15 Best Woods for Cabinet Face Frames

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Woodworking is a skill that many people have. Whether you are a professional woodworker or an amateur, it pays to know what kind of wood best suits your needs. Cabinet face frames can be made from different types of woods, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we will discuss the 10 best wood for cabinet face frames so that you can choose the best one for your project!

What is a Cabinet Face Frame, and What does it do?

cabinet face frame

A cabinet frame attaches to cabinets in order to give them support, as well as adding design elements such as moldings (crown molding) or decorative trim pieces like baseboard crown molding). There are three types of cabinet frames: face frame, frameless, and overlay. An overlay is best for replacing an existing cabinet in order to match its dimensions, while a face frame best suits any new construction or replacement work that involves adding cabinets to the kitchen design.

Know More: 7 Best Cabinet Face Frame Clamps for Easy Frame Installation

15 best woods for cabinet face frames

Aesthetics is one reason people choose to use wood when constructing their framework; however, there are practical reasons as well since each type of wood has different properties. For example, softwood can swell from water damage more readily than hardwoods because it doesn’t have resin-filled pores like harder woods do, which makes them resistant to moisture. In addition, softer woods tend not to create much sawdust during cutting compared with firmer varieties such as and maple, so they require less cleaning. Plus, softer woods are less expensive than hardwoods, so they’re best for home projects or amateur woodworkers on a budget.

making cabinet face frame

Know More: How to Use Cabinet Face Frame Clamps for Fast Cabinet Assembly

On the other hand, hardwood is more durable and best suited to professional carpenters who want something that can withstand constant wear and tear in commercial settings like restaurants and other places where it will be subjected to harsh conditions. Since hardwood is difficult to work with, it’s best left for professionals who are used to dealing with its prickly surfaces and can maneuver around sharp corners without hurting themselves or damaging the material.

Wooden cabinet face frames should match the other pieces in your kitchen; therefore, you should choose a type of wood that best suits your budget and needs. Here are the 10 best options to consider!


Maple is best used for cabinets with simple, smooth designs. It’s easy to work with and stains well, so it can be painted or stained any color you want after installation. Maple tends not to warp or shrink significantly over time, making it very durable; however, its high price point means that many people only use maple when they absolutely need the best type of framework available.


Oak is another popular option among homeowners since it has a sturdy structure and long-lasting durability thanks to its closed grain pattern. However, because oak requires constant maintenance due to its porous nature, carpenters often avoid using this material if they are trying to save money on labor costs.


Pine is best used when you want something lightweight, affordable, and easy to install in place of an old cabinet that needs replacing or updating. It’s best for home projects because it can be patched if damaged due to its soft consistency rather than rotting like other types of wood; however, pine doesn’t hold paint well, so you will have to use a primer before applying the finishing coat.

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Cherry is another type of hardwood with high durability thanks to its dense structure, making this material resistant to wear and tear over time. Cherry also stains well, so any color scheme works, but the best results are achieved using multiple coats instead of trying to achieve one solid shade since cherry absorbs more pigment than lighter woods do.


Fir is best used for cabinets with a simple design with smooth surfaces because it can be challenging to work with due to its closed grain pattern, making this wood more likely than other varieties to splinter or crack.


Poplar is best for homeowners on a budget since it’s less expensive than hardwoods and works well in place of pine since it’s also lightweight, easy to work with, and less likely to break. However, poplar is best when it’s painted or stained because its natural color isn’t very attractive by itself, which makes this wood best for beginners who aren’t ready to use the more advanced options that require staining prior to finishing coats.

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Birch is best used when you want a lighter color wood that stains well and holds paint in place since its porous nature makes this material less likely to absorb pigments. Birch is best for home projects or amateurs who don’t have the expertise required for working with harder varieties of materials such as oak, maple, etc.


Alder is best used when you want a lightweight cabinet that’s easy to work with and install since it lacks the strength of harder varieties of wood. However, alder can be difficult to stain, which means this material is best left unpainted or painted instead of stained if you aren’t an advanced user.


Mahogany is best used when you are looking for a cabinet frame that is sturdy, attractive, and expensive. This wood has the best longevity because of its dense structure, which makes it last much longer than other types of cabinets; however, mahogany requires extensive maintenance over time since it’s prone to warping due to changes in humidity levels.


Ash is best used for cabinets with rounded or angled edges because it’s easy to work with and less likely than other types of wood to splinter. However, ash doesn’t hold paint well, which makes this cabinet best when stained before finishing coats are applied; otherwise, the color will bleed into each coat over time.


Plywood has always been a favorite among craftsmen and DIY-ers when it comes to making cabinet face frames. The reason is simple – its availability in large, consistent sheets and the abundance of styles, grains, and colors that it offers. It’s easy to work with as well, making it easy to cut and fit around odd angles. So your cabinets will look smooth and sleek when they’re complete. Plus, plywood is much more cost-effective than other options.


Walnut is a fantastic choice for cabinet face frames due to its durability, sophisticated look, and reasonable cost. Unlike other hardwoods, walnut features an even-toned, rich grain that lends itself well to making the cabinets look grand yet refined. Plus, its signature espresso-like hue adds an elegant touch to any room.

Douglas fir

Due to its durability and strength, Douglas fir is one of the top choices for cabinet face frames. It has soft, open grains that can be stained or painted, making it attractive to various design schemes. Not only is it a great choice in terms of looks, but it’s surprisingly lightweight. It makes it much easier to manipulate and shape into complex designs than bulkier wood options like oak and walnut.


Beech is one of the best materials for cabinet face frames you can find. Its uniformity and smoothness make it ideal for creating sleek lines, which give cabinets an incredibly stylish look. Not only that, but it is a strong material that is capable of withstanding everyday wear and tear with ease, making it long-lasting and reliable. An added bonus is its affordability compared to other popular craft materials on the market – you can get much more bang for your buck with beech.


Bamboo is an overlooked material for cabinet face frames. It’s time to give it the recognition it deserves. Not only does bamboo have a beautiful and natural grain, making for a stunning accent in any kitchen or bathroom. It also has some incredible practical benefits. Because of its high tensile strength and corrosion resistance, bamboo withstands humidity better than most other materials, meaning cabinets are less likely to warp over time. Plus, because of its lightweight, installing bamboo face frames is much easier compared to heavier alternatives like oak.

Tips for Making Cabinet Face Frame

tips for making cabinet face frame

Now I will share some pro tips for making cabinet face frames that you can use for your home projects or if you are a professional.

First, choose the best wood to work with based on durability and ease of staining/painting since this will determine how long it lasts over time, as well as what type of color scheme works best when finishing coats are applied.

Next, plan out the best design for your cabinets and draw a sketch of what you want to do so that you can share it with your contractor or materials supplier.

Then, decide what best fits your budget since the best wood for cabinets is often expensive; however, it’s best to invest in better materials if you plan on keeping this cabinet around for an extended period of time.

Finally, measure out where each part will go and make sure that everything lines up before using glue or nails/screws to secure the cabinet in place.

Make sure to take your time and follow these best practices so that you can get a professional-looking result without any problems or mishaps along the way.


By now, you should have a better understanding of the best wood for cabinet face frames and how to work with them.

This blog post was about the best woods for cabinet face frames, which are important parts of any professional or home project where cabinets need to be installed. I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please feel free to share it with your friends or anyone who would benefit from knowing more about the best woods for cabinet face frames.


What is the most expensive wood for cabinets?

Maple is considered one of the most luxurious and expensive woods used in cabinets. Even when compared to other beautiful woods like walnut, cherry, and mahogany, maple shines with its higher quality and stunning grain pattern.

What is the most durable cabinet material?

When it comes to making a furniture purchase that will last for years. Solid hardwood cabinets are unquestionably the way to go. This material is renowned for its strength and durability, lasting much longer than cheaper materials. 

Plus, with quality craftsmanship and proper care. Solid hardwood also has the potential to become a charming family heirloom. It can be passed through several generations without cracking or fading over time.

What material is the cheapest for kitchen cabinets?

When it comes to finding an affordable option for kitchen cabinetry, melamine is the clear winner. This type of particleboard has been sealed in plastic, making it durable and lightweight while still being budget-friendly. In comparison, melamine isn’t the most gorgeous out there. It definitely gets the job done and can be a great cost-saving measure.

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