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The Pros and Cons of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets (Updated)

Choosing the right material is an important aspect of buying kitchen cabinetry. The very choice of material decides the look and durability of your kitchen cabinets. While every material has its pros and cons, wood is usually one of the most preferred materials among homeowners these days.

Because of the growing demand, cabinet manufacturers offer a wide range of wood materials — species and finishes — to help you make the right choice based on your preferences and budget.

Why Wood is a Preferred Choice for Kitchen Cabinetry

Wood boasts a distinctive character that no other material can match up to. It has beautiful color variations, species, and natural grain patterns, especially real wood, which offers homeowners an opportunity to customize the style further. For example, you can either paint or stain kitchen cabinets based on their preferences. While the painted wooden kitchen cabinets hide the natural grain patterns, the stained cabinets reveal them in a personalized way.

Likewise, many prefer engineered wood such as thermofoil and laminate which are great in their way. However, if want the cabinets to reflect their natural appearances, i.e grain patterns, stick to real wood. Keep in mind it may inflate your budget a little bit though. In short, with wooden kitchen cabinets, the choices are limitless.

Recommended Reading: MDF vs Solid Wood: Which is Better for Your Cabinet Doors?

The Pros and Cons of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets


Durability: Wooden kitchen cabinets are durable and it’s much easier to repair them than it is to fix cabinets constructed from any other material. For example, some wooden cabinets can be repaired with wood filler wax sticks to remove the scratches from the surface.

Versatility: As mentioned before, versatility is one of the main reasons why wooden cabinets are preferred for cabinetry. When you have a wide range of wood spices, styles, colors and finishes to choose from, you can personalize and customize your cabinetry like no other.

Mix ‘n’ Match: Thanks to the versatility of wooden kitchen cabinets, you can mix and match a wide range of finish options to meet the specific design of the kitchen remodel project.

Refacing: Wood cabinets are easier to reface. You can re-stain or paint them for a brand-new look.


More Expensive: In many cases, hardwood cabinets mean you need to have higher a budget. The premium quality, durability, and versatility come with a price tag that’s beyond the budget for some.

Longer Lead Time: Wooden kitchen cabinets, especially custom or semi-cabinets, have a higher lead time, meaning they might take more time to construct and install. If you can’t afford to wait, you might want to choose a different material.

Prone to Humidity: One of the major drawbacks of wooden cabinets is they are prone to humidity. When the moisture content in wood cabinets fluctuate during a change of the surrounding climate, the wood tends to expand and contract. This results in warping of wood over time. However, this can be avoided by using high-quality veneer from all sides at the time of construction.

High Maintenance: Wooden kitchen cabinets require more maintenance. You need to clean them more often with special products that are specifically designed for wood cleaning. This essentially means high maintenance costs as well.

Recommended Reading: How to Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean – 6 Quick Tips

Before Choosing Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

The ability to strike the perfect balance between style and durability makes wooden cabinets one of the most sought-after materials in the cabinetry industry. They not only look great but stand up to the daily use pretty well.

Since real hardwood drives up the price of wooden kitchen cabinets, some manufacturers often apply hardwoods as veneers over a substrate, e.g, plywood. That’s okay because veneered cabinets are more stable than solid lumber, especially in extremely humid climates. Please, make sure wood is finished on all sides before it leaves the factory so it doesn’t warp.

Recommended Reading: Your Go-to Guide for Buying The Best Quality Kitchen Cabinets

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