Cabinet Wood Types

Wood types are an important consideration when designing your custom cabinets. As a rule, it’s a good idea to avoid exotic or heavily design-oriented cabinets. For most homeowners, a solid mix of functionality and subtle good looks is the ticket. Fortunately, there are a variety of wood types that have become time honoured staples among homeowners.


Maple is great for both traditional and contemporary designs. It is one of the most popular options and is known for its smooth texture and is predominantly a light cream colour but they can range to yellow or light brown. It is one of the most durable and hardest woods therefore it is a great choice for anything that will go through lots of wear and tear or will be holding anything heavy, it is also one of the more affordable choices of wood. The texture is smooth and uniform which allows for finishes and stains to be applied easily. Maple will naturally have some darker patches from mineral deposits as the tree grew. If you are looking to stain for paint your cabinets this is an ideal choice.


Cherry mixes well with other woods and is exceptionally durable. They are characterized by their rich undertones but can vary quite a bit in colour from a light cream to a deep rich brown, but are often have a deep red tint. . They are praised for their rich colour and smooth texture and consistent grain pattern. The even grain enables finishes to be applied with ease, although they will have some natural markings. It is one of the most popular choices for wood species as it ages well and is a very strong hardwood. With time and exposure to sunlight cheery hardwood will darken and become richer. It is however one of the more expensive woods to choose from, which is something to consider if you are working on a budget.


Oak is extremely durable and does well with finishes (dark or light). It will have a distinct grain pattern and can vary in colour from white, pink and red with streaks of green, yellow and even black from mineral deposits. Oak is quite durable and is resistant to warping. There are many different types of Oak but what is distinctive for most Oaks is their consistent grain pattern and texture. Red Oak often comes with a straight or arched grain pattern. It may contain some mineral deposits but overall will appear quite smooth and consistent. Quarter Sawn Oak is a well sought after wood, which has a straight grain with a fleck like pattern that is also very consistent in texture and pattern.


Pine has a long, continuous grain that offers a rugged look. Its colour often has a yellow hue to it. Since it is softwood it takes on the distressed or antiqued look on easily. However if you are concerned about scratches you may want to choose a hardwood instead like maple or cherry. It is also quite an affordable wood therefore it is a good choice if you are working on a budget.

Thermofoil and High-Pressure Laminate

These are also becoming popular choices for homeowners looking for an alternative to (sometimes pricey) wood types. Thermofoil begins as a thin, rigid film that is heated and shaped over a substrate material. Thermofoil kitchen cabinets are clean and bright and usually give the appearance of freshly painted cabinets. Thermofoil is easily attaches to most materials. Sometimes old cabinets will be covered with Thermofile rather than replacing them if they foundation is still solid. Laminate is a plastic product formed by fusing resin and paper together under pressure and heat. The result is a virtually indestructible covering cabinets and countertops.