March 25, 2022

Chic’s How to Guide: Choosing Cabinet Wood Types

When selecting materials for your custom cabinetry, it is important to remember that not all woods are alike. In fact, there are many significant differences that you will need to consider to ensure that you make the right choice for your space.  

If you aren’t sure which type of wood would work best for your design aesthetic, don’t worry. That’s what our designers are here for! Let’s see the different types of wood options (and why your selection matters) from the Cabinet Chic!

Hard or Soft Wood

While there are many different types of trees and species of wood, there are only two main types of wood that are available for woodworking: hard and soft. These terms can be misleading and don’t directly indicate the actual hardness of the wood (a fun fact for you).  

Each type of wood has its advantages:

  • Hardwoods are generally longer lasting and more resilient to humidity or moisture, making them perfect for the kitchen or bathroom.  
  • Softwoods have a lower density, which means that they are strong, but less durable when it comes to moisture. These are wonderful for installing for built ins and home offices.

Best Wood for Custom Cabinetry

Since your bathroom and kitchen are focal points in your home, your cabinets should be durable, functional, and attractive. Boxed or prefabricated cabinets are built with low-grade thin materials overlaid with wood veneer. Our custom cabinets are built using high-quality wood and are made to your project's unique specifications.  

Choose a type of wood that provides durability & functionality with a grain and color that compliments your aesthetic.

Installing custom cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom will have a dramatic effect on the overall feel and personality of the space, so choose a wood that complements your design style.  

Popular Picks

Let’s take a look at some common types of wood that are used for cabinetry.  

Cherry, Maple, Ash, Hickory, and Oak

Cabinet doors and face frames are usually made from solid hardwoods. Species like hickory, maple, or beech resist scratching or denting more than softer species like walnut, alder, or mahogany, but they will also be more costly.  

  • Cherry is one of the most common woods used for cabinetry due to its smooth grain and interesting color.  
  • Maple is another popular wood for cabinetry for its durability and ability to be stained to mimic darker woods like cherry or cedar.  
  • Oak is a classic hardwood that many people are familiar with and can be found in both white and red varieties. It has a coarse grain with distinctive patterns and is timeless in appearance. Perfect for a traditional or rustic kitchen! Because it is so long-lasting, it is one of the most expensive woods to use.  

Walnut and Mahogany

Other common types of hardwood used for cabinets are dark walnut and red mahogany. Walnut adds a rich elegance to cabinets while mahogany adds warmth.  

Other wood species like ash, pine, oak, and maple can be stained to match some types of wood like mahogany, but walnut and cherry are better left as is.  

Spruce, Fir, and Pine Softwoods

Cone-bearing evergreen trees provide softwoods that are normally used for structural purposes. When used for cabinetry, pine gives a certain rustic look with its knotty character and soft amber tone.  

Spruce and fir offer a straight grain and are harder than pine. Since they are more durable, they are normally used for utility applications like in a shop or garage.

Best Wood for Painted Cabinetry

If you are planning to have your cabinets painted, a tighter-grained wood is the one to choose. Hard or soft maple, pine, polar, and others are great choices. Open grain wood will have a rougher look and will likely need filler to look seamless when painted.  

Planning to have your cabinets painted? For a gorgeous finish, choose a tighter-grained wood.  

The best woods for painted cabinetry include:

  • Hard Maple: Fine textured grain
  • Hickory: Coarse, straight grain
  • Cherry: Smooth grain
  • Soft Maple: Close grained
  • Mahogany: Straight or interlocked grain
  • Beech: Tight, fine grain (stains and polishes well)
  • Alder: Straight, even grain (easily dented)
  • Red Oak: Coarse texture
  • Red Birch: Tight grain
  • Douglas Fir: Close grained, tight knotted
  • White Oak: Straight grain with medium to coarse texture
  • Knotty Pine: Straight grain, with fine texture  

Custom-Made Cabinetry

When you work with the Cabinet Chic, you can have happiness built-in with beautiful custom cabinetry! Whether your home is modern, traditional, minimal, or rustic, we will help you choose wood for your cabinetry that will complement your space and truly make a statement.  

Ready to create a wow moment in your home? Call C & C Cabinets for a design consultation today; 813-876-6780!

“The work of C&C cabinets is incredible. They can make any cabinet dreams a reality. Highly recommend!”    - Seleena N.
C & C Cabinets Butterfly Transform Your Home

The Finest Finishes

Beauty can’t last only as long as the reveal. We pride ourselves in selecting the right finish & proper application, resulting in a durable finish that remains beautifully functional for years to come.

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