When you want to install new wooden kitchen cabinets, the sheer number of options can overwhelm you. You’ll find a long list of natural wood options to choose from. After you comb through them, you’ll also have to look at a few man-made options.

Not to worry, we can help you through the decision-making process. As the top-providers of kitchen cabinets in WV, we know the most common cabinet wood options. Here, we share them with you, discussing the key details you need to know about them.

We’ve split the cabinet wood types into solid hardwoods, softwoods, and man-made options.

The Different Solid Hardwoods for Kitchen Cabinets

People choosing wood for cabinets often go with solid hardwoods for their long list of advantages ranging from durability to aesthetic appeal.

The types of cabinet wood in this category include the following:

1. Cherry

Choose this cabinet wood species if you want a kitchen cabinet with a luxurious appearance. The wood is softer than other options classified as hardwoods, but it still holds its own against the more popular options.

Cherry wood has a rich reddish-brown hue, hence its luxurious appearance. However, exposure to light and air can darken it. Thankfully, the wood receives stains well.

So, if you don’t like the natural look of cherry wood for your kitchen cabinets, you can stain it to any color of your choosing and get a nice finish. Importantly, staining doesn’t hide the natural texture of the wood.

One major downside is that it will absorb wear and tear more easily than some of the other options in this category. However, if your kitchen sees low traffic, your cabinets will last long.

2. Maple

Maple is a strong, nonporous hardwood. Many homeowners choose maple wood cabinets because of their durability. Its fine wood grain can also elevate the aesthetic appeal of any space.

Do you want to stick with the natural wood color? You can choose from creamy white to reddish-brown. If you want to update the color, stains and paints adhere to maple easily, ensuring you get magnificent results.

One downside of note is that maple tends to lose its luster after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. However, if you prefer customization-friendly wood for your cabinets, you can’t go wrong with maple.

3. Ash

Ash is another excellent choice of cabinet wood. Most people choose it because it’s easy to work with and always allows a seamless finish. It also makes a versatile and affordable choice.

You can choose natural ash wood in various tones, starting from light brown to beige. However, exposure to sunlight can turn darker ash wood cabinets lighter and vice versa.

If you want a custom finish, painting or staining ash wood is also straightforward. It’s a low-maintenance option as long as you seal it properly.

However, ash wood is porous. Poorly treated options will likely rot after a short while. Keep this in mind if you intend to shop for the wood for your cabinets on your own.

4. Hickory

Hickory is another cabinet wood option you can choose for its durability. Many cabinet manufacturers regard it as one of the most durable cabinet wood types. You’ll quickly see why after installing your first set of hickory cabinets.

The wood comes in diverse shades, from off-white to dark brown. However, the busy wood grain and pattern variation in hickory may not work well in smaller kitchens. You’ll have to paint the cabinets in that case.

5. Oak

Oak remains one of the most common hardwoods for cabinets because of its incredible durability. Oak cabinets are also arguably the easiest to buy, as they are everywhere. The colors of the wood vary widely depending on the type of oak.

Some of the most common colors you’ll find include dark brown, red, light tan, and light brown. If you don’t want your cabinet in those colors, don’t sweat it. Oak absorbs stains easily.

On the flip side, it’s hard to hide the wood grain in oak. It will show regardless of the paint type you choose.

The Different Softwoods for Kitchen Cabinets

Many people choose softwood lumber for their kitchen cabinets for various reasons. These woods are easier to find and generally cheaper. You can complete your kitchen cabinets faster because most lumber supply companies always have them on hand and ready to supply.

Popular cabinet wood choices in this category include the following:

6. Spruce

Spruce makes an affordable and sustainable wood option for your kitchen cabinetry. It’s easy to work with, and the uniform texture will give you a smooth finish. However, this high-maintenance option becomes susceptible to insects and fungi damage.

7. Pine

Pine is a common choice of kitchen cabinet wood due to its softness and ease of working with it. Its smooth texture and soft-amber color make it a good fit in most modern kitchens. It’s moisture resistant, so you don’t have to worry about swelling or cracking.

However, pine often accumulates dents and scratches. So you have to spend significantly more time and money on maintenance over the lifespan of the cabinets.

8. Douglas Fir

Douglas fir is another eco-friendly softwood option that works well for kitchen cabinets. The wood makes a strong and stable cabinet. The grain pattern is also one of the most attractive you’ll find on any softwood. The light color changes to a dark or reddish hue after prolonged exposure to sunlight though.

One downside to using Douglas fir for your kitchen cabinet comes from the difficulty in applying a veneer.

Man-Made Wood Options for Kitchen Cabinets

Using man-made wood for your kitchen cabinets means avoiding some of the disadvantages of using natural wood. However, you’ll also lose some of the charm and allure of using high-quality hard and softwood for your cabinets. Some of the top options include:

9. High-Density Fiberboard (HDF)

This engineered wood contains a mix of wood fibers, glue, and resin. It does a fantastic job of mimicking hardwood for a fraction of the price. High-density fiberboard is extremely durable and thrives in humid and dry environments. The material also takes paints well.

However, it doesn’t have the longevity of hardwood nor the look. Most HDFs also don’t take screws and nails.

10. Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is similar to HDF. The key difference is that manufacturers make it with less pressure. Many cabinet makers only use MDF as a substrate and then install veneer and laminate on the surface. You can use MDF as cabinet panels, drawers, and shelves. It’s also easy to paint.

However, MDF has all the downsides of HDF and more. You can’t sand it, and it’s sensitive to heat, which causes concerns from a kitchen safety standpoint. It will also warp and swell when wet.

Get Expert Help With Your Wood Selection for Cabinets

Are you still unsure about the best type of wood to use for your kitchen cabinets? We can help. At Kitchens By Woody’s, we have extensive experience helping homeowners choose the perfect material for their kitchen cabinets.

Our network of cabinet makers and suppliers means that no type of cabinetry is beyond our reach. We can guide you to the perfect option for your space. And no matter the cabinet wood types you choose, you can feel confident we’ll get them for you and in your preferred design style.

Whether you want the highest quality hardwood or MDF cabinets for your kitchen, our talented designers are waiting to discuss your preferences.

Call Kitchens By Woody’s in Barboursville, WV, today at (304) 814-2268 to schedule a consultation.