November 25, 2021 | Updated: June 10, 2022

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White kitchen cabinets: pros and cons

White kitchen cabinets are a timeless and elegant choice for finishing the space. 

The colour white has been extremely popular in interior design for many years now as the neutral tone is bright and complementary to both minimalist and colourful designs. However, when it comes to the kitchen, there are some things to consider before committing to white finishes such as upkeep. Our guide to white kitchen cabinets will show you the pros and cons, as well as advice on how to style white finishes.


R3.70 Blanco Snow / R1.70 Etimoe Ice


Why Choose White Kitchen Cabinets?

Since cabinets are the cornerstone of the kitchen – the biggest expense and the most visible element – the choice of colour should be carefully considered. Cabinets set off any décor, and white is a natural choice, given the many white appliances generally found in contemporary kitchens.

However, before investing in white cabinetry, there are some things to consider. We have compiled some of the most common advantages and disadvantages of white cabinets to help you think about what would work best for your lifestyle.


☑ Pros☒ Cons

#01 Helps create a hygienic environment#01 White is an unforgiving colour
#02 Timeless design that will never age#02 White can be cold and somewhat sterile
#03 Maximises the light in the kitchen#03 Prone to discolouration
#04 Increase resale value


☑ The pros of white kitchen cabinets:


#01 Helps create a hygienic environment

Although this has its downsides, there is no doubt that we want our kitchens to be clean. White cabinets give a sense of cleanliness and make it much easier to spot dirt and stains.


#02 Timeless design that will never age

Trends come and go, but white will never be passé in the kitchen. Whether you’re a fan of the sleek, minimalist look or vintage, white cabinets will seamlessly blend in for many years. White looks good no matter what style you choose for your cabinet doors, from Shaker style to traditional rustic panels to cutting edge white gloss. White is simply stylish.


#03 Maximises the light in the kitchen

With cabinets providing the most vertical surface in any kitchen, don’t underestimate their ability to reflect light. This is especially relevant in northern latitudes like the UK, where any light available should be harnessed. Especially when it comes to natural light, white is hands down the best option when it comes to luminance. This quality also helps make the space look larger and is therefore particularly suitable for small kitchens.


#04 Increase resale value

Statistically, the first item British buyers change in a new house is the kitchen. Mainly because the cabinet’s colour has become outdated. However, white kitchen cabinets are timeless. You will never have to worry about your cabinets going out of fashion. And that’s why white is so valuable as an investment in the kitchen.


☒ The cons of white kitchen cabinets:


#01 White is an unforgiving colour

This is true in two ways when it comes to kitchen cabinets. First, we usually make a mess in the kitchen.
While white kitchen cabinets are not harder to clean than any other colour, they will show marks and dirt more than darker colours. White surfaces also show scuffs and scratches more easily than other colours.


#02 White can be cold and somewhat sterile

The association of white with hygiene can work against it in the kitchen. Too much white can be overkill giving off a cold vibe. There are solutions to this problem, though, but they involve planning and adding other elements.


#03 Prone to discolouration

We like our kitchens to be bright and sunny places. However, direct sunlight can discolour white cabinets and other materials exposed to the sun’s rays. Moreover, because the sunlight hits the cabinets unevenly, the discolouration is also uneven and can become more noticeable over time.






Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets

On balance, it’s clear that there can be some rightful hesitations with white kitchen cabinets. However, for unconditional fans of white in the kitchen, using the following design hacks will address any of the most common problems with white.

  • Quality cabinets. Spend a little more on the cabinet doors if your budget can’t stretch to the carcasses. Anything visible, including the end gables. The money spent will be noticeable and provide long-lasting results.
  • Countertop & backsplash. White cabinets can be warmed up when combined with a different colour tile for the backsplash and countertop materials.
  • Other finishes. Flooringwall tiles, and soft furnishings can also absorb and help soften the reflection from white cabinets.
  •  Kitchen lighting. Artificial light in the kitchen can radically alter the perception of a space fitted with white cabinets. The reflective surfaces (gloss or matt) combined with direct, indirect and ambient light can be controlled to soften the white.
  • Other kitchen accessories. Floating shelves, hooks and plants are great additions to soften while cabinets with natural tones, colours, and dark contrasts.

▶ Read more about the different types of kitchen cabinets available and which colours and materials might be best for you.


White Kitchen Cabinets Ideas

White has consistently been a trending colour in kitchens for cabinets. It is a colour that is constantly being reinvented and adapted to the times. Perhaps, that’s because there’s an enormous range of different shades and tones of white. Looking through the manufacturers’ brochures, you’ll find a whole smorgasbord of shades of white; off white, ghost white, ivory white, buttermilk white, ice white and so on.

Drop by your kitchen showroom to really appreciate the variety of whites available in cabinet finishes. The right tone of white for your kitchen can only be truly appreciated when seen in reality, i.e. under natural light. Visit our store locator to find your nearest store and book an appointment.


Download our kitchen cabinet catalogues

Browse through our catalogues and find the perfect style for you and your kitchen.

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E6 Roble Alba / E4.90 Blanco Snow Mate


Kitchen Flooring with White Cabinets Ideas

Flooring is the key to making the most of white kitchen cabinets. Get it right and the qualities of the white are enhanced while mitigating the problems that can be associated with the colour. Here are some ideas for kitchen floors that will complement white cabinetry: the most popular colours, materials and textures.

Flooring Colours

If you don’t want to go with an all-white kitchen, which can be a big statement, try other neutral tones like dark to medium grey floor tiles that make a great combination with white kitchen cabinets. Because of the white in the grey, the two tones work together intuitively.

View all grey floor tiles →

Flooring Materials

When looking for a kitchen floor to complement white cabinets, natural materials are a classic choice. Tiles like our timber look flooring bring warmth and can soften the look of white cabinets. We would suggest a medium to dark wood colour to best contrast with bright white.

View all timber effect tiles →

Flooring Textures

White is in itself an ideal colour to draw attention to textures elsewhere in your kitchen design. Again, natural-looking materials create a timeless and elegant look with modern and sleek white cabinets. Our stone effect tiles or marble effect tiles, for example, come in a range of tones and textures to give your kitchen a champagne look on a lemonade budget.

View all marble effect tiles →


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