What Is The Best Wood For Pantry Shelves? 

This simple question deserves a detailed answer. The best wood for pantry shelves can be something other than popular or expensive; they all come in wide varieties and qualities. The type of wood for pantry shelves you choose will depend on what you need the shelves for, how much weight they’ll have to carry, and how beautiful you want them to look. 

If you are trying to keep insects out of your food, cedar wood is a perfect choice for its natural resistance to bugs. However, avoid using rot-prone woods like pine or oak if your space suffers from frequent dampness. The best wood for pantry shelves depends on what you’re looking for.

What type of wood should I use for pantry shelves?

Different types of wood vary depending on the part of the tree they came from. The types of wood commonly used include: 

  1. Pine. 
  2. Plywood
  3. Oak.
  4. Maple.
  5. Poplar.
  6. Cedar.
  7. Cherry.
  8. Ash. 
  9. Walnut.
  10. Mahogany.

If you want to preserve your pantry shelves for as long as possible, choose a hardwood such as oak or maple that is more resistant to dents than softwoods such as pine. For its natural resistance to insects, moisture, and rot, try using cedar or redwood, which you can find in various pre-milled sizes and thicknesses at most building supply stores. Below are the best wood for pantry shelves.

The Best Wood For Pantry Shelves

  1. Pinewood: A common tree used for pantry shelves is the pine tree. As a result, wherever you live shouldn’t have any trouble acquiring pine wood if you wish to utilize it. One of the most widely used softwoods is pine. It’s perfect for DIY beginners learning how to construct their wooden crafts. Kitchen pantries that don’t often have heavy house objects are perfect for pinewood. Pinewood also offers excellent flexibility and variety, enabling customers to choose any size or quality to work with.
  2. Plywood: The standard material for pantry shelves is plywood. It is adaptable, accessible in almost all hardwood species, and simple to cut with any table saw. In addition, because its sides can be decorated with wood trim or iron-on overlay banding, plywood is the perfect material for pantry shelves. In terms of usability, plywood is among the best timber, and it also seems less cheap than pine. 
  3. Cedar: The western red cedar is a common tree and softwood. Although it’s normally recommended to use hardwood rather than softwood when making shelves, one can happily make an exception. This is due to the western red cedar’s unique growth pattern, making it a valuable resource for inside and exterior shelving.
  4. Cherry wood: Due to its cozy, rich, crimson hue, homeowners prefer cherry for their pantry shelves over other types of timber for pantry shelves. Its distinctive color improves with time. As it becomes older, its color gradually gets richer and darker. 
  5. Oak Red: Because of its durability, red oak is another common wood used to construct shelves. You won’t have trouble handling, cutting, or finishing this wood. People who wish to make their pantry shelves frequently choose Red Oak since it is simple to deal with.
  6. Walnut wood: A timeless hardwood that always stays in style is walnut. The nicest feature is that it doesn’t need additional painting or care to appear impressive. However, walnut wood is hard to come by and is not inexpensive. Although walnut is costly, a high-quality walnut will give you a robust pantry shelf that will last for many years.
  7. Mahogany: The sort of wood that radiates excellence and attractiveness is mahogany. Due to its timeless appeal, it is frequently used to decorate shelves in offices, libraries, and other formal settings. Nothing, however, precludes you from employing it to construct your pantry shelf if you’re charmed by its beauty. On the other hand, mahogany is, unfortunately, a hardwood. Therefore, there might be better choices for novice builders.

What thickness should pantry shelves be?

Make sure the depth of the shelf is accurate before you start. According to consensus, the optimal depth for pantry shelves is between 16 and 20 inches. However, shelves with a depth of just one tin, or four to five inches, will still be helpful if your pantry is small.

What is the strongest wood for shelving?

So, which wood makes a stronger pantry shelf? Due to their strength, durability, and lifespan, woods like mahogany, African padauk, and koa are regarded as the best woods for a pantry if the price of the materials is not a factor.

Is poplar or oak better for shelving?

Oak wood is significantly stronger and more durable than poplar. However, poplar has a straight grain with no knots, which is a plus. In addition, it is more flexible and easily bent than oak wood, making it a better material for shelves, frames, and walkways.


The best wood for pantry shelves is the one that matches your specific needs. If you want to add extra appeal, consider using pine, ash, birch, or cherry, available with various beautiful grain designs. However, if you will be storing food in them or want to keep insects out of your pantry, consider choosing cedar, redwood, or another naturally insect and moisture-resistant wood. Whichever type of wood you choose, keep in mind the final purpose and weight they’ll carry so that they can be durable enough to last a long time. 


Charles is a freelance writer whose areas of expertise include home renovation, gardening, and design. A graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and Business Management. Charles formerly worked as a freelance writer for a range of local blogs and business media. Always typing away on his laptop or tackling his newest home improvement project.

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