Cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets [2023]

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Cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets which is the better choice for your kitchen? If you’re in the market for new cabinets and have been asking yourself this question, then you’re in the right place.

cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets

Cherry and maple are solid wood cabinet options that you can use to replace your old cabinetry. These are both great options, but which one should you choose? Let’s compare them to help you decide which is best for your kitchen space!

If you’re considering cherry kitchen cabinets, it’s important to note its key points:

  1. Cherry wood is a popular and unique option for kitchen cabinets due to its dark reddish-brown color and fine grain pattern that makes it an ideal material for furniture making.
  2. Cherry cabinets tend to age gracefully, with the dark stain getting slightly darker and the grain pattern of the wood getting more refined over time.
  3. While cherry is a more expensive option compared to others, it is a durable hardwood that will hold up well over time, making it an excellent choice for long-term use.
  4. However, cherry wood is more prone to scratches and dents due to its high density, which may not be suitable for households with children or pets.
  5. Picking out hinges or knobs for cherry cabinets may be more challenging due to fewer available options.
  6. Cherry cabinets can be harder to clean since they tend to absorb stains more easily than other types of wood.
  7. Cherry wood is a popular choice in furniture and cabinetry making due to its durability.

Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

Cherry wood is a beautiful natural wood native to Europe, North America, and Asia. The wood species is known for its unique characteristics: dark reddish brown color and fine grain pattern that makes it an ideal material for furniture making.

Like a fine wine, new cherry cabinets tend to age gracefully. This is because the dark stain gets slightly darker, and the grain pattern of the wood gets more refined as time goes on. This makes it an excellent choice for long-term use. Consequently, cherry wood is definitely a great choice if you want unique solid wood cabinets that make a statement in your kitchen.

How Much Do Cherry Cabinets Cost?

The average cost of buying and installing cherry cabinets ranges between $7,500-$20,000 for a 10 x 10 kitchen size. Custom cherry cabinet doors average $100-$125 per square foot, while pre-finished custom cabinetry ranges from $150-$200 per square foot installed, depending on the brand selected.

cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets ranges

Pros of Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re considering cherry cabinets, consider the following pros:

  • Cherry is a hardwood that will hold up well over time (unlike softer woods like hickory and oak).
  • Cherry has a rich brown natural color that looks great in many kitchens.
  • Because of its hardness and strength, cherry is an excellent choice for kitchen cabinet construction.
  • Cherry is also a popular wood choice for furniture and cabinetry because of its durability.

Cons of Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

While cherry is a beautiful wood, it comes with some downsides.

First of all, cherry wood is more expensive than other options. Another downside is that cherry is also more prone to scratches and dents because of its high density, so if you have little ones who like to play in the kitchen or a dog who loves to chew on your cabinets (we know we do!), it may not be a good choice for you.

cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets density

Also, if you’re trying to pick out hinges or knobs for your new kitchen cabinets, cherry might make that process harder than other woods, such as maple, hickory, and oak wood, because there are fewer options available.

Lastly, when compared with maple cabinets, cherry will be harder to clean since they tend to absorb stains more easily than other types of wood!

Maple Wood Cabinets

Maple wood cabinets are a favorite among homeowners because they’re beautiful to look at due to the natural beauty of their light color and smooth finish. The maple wood comes from the sugar maple trees native to North America. And because it’s one of the most durable woods, maple is often used for flooring and furniture.

Maple wood cabinets come in many color variations, including red maple, sugar maple, hard maple, and black walnut. The even grain pattern is usually straight or wavy, and the color ranges from light brown to dark brown, with occasional streaks of creamy yellow or red.

How Much Do Maple Cabinets Cost?

The average cost of maple custom cabinets is $3,000-$12,000. This includes all labor and materials needed for installation, delivery, and setup in your home. If you have an existing kitchen that needs updating, you will likely spend less than this average range on cabinet materials because there will be no demolition. Regardless of the price, maple cabinets are cheaper compared to other options like cherry, hickory, and white oak cabinets.

cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets delivery

Pros of Maple Kitchen Cabinets

Maple is an affordable choice for cabinets due to its popularity. It’s also easy to stain or paint to match any decor. Here are some other advantages of maple cabinets:

  • Durability: Maple is a hardwood with high density, giving it great durability. It’s also resistant to moisture and won’t dent or warp over time like softer woods such as pine or birch.
  • Strength: Maple has high strength and stiffness values, so your cabinets will stand up well against bumps and dents from kids’ toys or pets running around inside the house.
  • Finish options: You can choose from various colors, stains, and finishes when choosing maple cabinets for your home kitchen. The lighter colors tend to be more traditional while darker colors are more modern looking — whatever suits your style!

Cons of Maple Kitchen Cabinets

  • Maple cabinets are not as durable as cherry cabinets. Soft maple will scratch more easily and show wear over time. So, if you’re looking for your kitchen cabinets to last for years, maple might not be your best choice.
  • Maple kitchen cabinets are more stressful to install than cherry kitchen cabinets because of the extra work required to make them look good (you’ll have to stain or polyurethane them).
  • Maple is lighter in color than cherry, which means that if you want darker wood tones in your kitchen design, then maple may not be able to deliver that look for you – although there are plenty of lighter-colored maple options available if this isn’t an issue!
  • As maple ages, the wood tends to get yellow and look unattractive, especially when exposed to direct sunlight from your kitchen windows.

Cherry vs. Maple Kitchen Cabinets; Durability

Maple is a harder wood than cherry, which means it’s more durable. This is particularly important for kitchen cabinets since they’ll probably be used daily. Maple is less likely to scratch, dent, or warp than cherry. It also resists water damage better and can withstand higher temperatures without warping or splitting as cherry does.

cherry vs maple kitchen cabinets daily

Cherry and maple are both hardwoods, but cherry is a softwood. It has a more delicate grain structure, making it more susceptible to scratches and dents than maple.

Cherry cabinets are also more prone to water damage than maple cabinets due to their lighter color tone. Suppose you live in an area where your tap water is hard or has high mineral content. In that case, you should consider using a sealer on cherry wood before installation so that the wood doesn’t absorb any of these minerals over time (which can result in discoloration).

Cherry vs. Maple Kitchen Cabinets; Appearance

The appearance of your kitchen cabinets will depend on the type of wood you choose for your kitchen remodel project.

While both cherry and maple are hardwoods, they are very different from each other. Cherry is a reddish wood with a more defined grain than maple. It has a beautiful dark red color that darkens with age. and it also has an attractive grain pattern that adds interest to your cabinets. Maple, on the other hand, has a uniform light brown color with no grain patterning.

Furthermore, while cherry can be stained in any color you choose, it often comes pre-stained dark reddish-brown or light honey brown. Maple is often seen in its natural light brown state.

Cherry vs. Maple Kitchen Cabinets; Cost

The cost of cherry kitchen cabinets tends to be higher than the cost of maple kitchen cabinets because of the rarity of the wood. However, if you’re looking for a custom-made kitchen cabinet with an extensive selection of options, you might find yourself paying more for a cherry kitchen than an equivalent maple kitchen. If you’re looking for stock cabinets at home improvement stores, however, these prices will be similar because of economies of scale.

Maple vs. Cherry Cabinets: Finishing Options

The most common finishing options for cherry and maple cabinets are:

  • Staining
  • Satin/Semigloss
  • High-Gloss
  • But not painted cabinets that hide the subtle grain pattern

In terms of finishing options, both maple and cherry cabinets can be stained any color desired. However, maple has the added advantage of being able to be finished in any number of different stains or painted with a variety of finishes such as lacquer or polyurethane.

In addition to the standard staining process, maple can also be finished with clear coatings such as shellac and polyurethane varnish that give it a glossy sheen similar to cherry.


To sum up, cherry and maple are great options. Maple is harder than cherry, so it holds up better to abuse over the years. Cherry has a long and well-known history in furniture and cabinetry. Players in the woodworking industry will tell you that cherry is still used in higher-end cabinets.

Both are great choices for high-end kitchen cabinets because of their durability and beautiful, wide color range. So what’s the best option for you? It depends on your tastes and preferences. What do you think? Are you more of a cherry or a maple kind of person?

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    Jennifer Wilson

    I absolutely love the look of cherry wood, but I’m worried about the maintenance. Is there anything I can do to prevent it from absorbing stains easily?

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      You’re right, cherry wood is beautiful, but it can be more high-maintenance. One thing you can do to prevent cherry wood from absorbing stains easily is to apply a sealer before installing your cabinets. This will help protect the wood from moisture and staining. Another idea is to wipe up spills and stains as soon as they happen to prevent them from setting into the wood. I hope this helps!

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