How Often Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Replaced?

You may be aware that kitchen cabinets should be replaced periodically to keep your kitchen looking new.

But how often should one do that, exactly?

The short answer is anywhere between 15- 20 years.

However, several factors affect this time frame, and we’ll outline those in this article.

Kitchen cabinet replacement is an expensive undertaking, so you naturally want to make sure it’s the right time for you to do so.

What is the life expectancy of kitchen cabinets?

There is no blanket answer to this question because not all cabinets are created equal.

The life expectancy of kitchen cabinets depends on the quality of their material components and the amount of care given to them.

With that being said, most cabinet materials last 10-20 years, while some can last up to 50 years with proper care.

Related post: Where To Start When Remodeling Your Kitchen?

Reasons to Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to be convinced that their kitchen cabinets are fine, even when they’re not.

But if you have any doubts about whether it’s time to replace your cabinets, here are some signs that they need to go.

1. The old cabinets’ wood is rotting or cracking.

If your cabinets are made from wood, like most cabinets are, they will eventually rot due to exposure to water and moisture.

The wood may start getting soft or begin to deteriorate around the edges.

When this happens, it can lead to cracks in the veneer or even pieces of the cabinet falling off.

If you only notice this happening to small sections of the cabinetry, maybe you can get away with repainting or other restorative treatments.

If it’s the case for most of your kitchen cabinets, then a replacement might be the better call.

2. You’re constantly lacking storage.

It’s entirely possible that your cabinets are still in okay condition, but they were built not with storage optimization in mind.

You might find yourself constantly struggling for storage space whenever you use the kitchen.

In this case, to alleviate the stress this current cabinet layout is giving you, replacing them with bigger ones might be the next pressing project you ought to take.

3. The doors of your cabinets are difficult to close.

If you have trouble closing your cabinet doors without slamming them shut, then it could mean that they’re warped or bowed outwards from years of use.

These doors may not close properly because they’re not level anymore or because they’re not as sturdy as they once were due to wear and tear.

Another reason for cabinet doors not closing easily could be slightly shifted door frames.

This problem is often caused by a poor installation process and can be rectified by replacing specific components (such as hinges) or by removing and reinstalling the entire unit altogether.

4. The hardware of your cabinets is worn out or rusty.

If the screws are loose, the knobs don’t work right, or the hinges squeak, it might be time for a new set of cabinets.

The hardware on a cabinet is integral to its function and appearance.

Sure, you could get just the knobs or the hinges replaced, but if the hardware has been through a lot, chances are, the same could be said for other components of the cabinet.

5. Your cabinets don’t match your décor.

There are many possible reasons for this.

For example, you might have just moved into your new home, and you didn’t have a say in the kitchen’s color and theme.

Also, if you have an older home, chances are that the cabinets weren’t designed with today’s trends in mind.

Or perhaps you recently remodeled or updated other areas of your home but haven’t updated your kitchen yet.

Whether they’re mismatched or just plain ugly, it might be time to consider replacing them.

The bottom line is if you have the means and you’re not happy with how your kitchen cabinets look, by all means, do something about it.

6. The cabinets are too large for your space.

While running out of storage space in a kitchen is very common, it’s also entirely possible that the cabinets you have are too large for the room.

As a result, you might find yourself lacking space elsewhere like on the countertop or the sink.

If the kitchen feels a bit cramped due to oversized cabinets, then you might want to consider switching to smaller ones.

Practical Restoration Techniques for Kitchen Cabinets

We have indeed discussed kitchen cabinet replacement in great detail at this point.

However, if your cabinets are getting worn out but acquiring new ones is out of your budget at the moment, there are always a few tricks you could give a shot to try and restore these trusted cabinets.

Deep Cleaning

You might be surprised how merely cleaning your cabinets with soap and water could go a long way when it comes to bringing back their glow.

Cleaning your kitchen cabinets will remove grease stains and keep them looking shiny and new for more extended periods of time.


Repainting is one of the easiest ways to refresh your cabinets without having to replace them altogether.

It’s also one of the least expensive options available, so it works well if you’re on a budget.

All you need is a paintbrush and some paint in your desired color.

The best thing about repainting is that it doesn’t require any special tools or skills; anyone can do it.

If you want more than just a simple color change, you can use stencils or decals to add some interest to your kitchen cabinets.


Refacing is a way to restore the look of your kitchen cabinets without replacing them entirely.

It involves stripping off the old cabinet doors and installing new ones in their place.

This allows you to customize the color or style of your kitchen cabinets without having to spend as much money on a complete remodel.

You can also choose from a variety of different materials, including wood veneers, laminate, and solid wood.


Much in the same vein as repainting, refinishing takes it a notch higher with additional steps before and after applying new paint.

The cabinets are typically sanded down first to remove the old finish, and then they are coated with primer.

The paint in the color of your choice is applied next, followed by a clear varnish or polyurethane finish.

The result is a set of cabinets that could pass as brand new.

How Often Should Kitchen Cabinets Be Replaced? – Conclusion

Overall, kitchen cabinets should be replaced every 15-20 years or when they begin to look shabby or old.

This is because kitchen cabinets tend to be one of the focal points of a kitchen, and therefore, the whole room’s appeal could be dictated by them.

Besides looks, diminished functionality could also be an indicator that these cabinets have seen better days.

Moreover, if you have non-matching cabinets or ones that you find unpleasant every time you look at them, by all means, heave them replaced.

If the investment required for replacement is an issue, however, the restorative tips we outlined above could help you out.

If you have made up your mind to have your kitchen cabinets replaced in California, look no further than IDB Enterprise.

We are fast, friendly, and knowledgeable in all facets of kitchen remodel or any home improvement project for that matter.

You can be confident knowing that your renovation project will be done by skilled contractors who want to help you achieve the home of your dreams.

With 20+ years of experience, we will be able to take your project from an idea to a completely stunning beautiful piece that you would be proud of.