November 25, 2021

Ask the Expert

White kitchen cabinets: pros and cons

When we picture the ideal kitchen in our mind’s eye, chances are we think of one with white kitchen cabinets.

The colour white suggests purity, cleanliness and light. But also sterility and a demanding cleaning regime. Considering how hectic life in kitchens is nowadays, these are issues we should consider before choosing white. The following list of pros and cons is a good checklist for deciding if white kitchen cabinets are right for you.


R3.70 Blanco Snow / R1.70 Etimoe Ice


White kitchen cabinets pros and cons

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. As a rule, darker rooms are better suited to white cabinet doors. Kitchen designs are nevertheless all unique in one way or another when fitting them into your space.

However, before going ahead and making an investment in white, we have compiled a list of pros and cons. These will help you weigh the consequences of white kitchen cabinets and give you some tips to counter the downsides of white.


☑ 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 Neutral design holds its 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. In fact, 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 Neutral design holds its 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. Opening cabinet doors with hands covered in whatever we are preparing is a recipe for leaving marks. And then there’s its propensity to show up scuffs and scratches.


#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.






Guide to white kitchen cabinets design 

On balance, it’s clear that there are some issues 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, 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, plants etc. All combined can also soften the white-out effect. 


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.


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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


White kitchen cabinets flooring 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 white kitchen floors: the most popular colours, materials and textures.


Dark to medium grey floor tiles represents 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 →


Timber look flooring is another classic choice with white cabinets. A medium to a darker colour in wood works best to highlight the contrast.

View all timber effect tiles →


White is in itself an ideal colour to draw attention to textures. Stone or marble effect tiles, for example, can give your kitchen a champagne look on a lemonade budget.

View all marble effect tiles →



No, white is not more difficult to keep clean than any other colour. All require the same effort. However, white requires more attention because the dirt is more visible. But being more visible also means being easier to detect. So opting for white ensures no hidden stains, which is more hygienic and practical.

The cleaning and ongoing upkeep of white should be carried out regularly. For either gloss or matt, the best and simplest option is sudsy water and a damp cloth. Do not use an abrasive detergent. Something like washing up liquid will be fine. Wash down as soon as marks appear.

Like anything else, white does discolour under UV rays. However, this can be masked with a slightly warmed-up white, such as ivory or buttermilk. Before choosing the shade of white, ask for advice in one of our showrooms. With our specialist advisory service, you will find the help you need concerning the amount of natural sunlight your kitchen is exposed to, the orientation, the layout, etc. Make a free appointment to discuss your needs with our kitchen experts.

In a word, no. And never will be. White remains the most popular colour for kitchens because it's associated with cleanliness and health, reflects light, is pure and has an optimistic effect.

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