What’s the best wood for kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen trends change, and colour schemes come and go - but wooden kitchen cabinets remain a tried and true look for kitchen cabinetry. Not only are wooden kitchen cabinets a trusted choice, but they are also appealing because of their distinct and unique character with different colour variations and grain patterns. So, what is the best wood for your cabinets? Discover more in this blog.

Your kitchen is your focal point and hub of your home where you spend a lot of your time. This means that your cabinets need to be durable and functional while maintaining it’s attractive quality over time. Whether you want dark, sleek kitchen cabinetry or a scandi-influenced design, there’s a wood to suit.

Wooden cabinetry ranges in colour and style based on material, with options including oak, maple, hickory, cherry and birch.


Maple is one of the most popular choices among homeowners and is available in warm colours including neutral beiges, reds, browns and greys that compliment any home decor. Maple is also extremely durable, making it a great choice for kitchens where the cabinets endure a lot of wear and tear. Due to its wonderfully bright timber with an elegant grain, it will reflect plenty of natural light into your kitchen.


Oak cabinets offer visible grain, making it a good fit for traditional and farmhouse style kitchens. Both red and white oak are used in cabinetry, although red oak is more common. Both have a defined grain pattern, but it is more prominent in red oak with wavy variations and knotholes.

Oak is also the most durable wood for cabinetry with its strength and resistance against rotting and warping, so it’s perfect for busy households.


Cherry wood is loved for its natural red-brown undertone and takes a darker stain better than maple and oak. If you are looking for a distinctive colour, but still appreciate the character of natural wood, cherry is the perfect wood for you instead of a highly sanded and polished wood such as maple. 

Cherry is however susceptible to scratches and dents and is at the higher price range of hardwoods, so it might be worth considering a more durable wood if you have a busy household.


Birch is a pale beige hardwood that offers a fine grain and smooth texture, making it a popular choice for homeowners opting for a modern, minimalist home. Birch is a warp-resistant wood, so moisture and temperature changes will not cause damage to our cabinetry. As birch is a fast-growing tree, it is one of the lowest cost hardwoods on the market while also being eco-friendly.

If you are looking to stain your cabinets it is worth opting for a different hardwood as birch can turn out uneven and blotchy after stained. Birch is also somewhat softer than oak, so can be prone to scratches if you clean them too roughly. 


Hickory is a strong, durable wood with a timeless appeal. Tougher and stronger than maple and oak, hickory adds flavour with its distinctive saturation of colour and durability. Styled perfectly in any kitchen decor whether it’s country or classically styled homes. Priced on the higher end of hardwood cabinetry, but if you are looking for a kitchen built to last - it is a price worth paying.

Not sure which wood cabinetry to go for? Get in touch with our team today to discuss what hardwood works well for your lifestyle and how Spires Interiors can help.