Good question. The resistance to warping depended from the combinations of factors : wood species , type of construction , adhesives used , wood width , finishes and more. The drying methods , age of trees , lumber aging process , milling ( horizontal or rift ) grain direction plays very important role in wood stability.
The most suitable wood species unfortunately most expensive ones : Teak , Jarrah , Mahogany. The same time not all Mahogany species may work . The preference should be given to South American Mahogany ( Switenia family ) . The Honduran Mahogany is typical wood from Switenia family. The other type of Mahogany from Meliacaee family included African Mahogany ( Khaya ) , Asian Mahogany Toona may not be such a good choice . Sapelle Mahogany is not recommended due to the potential warping problems. From domestic wood species the good choice could be rift sawn Ash , Oak or Hickory. The vertical grain wood looks different than horizontal mill and very often has attractive patterns.
The composite materials ( veneered product ) a preferable for finish panels , doors panels and etc. Unfortunately the quality of veneered product may vary from complete junk to high end products . The substrate should be so called armored plywood and veneer should be applied on marine grade adhesives only . The regular plywood widely available from regular suppliers not suitable for this purpose .
The attentions should be given to mechanical constructions , especially where the veneered product connected with natural wood . The proper hardware is important .
The nails should be stainless steel . The finish should be used suitable for increased humidity conditions , with proper applications and drying time .
Overall : The traditional style cabinets could be successfully done for humid locations.
For example , some wood yachts made in beginning of 20th Century still functional
You may imagine close to 100 years on water . Storms , heavy vibrations , humidity , salt water , sun radiations , temperature changes from high to freezing . There is no questions the modern technology provide much more possibilities than 100 years ago.
It is more about the details , professional expertize rather than cost. Even most stable and expensive wood species can be wastes and the same time even more moderate cost wood species can stay for decades if they properly used.
I hope the above info was helpful. My English is second language . Sorry.
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on 11/17/2012 at 08:24AM, tenantproof wrote:
You might also check with a wood expert about mahogany which being from the rain forests may function just fine in a humid location.
Are you looking to have custom cabinetry made? If so, your cabinet maker could bring all wood to you home for it to acclimate to you environment, as we do for hardwood flooring, prior to it's installation. Also, if you are considering custom cabinetry, make sure they paint the individual panel peices in advance of putting the doors together. By doing this, when the door moves, (which it will regardless of your climate) there will be paint showing and not raw wood until the wood swells back to it's normal state. I hope this makes sense!
If you are not considering custom cabinetry, then I would consider veneer cabinetry.