cabinet refacing service

What types of wood can be used in cabinet refacing?

Cabinet refacing is an effective way to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh, updated look without the expense of a full remodel. One of the most critical decisions in this process is selecting the type of wood to use. Various wood types offer distinct aesthetics, durability, and cost considerations, allowing homeowners to customize their cabinets to fit their style and functional needs. From the light, smooth grain of maple to the rich, luxurious hues of cherry and walnut, each wood type provides unique benefits. In this guide, Top Refinish LLC explores the characteristics and advantages of popular wood choices for cabinet refacing, helping you make an informed decision for your home improvement project.


Maple is a versatile and popular choice for cabinet refacing, known for its smooth grain and light color. Its fine, uniform texture and strength make it a preferred hardwood in many homes. Maple’s light, creamy color can easily complement various design styles, from modern to traditional. One of its standout features is its ability to take stains well, allowing homeowners to achieve different looks, whether it’s a natural finish or a darker stain to mimic more exotic woods.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, maple is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens. This resilience ensures that your refaced cabinets will maintain their beauty and functionality for years. Moreover, maple’s smooth surface is perfect for painted finishes, providing a sleek and polished appearance. This adaptability in both stain and paint options makes maple a flexible choice for anyone looking to refresh their cabinetry.


Oak is a classic choice for cabinet refacing, beloved for its strength and distinctive grain pattern. It is available in two primary varieties: red oak and white oak. Red oak has a prominent, open grain and a warm, reddish hue, while white oak features a tighter, more uniform grain and a slightly lighter color. Both types are incredibly durable, capable of withstanding daily wear and tear with ease.

The natural grain of oak is its defining feature, adding character and texture to any kitchen. This makes it especially suitable for traditional or rustic styles, where the wood’s natural beauty can shine. Oak can be stained in various shades, from light to dark, enhancing its versatility. Furthermore, its robust nature makes it an excellent candidate for both high-use areas and for homeowners seeking a long-lasting solution.


Cherry wood is synonymous with luxury and elegance in cabinetry. Its rich, warm tones and fine grain pattern make it a standout choice for those looking to create a high-end aesthetic. One of the most notable characteristics of cherry wood is its natural aging process. Over time, cherry darkens to a deep, lustrous hue, adding depth and richness to your cabinets.

The smooth texture of cherry wood allows for a polished finish, enhancing its sophisticated appearance. Its workability is also a key advantage, making it easier to craft detailed and intricate designs. However, cherry is not just about looks; it is also a durable hardwood that stands up well to everyday use. This combination of beauty and resilience makes cherry an ideal choice for homeowners who want to invest in timeless, elegant cabinetry.


Hickory is the go-to wood for those seeking a bold and unique look in their cabinet refacing service. Known for its striking grain pattern and color variation, hickory ranges from light to dark streaks within the same piece, creating a visually dynamic and rustic appeal. This characteristic makes each hickory cabinet unique, as no two pieces are alike.

In terms of durability, hickory is one of the hardest and strongest domestic hardwoods available. This toughness makes it highly resistant to dents and scratches, ideal for busy kitchens. Despite its robustness, hickory can be challenging to work with due to its density, but the result is a stunning, one-of-a-kind appearance that can transform the look of any space. For homeowners wanting a distinct, natural aesthetic, hickory is a perfect choice.


Birch is a smooth-grained, pale wood that offers versatility and affordability for cabinet refacing. Its light color and subtle grain pattern provide a clean, contemporary look that can be easily integrated into various design styles. Birch’s consistent texture allows for uniform staining, and it can be finished to mimic more expensive woods like mahogany or walnut.

In addition to its visual appeal, birch is relatively hard and strong, making it a durable option for cabinets. It is also less expensive than other hardwoods, offering a cost-effective solution without compromising on quality. Birch’s ability to take both stain and paint well means it can adapt to changing design trends, providing homeowners with flexibility in achieving their desired aesthetic.


Walnut is the epitome of elegance in cabinet refacing, known for its rich, dark brown color and straight grain. This premium hardwood is often associated with luxury and sophistication, making it a top choice for high-end cabinetry. The natural beauty of walnut lies in its deep, warm tones and the way it ages gracefully, developing a patina that enhances its appearance over time.

Walnut’s fine, uniform texture allows for a smooth finish, whether stained or left natural. Its workability is another advantage, as it can be crafted into intricate designs with ease. Despite its premium status, walnut is also a durable hardwood, resistant to wear and capable of withstanding the demands of a busy kitchen. For those seeking a timeless, luxurious look, walnut offers an unmatched combination of beauty and durability.


Alder wood is prized for its versatility and subtle grain patterns. Softer than other hardwoods, alder is easy to work with, making it a favorite for custom cabinetry and intricate designs. Its light, reddish-brown color can be easily stained to achieve various finishes, from natural looks to darker, more dramatic hues.

One of the key features of alder is its ability to take stains and finishes uniformly, which makes it an excellent candidate for achieving a distressed or rustic look. Despite being a softer wood, alder is reasonably durable and offers a good balance of beauty and practicality. Its affordability also makes it an attractive option for homeowners looking to achieve a high-end look without the premium price tag.


Mahogany is often regarded as the pinnacle of luxury in wood choices for cabinet refacing. Its deep, reddish-brown hue and fine, straight grain exude elegance and sophistication, making it a favorite for high-end cabinetry. The wood’s rich color can range from a light pinkish-brown to a deep, dark brown, often darkening with age and exposure to light, which enhances its luxurious appearance over time.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, mahogany is known for its durability and resistance to decay, making it an excellent long-term investment for cabinetry. It is also relatively easy to work with, allowing for intricate designs and detailed craftsmanship. The wood takes stain and polish well, providing a smooth, glossy finish that highlights its natural beauty. For homeowners seeking a timeless, elegant look, mahogany offers unmatched quality and sophistication.


Pine is a versatile and budget-friendly option for cabinet refacing, known for its light color and distinct knots. This softwood has a natural, rustic charm that can add a warm and inviting feel to any space. Pine’s pale yellow or light brown color can be easily stained or painted, making it adaptable to various design styles, from country chic to modern farmhouse.

While pine is softer than many hardwoods and more prone to dents and scratches, it is also lightweight and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for DIY projects and custom cabinetry. Its natural knots and grain patterns give pine a unique character, and it can be treated to achieve a wide range of finishes. For those looking for an affordable, flexible wood that can bring a cozy, rustic touch to their home, pine is an excellent choice.


Ash wood is known for its light color, straight grain, and impressive strength, making it a durable and attractive option for cabinet refacing. Its pale hue ranges from creamy white to light brown, providing a bright, airy look that can make kitchens feel more spacious and welcoming. The straight, uniform grain of ash gives it a clean, modern appearance, suitable for contemporary designs.

Ash is highly durable and resistant to wear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchens. It also has good shock resistance, which adds to its longevity. The wood takes stain well, allowing for various finishes that can enhance its natural beauty or transform its appearance to mimic other woods. For homeowners seeking a combination of durability, versatility, and a light, modern aesthetic, ash is an excellent choice.


Beech wood is prized for its uniform texture, pale color, and smooth grain, making it a versatile and reliable choice for cabinet refacing. Its light, reddish-brown hue can be easily stained to achieve a variety of looks, from natural to darker finishes. The even grain of beech provides a consistent appearance, which is ideal for modern and minimalist designs.

cabinet refacing

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, beech is a hard, strong wood that offers excellent durability and resistance to wear. This makes it suitable for high-use areas where durability is essential. Beech’s smooth surface is also perfect for painted finishes, allowing homeowners to customize their cabinetry to fit their desired style. For those looking for a reliable, versatile wood that can adapt to different design preferences, beech is a solid choice.


Teak is a premium hardwood renowned for its exceptional durability, water resistance, and stunning golden-brown color. This wood’s natural oils make it highly resistant to moisture, decay, and pests, making it an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms where humidity is a concern. The rich, warm tones of teak, along with its straight grain and occasional dark streaks, create a luxurious and exotic appearance.

Teak’s durability extends to its ability to withstand heavy use without losing its beauty, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. It is also easy to work with, allowing for intricate designs and smooth finishes. The natural oils in teak give it a lustrous finish that doesn’t require much maintenance. For homeowners seeking a high-end, durable wood that can handle moisture and wear, teak is an outstanding option.


Plywood is a practical and cost-effective option for cabinet refacing, offering versatility and stability. Made from thin layers of wood veneer glued together, plywood is strong and less prone to warping or shrinking compared to solid wood. This engineered wood can be faced with various types of veneers, including oak, maple, and cherry, to achieve different looks.

One of the significant advantages of plywood is its affordability, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious homeowners who still want a high-quality finish. It is also lightweight and easy to work with, simplifying the installation process. Plywood’s layered construction provides added strength and durability, ensuring that cabinets can withstand daily use. For those looking for a durable, versatile, and economical solution, plywood is a smart choice for cabinet refacing.


Choosing the right type of wood for cabinet refacing is essential to achieving the desired look and functionality in your kitchen or bathroom. Whether you prefer the classic charm of oak, the luxurious appeal of cherry, or the rustic character of hickory, there is a wood type to suit every taste and budget. Each wood offers unique advantages in terms of aesthetics, durability, and cost, allowing for a personalized and practical solution. By understanding the distinct characteristics of each option, you can make an informed decision that enhances the beauty and value of your home, ensuring your refaced cabinets are both stylish and long-lasting.

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