A Guide to Choosing Cabinet Materials

Textured wood veneer with stainless doors and painted glass inserts

Does the idea of planning a kitchen remodel or choosing new cabinets stress you out? Here at the Ewing Companies, we don’t want any step of your remodeling or building project to be stressful. We have decades of experience to take good care of you while we’re working on designing and building your dream space.

With that in mind, we wanted to talk a little about the wonderful materials and design choices that go into choosing cabinetry materials for your home. From rich, exotic wood to cost-effective, sustainable wood products, we are ready to share our knowledge with you!

Wood Types

The first thing many people consider is cost. Sara, our designer, says, “Wood species like oak, alder, birch and maple tend to be less expensive than cherry or walnut woods.” Don’t get us wrong–for elegant custom work, cherry and walnut are great. If you have other goals in mind, though, there are great options out there.

One alternative to hardwood is Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). MDF is a wood product that resists warping, is very shock resistant, and best of all, is a very cost-effective alternative to traditional products. Do you remember the recent story about the Ewing family kitchen? Their cabinets are all MDF and look breathtaking and beautiful, check out the gallery and see for yourself!

It’s very important to think about how you’re going to use your kitchen when trying to decide on a material. Some choices lend themselves to elegant, traditional designs like cherry or walnut. Others, like quartersawn oak, are dense and can stand up to shock and years of use (and maybe even abuse!). For example, if you have children in your home, strong, impact-resistant cabinetry will keep your kitchen looking great for a long time.

The material itself, though, is only half the story. After you decide, it’s time to start thinking about your finishes. The finish you choose will impact the overall look and feel of your cabinetry and kitchen space. Like many design considerations, there are a variety of options ranging from traditional to more innovative and cutting edge.

Stains tend to be more budget-friendly that many paints, depending on what type of wood you’re using. If you’re interested in a painted wood finish, though, you can achieve this on any smooth-grained wood like birch or maple. If you’re not sure about what will work, just ask!

Another very good choice is adding paint to MDF, which results in a very smooth finish that won’t warp and crack with humidity changes over time. There’s lots to think about and we don’t want to overload you here!

All In How You Finish It

Another good option that is often overlooked is veneers. Sara, recommends exploring all the different choices available to you. “Materials like metal and faux wood veneers are becoming so popular in contemporary and modern styles.”

choosing cabinets

Between all the wood choices, alternative materials, and various finishes, we know it can feel overwhelming. Rest assured, when you give us the vision for your cabinets and space we will help guide you so the process is enjoyable and exciting. With our decades of experience, we know what does and does not work in a space and given budget. We’d love to help you every step of the way! Get in touch if you’re thinking about a remodel or new construction project!