cabinet boxes are still in good shape? 

It is a good idea to make sure first that the existing cabinets are in good condition before replacing them. 

This way, you are sure that refacing will be worth it and you won’t spend much on the same cabinets in the near future. 

  • What material are the frames and boxes made of? 

Most of the time if they are compressed particle board, it might not last long and you may have to consider replacing the entire cabinet. 

  • Are there parts that are rotten, swollen, damaged by water, or infested with molds and mildew? 

You must obtain this information because it will put a strain on your budget if it is discovered after you have purchased the materials or signed a deal with a contractor.

  • How to take measurements of the cabinet area?
  1. Measure the linear foot of your cabinet. 

Take a measuring tape, working parallel to your kitchen wall, note the distance in inches from one side of the cabinet to another.

  1. If there are cabinets in another corner or side of the wall, add the measurements done on that side as well. 
  1. Divide the total measurement by 12. What you’ll get will be your linear footage. 

Most cabinet supplies stores and contractors will need this information to be able to quote your prices. 

  1. You can also count the number of doors and note the length and width of the doors you need to replace.
  • What door style are you going for?

Are you going for a modern minimalist or a rustic traditional vibe? Take a look at the trendy cabinet door replacement styles you can choose from. 

4 Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

  1. Raised Panel Doors. 

In this style, the center panel is raised and surrounded by a grooved framework. 

These are commonly found in traditional kitchens but can also fit into modern designs.

  1. Recessed Panel/ Shaker Doors. 

The opposite of raised panel doors, the center panel here is recessed or sunken, highlighting the door framework. 

This design is also very versatile and in fact, very popular in American homes.

  1. Flat Panel Doors/ Slab Doors. 

These are the most ideal for contemporary minimalist design. 

Slab doors are made from one continuous piece of material without any visible groves or frame, making them easy to clean.

  1. Glass Cabinet Doors

These doors are made up of wood or wood-like frame and a center glass panel that allows you to display your beautiful kitchenware and find them easily. 

They can give your kitchen an airier and lighter look. 

  • What door material should you choose?

A significant portion of the whole refacing cost largely depends on your chosen type of materials. 

  1. Solid wood doors

A wide range of color, grain, and style is possible for solid wood depending on the chosen wood species. 

The popular choices are red oak, white oak, hard maple, hickory, cherry, birch, ash, and pine. 

Although the use of wood doors is a budget-friendly option, it has one significant drawback. 

Wood can warp deform easily with exposure to moisture regardless of the type of wood. 

They need to be finished on all sides to avoid prevent warping. 

Alternatively, wooden doors can be veneered for greater stability in areas with high humidity.

  1. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) doors. These doors are made from recycled wood fibers and resin. They are easy to paint and ideal if you want a pop of bright colors. 

They are resistant to cracking and peeling and are smoother than plywood. 

However, it is unsuitable for stains and clear coat finishing because they are grainless. 

  1. Plywood doors. 

These doors are made of layered thin wood piles laminated on top of one another. 

They have higher resistance to moisture, greater stability than MDF but are porous and also susceptible to warping.

For extra protection, it can be finished using plastic laminate, real wood veneer, or thermofoil coats.

  1. Particleboard doors.

These are made from combining wood chips with adhesive and fusing them together to form panels then covering with laminate and vinyl film. 

They can warp easily and if low-grade particle boards are used, the hinges, screws, and fasteners tend to fall out easily.

  1. Stainless steel doors

They easily fit into contemporary kitchens and are a popular option for commercial kitchens. 

They are the ideal option for high humidity or moisture-rich settings but are difficult to customize should you decide later for a kitchen remodel.

  1. Thermofoil doors.

These are made of heated and pressurized vinyl laminate onto an MDF core. 

They can come in a large variety of colors and patterns including those that look like wood. 

They are inexpensive, non-sensitive to moisture, easy to install, and clean. 

However, they are heat-sensitive, prone to chipping, delamination, and peeling on edges, and cannot be painted.

You also need to consider getting new hardware versus refurbishing the old doors’ hardware to match or fit into the new style. 

You can also save money by providing the cabinet hardware, including the type of cabinet instead of purchasing them from the cabinet refacing company. 

  • Are you buying stock cabinet doors or going for custom options?

Stock cabinet doors are the most cost-effective option for your replacement cabinet doors. 

Doors for stock cabinets are available off the shelf or ready to install from your local Home Depot. 

There are also semi-custom best cabinets, where you can add extra detailing and slight adjustments to the dimensions of your chosen cabinet doors. 

The most expensive option, of course, is having customized kitchen doors. 

This is the best option only if you are looking for a unique design or are replacing doors of custom kitchen cabinets. 

You may want to look for direct local suppliers to cut on the shipping costs and dodge the additional costs added from dealing with middlemen when buying from retail stores.

  • Are you going to hire a professional team or DIY?

Consider the amount of work that needs to be done for the project before deciding to do it yourself or pay for labor. 

While the labor costs can be as low as zero in the DIY route, remember that you need to remove the existing doors, measure for new doors, drawer faces, and hinges then install the new doors yourself. 

Also, you need to have the equipment or rent them from a local hardware store. 

Whereas if you get a general contractor, they will take care of the planning and preparation, purchase of materials and use of the equipment, and execution up to the post-cleanup of your kitchen area.

With these scenarios in mind, it is best to set aside a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses.

Regardless of how meticulous you are at planning your cabinet refacing projects, there could be unexpected surprises. 

You might need to:

  • Relocate, modify or rebuild some of the cabinets that are in poor condition. 
  • Change your hardware in case the original plan proves to be unsuitable for the new kitchen cabinet door.
  • Get more finishing, refinishing, and repairing products.

You can cut your budget by 25% and reserve the funds for these instances. 

It will make the execution and completion less stressful when you have some extra legroom to cushion unforeseen circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How much does it cost to reface kitchen cabinets?

Depending on your location, choice of construction materials and style, and whether you are going DIY or hire a skilled professional, expect it to be in the range of $4000- 9000.

  1. Can I just replace my kitchen cabinet doors?

Yes. As long as the cabinet boxes are in good shape, you should be able to replace just the kitchen cabinet doors. 

You do not need to replace the entire cabinet if the frame and shelves are still intact.

  1. Is it cheaper to reface or replace cabinets? Is it cheaper to just replace kitchen doors?

It is cheaper to reface cabinets because it will cost you around ⅓  to ½ the cost of replacing the cabinets. 

This is, of course, provided that the cabinet boxes are in good shape and do not need significant repairs. 

  1. Can I just buy cabinet doors?

Your local Home Depot will usually have a stock of new cabinet doors which you can buy to replace or update your existing cabinet doors.

You can also try finding local direct suppliers to get better offers and possibly customize your cabinet doors.

  1. What is the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets?

You can put on paint, stains/varnish, or apply new wood laminate or real wood veneers. 

You can also update the hardware to ensure they go well with the new color/finish to give your old cabinets a completely different look.

  1. Are kitchen cabinet doors standard size?

Yes, because kitchen cabinets have standard sizes for base kitchen cabinets, wall kitchen cabinets, and tall kitchen cabinets. 

Your trusted contractors or local Home Depot staff will be able to guide you on which doors will fit your kitchen cabinets.

Final Thoughts

Cabinet refacing is still one of the cheapest ways to update the look of your kitchen. 

The majority of the cost will come from the state of your existing cabinets and choice of construction materials and aesthetics. 

Explore different options to get the bang for your buck and set aside extra funds for unexpected surprises.

D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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