What are the five best types of wood to use for kitchen cabinets?

Beautiful Kitchen Interior with Dark Cabinets

Wood kitchen cabinets can instantly add warmth to your space. However, with tens of thousands of types of wood, the type you pick and drastically change the look and feel of your kitchen. It can also drastically change the cost of your kitchen cabinets.

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve put together a list of the best woods to use for kitchen cabinets in Australia, based on look, popularity and durability. These five woods are all commonly used and available in Australia. So, once you choose your favourite, call your local carpenter to make it happen!

Beautiful home kitchen with white cabinets and backlight

Benefits of Using Wood for Kitchen Cabinets

Wooden cabinets offer many advantages to a kitchen. Some of the top benefits of choosing wood for your kitchen cabinets include:

  • Wood is very easy to clean — great for kitchens!
  • They are timeless. If you want to change the look, simply change the stain!
  • Wood has great insulation qualities, keeping the cold air out during the summer months and warm air inside during the winter.
  • There are so many types of wood to match any style.
  • Wood is typically more environmentally friendly than other cabinets.

5 Best Types of Wood to Use for Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Pine.

Pine is an affordable type of wood that is widely available in Australia. While it isn’t as strong or durable as some other woods, pine is still great for cabinets as it is so lightweight. It’s also easy to paint if you want to switch up the colour of your kitchen.

Pine wood adds a natural feel to a room, so is often used to give kitchens a more rustic or farmhouse vibe. This type of wood also looks great with both light and dark paints, so is very versatile in styling.

Cream colored kitchen cabinets
  1. Oak.

Oak is one of the most popular kitchen cabinet woods in Australia due to its strength and durability. Its attractive grain adds texture and character to a kitchen, which works in both cosy kitchens and modern kitchens.

Oak kitchens cabinets scream sophistication.

Although oak can be more expensive than pine, it will last much longer if you take care of it well. You’ll want to avoid any strong kitchen cleaners on your oak cabinets, sticking a diluted dishwashing liquid mix to wipe down its surfaces. But with a little love, your oak cabinets will be around for years to come.

  1. Cedar.

Cedar is a stunning wood for kitchen cabinets, with a beautiful scent that really brings life into a room. This wood is quite strong and resistant to rot, so it’s ideal for outdoor kitchens and decks; especially in moist, humid climates.

The downside is, the density of cedar can make it too heavy for many indoor kitchens, unless you have extra support in your kitchen. However, with the right carpenter, this should be no problem.

  1. Walnut.

Walnut is a dark, elegant wood with a unique grain pattern. You’ll often find walnut in modern-looking kitchens with wood cabinets, as it looks incredible against stark white tiles.

The best wood for your kitchen cabinets depends on your budget and style.

You can’t go wrong with walnut if you want your kitchen island or cabinets to be the feature of the room.

Although walnut can be more expensive, it is also very strong, making it a long-lasting wood for kitchens. When you compare walnut to maple, the latter does win the durability test against dings and dents, so it may be something to consider.

  1. Maple.

Maple is one of the strongest woods in Australia, making it perfect for kitchen cabinets. Its durability means it won’t need much maintenance and is also very easy to keep clean, making it a dream for busy kitchens full of life.

What many don’t like about maple is the wood not having as much character as many other types. But if you’re looking for a clean-finish wood that will be around for decades to come, it may still be a frontrunner.

Carpenter Crown Moulding on kitchen cabinets framing trim


When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you can’t go wrong with any of the five woods listed above. The best wood for your kitchen cabinets depends on your budget and style. For example, if you are on a tighter budget, pine may be your top pick, while someone with a larger budget and wants to focus on looks may turn to oak or maple wood.

Whichever wood you choose, make sure to look for good quality material and get professional help if needed when installing new wooden kitchen cabinets.


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