Pros and Cons of replacing a kitchen rather than repairing it

Pros and Cons of replacing a kitchen rather than repairing it

To replace or repair? A dilemma faced by most people at the start of their kitchen refit journey. And it’s not a straightforward question to answer. Every home is different and every circumstance is unique. It’s a decision that must be navigated and balanced and weighed up. A kitchen is made up of various key features; namely worktops, cabinets and appliances. So we’ll look at these in turn, and think about circumstance. You’ll then be able to balance with clarity the pros and cons of replacing a kitchen rather than repairing it. 

Worktop repair or replace

Of all the features in your kitchen, the worktop is the most impactful when it comes to aesthetics. If you have a good quality and durable granite or marble worktop, then you can retain this is a feature while updating the rest of the room. Similarly, if you only have budget to replace one thing in a kitchen makeover, then the worktop will make the most difference. Replacing a tired laminate worktop with a sparkling quartz will make the space feel markedly improved. So when should you repair or replace a worktop?

When to replace:

    • If the room is undergoing structural change and the shape and size of your worktops will no longer fit. Even the most lovely quartz can’t change size, although you may be able to re-use parts of it if you have a match for the rest of the room.
    • If you have a small refit budget but want to make a big difference, this is where to spend your money, since the worktop is a key touchpoint of the room and is directly in your sightline. 
    • If your current laminate worktop is showing signs of disrepair it’s time to opt for a more long lasting stone alternative. This investment will repay you every day in its durability and appeal.

When to repair:

    • If a granite or marble seal has been compromised, it is worth getting the worktop polished and resealed. It’ll look as good and new and perform just as well. 
    • While quartz is virtually indestructible, granite and marble can be chipped in extreme circumstances. However, these chips can be filled, polished and resealed. The quality of the stone means that should these blemishes occur, they are always worth repairing.
    • Wood worktops are susceptible to burn marks, water stains and scratches. While for some, this lived in aesthetic is part of the look, they can easily be restored by sanding down and re-oiling or treating. 

Cabinet refacing

If you are not fundamentally altering your kitchen layout, a budget friendly facelift option is to reface kitchen cabinets. The structural units remain the same, but you replace or paint doors and drawer fronts. The budget range of doing this is huge, so you can’t be guaranteed to keep costs down, but it’s certainly something worth looking at.

Why you should reface your cabinets:

    • Refacing can keep the cost right down. For wooden fronted cabinets, a lick of paint can refresh the look of your room with a very small price tag. This doesn’t suit all cabinet finishes of course. However, even replacing doors and drawer fronts will cost about half as much as a full replacement.
    • While a full kitchen refit will keep you in a temporary kitchen for weeks or even months, refacing your cabinets gives you a fresh look in just a week or even less. So it’s more practical and far less hassle. Especially if you’re a busy family home, this may be a considerable deciding factor! Cabinet refacing can give your kitchen an extra boost for long enough to reach a life stage where that full refit may feel slightly less inconvenient! 
    • For kitchen projects with sustainability at heart (and let’s face it, that’s a lot of us nowadays), retaining the structure of kitchen units is far less wasteful. If the actual base units are solid and good quality, they should enjoy a very long functional life. So this way, you’re keeping your landfill to a minimum.

When replacement is better:

    • Kitchen layout drive you crazy? Then refacing won’t fix this. An impractical kitchen design can only be solved by remodelling the space, and that means starting from scratch. 
    • Retaining your kitchen units means that you are pretty limited in terms of function. Nowadays there are very clever storage solutions available. Wide, deep drawers make access to ingredients or crockery far more convenient, leading to better use of space. Similarly, pull out pantry cupboards are a fantastic solution to create a more useable kitchen space. Improved functionality relies on replacing the structure of the units.
    • Refacing may turn out to be a false economy if it is intended as a temporary solution. You may decide on a more expensive replacement choice and then discover that the problem with your kitchen was always deeper rooted than cabinet fronts! 

Appliance Choices

Very rarely do people replace all their kitchen appliances outside of a full kitchen refit. Single appliances may be replaced due to breakdown, but there is always the longer term question – will they suit the space if a kitchen renovation is on the horizon? So what are the pros and cons of replacing your kitchen appliances?

Why replace?

    • Of course, the breakdown of your current appliance will often lead to a replacement. If you’re planning a kitchen refurbishment, this is when you have to think about whether that replacement will work as an integrated solution or fit into your future vision for the room. 
    • When your kitchen refit plan includes integrated appliances, or even stand alone appliances with a different spec. Local councils and communities should be able to help with recycling or passing on old appliances to keep them out of landfill.

Why retain?

    • If a fault can be fixed at an acceptable cost, then it’s always good to keep your appliance in use and out of landfill. 
    • As part of a kitchen uplift or refit, retaining appliances is a great way to keep costs down. Then you can allocate your budget to good quality features that will last a lifetime. Materials like quartz or granite for a worktop are great for this.

Whether your budget and circumstances suit a kitchen facelift or full room remodel, a stone worktop is a fantastic investment. To find out more about the options that will work for you, just get in touch. 

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