The pros and cons of wooden kitchen cabinets

October 31, 2014

Consider the pros and cons of wooden cabinets before you begin your kitchen renovation project. See what cabinet type best fits your plans.

Wooden cabinets are often a homeowners top choice for their kitchen renovations. In order to keep up with this demand, many stores keep a wide selection of colours and wood types available for purchase. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an outdated kitchen, keep in mind wooden kitchen cabinets’ pros and cons in order to make an informed decision on your home improvement project.

The pros and cons of wooden kitchen cabinets

The pros and cons of wooden cabinets


  • They are durable and easy to repair with wood filler wax sticks if scratched.
  • They are available in a wide variety of styles, colours, wood types, and finishes.
  • They can be customized to complement unusual decor designs.
  • Stock cabinetry comes with mix-and-match options and finishes to suit many kitchens.
  • Cabinets can be re-stained or painted to give a new look.


  • They can be expensive to install compared to other cabinet types.
  • Custom or semi-custom cabinets take time to create and install, meaning longer project times.
  • They expand and contract with changing humidity and can warp over time.
  • They are more difficult to clean, usually requiring special products designed for wood cleaning.

What wood type is right for your kitchen?

So you’ve chosen to install wooden kitchen cabinets. But now you’re not sure what type of wood works best for your kitchen’s décor. Here are some wood types to consider:


Pros: Oak wood is strong and durable. It has a fairly uniform, open-grain appearance that comes in various colours: white, yellow, and red. This wood is less expensive than maple and cherry.

Cons: Oak has a lot of grain in its wood and not many people like the look. In fact, fake wood laminate often mimics the grain of oak which makes people often associate the wood with being cheap.


Pros: Pine is the least expensive of the rustic-looking woods.

Cons: Pine is a soft wood which can dent easily. The wood also features a lot of knots so make sure you like that look for your cabinets.


Pros: Maple is a hard wood meaning durable. With only minor variations in the grain, it has a nice neutral appearance.

Cons: On veneers, the maple grain variations can appear fuzzy or “out-of-focus.”


Pros: Cherry is a favourite among many homeowners. It’s a hard wood which makes it sturdy and long-lasting, and the grain is beautiful.

Cons: Cherry has major variations in its colour. It is important to see cherry wood in a large quantity and not just a door sample if you’re choosing the wood in a natural or light stain. Cherry is also the most expensive wood type.


Pros: Hickory offers many of the qualities of cherry wood, but without the expense. See if hickory is right for your kitchen’s design.

Cons: There is a lot of variation in the wood’s colour from lights to darks, so it’s important you like that look and it fits with your kitchen.

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