Choosing The Right Wood For The Kitchen Cabinets

April 11, 2015 Uncategorized

The maker of your cabinet will determine its overall look and how it will stand against daily usage. When opting for customized kitchen cabinets, it is important that you manage to maintain a fine balance between structural support and style.

Style of cabinets – Start with the grain

Generally hardwood and veneers are used in the making of sophisticated and classic kitchen cabinets. These are the prime ingredients that ensure the cabinets stand the test of time. Just like no trees are alike, the elegance and beauty of each piece is expressed when it is properly crafted, joined and later finished into fine cabinetry. This is the reason why you see attractive variations in color and grain in the cabinets. Alternative materials and paints tend to offer more uniformity and the durability is not sacrificed as well.

Natural hardwood for kitchen cabinets


These days people are preferring glass and stainless steel items for their kitchen. Under such situation, hardwood gives a feeling of natural warmth in the kitchen. Furthermore, its unique texture can give a nice contrast to the overall look of the kitchen. Wood is known for its defining characteristics like knots, mineral deposits and they play a pivotal role in enhancing its overall beauty. With wooden cabinets in your home, you may notice some changes in its appearance as wood ages and is exposed to light over time.

Humidity can also affect the appearance of wooden work in your home. There are times when people feel dimensional changes that last for a few days and at times several weeks. In order to avoid any sort of damage to your wooden cabinets, you must ensure that the humidity level in your home does not get lower than twenty percent when the temperature is lower than twenty degrees. If the temperature is higher than 20 degrees, the humidity level must stay higher than thirty five percent.

Natural characteristics of hardwood

• Bird pecks

You will notice small marks in the grain patterns that are usually caused by birds pecking on the wood.

• Burl

This is when you notice twist or swirl in the grain of the wood. This does not contain a knot.

• Unsound knot

It is a circular area that was once the base of a twig or a branch and has a pith center.

• Sound knot

This signifies no signs of decay of wood and you can see a knot solid across the face of the wood.

• Wormholes

There are times when there are holes of almost 1/16” in size in the wood.

• Sugar tracks

This happens when there are yellowish to dark brownish streaks running throughout the wooden part.

• Gum streaks

These are mineral like streaks that generally occur only in cherry.

• Mineral streaks

They are follow the typical grain pattern and are usually of olive to blackish brown color.

• Heartwood

This is dark in color and signifies maturity. It extends from sapwood to the pith.

• Sapwood

This is the lighter colored part of the wood that grown from the inside the bark to the heartwood.

Types of wood available for custom cabinets

• White oak

White oak is known for its durability and happens to be quite stronger when compared with its red counterpart. It has more golden tones and tends to have more subtle grain as well. Usually it is quarter-swan when people look for custom cabinetry. Usually white oak is preferred when people opt for customized options.

• Red oak

Red oak is also quite durable and sturdy. The best part about this is that it is fairly inexpensive and can easily fall in people’s budget. Furthermore, it is available in a wide range of finishes and styles. It has unique grain patterns and because of this people prefer to have it for their traditional cabinets. This wood can be used for semicustom, stock and custom made cabinets.

• Hard maple

This wood is slightly expensive than the oak and is known for its fine grain look. It is also light in color. Hard maple is highly popular for custom cabinets, and semi custom cabinets. Since maple can be stained, it is usually dressed with a natural or clear finish to get a light and contemporary look.

• Hickory

Hickory is lighter than wood but has the same grain pattern. There is no difference in the overall strength of both woods. This is usually pale yellow in color or has a creamy look and can be stained. Just like maple, its bold tones are usually complemented with a natural or clear finish. Generally it is a rare choice for custom or semi custom cabinetry.

• Cherry

Cherry can easily withstand marring and knocks because it is quite sturdy. It has a very formal and elegant appearance. This is usually used to achieve a traditional kitchen design style, as cherry based designs can give your kitchen a regal look.

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