How do I Choose the Best Wood Kitchen Cabinets?

Harriette Halepis

Choosing kitchen cabinets can easily be the most involved portion of redecorating any kitchen space. The good news is that selecting the right kind of wood to make them out of doesn't have to be a difficult process. The bad news is that you will have to do a bit of research before settling on the right wood type. You'll need to consider the style of the kitchen and how much you can afford to spend.

Kitchen with cherry wood cabinets.
Kitchen with cherry wood cabinets.

No matter what kind of wood kitchen cabinets you are looking at, make sure that they are 100% solid wood. Many manufacturers use particle board, a wood composite, in order to cut costs. The problem with particle board is that it won't last as long, or look as good, as solid wood. If you are redoing your whole kitchen, then it's usually worth the investment to purchase solid wood cabinets.

Kitchen with composite wood cabinets.
Kitchen with composite wood cabinets.

Oak is by far the most popular wood choice for kitchen cabinets. The trees can be found all over the globe, so the materials are easy to find. Oak takes well to stain, it is durable, and it is aesthetically appealing. Most homeowners who choose oak cabinets prefer a natural or honey stained look to any kind or darker stain, though darker colors are available.

Adding birchwood veneers is another way to incorporate wood into kitchen cabinets at an affordable price.
Adding birchwood veneers is another way to incorporate wood into kitchen cabinets at an affordable price.

Ponderosa, white, and yellow are all types of pine wood that are frequently fashioned into cabinets. White and yellow pine are the most versatile, since both can be easily stained without any added fuss. On the other hand, ponderosa pine can be difficult to work with if you plan to stain your own cabinets. If you prefer the look of ponderosa pine, cabinets made from this type of wood can be purchased pre-stained.

Maple is a type of wood that many contractors prize for its sheer adaptability. It can be stained in any shade and will still maintain its natural wood grain. You'll also find that maple tends to be more cost-effective than pine or oak, since maple trees can be found in Asia, and many maple wood kitchen cabinets are manufactured in that part of the world.

Unlike maple, cherry wood is expensive, though it is quite stunning to look at. It is unique in that it turns from a light wood color to a deep red color with time, and once the wood has been stained, exposure to sunlight over many years will bring out its natural red hue. This is precisely why many people pay a higher price for it.

Mahogany wood kitchen cabinets are rare, but they have a rich and luxurious look that many homeowners love. If style and class is what you're after, then mahogany may be the type of wood that you are seeking.

It is important to ensure that wood cabinets are made from 100% solid wood.
It is important to ensure that wood cabinets are made from 100% solid wood.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I used to live in Vermont, and one year a group of eight of us rented a vacation rental at the Stowe mountain resort. I am a chef, so I love kitchens, and one thing I remember very distinctly about the rental was the bird’s eye maple cabinets. The design was very contemporary, and was polished to a nice shine. It went very well with the stainless appliances, and the shiny black granite counter tops. The kitchen in this rental was one of the most impressive I have seen, and the shine of the bird’s eye in the wood was out of this world. If I can ever afford custom wood kitchen cabinets, I would like to have some done in a birds eye maple veneer.


Color matching is important in the kitchen. I think that the atmosphere in a kitchen greatly affects the quality of the food produced in a kitchen. I like to have brighter earth tone paint on my kitchen walls, with dark stained wood kitchen cabinets and a couple of potted herbs in the windowsill.

Post your comments
Forgot password?