Solid wood cabinets are known to be the best type of kitchen cabinet because of their durability, strength, versatility, and beauty.
Solid wood cabinets are stronger than most other cabinet types, and come in a wide range of styles, colors, designs, and wood types.
Wood kitchen cabinets can be customized to fit your exact aesthetic goals, making it an excellent option for those looking for stand-out kitchens.
Cost of Solid Wood Cabinets
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Wood cabinets cost between $100 and $300 per linear foot. The price depends on a variety of factors including whether the cabinet is custom made, the type of wood you choose, and the construction of the cabinet.
For a full kitchen cabinet job, expect to pay between $5,000 and over $25,000 for solid wood kitchen cabinets.
You can use our Kitchen Remodel Cost Calculator to estimate the cost of doing a full kitchen remodel.
Wood Cabinets Cost Per Linear Foot
For wood kitchen cabinets, homeowners spend $250-650 per linear foot for semi-custom cabinetry and $350-1,200 per linear foot for custom made solid wood cabinets.
The cost difference for various types of wood species is only $5-7 per linear foot.
Check out our Kitchen Cabinets Costs Guide for further details.
Features of Solid Wood Cabinets
Solid wood cabinets have several features which can help you distinguish types of cabinets and choose the one that is right for you.
One feature of solid wood cabinets is the grain pattern. Wood grain is the pattern on the wood unique to each individual wood piece. Some wood types have deep, dark grain while others have a more subtle light grain.
Another feature is the color. Each wood has its own unique shade, ranging from pale yellows to dark reds and browns.
If you purchase wood cabinets, they can also be stained to any color of your choice. Staining is a frequent choice for some wood types that tend to have uneven coloring like cherry or others that take well to staining.
You should also pay attention to the construction of the cabinet. Wood cabinets can be made using rabbets, dovetails, or dowels.
Dovetails are a more expensive option but drawers with dovetails tend to last longer than other choices.
Types of Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Solid wood cabinets are made from a range of wood choices, each with unique color and style features. Choosing the right wood type for your kitchen cabinets will depend on your aesthetic goals for the kitchen.
White Oak Wood Cabinets
White oak is a durable, strong cabinet material choice with golden undertones. White oak has a more subtle grain pattern than options like red oak.
White oak is a specialty type wood and is generally only available for custom cabinet projects and is favored for its traditional, cottage style appearance.
Red Oak Wood Cabinets
Red oak is an affordable wood choice for a cabinet, and is also durable. Red oak has a distinct grain pattern.
It is widely available in a range of styles and configurations and can be used both for stock and custom cabinetry. Red oak has a traditional appearance that many buyers value.
Hickory Wood Cabinets
Hickory has a lighter color than red or white oak cabinets, but is equally strong and durable.
Hickory is only available in semi-stock or custom cabinetry, and is ideal for farmhouse style kitchens. Hickory has a medium grain pattern similar to red oak and has a light yellowish tone.
Birch Wood Cabinets
Birch wood is an inexpensive choice for cabinets, and is available in stock, semi-stock, and custom options.
Birch is favored for its ability to appear like more expensive wood types like cherry or maple because it is easily stainable.
Cherry Wood Cabinets
Cherry wood cabinets are an expensive, luxurious cabinet wood choice that lends itself well to both traditional and modern kitchen styles.
Cherry is a durable wood with a fine grain pattern and a dark reddish color that darkens as it ages. Cherry wood cabinets are most commonly available in semi-stock and custom options.
Ash Wood Cabinets
Ash resembles oak in its color and durability, but has a lighter color and a straight grain.
Ash is most widely available in custom cabinetry and is difficult to find even in semi-stock retailers. With a clear finish, ash wood cabinets have a fresh, contemporary look.
Pine Wood Cabinets
Pine wood is the only soft wood used for cabinets, but it does dent more than the hardwood options. Pine is a pale yellow wood that is well-suited for traditional cabin-style kitchens or country homes. Pine cabinets are most widely available as custom cabinets.
Hard Maple Wood Cabinets
Hard maple cabinets are slightly more expensive than oak cabinets but less dense. Hard maple is a popular cabinet choice for semi-stock and custom cabinetry and has a bright, modern feel to it.
Hardwood vs. Softwood Cabinets
When purchasing solid wood kitchen cabinets, you will need to decide between hardwood and softwood.
Whether wood is hard or soft will depend on the tree the wood is from and its natural properties.
Hardwood is more durable and strong than softwood, making it a common choice for flooring.
However, cabinets do not need to be as strong as hardwood flooring, so you can choose soft wood options for your kitchen cabinets.
Ultimately what may matter more than hard or soft wood is the aesthetic qualities of each type of wood and its price.
Some examples of hardwood that are popular in cabinetry include maple, oak, mahogany, cherry, hickory, and birch. Some examples of softwood are cedar, pine, and juniper.
Stock vs. Custom Wood Cabinets
When purchasing solid wood cabinets, you will have the choice between stock or custom made options. Your choice will depend on your budget as well as stylistic preferences.
Stock wooden cabinets are made in standard sizes and configurations, and available from large retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as from a contractor.
Installing a stock cabinet is quicker than installing a custom one, and there is also a fast turnaround from when you make the purchase until you have a completed cabinet.
Stock cabinets are significantly more affordable than custom made cabinets.
Alternatively, you can hire a carpenter to build custom cabinets. This allows you to choose almost any design, material, shape, and configuration you desire.
The exact price of a custom made cabinet will vary widely depending on your design choices, but generally speaking custom made cabinets are more expensive than stock cabinets.
They will also take a long time to be made, so if you are looking for a quick remodeling project you should probably not choose custom cabinets.
A third option that combines both stock and custom cabinet features is a semi-stock cabinet.
To purchase a semi-stock cabinet, you choose from a wide selection of materials, styles, and designs, giving you more freedom than if you simply purchased a stock cabinet but less freedom than a custom made cabinet.
The semi-stock cabinet is built after you order it, so it will take longer to arrive than a stock cabinet.
Ready to Assemble vs. Pre-Assembled vs. On Site Assembly Cabinets
Another factor you will need to choose between is ready to assemble (RTA) or pre-assembled cabinets. Your choice will largely depend on time and budget constraints.
Ready to assemble cabinets are flat-packed and assembled on site. You can purchase RTA cabinets from stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and IKEA, or order them online from other suppliers. RTA cabinets are much cheaper to ship as well as install.
Pre-assembled cabinets are more costly to ship, but easier to install DIY and cheaper than on-site assembly cabinets.
You can purchase pre-assembled cabinets from many retailers on line and in brick and mortar stores. If you order online, pre-assembled cabinets may take several months to ship.
If you purchase custom made cabinets, they will likely be assembled on site by a contractor. This can be a laborious, time consuming process that can take months (including material delivery time).
On site assembly ensures that everything is installed perfectly and fits properly within the kitchen.
However, it is the most expensive cabinet assembly option and also the least convenient.
Solid Wood Cabinets vs. Wood Alternatives
When purchasing cabinets you may have difficulty choosing between real wood cabinets and other alternatives.
Some popular wood alternatives include Thermofoil and laminates. Thermofoil is a wood alternative made from vinyl and substrate.
Thermofoil resembles real wood cabinets more closely than laminates do, and is most often found in white or light brown shades. Thermofoil is easy to take care of but can be susceptible to water damage.
Laminate cabinets are made from three layers of resin that match the appearance of real wood, slightly less successfully than Thermofoil.
Laminate cabinets are heavier than wood cabinets, making installation somewhat more difficult, but also more sturdy. Laminates are durable and stronger than softer wood types.
Laminate and thermofoil are more widely available than wood cabinets, making them a good choice if you want a quick home improvement project and don’t want to wait months for new cabinets.
Expect to pay $30 to $70 per linear foot for wood alternatives, compared to $100 to $300 for real wood cabinets.
The table below outlines the average costs by material for a standard kitchen cabinet job. Prices will vary significantly based on a variety of factors.
|Solid Wood||$5,000 – $25,000|
|Wood Veneer||$2,000 – $15,000|
|Laminate||$3,500 – $15,000|
|Acrylic||$5,000 – $18,000|
|Stainless Steel||$25,000 – $45,000|
Pros and Cons of Solid Wood Cabinets
Solid wood cabinets have several pros and cons that can help you decide whether purchasing solid wood cabinets is right for you.
● Durable: Wood is a durable building material and will last longer than some other cabinet materials such as laminate or Thermofoil.
● Customizable: If you have a specific design in mind or want a luxurious cabinet style, wood is your best bet. With a custom made cabinet, you can choose any design, material, and construction to fit your needs.
● Can be resurfaced: Unlike non-wood options that need replacement once they start experiencing wear and tear, wood can be resurfaced to look as good as new.
● Appearance: Wood has a beautiful appearance that can fit a range of styles, including modern, traditional, farmhouse, country, elegant, and more.
● Cost: One of the main drawbacks of solid wood cabinets is the cost. Wood is a very expensive building material and solid wood kitchen cabinets are expensive per linear foot, costing between $100 and $300.
● High maintenance: Wood cabinets are difficult to maintain if you want them to last many years. They may require re-staining, resurfacing, and specialized cleaning, which can be difficult and expensive.
How Can I Tell If a Wood Cabinet Is Well Made?
There are a couple ways to identify well-made wooden cabinets versus poorly made wooden cabinets.
First, real wood cabinets are much higher quality than alternative woods such as particle board, laminate, or vinyl. Before purchasing a cabinet be sure to double check that all parts of the cabinet are made from real wood.
Another feature to look for is the type of track on the drawers. There are a few higher quality door tracks, such as full extension soft close tracks. This type of drawer track can withstand lots of opening and closing without issue.
You should also look at the construction of the wood cabinet. Dovetailed joints is the most common in well-made cabinets, so if you are looking for a high quality cabinet you should search out ones made with dovetail joints. These joints make the cabinets stronger and more durable.
Another factor to consider is whether the cabinet has been hand stained or painted. That is another sign that the cabinet is well-made, whereas cabinets that do not have hand applied finishes tend to be of lower quality.
What Material Is Best For Kitchen Cabinets?
Solid wood is thought to be the best material for kitchen cabinets. Solid wood is durable, long lasting, and aesthetically versatile. Other cabinet choices like wood alternatives are much less durable and have a somewhat cheap appearance.
Although solid wood cabinets are more expensive than other choices, the price may be worth it because of the higher quality and performance you get with solid wood cabinets.
Top Companies For Solid Wood Cabinets
There are many companies on the market selling solid wood cabinets, so it can be difficult to decide which is right for you. Below are some popular brands that sell solid wood cabinets, each with unique features and benefits.
Kraftmaid is one of the largest suppliers of cabinets in the country, producing stock and semi-stock cabinets. Kraftmaid’s stock cabinets can be found at Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as many local companies.
Kraftmaid offers kitchen cabinets in a wide range of wood types, including maple, cherry, hickory, alder, oak, and more.
They also offer a range of door styles such as V-groove, beaded, and recessed, as well as both arched and square frame shapes.
Kraftmaid cabinets are standard prices, ranging between $100 and $300 per linear foot depending on a range of factors.
Fabuwood produces high quality, elegant cabinets. They offer a range of cabinet door styles, with many lines including the Galaxy line, the Fusion line, the Imperio line, and more.
Fabuwood cabinets are relatively affordable. For a single, standard size cabinet from Fabuwood, expect to pay about $200 per linear foot.
Ideal Cabinetry’s all wood line is an excellent choice for solid wood kitchen cabinets. Ideal cabinetry makes semi-custom cabinets in a range of styles, with particular emphasis on traditional cabinet designs.
Ideal Cabinetry provides cabinets for Costco Wholesale, making it easy to purchase, and you get extra savings on Ideal Cabinetry if you are a Costco member.
RTA Cabinet Store
RTA Cabinet Store makes ready to assemble cabinets, which makes the cabinets much more affordable than other brands.
RTA Cabinet Store is a full service company without any intermediaries, so you can get everything you need to assemble your cabinets from them.
RTA makes cabinets that can be easily assembled with cam-lock and bracket systems, making it one of the best ready to assemble choices for DIY-ers.
Astrokraft Cabinetry makes standard style cabinets for homeowners. Astrokraft is known for providing basic, simple, and well-loved styles of cabinets rather than pushing stylistic boundaries.
Astrokraft is widely available through distribution centers, and is a good choice for anyone looking for a standard kitchen cabinet.
Snaidero USA cabinets are an ultra high end, European-style cabinet manufacturer. Snaidero USA cabinets are a premium, top of the line choice, and are sold only in consultation with a showroom, of which there are sixteen in the United States.