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Birch Cabinets vs Maple Cabinets

Birch and maple are two of the most durable and popular woods used in the manufacture of kitchen cabinetry. Both are widely available in a variety of finishes, door styles and cabinet configurations, and both have unique selling points. Read on to discover which of these beautiful American hardwoods is the right cabinet choice for your kitchen remodel.

Birch Wood Kitchen Cabinets vs. Maple Wood Kitchen Cabinets: An Overview

Birch is a plentiful hardwood that grows in forests in Canada and throughout the Northeastern United States. This abundance makes birch the most affordable solid-wood material for kitchen cabinets. Birch is a pale wood with a slightly yellowish cast. For this reason, it usually looks best in natural finishes and is more popular in traditional kitchens. Birch wood generally exhibits a straight and uniform grain. Curling and wavy grain patterns are more unusual but not unheard of. Birch kitchen cabinets are inexpensive and allow homeowners with limited budgets to enjoy the beauty and strength of hardwood cabinetry in their kitchens.

Like birch wood, maple is a North American hardwood that grows abundantly along the Eastern Seaboard. Significantly more dense and stronger than birch, maple is also receptive to a wider array of stains, including the dark and glossy finishes popular in cutting-edge contemporary design. Maple kitchen cabinets can mimic the look of cherry, mahogany and other exotic woods. This strength and versatility makes maple cabinets more expensive than birch, while its abundance keeps it more affordable than other hardwoods. Maple displays several distinctive grain patterns, including knotty maple and the beautiful and rare bird’s eye maple.

Pros and Cons of Birch and Maple Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are a significant investment, and new birch or maple cabinetry can be expected to last at least 10 years. You’ll want to carefully consider the strengths and weaknesses of both options when planning your kitchen remodel.

Birch Kitchen Cabinets


  • Affordability - Birch is usually the least expensive option in solid wood cabinets.
  • Strength - Birch is a durable hardwood with a high tensile strength rating, meaning it holds nails and screws well, and is particularly useful for frequently opened and closed cabinet doors.
  • Versatility - Birch is a naturally light-colored wood that can be finished naturally or stained to resemble maple, walnut or cherry.


  • Texture - Birch has an uneven texture that feels rough to the touch and isn’t the best choice for smooth and shiny mirror finishes.
  • Uneven Staining - Birch is somewhat porous and darker stains often yield blotchy and irregular results.

Maple Kitchen Cabinets


  • Variety - Maple is impermeable and accepts a wider variety of finishes with better results than birch. Painted cabinet doors often incorporate solid maple frames.
  • Durability - Maple is a strong and sturdy wood that resists scratches, dents, dings and cracks. Especially popular in high-traffic kitchens, maple cabinetry can be expected to look beautiful and brand new for years.
  • Availability - Maple cabinets are the favorite of homeowners and are readily available in a range of colors and styles to suit both modern and traditional décor.


  • Cost - The strength, beauty and versatility of maple can add significantly to cabinet cost.
  • Fading - When improperly cared for and exposed to direct sunlight, maple finishes may discolor or fade over time.

Expected Costs

Kitchen cabinets are typically the largest expense associated with complete kitchen remodeling. Costs depend on a range of variables, including the size of your kitchen, the number and type of cabinets you choose, any embellishments or special features you decide to incorporate, and whether you use a professional contractor or do the installation yourself.

A standard 10- by 12-foot kitchen equipped with basic top-and-bottom birch ready-to-assemble (RTA)cabinets can run from as low as $2,000 to as much as $4,000. Maple kitchen cabinets are generally higher, with the same layout running between $2,500 and $6,000. Buying kitchen cabinets online can significantly reduce costs.

The beauty, durability and versatility of these two American hardwoods have made both birch and maple lasting favorites in kitchen cabinet design. Whether you ultimately choose golden, honey-colored birch cabinetry to complement your country kitchen or deep, darkly modern maple, at Kitchen Cabinet Kings you will find a wide range of kitchen cabinetry available to suit any décor and budget.

Maple and Birch wood cabinets are available both pre-assembled and ready to assemble through our online catalog.

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