Types of Wooden Modular Kitchens & The Material Options in 2023.

Wooden modular kitchen with plywood, natural wood, HDF, MDF, and WPC with various finishing like Laminates(Sunmica), Acrylic, Veneer, paint(Deco), etc. A detailed guide with tips. Choose your best material

Among the various types of kitchens, wooden modular kitchens are the most preferred option. Not only for kitchen cabinets, natural wood, or various compressed wood materials like plywood, HDF, MDF, particle boards, and WPC (popularly known as PVC) are widely used in all types of modular furniture making and home interior designing.

You can say wood is the most common and popular material for furniture making around the globe. This is due to the finishing and the aesthetic appeal it provides to any space. There are many other advantages too which we are going to discuss in this article, especially for modular kitchens.

I have already discussed many things in small modular kitchens. You should go through and check

Now let’s discuss various things you should know about wooden modular kitchens.

wooden modular kitchens

What is a wooden modular kitchen?

The wooden modular kitchen is a kitchen that incorporates wooden cabinets, drawers, shutters & other modular units of a kitchen. Here the primary material used to make the kitchen is either natural wood or compressed wood like plywood, HDF, MDF, or WPC. Primarily natural wood or plywood is the perfect wooden modular kitchen material.

Although it can be finished with various materials like laminate, acrylic, veneers, membrane, or simply paints. I can clarify a thing for you, looks like wooden finishing kitchens and wooden modular kitchens are not the same thing at all. You can call a kitchen wooden if the core material is wood or compressed wood not with the finishing material.

For example, a kitchen made with cement fiber board with wooden-looking laminate finishing or wooden-looking PVC panels is not considered a wooden kitchen.

material comparison for wooden modular kitchen
Comparing all the primary materials required to make wooden modular kitchen

So let’s discuss various types of wooden modular kitchens as per the materials used.

Wooden Modular Kitchen With Natural Wood

The most durable wooden modular kitchen is the one made with natural wood. One of the primary benefits of a wooden modular kitchen with natural wood is its durability and strength. Also, the use of natural wood brings out a timeless beauty that creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in your kitchen.

Natural wood modular kitchen
Wooden modular Kitchen with natural wood

Another benefit of a wooden modular kitchen with natural wood is its versatility and customization options. It can be carved into various designs and is available in various colors, textures, and finishes. It is also very easy to clean and maintain.

You can go with teak, Sheesham, Oak, cherry, or walnut for your kitchen. The only thing people hesitate to go with is natural wood as it is highly expensive and lacks the labor skill to make a perfect modular

Finishing Option with Natural Wood Kitchen

A wooden modular kitchen with natural wood does not require a variety of finishing materials. So you need not worry much about the finishing material and save a couple of bucks. The only thing a natural wood kitchen requires a perfect polishing.

Applying a PU coat or waxing after polishing makes it look stunning and increases the durability of the kitchen. It also prevents scratches and dents.

You too can use glasses in the overhead cabinets shutters. Glasses make a kitchen looks fulfilling. The wooden border with glass doors looks amazing. You can use a variety of glasses here. Tinted, plain, and fluted glasses for the kitchen are in trending. Some people even prefer plain horizontal itching glasses in the kitchen.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Natural Wood Kitchen

High durability & strength.
Customization option.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Water resistance.
Rust proof.
Aesthetically pleasing
Luxurious look with natural beauty and charm
Need polishing in every couple of years
Not fire resistance.
Not fully waterproof.
Using natural woods causes deforestation.
Not so many color options.
Lack of skilled Labour.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Natural Wood Kitchen

Wooden Modular Kitchen With Plywood

In today’s times, plywood is the most preferred option, not only for modular kitchen making but also for all types of furniture making and other interior designing needs. Plywood is one type of compressed wood or engineered wood made out of thin layers of wood veneers compressed together with the help of a specialized glue.

There are various grades of plywood provided by many plywood companies but what I will suggest is the waterproof plywood that suits best in kitchen conditions. For wooden modular kitchen doors, a version of plywood called plyboard or blockboard is preferable.

Wooden modular kitchen in plywood with a laminate finish
Wooden modular kitchen in plywood with a laminate finish

Plywood is an easily available and widely used material for furniture. It is available in various thicknesses and can be furnished with a wide range of finishing materials like laminate, veneer, acrylic, and paints. It is less expensive than natural wood and many well-known companies provide up to lifetime guarantee. It is a tested and well-accepted material among the masses. Most of the wooden modular kitchens you see today are from plywood.

Finishing Option with Plywood Kitchen

You can use a variety of finishing options with plywood. But there are majorly 5 finishing options for a plywood kitchen.

They are

  1. Laminate
  2. Acrylic
  3. Veneer
  4. Paint
  5. A combination of glass

One of the most common and popular options is laminate(popularly known as Sunmica). There are thousands of color options you can go with laminate. It is easily available, durable, and cheaper than most of the finishing options.

You can also use Acrylic and Veneer for modular kitchen finishing. Acrylic kitchens are in demand now due to their clean and superior finishing. But Acrylic is expensive, so you can choose it if your budget allows you.

I will not recommend Veneer in the kitchen, especially in base cabinets. Venner is susceptible to moisture and is difficult to maintain in the kitchen. Yes, you can highlight a part of a kitchen, especially in the overhead unit to break the monotony of other finishes.

Paint is another option for kitchen finishing. But if you want to go with paint then use HDF in the outer areas to make the paint finish flawless.

Also like natural wood, you too can use various types of glass in the overhead units with plywood borders.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Plywood Kitchen

Less expensive than natural wood.
Available in various sizes and thicknesses.
Plenty of finishing options.
Water resistance.
Available with anti-bacteria and
anti-termite option
Easy to make.
Easily available.
Not durable as solid wood.
Plywood emits formaldehyde which
is toxic and not good for health.
Affected by termites.
Susceptible to water damage if not
properly sealed.
Can be bent over years.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Natural Wood Kitchen

Wooden Modular Kitchen With HDF

HDF stands for high-density fiberboard and is an engineered wood material used for furniture making. It is also called a hardboard. You can say HDF is the quality version of MDF. It is denser and heavier than MDF, and a perfect substitute for plywood if you want a kitchen or any other furniture with better finishing at minimal cost.

I personally do not recommend HDF for the whole kitchen cabinets as it is not as strong as plywood or natural wood. It also can not resist moisture or insects for a longer period of time. However, you can use HDF on shelves and kitchen cabinet doors.

Wooden modular kitchen with HDF cabinet doors
Wooden kitchen with HDF shutters finished with paint

I prefer HDF only for the shutters or cabinet doors because of the below reasons.

  • HDF is made up of very fine particles which make it a smooth and leaner surface. That’s why it goes well with any finishing from laminate to paint and provides a flawless finish. It makes your kitchen or other furniture look stunning from the outside.
  • It does not expand or contract like plywood or solid wood. So warping and cracking is negligible.

But make sure if you go with HDF shutters then make its edges properly sealed with PVC edge banding tapes.

For better results and for a nice-looking kitchen I always use plywood for kitchen cabinets and HDF for cabinet doors or shutters.

HDF is available in 8ft x 4ft sizes and various thicknesses with mostly green and brown colors. The thickness of 16mm is a perfect choice for modular kitchen shutters. With this thickness, you can minimize the gap between two doors(especially on the hinges side) which makes the kitchen even more appealing.

Let’s discuss some other advantages and disadvantages of HDF modular kitchens.

Finishing Option with HDF Kitchen

HDF is a perfect material for every finishing option due to its smooth and linear surfaces. It also holds glue very well. From laminate to paint it provides a beautiful flawless finish. All the finishing material we discussed with the plywood in the above section can be used with HDF.

Using PVC edgebanding tapes with laminate provides a better finish and protects it from moisture. If you want to use paint for your modular kitchen finishing then HDF is the best material you can choose.

Another finishing HDF kitchen looks better with is a membrane as it can be carved and molded like solid wood. Membrane finish shutters look great and provide a unique appearance to the kitchen.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an HDF Kitchen

Less expensive than plywood.
Customization options like natural wood.
Plenty of finishing options.
Excellent finishing.
Available in various thicknesses.
Water resistance.
Holds glue very well.
Not fully waterproof.
No fire resistance properties.
Not durable as plywood.
Low screw holding capacity.
Does not go well with nails.
Low strength when compared to plywood.
Need proper sealing on edges.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an HDF Kitchen

Wooden Modular Kitchen With MDF

MDF(medium-density fiberboard) is a type of engineered wood frequently used for modular furniture making. It has low density than HDF and is a lightweight material. It is available mostly in 8ft x 4ft sizes with multiple thicknesses varying from 2mm to 25mm.

Wooden modular kitchen with MDF membrane finished shutters
Wooden modular kitchen with MDF membrane finished shutters

If you want a wooden modular kitchen and considering MDF as a core material then I will suggest you not go with it. I personally do not recommend this material for bigger and prime furniture due to the below reasons.

  • MDF is very low-strength and easily bends.
  • It has a very low screw-holding capacity.
  • Low water resistance in nature does not go well with extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • Durability issue.

I noticed some leading modular kitchen and home furniture service providers convince their customers with MDF modular kitchens due to their low cost. But, I will suggest you not go with it if you want durability.

Now let’s discuss some advantages and disadvantages of MDF modular kitchen.

Finishing Option with MDF Kitchen

HDF and MDF are almost the same material with different densities. All the finishing options I have discussed with HDF can be used with MDF.

However, it is not a perfect material for modular kitchen-making and may not last long. That’s why I will suggest you not to go with any expensive finishing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an MDF Kitchen

Very low expensive when compared to other materials.
Easy to customize.
Ideal for creating intricate designs and shapes.
Great Finishing.
Plenty of finishing options.
Available with multiple thicknesses.
Low strength and durability.
Easily wrap and bends.
Low resistance to water and moisture.
Low termite resistance.
Very low screw-holding strength.
Does not go well with nails.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a wooden modular Kitchen with MDF

Wooden Modular Kitchen With WPC

WPC stands for wood plastic composite. It is a composite material with a mix of wood fibers or flour and thermoplastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and polylactic acid. So many people referred to it as PVC boards.

Wooden modular kitchen in WPC board with a laminate finish
Wooden modular kitchen in WPC board with a laminate finish

I included this material in the wooden modular kitchen as WPC consists of wood too. But in reality, it is more plastic than wood. The kitchen made with this material is also known as PVC modular kitchen.

The demand for this product especially for modular kitchens is gradually increasing due to the below two reasons.

  • Fully water resistant.
  • Fully termite resistance.

In wooden modular kitchens or any other wooden furniture, the above two reasons are the most important when deciding on a material.

But I personally hesitate to use WPC to make the whole structure of kitchen cabinets due to its low screw-holding strength that gradually creates a problem in the joint areas, especially in the hinges that hold the shutter and the cabinets. It is one of its biggest demerits. In the last couple of years, I have received numerous complaints regarding this issue.

But I will suggest you use this material as a backer. This is an excellent material that you can use as the back side of kitchen cabinets or the part that touches the wall. It will make your furniture durable as it resists termites and prevents your kitchen cabinets from water-soaked walls.

It is available in multiple thicknesses and in 8ft x 4ft sizes and mostly comes in grey and white colors.

Finishing Option with WPC Kitchen

You can use any finishing discussed in the plywood section except paint. It has a clean and polished surface. So paint does not last long if you paint it. The advantage is, it does not require any finishing for the interior part of kitchen cabinets.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a WPC Kitchen

Fully waterproof
Fully termite resistance
Inner finishing is not required.
Expensive than plywood.
Low screw holding strength.
Low strength.
Does not go well with paints.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a WPC Kitchen


Which material should I consider for my wooden modular kitchen?

I will suggest you go with plywood for cabinets and HDF for cabinet doors or shutters. It is easily available, easy to make, plenty of customization options. You can choose various finishing options with multiple colors. Also, it’s less expensive than natural wood too.

Which kind of plywood is better for modular kitchen cabinets?

The kitchen is an area where moisture is prevalent. Also, in the kitchen, a fire-resistant material is always a better choice. So you should choose waterproof plywood. Along with this, you can use FR-grade (fire-resistant) plywood. FR plywoods are a bit more expensive than waterproof plywood.

Are wooden modular kitchens difficult to install?

No, wooden modular kitchens are designed for easy installation. All you need is skilled labor. It is also easy to dismantle and transferred to a different place.

Are wooden modular kitchens expensive?

The cost of your wooden modular kitchen basically depends upon the material you are choosing, the size of the kitchen, fittings, etc. Using natural wood is expensive whereas a kitchen with plywood needs a medium budget. It also may vary with the finishing. Laminate is the most budget-friendly finishing option whereas acrylic and paint are expensive.


You can say wooden modular kitchens are the most popular option today and plywood or a combination of plywood and HDF materials with laminate or acrylic finish are preferred most by homeowners. Wooden modular kitchens are a perfect combination of style, functionality, and durability. It is also budget-friendly and easy to make. The best thing about these kitchens is the availability of plenty of finishing options. At last, I can say a wooden modular kitchen is definitely worth considering.

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