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Why You Should Replace Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Are you thinking about replacing your kitchen cabinet doors? Consider all the costs and effort required when deciding to how to update your cabinets.

Refreshing kitchen with blue replacement kitchen cabinet doors. Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

New cabinet doors are one of the quickest changes you can make in the kitchen, while still imparting the feeling of a major facelift in one of your favorite rooms. We look at them and open them more often than we realize—and their cost reflects their importance.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets?

The average cost of stock or semi-custom kitchen cabinets ranges between $160 and $380 per linear foot, with fully custom options averaging $700 to $1,000 per linear foot.

To get a better idea of your potential outlay for full cabinet replacement, note that the average cost of materials and installation of stock or semi-custom styles ranges from $3,200 to $8,500 with the average for custom versions ranging as high as $12,500 to $18,100.

And even if you’re up for constructing cabinetry yourself, you’re still looking at a significant expense to get materials shipped to your door, due to their weight and size.

Can You Just Replace the Cabinet Doors?

You can definitely just replace cabinet doors. If you’re up for a little bit of work with some basic tools, and maybe a spare set of hands to help, you can even do it yourself.

Why Replace Kitchen Cabinet Doors?

If you were to replace a whole set of kitchen wall cabinets, you’d be looking at a major renovation and a major bill to match it. Whereas, replacement kitchen cabinet doors can be accomplished relatively inexpensively.

All new cabinetry can strain a small budget:

  • Cabinets often cost from a third to a half of a total kitchen makeover’s budget.
  • Custom cabinetry, designed by professionals to your exact needs, takes both time and money to produce.
  • Demolition of old cabinets requires special care to prevent damage to your countertops and flooring.
  • If you change a set of cabinets to a design with a larger footprint, installation costs will be higher.

Assess How Much You Have to Change

You’ll want to consider first:

  • If you opt for replacement cabinet doors, you may want to also replace drawer fronts to match.
  • Make sure your cabinets are in good condition—if they're truly worn out, a full replacement makes the most sense.
  • If you currently have custom cabinet work, you'll likely need to replace old cabinets with new custom work to match your kitchen's unique cabinet footprint

Changing Cabinet Doors with Simple Updates

Replacing cabinet doors lets you make changes that are more impactful than just a coat of paint (though that's a less expensive option if a fresh splash of color will make you see things in a new light).

Quick changes can include:

  • Swapping in new hardware, like handles or decorative pulls,
  • Updating with glass or plexiglass fronts to give your dishes the chance to shine,
  • Using exotic hardwoods to add depth and contrast with interesting textures, or
  • Moving from bright white to stainless steel or brushed copper for added sleekness.