What Is The Best Wood For Pantry Shelves? 

Best Wood For Pantry Shelves

Are you looking to spice up your pantry with some stylish new shelves? Or are you tired of flimsy shelves that buckle under the weight of your canned goods? Whatever your pantry woes, the solution might lie in the type of wood you choose for your shelves. But with so many options, how do you know which wood best fits your pantry?

Fear not, my pantry-loving friends, because we’ve got you covered! We’ll dive deep into the world of pantry shelf woods and help you discover the best wood for pantry shelves. So please put on your hard hat and grab your measuring tape because we’re about to get dirty with some seriously fun wood facts!

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’re looking for sturdy and durable pantry shelves, consider using pinewood, plywood, oak, or maple. For a lighter option, Poplar is a great choice. Cedar is a natural insect repellant and adds a pleasant aroma to your pantry. Cherry and ash are hardwoods that add a touch of elegance to any pantry. Finally, consider walnut or mahogany for a darker and more luxurious 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. Pinewood. 
  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.

Best Wood For Pantry Shelves

The Best Wood For Pantry Shelves

Below is the description of the best wood to use for wood shelves in a pantry:

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. Cherrywood

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.

What type of wood should I use for pantry shelves?

Your tastes, financial situation, and the products you intend to put on the shelves will all play a role in determining the wood you pick for your pantry shelves. Due to their strength and longevity, hardwoods like oak, maple, and cherry are frequently used for pantry shelves. However, if you’re searching for a lighter, easier-to-work-with wood, softwoods like pine and poplar are also suitable choices. Ultimately, the type of wood you choose will depend on your requirements and tastes.

What is the best pantry shelving material?

Factors like budget, the weight of the items you plan to store, and the humidity levels in your pantry affect the best material for pantry shelves. Solid wood can hold heavy things and is less likely to warp in humid environments, so it is a popular and long-lasting solution for pantry shelves. Yet, plywood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard) are also respectable choices if you’re looking for a less expensive option.

How thick should pantry shelving be?

The weight of the products you intend to keep will determine the thickness of your pantry shelves. Most pantry products are often supported by shelves at least 3/4 inches thick, while thicker shelves could be required for heavy things like canned foods or big kitchen equipment. To avoid sagging or warping, it’s crucial to consider the weight distribution over the shelf and ensure it’s even.

What is the strongest wood for shelving?

Hardwoods like oak, maple, and ash are among the strongest woods for shelving in terms of strength and longevity. These woods are good for heavy objects like pots and pans because they are thick and have a high weight-bearing capability. But other elements, like shelf thickness and construction quality, will also affect how strong and long-lasting your pantry shelves are overall.


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.