Kitchen cabinet doors can really make or break the look of your kitchen. Over time, cabinet doors may start to look worn, damaged, or just dated. Replacing them is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to update the look of your kitchen. New cabinet doors can give your kitchen a whole new style while still keeping the existing cabinet boxes.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about replacing kitchen cabinet doors. We will discuss the pros and cons of replacing versus refacing, help you determine your budget and style, provide tips on measuring your existing cabinetry, and explain the different material options for replacement doors. We’ve also included a step-by-step guide to installing new doors yourself or hiring a professional. Read on to learn how to give your kitchen a fresh new look with replacement cabinet doors!

Pros and Cons of Replacing vs Refacing Cabinet Doors

Before deciding on replacement doors, you may be wondering if you should replace or reface your existing cabinetry. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of each option:

Replacing Cabinet Doors


  • Completely transforms the look of your kitchen
  • Allows you to change the door style and material
  • More affordable than full cabinet replacement
  • Keeps existing cabinet boxes intact


  • More labor intensive than refacing
  • Need to accurately measure existing cabinets
  • Existing cabinet boxes may look outdated

Refacing Cabinet Doors


  • Less expensive than replacement
  • Keeps existing cabinet structure and layout
  • Usually only requires replacing door fronts
  • Less labor intensive


  • Limited in terms of changing door style
  • Doesn’t fully update look like new doors would
  • Veneer refacing can chip or peel over time

As you can see, replacing cabinet doors is the better option if you want to completely change the look of your kitchen. The existing cabinet boxes will remain, keeping costs down, but you can install updated, stylish new doors to create a fresh appearance.

Determine Your Budget for New Doors

Replacing kitchen cabinet doors offers a big visual impact for a relatively low cost compared to a full kitchen remodel. On average, you can expect to pay:

  • $50 – $200 per door for mid to high-end doors
  • $300 – $500 per door for custom cabinet doors
  • Total costs between $2,000 – $5,000 for an average 10×10 kitchen

Budget doors from home improvement stores start around $20-$50 per door. Keep in mind you may also need to factor in costs for mounting hardware, handles/knobs, shipping, and professional installation.

Set your budget beforehand so you can choose replacement doors in your ideal style while staying on target with what you planned to spend. Also include a contingency fund for any unforeseen expenses that arise.

Choose a Replacement Cabinet Door Style

Once you’ve set your budget, the fun part begins! Take a look at the styles below to help choose your new kitchen cabinet door design:

Slab Cabinet Doors

Slab cabinet doors feature a simple, flat panel design for a clean, contemporary look. They can be made from a variety of materials like wood, MDF, or thermofoil. Slab doors work well in modern and transitional style kitchens.

Shaker Cabinet Doors

Classic shaker style doors have a center recessed panel bordered by a frame. They offer a bit more detail than slab doors but still look crisp and streamlined. Shaker cabinets fit well with almost any kitchen decor.

Raised Panel Cabinet Doors

For traditional kitchens, raised panel doors lend an elegant, ornate appearance. The central panel sits higher than the surrounding frame for prominent shadow lines. The detailed molding adds depth and architectural interest.

Glass Cabinet Doors

Glass front cabinet doors maintain an open, airy aesthetic. They come in clear glass or tinted glass and usually include mullions. Glass door cabinets should be used for displaying attractive dishware rather than hiding away less attractive items.

Custom Design Cabinet Doors

For a truly one-of-a-kind look, custom cabinet doors can be designed to match your exact specifications. Custom doors allow you to choose special sizes, finishes, materials, and detailing. Just be prepared to pay a premium for this bespoke service.

Measure Your Existing Cabinetry

Once you decide on a door style, it’s crucial to measure your existing cabinetry accurately and precisely. This will ensure you order replacement doors that fit properly within the existing cabinet opening.

You’ll need to measure:

  • Opening height: Measure from top to bottom of the cabinet box opening.
  • Opening width: Measure across the widest part of the opening from side to side.
  • Depth: Measure how deep the cabinet box is.
  • Door overlay: This is how much the door overlaps the cabinet box on the height and width.

Also keep in mind interior dimensions like the placement of shelves. Take pictures of your existing doors and boxes for reference as well. When measuring, use a quality metal tape measure and record to 1/16th of an inch. Measure each cabinet opening even if they appear identical at first glance.

Replacing just doors means keeping your existing cabinet boxes, so accurate measurements are truly essential for proper door fitting. If possible, have a kitchen remodeling contractor or cabinet maker take the measurements.

Choose a Replacement Cabinet Door Material

Replacement cabinet doors are available in a wide array of different materials. Consider the pros, cons, and costs of each option:

Wood Cabinet Doors

  • Pros: Natural beauty, many stain options, classic look
  • Cons: More expensive, can warp or scratch over time
  • Cost: $100-$300 per unfinished door

Popular wood choices include oak, maple, cherry, hickory, and walnut. Opt for kiln-dried wood with 6-9% moisture content. Unfinished doors will need sanding, staining, and sealing.

Thermofoil Cabinet Doors

  • Pros: Extremely durable, resistant to chipping and scratching, inexpensive
  • Cons: Limited colors/woodgrain options, plastic-like appearance
  • Cost: $50-$150 per door

Thermofoil consists of medium density fiberboard (MDF) wrapped in a layer of thermally fused vinyl. It creates a consistent finish that mimics wood grain but requires less maintenance.

Laminate Cabinet Doors

  • Pros: Affordable, many patterns/colors, easy to clean
  • Cons: Prone to chipping over time, not as durable as wood
  • Cost: $40-$100 per door

Laminate is made from layers of kraft paper infused with melamine resin and pressed over a substrate like MDF or particle board. It resists scratches but can chip at the edges if impacted.

Acrylic & PVC Cabinet Doors

  • Pros: Contemporary look, heat/stain resistant, affordable
  • Cons: Can crack or turn yellowish over time
  • Cost: $60-$150 per door

Acrylic and PVC doors provide a modern, glossy transparent or colored finish. They are lightweight and easy to clean but not as durable long-term.

Glass Cabinet Doors

  • Pros: Visually light and open, showcase display items
  • Cons: Easily broken, blocks access when open
  • Cost: $100-$300+ per door

Glass cabinet doors make a statement but require special mounting and hardware. Tempered glass is a smart option for safety and durability. For pricing, customized glass doors tend to cost more.

Consider how replacement doors made with each material align with your kitchen’s style, needs, and budget constraints. Examine material samples in person when possible.

Order Your Replacement Cabinet Doors

Once you’ve been thoroughly measured and decided on a door style and material, it’s time to place your custom cabinet door order. You have a few options:

  • Big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowes sell unfinished, replacement stock doors that just need staining. Limited sizing but inexpensive.
  • ** Cabinet door manufacturers** such as Quality Doors and Drawers have a huge selection with custom sizing. Order online or through a kitchen designer.
  • ** Custom cabinet shops** can build fully customized doors tailored to your exact kitchen. Most expensive option but they match your specifications precisely.
  • ** Independent woodworkers** offer an intermediate option between stock and fully custom. May find via online marketplaces like Etsy.

For custom doors, you’ll likely need a 50% deposit upfront once your order is confirmed. Expect 4-8 weeks from order to delivery for custom doors.

Install Your New Cabinet Doors

Once your replacement cabinet doors arrive, it’s time for installation. You can either tackle this yourself or hire a contractor:

DIY Installation

With some basic carpentry skills, installing new doors is a relatively easy DIY project. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove existing cabinet doors and hardware. Set aside all hardware and screws for reinstallation.
  2. Thoroughly clean cabinet boxes, side panels, and front surfaces. Sand away any rough areas.
  3. Measure each new door and confirm it fits the cabinet opening properly. Make any adjustments needed with sanding.
  4. Attach new hinges using a drill. Most doors use two hinges. Mount them evenly spaced.
  5. Hang each door, adjusting until straight and centered. Use shims behind hinges if needed.
  6. Attach door pulls, knobs or handles using the hardware screws.
  7. Do a final check that each door operates smoothly and fully closes. Make any last adjustments.
  8. Touch up cabinets and doors with stain, paint, or sealer as needed.

Professional Installation

To ensure your new cabinet doors are mounted perfectly, consider hiring a contractor. Pros can:

  • Expertly measure openings and doors for precision fitting
  • Adjust doors so spacing and overlay are even
  • Properly install hardware at accurate markings
  • Apply finish touches like trim molding or panels

Expect to pay $50-$100 per hour for installation services. The benefit is getting your new doors fitted by an experienced professional for flawless results.

Replacement Cabinet Door FAQ

Still have some lingering questions about replacing your kitchen cabinet doors? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

How long does it take to replace cabinet doors?

The installation itself takes 2-3 days, start to finish, for an average sized kitchen. Factor in 4-8 weeks for delivery of custom made doors.

Can I paint my thermofoil cabinet doors?

Thermofoil cabinet doors have a plastic laminate coating that resists adhesion from paints. Sanding through the coating is extensive work. Easier to order prefinished or unfinished wood doors.

Do new cabinet doors come pre-drilled for hardware?

Stock cabinet doors usually come pre-drilled for standard hole placements. For custom doors, you’ll need to drill holes yourself or specify hardware locations when ordering.

Should I keep my existing cabinet hinges?

Old hinges tend to loosen over time. Consider ordering new hinges that match your cabinet style for a like-new fit.

How do I clean replacement cabinet doors?

Use a mild detergent and soft cloth for regular cleaning. Avoid abrasive scrubbers. For wood doors, use mild polish and grain sealants to maintain the finish.


Installing replacement kitchen cabinet doors provides a simple and affordable way to give your kitchen a brand new look. By now, you should have a clear understanding of the process involved. From accurately measuring your cabinets to ordering and installing custom doors, we’ve covered all the steps in detail. With some planning and diligent work, you can execute a successful cabinet door replacement project. Just take it step-by-step to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Soon you’ll be enjoying a stunning kitchen updated at a fraction of a full remodel cost. Those fresh new cabinet doors will breathe stylish new life into your home for years to come!

Replacement Kitchen Cabinet Doors


Kitchen cabinet doors play an important functional role while also being a focal point that sets the aesthetic for your entire kitchen design. Over time, doors can warp, crack, or simply look outdated and worn. Replacing them is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to update the heart of your home with a beautiful new look.

In this guide, we will cover the ins and outs of installing replacement cabinet doors in your kitchen. You can give dated cabinets or dingy doors an unbelievable transformation by installing new doors on existing cabinet boxes. We’ll provide tips on how to select cabinet doors to perfectly match your kitchen’s style, choose from the array of door materials available, accurately measure your cabinets, and install replacement doors for a picture-perfect final product. Let’s get started!

Reasons to Replace Cabinet Doors

Here are some of the top reasons to replace rather than refinish kitchen cabinet doors:

  • Change the style – Replace flat slab doors with shaker for a totally new look
  • Damage – Cracked/warped doors or broken hinges are beyond refinishing
  • Discoloration – Faded, yellowed doors with worn, dated finishes
  • Water damage – Swollen wood and peeling veneer requires replacement
  • Create a focal point – New hardware, glass doors, or bold colors
  • Lighten up the space – New white or light doors make kitchen feel more open
  • Breathe new life – Make stale, old kitchen feel fresh and new again
  • 更新外观 – 旧的橱柜门可能会使整个厨房看起来过时迂腐
  • Out with the old – Remove cluttered or 90s-era style doors

Replacing doors provides a big impact without the price tag of a full kitchen remodel. Keep existing cabinet boxes to save money.

How to Select the Best Replacement Doors

Choosing replacement doors that align with your kitchen’s existing style or a new style you want to achieve will result in a cohesive finished look. Consider the following tips as you select your cabinet door style, material, finish and more:

  • Match architecture and layout of kitchen – don’t mix ornate doors with modern decor
  • Coordinate with countertops – for example, butcher block countertops suit shaker style
  • Decide on a decorative door style to create a focal point
  • Choose durable materials like thermofoil for active family kitchens
  • Opt for stain resistant finish if prone to cooking mishaps
  • Visualize how new hardware will look against door fronts
  • Order samples to view colors, wood grain and finishes in person
  • Look at kitchen photos online to find inspiring replacement door designs

Take your time, weigh your options, and don’t rush into ordering replacement doors. The right cabinet doors can make all the difference in creating your dream kitchen.

How to Measure for Replacement Doors

To achieve a seamless look with your new replacement doors, precise measurements are a must. Follow these steps to measure existing cabinets:

Gather Supplies

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Cabinet door template

Measure Cabinet Openings

For each door:

  • Note height and width in inches
  • Repeat for upper and lower openings
  • Measure diagonally to ensure square

Measure Door Size

  • Height and width of old door front
  • Side and edge thickness – impacts overlay
  • Write down all measurements

Measure Overlay

  • Note how much door overlaps opening
  • Typical is 1/2″ overlay on each side

Draw Sketch

  • Sketch cabinet front with all measurements noted
  • Take photos of existing doors for reference

Having detailed measurements ensures proper door fitting and optimal appearance. For new construction, work with cabinet maker to integrate doors into initial design.

Choosing a Replacement Cabinet Door Material

Kitchen cabinet doors come in a diverse range of materials, each with their own aesthetic and functional merits. Choose among the following based on your needs:



  • Natural beauty of wood grain
  • Comes in many stain colors
  • Easy to cut and install
  • Timeless, classic appearance


  • Requires sealing and refinishing
  • Prone to warping and swelling
  • Scratches and dents more easily

Cost: $$$

Popular types: Oak, maple, hickory, cherry



  • Extremely durable
  • Resists scratches, dents, warping
  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive


  • Limited on color/grain options
  • Plastic-like hardness

Cost: $



  • Broad range of colors and patterns
  • Affordable, good value
  • Easy maintenance


  • Chips and bubbles over time
  • Not as durable as solid wood

Cost: $



  • Modern, contemporary look
  • Transparent or colored
  • Heat and stain resistant


  • Can turn yellow, crack over time
  • Easily scratched

Cost: $$



  • Sleek, showstopping look
  • Display collectibles or decor
  • Variety of tints available


  • Fragile and breakable
  • Heavy, difficult to install solo

Cost: $$$

Consider your kitchen’s needs, style and budget when selecting cabinet door materials. Order samples to view in person.

How to Install Replacement Cabinet Doors

Once your new doors arrive, it’s go time! You can either DIY your replacement door installation or hire a professional. Here are the steps for each approach:

DIY Installation

What you’ll need:

  • Power drill
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Shims


  1. Remove old doors and hardware. Set aside hardware to reuse.
  2. Clean cabinet boxes and front surfaces thoroughly.
  3. Hold new door in