What types of materials are used for cabinet refacing?

Ready to give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a fresh new look without breaking the bank? Well, you’re in luck because cabinet refacing is the way to go! But wait, before you dive in, let’s talk materials. From classic wood veneer to modern acrylic, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this blog post, Top Refinish LLC take a closer look at the types of materials commonly used for cabinet refacing, so you can make an informed decision and get those cabinets looking fabulous in no time! Let’s get started!

Wood Veneer

Wood veneer is one of the most popular materials used in cabinet refacing. It consists of thin slices of real wood that are applied to the surface of existing cabinet boxes and drawer fronts. Wood veneer comes in a variety of species, including oak, maple, cherry, and birch, allowing homeowners to achieve the desired aesthetic for their cabinets.

One of the main advantages of wood veneer is its natural beauty. Since it’s made from real wood, it has the same grain patterns and textures as solid wood, giving cabinets an authentic look and feel. Additionally, wood veneer can be stained or painted to match existing décor or create a new color scheme.

However, wood veneer is susceptible to moisture and humidity, which can cause it to warp or delaminate over time. Proper sealing and maintenance are essential to protect the veneer and ensure its longevity. Additionally, wood veneer tends to be more expensive than other materials used in cabinet refacing, making it a better option for homeowners with a larger budget.

Wood veneer is a thin layer of wood sliced from a log or obtained through peeling. Its versatility and natural beauty make it a popular choice in furniture making and interior design. Veneer can be applied to various surfaces, including cabinets, to enhance aesthetics and durability. In cabinet refacing services, wood veneer plays a crucial role in transforming outdated or worn cabinets into stylish and contemporary pieces. By applying veneer to cabinet surfaces, homeowners can achieve a fresh look without the expense of completely replacing the cabinets. This cost-effective solution allows for customization in wood types, finishes, and styles, revitalizing any space with timeless elegance.


Laminate is another popular choice for cabinet refacing, especially for homeowners on a tighter budget. Laminate is made from multiple layers of resin-infused paper pressed together under high heat and pressure. The top layer is a decorative pattern that can mimic the look of wood, stone, or other materials.

One of the primary advantages of laminate is its durability. It’s highly resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture, making it ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Laminate is also available in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing for endless design possibilities.

However, laminate lacks the natural warmth and texture of real wood veneer. While advances in technology have improved the realism of laminate patterns, it can still appear artificial compared to wood. Additionally, laminate cannot be stained or painted, so homeowners are limited to the colors and patterns available from the manufacturer.

Laminate, a synthetic material composed of layers of resin-soaked paper, offers a durable and cost-effective solution for various surfaces. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for countertops, flooring, and cabinet surfaces. With a vast array of colors, patterns, and textures available, laminate provides endless design possibilities to suit any aesthetic preference. Its easy maintenance and resistance to stains and scratches make it ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

In custom cabinet services, laminate presents an attractive option for homeowners seeking both functionality and style. By incorporating laminate into custom cabinet designs, clients can achieve the look of expensive materials at a fraction of the cost. Whether replicating the appearance of natural wood or embracing bold, modern patterns, laminate allows for endless customization to complement any home décor. From sleek and contemporary to rustic and traditional


Thermofoil is a type of vinyl film that is heat-molded to the surface of MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or other engineered wood substrates. It’s often used in cabinet refacing due to its affordability and ease of maintenance. Thermofoil is available in a variety of solid colors and wood grain patterns, providing homeowners with a wide range of design options.

One of the main advantages of thermofoil is its resistance to moisture and humidity. Unlike wood veneer, thermofoil won’t warp or delaminate when exposed to moisture, making it a suitable choice for humid environments like kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, thermofoil is easy to clean and doesn’t require any special maintenance beyond regular wiping with a damp cloth.

However, thermofoil can be prone to peeling and delamination over time, especially along the edges and corners of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. This can occur if the adhesive used to bond the thermofoil to the substrate fails or if the material is subjected to excessive heat. Additionally, thermofoil cannot be repaired if it becomes damaged, so replacement may be necessary.

Thermofoil is a popular cabinet refacing material known for its affordability and durability. Made from a thin layer of vinyl molded onto medium-density fiberboard (MDF), thermofoil offers a smooth, seamless finish that resembles painted wood. Its moisture resistance and easy maintenance make it an excellent choice for kitchen cabinets, particularly in humid environments like Hillsboro, OR. When seeking the cheapest way to reface kitchen cabinets in Hillsboro, thermofoil emerges as a cost-effective option. Its lower material and installation costs compared to solid wood or laminate make it an attractive choice for budget-conscious homeowners looking to refresh their kitchen aesthetics without breaking the bank.


Acrylic is a durable and high-gloss material that is gaining popularity in cabinet refacing. It’s made from a solid acrylic sheet that is thermoformed to the shape of cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Acrylic is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, including matte, gloss, and metallic, allowing for versatile design options.

One of the main advantages of acrylic is its durability. It’s highly resistant to scratches, stains, and fading, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens. Acrylic is also easy to clean and maintain, requiring only regular wiping with a damp cloth to keep it looking like new.

However, acrylic can be more expensive than other materials used in cabinet refacing, making it less accessible for homeowners on a tight budget. Additionally, acrylic is susceptible to fingerprints and smudges, especially on glossy finishes, so frequent cleaning may be necessary to maintain its appearance.

Acrylic is a high-quality, durable material known for its glossy appearance and modern appeal. Often used in cabinet refacing, acrylic offers a sleek finish that mimics the look of glass, providing a luxurious touch to any kitchen or bathroom. Its resistance to scratches, moisture, and fading makes it an excellent choice for long-lasting cabinet surfaces. In Hillsboro, OR, where homeowners seek both aesthetic appeal and practicality, acrylic cabinet refacing stands out as a premium option. While it may entail a higher upfront cost compared to other materials, its durability and low maintenance requirements can provide significant savings in the long run.

As for whether it’s cheaper to reface or replace cabinets in Hillsboro, OR, the answer often depends on various factors such as the condition of the existing cabinets, desired customization, and budget constraints. Refacing cabinets with materials like acrylic can offer a cost-effective solution for homeowners looking to refresh their kitchen aesthetics without the expense of completely replacing the cabinetry. However, for those seeking extensive structural changes or upgrading to higher-end materials, cabinet replacement may be the more suitable option despite the initial investment. Consulting with a reputable cabinet contractor can help homeowners weigh the pros and cons of each approach and determine the most cost-effective solution tailored to their needs.


What material is used for refacing cabinets?

Let’s take a look at the various materials that are commonly used in cabinet refacing today. Wood veneer, plastic laminates and rigid thermofoils are among the most commonly selected cabinet refacing materials. The most affordable (and least durable) among cabinet refacing supplies are plastic or vinyl laminate.

What is involved in cabinet refacing?

Refacing kitchen cabinets replaces the cabinet skin panels to give your kitchen a new look. It entails removing cabinet doors and drawer fronts to apply a new veneer over the existing surface. Refacing can also involve replacing hardware such as hinges, handles, and drawer pulls.

What types of cabinets can be refaced?

6 Top Styles for Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

  • Traditional cabinet doors.
  • Shaker-style cabinet doors.
  • Cabinets with beadboard accents.
  • Flat-front cabinet doors.
  • Glass-front cabinet doors.
  • Rustic cabinet doors.

How do you prepare cabinets for refacing?

Steps to Reface Kitchen Cabinets

  • Remove the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.
  • Prepare the surface of the cabinets. Sand down high spots and fill in low places with auto body filler.
  • If the cabinets are covered with glossy paint, wipe down the surface with a de-glosser. This will also help remove any dirt or grease.

Is cabinet refacing expensive?

Cabinet refacing costs between $1,350 and $12,500, with the average homeowner spending $6,925. Using solid wood doors results in a significantly higher cost to reface your kitchen cabinets; you can keep prices much lower by using laminate or a wood veneer.


In conclusion, the choice of materials for cabinet refacing is crucial in achieving the desired aesthetic and functionality for your space. Whether you opt for the timeless warmth of wood veneer, the durability of laminate, the moisture resistance of thermofoil, or the sleek modernity of acrylic, each material offers its own unique benefits and considerations. By weighing factors such as budget, style preferences, and maintenance requirements, you can make an informed decision that will breathe new life into your cabinets and enhance the overall look of your kitchen or bathroom. Here’s to happy refacing and many years of enjoyment ahead!

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