Choosing cabinets for your kitchen remodel is no easy task with the huge variety of options available. One of the most important decisions is the material you’ll choose. While there are still many options to choose from, most kitchen remodels will ultimately use either wood or laminate as the material for the cabinets.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options, and it can be hard to know which is better for your kitchen. 

As a home remodeler, we’ve encountered this conundrum often. The best option is often determined by your other design choices, but there are a few key differences to know that can help you start to make your selection.

What are Wood Cabinets?

a kitchen with dark wood cabinets, a deluxe island and silver appliances

As the name implies, wood cabinets are primarily made out of wood. Most often it’s some type of hard wood combined with plywood and then stained to protect the surface. They can also be painted to change the look and feel. Wood is a traditional choice, and it’s often the choice for remodels where the aesthetic of wood fits visually with the rest of the design.

What are Laminate Cabinets?

a kitchen with beautiful brown laminate cabinets and a luxury refrigerator

Laminate cabinets also contain wood, but they aren’t solid wood like traditional wood cabinets. Instead, they’re either a mixture of wood byproducts and resin or made from lower-density wood like fiberboard or particleboard. Laminate cabinets are covered in a glossy, laminate coating that can be customized to any color. You’ll often see laminate cabinets in modern-style kitchens.

Wood vs. Laminate: Which is Better?

“Better” is extremely subjective. Here are some of the key differences between wood and laminate.


Wood cabinets can be treated many different ways that impact their appearance. Some homeowners choose a hardwood that can be stained to allow the unique texture and depth of the wood grain to be visible. Others use enamel to create endless color options – greys, greens, and blues are among the most popular. Often at Titus, we mix enameled perimeter cabinets with a beautiful stained wood island.  There are so many options available. It is all about the look and feel you are going after. 

beautiful wooden cabinets with a yellow color

Wooden cabinets.

Laminate cabinets have a glossy finish – however, the degree of shine can be changed. There are more texture options with laminate cabinets as well.

a beautiful kitchen with dark laminate cabinets and white countertops

Laminate cabinets.

Once you decide on a color and finish for your laminate cabinets, you’ll likely need to replace them in the future to change the design. Wood cabinets however can be repainted and refinished to change up their look.


Wood cabinets require more upkeep to avoid warping, however, they generally last longer over time. 

Laminate is easier to spot-clean because of the surface. If your cabinets get dirty often, laminate might be the better choice. 

Durability and Lifespan

Both wood and laminate cabinets are prone to warping over time with humidity. However, both wood and laminate are durable for daily use.

To summarize the differences between wood and laminate: wood cabinets are more expensive initially, but add value to your home and are easier to repair. Laminate cabinets are less expensive and easier to spot-clean. 

Find the Best Choice with a Kitchen Design Expert

Now you know the key differences between wood and laminate cabinets. But to truly decide which is the better option for your remodel, you need to speak with an expert who will consider your entire kitchen, daily use, and needs. The Titus Contracting team is filled with expert craftsmen, who are your advocates throughout the entire kitchen design and remodeling process. We take pride in our work from start to finish, and at the end of the project, you’ll walk into a dream kitchen that’s been tailor-made for you and your family, spotlessly clean and ready to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking to add kitchen cabinets or start from scratch to design the kitchen of your dreams, our team of design-build experts are here to help. Call for a design consultation today at 952-746-7817 or contact us online for a project estimate.

Titus Contracting is a full-service remodeling company offering commercial and residential construction. We have an office in Burnsville, Minnesota and work throughout the Twin Cities.