kitchen cabinets

The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Cabinets Selection

When selecting your kitchen cabinets there are a few key things to choose – the material, the color and overall use of the cabinets! Each category has several different options too which can make it all a bit overwhelming. 

Using this guide to kitchen cabinets selection you will be able to make an informed and confident choice for your kitchen design. 

Kitchen Cabinets Material

There are really 4 main types of kitchen cabinet materials available today. 

Thermofoil Cabinets

Color: Camp White
Style: Shaker

Thermofoil cabinetry is a man made material using vinyl that is heated and pressurized onto an MDF core leaving you with a durable finish that is easy to clean. There are many colours and finishes available. 

Durable and easy to clean
Offers a subtle texture
Consistent in color

Not repairable. If you get a chip, then the whole door will need to be replaced
Not a lot of variety in the design – more contemporary, less traditional

Photo: StreetSide Developments | Virginia Showhome | Secord
Vanilla ; Shaker Door Style
Island & Pantry: Henna ; Monaco Door Style

Wood Cabinets

Color: Cape Cod
Species: Maple

Wood cabinetry is a natural material available in many different wood species. The most common species are Maple and Oak. Other more exotic species of wood include Alder, Walnut, Cherry and Hickory. There are now eco friendly woods such as Bamboo that can be used for cabinetry too. Read the pro’s and con’s of each wood species in the next section!

Is repairable to small nicks and scratches.
More style options from contemporary to traditional and in between!

More variations in the color because it is a natural product

Photo: Sterling Homes | Jannat Showhome | Laurel Crossing
Color: Hazelnut
Species: Maple

High Density Fiberboard (HDF) Cabinets

Color: Agreeable Grey

High Density Fiberboard (HDF) is an engineered wood product. It is made by breaking down softwood into wood fibers, and combining them with a wax and resin binder. It is then solidified with high temperature and pressure to make a strong, durable substrate. 

Gives a consistent and smooth finish – perfect for painted doors
Strong and durable product that will prevent cracking in the painted finish


Does not have a natural wood grain aesthetic

Photo: Pacesetter Homes | Quincy Showhome | Summerwood
Upper Cabinets:
Artistic White
Lower Cabinets: Custom Paint Color | Eclipse SW6166

Acrylic Cabinets

Color: Dark Grey

Acrylic is a non-toxic finish applied to an HDF cabinet that gives a perfectly smooth texture and a high-gloss appearance.

Visually appealing with a mirror like finish
Very durable material and easy to maintain for long lasting shine


Need to clean regularly as they show every fingerprint, dirt and stain mark
More prone to scratches in comparison to the other materials

Photo: Sterling Homes | Wessex Showhome | Langdale

Wood Cabinet Species

There are a ton of different types of wood species in the world, but that doesn’t mean they all make for good cabinet material! Use the comparison chart below to see which wood species might be a good fit for your kitchen. 

Upgrading your wood cabinet species has a lot to do with the desired look for your kitchen.  The woodgrains and colors of each species define it, and so it all depends on the style you are going for! Maple will have a very soft, subtle look while Alder and Cherry will show more pronounced wood grains. As for Bamboo and Echo Wood – those are both made from sustainably grown forests.  

Painted Cabinets

If you choose to go with a painted cabinet, you have options here too!  Our painted cabinets are made with High Density Fiberboard (HDF) as it offers a smooth clean surface to really make the paint color pop. After the paint is applied it is finished with an industrial topcoat to seal it all in and prevent cracking. 

Once you’ve picked your paint color you can then choose the type of top finish you would like on it, if any! 

Opaque Finish

Opaque finish is a solid painted finish, showing no texture or grain. Available in 12 colors.
Color: Mission White

Glazed Finish

Glazed finish adds to an opaque painted cabinet, and is done to accentuate the detail on the cabinet. Available in 4 glaze colors.
Color: Mission White with Pewter Glaze

Brush Stroke Finish

Brush stroke finish is a 7 layer process that is hand painted stroking in various shades to to give the color depth.
Color: Silver Fox

Click here to check out all our cabinetry options that are available to client’s of designQ. As always, if you have any questions drop a comment below! 

Comments are closed.