Wood vs. Metal Garage Cabinets: Which Is Best for You 

Choosing the right set of cabinets can have a significant impact on the organization and appearance of your garage. Not only will you benefit from greater organization in your garage itself, but you’ll also be able to free up room in your home, decluttering your living space and making it more comfortable to live in.

When it comes to choosing cabinets, both wood and metal are two popular materials, each with their own set of advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we’re going to take a look at both wood and metal garage cabinets to help you determine which option is best for your needs. Let’s get started!


What are metal garage cabinets?

Metal garage cabinets are storage units constructed from various metals, including steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. They are designed to provide secure, durable, and efficient storage solutions for your garage items, and can help you declutter your home while better organizing your garage space.


Benefits of metal garage cabinets

Metal garage cabinets offer several advantages, such as:


If durability is your number one concern, metal cabinets are typically resistant to moisture, rust, and corrosion, making them a long-lasting storage option. Plus, unlike many wooden cabinets, metal cabinets are not susceptible to damage from insects, rodents, or other pests.


One main benefit of metal garage cabinets is their robustness; the sturdy construction of metal cabinets enables them to support heavy loads without bending or warping. That said, you need to opt for quality when it comes to metal cabinets; models like NewAge garage cabinets offer weight capacities of up to 1000 lbs, and are made with highly robust 18 or 24 gauge steel.

Aesthetic appeal

When you opt for high-quality brands - such as Ulti-MATE garage cabinets - you’re not just getting a storage solution, but something visually appealing to boot. Ulti-MATE garage cabinets come in a range of different metallic colors, helping you give your garage space a luxe, clean appearance if it’s currently looking shabby.


Downsides of metal garage cabinets

Despite their advantages, metal garage cabinets do have some drawbacks:


High-quality metal cabinets can be more expensive than their wood counterparts. However, this can end up being cost-effective when it comes to reduced maintenance costs.

Cold appearance

The metallic finish may create a less inviting atmosphere in your garage, compared to the warm look of wood cabinets.

Potential for dents and scratches

Metal cabinets can be prone to dents and scratches, which may affect their appearance over time.


What are wood garage cabinets?

Wood garage cabinets are storage units crafted from various types of wood, such as plywood, particleboard, or solid wood. They offer a classic and warm aesthetic, making them an attractive option for garage storage.


Benefits of wood garage cabinets

Wood garage cabinets have several advantages:

Aesthetic appeal

The natural beauty of wood brings warmth and elegance to your garage space, making it ideal if you plan on turning your garage into a cozy rec room or TV room.

Protective finishes

Many wooden cabinets now come with protective finishes applied over the wood, which help to prevent rot, pest, and moisture damage.


If you opt for high-quality models, wooden garage cabinets can be just as good as steel or metal equivalents. 


Downsides of wood garage cabinets

Wood garage cabinets also have some disadvantages:

Susceptibility to moisture damage

Wood cabinets can warp, rot, or develop mold if exposed to moisture for extended periods - this is especially true when it comes to garage environments, which don’t tend to have AC powers and tend to have higher levels of humidity than other indoor spaces.

Vulnerability to pests

Wood cabinets can be susceptible to damage from termites, carpenter ants, or other wood-destroying insects.


Wood cabinets require regular maintenance, such as sealing or painting, which is performed to prevent damage and maintain their appearance. This means extra expenses, which you should include in your upfront budget.


Wood cabinets can be heavier than metal cabinets, making them more challenging to move or install, especially if you aren’t able-bodied.


Wood vs. metal garage cabinets: Which is best for you?

Determining whether wood or metal garage cabinets are best for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget for your garage. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

Durability and maintenance

If you prioritize durability and low maintenance, metal cabinets might be a better choice. Wood cabinets require regular upkeep and can be susceptible to moisture and pest damage, which can be costly to prevent and even more costly to fix or replace.

Visual appeal

If the visual appeal and design options are important to you, wood cabinets offer a warmer, more classic look and a wider range of styles and finishes. Wooden cabinets might be best suited to garages designed to be used for recreational activity, such as a game room, TV room, or a seperate living room.


High-quality metal cabinets can be more expensive than wood cabinets. However, consider the long-term value and maintenance costs when making your decision; replacing wood cabinets (due to moisture damage, structural damage or rot) is likely to be a more expensive venture than simply opting for a more expensive set of metal cabinets. Think about cost-efficiency in the long-term, rather than simply opting for the lowest price.

Insulation and sound absorption

Wood cabinets provide better insulation and sound absorption than metal cabinets. If maintaining a comfortable temperature and noise level in your garage is essential, wood cabinets may be the better option.

Weight and installation

Metal cabinets are generally lighter and easier to install compared to wood cabinets. If you plan to move or rearrange your garage storage frequently, metal cabinets might be more convenient, although do note that weights will vary from brand to brand. If you’re not able bodied, it’s always a good idea to have someone help you maneuver your cabinets when they need to be rearranged or moved.


The bottom line

In conclusion, both wood and metal garage cabinets have their unique advantages and disadvantages, but the best choice for you will largely depend on your individual needs and preferences. 

Consider the factors mentioned above and evaluate which material aligns with your garage storage requirements and aesthetic desires - but know that both metal and wooden cabinets are great at offering ample storage, pleasing visuals, and handy organization solution for any space. And if you’re still not sure, take a look at our best garage cabinets of 2023 for some guidance and inspiration.