Shaker Cabinets vs Raised Panel

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Kitchen cabinets are one of the first things that people see when they walk into your kitchen, especially if they're wall cabinets. Your kitchen cabinet doors can evoke various different styles of kitchen design, from traditional to transitional and modern aesthetics.

Cabinet doors are more important than you'd think!

Whether you're going for a traditional style or something with a more contemporary flair, shaker cabinets and raised panel cabinets are two of the most common cabinet door styles on the market. But which is best for your home?

Here we look at the pros and cons of shaker style cabinets and raised panel cabinets, helping you choose the best cabinet doors for your new kitchen. Let's get to it!

Shaker Cabinets Pros & Cons

Often made in classic white, Shaker-style cabinets feature a recessed center panel and minimal details. They use square edges and straight lines to harken back to a simpler time while remaining modest, minimal, and practical.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of Shaker-style cabinets to give you a good idea on whether they'll work for your kitchen!

Pros of the Shaker Cabinet

  • They have a simple design – Shaker cabinet doors have a simple, minimalist design that can be incorporated into more than one kitchen style, including both modern and traditional kitchen styles
  • They're more practical – Because shaker doors have a minimal design, they're relatively simple to use, construct, and replace – if they become damaged, there's not a lot of ornate woodwork to repair
  • They're easy to clean – The minimalist style of shaker cabinet doors means that they're very easy to clean and wipe down, getting all the grime & dirt out easily
  • They fit in with all designs – Shaker door styles fit into a wide range of traditional & modern designs by adjusting the color & finish
  • Your resale value is good – Because these cabinets are so timeless & versatile, they can increase the resale value of your home
  • Many woods & finishes are available – The popularity of this cabinetry style means that it's easy to get it installed in numerous different woods and painted multiple different colors
  • They're easy to find – Shaker kitchen cabinets are used by pretty much every kitchen construction company
  • You won't pay a fortune – Compared to more formal cabinetry, shaker-style kitchen cabinets are usually on the cheaper end of the scale
white shaker cabinets
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Cons of the Shaker Cabinet

  • They may show dirt easier – The simple design of these classic kitchen cabinets means that they can show dirt and look filthy quicker than more ornate cabinetry (especially true if they're white or a light color)
  • Fewer design options – The whole point of this cabinetry is simplicity, but if you want your house to have a dramatic flair, you'll be limited
  • Not always tall enough – If you like the look of Shaker-style wall cabinets, you'll often discover that they're not tall enough to reach the ceiling of your kitchen

Shaker Style Cabinets vs Raised Panel

Raised Panel Cabinets Pros & Cons

Raised panel cabinets are well-used in older, more traditional kitchens. As the name implies, these doors have a raised center panel and usually feature a grooved edge with an overlay and decorative carved wood.

Let's see how the pros and cons of raised panel cabinets compare to the shaker style doors!

Pros of Raised Panel Cabinet

  • Multiple decorative options – Raised panel cabinets come with grooved edges and ornate designs around their raised center panel, giving you choices for dramatic or opulent details
  • They don't show dirt as easily – Because raised panel doors tend to be darker and more ornate, it's harder to see dirt & grime accumulating
  • Many woods & finishes available – Raised panel doors can often by found in numerous woods and color options
  • Molding & rail options are out there – this gives you more choices for your kitchen design
  • They're very formal cabinets – If you want your kitchen to feel formal and ornate, these doors are a great way to do it

Cons of Raised Panel Cabinet

  • You'll pay more money – Raised panel door cabinets tend to be more expensive than Shaker-style cabinets due to their ornate details
  • They're rarely frameless – If you were looking for frameless wall cabinets, you'll struggle to find them in raised center panel door styles
  • They're a little bit dated – Generally speaking, raised panel cabinets look a bit old and dated when compared to the recessed panel style of Shakers
  • There's a lower potential resale value – Doors with a raised center panel are less popular with buyers than recessed panel Shaker cabinets, so it may cause issues with your property's resale value

Are Shaker cabinets cheaper than raised panel?

Yes, shaker cabinet doors are cheaper than raised panel cabinets. On average, Shaker style cabinets cost $2,706 for a 10 x 10 kitchen, while raised panel cabinets cost $3,392 for a 10 x 10 kitchen.

Both styles are pretty popular!

It's also worth noting that the recessed panel style of Shaker cabinets has a broader appeal to home buyers and fits into a mix of traditional and contemporary designs. This makes Shaker cabinets the more cost-effective style in the long run.

Do Shaker cabinets look cheap?

Shaker-style cabinets can look cheap if they are painted with a cheap color or finish that doesn't compliment their wood or the overall design of the space. However, Shaker cabinets are often the best choice for a space if they're done correctly.

White is a good color for Shaker's recessed panel style.

Any cabinet door could look cheap – it depends on the finer details such as the wood species, finish, color, and more. Bring in an interior designer if you're worried that you'll ruin your kitchen by using the wrong cabinetry. All it takes is one wrong choice to ruin the aesthetic!

Are Shaker cabinets timeless?

Shaker cabinet door styles are considered to be timeless by most people, especially in the classic white that fits into various eras of kitchen designs over the years. Shaker-door cabinets are popular with different homeowners and can be customized to feel at home in traditional, contemporary, and transitional designs.

You'll sometimes also find white shaker-door cabinets in bathrooms, occasionally with glass panels.

Is a Raised Panel cabinet dated?

Generally speaking, people don't love raised panel cabinet styles. While this style was popular years ago, a lot of modern homeowners think that they have aged badly, especially if they're brown or overly formal.

If you want a great cabinet style that will still be around in a few years, I'd recommend using Shaker style doors, especially painted white!

Whichever cabinet door style you choose for your new kitchen, we hope you find the right design for your needs, taste, and personal style. Good luck!

raised panel cabinet
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo
Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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