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A Guide to Cabinet Wood Species

There is a lot to consider when choosing new cabinetry. Where should the cabinets be placed? How large should they be? What sort of style should they have? Not to be overlooked is the composition of your cabinet -specifically, what wood species you choose as their primary material. This choice can seem overwhelming on top of everything else, but never fear –Installation Services of Brevard has your back. Join us as we explore five different kinds of cabinet wood and their properties.

Why is Wood Important?

You could be forgiven for thinking that the exact kind of wood you choose for your cabinets is unimportant. After all, wood is wood, right? Nope! Different wood species have different properties, and the one you choose can dramatically affect your kitchen (or wherever you install your cabinets). Exposure to light and chemicals can affect how your cabinets look over time, so always consider how close your cabinets are to light sources like windows and sources of chemicals like cooktops. For best results, you should choose a durable wood species and apply a cabinet finish to ensure its longevity.

Cabinet Wood Species

This article does not cover every type of wood species used in making cabinets. However, the five species we will examine are some of the most popular. Remember that each wood species adds its own personality to your space, so consider the surrounding fixtures and how you want the room to look before you choose.

Cherry Wood

Cherry wood is a traditional material for building cabinets since it is easy to carve, mold, and sand into different shapes. Despite not being hardwood, cherry wood is durable and has excellent longevity. Cherry has the advantage of accepting dark stains and many finishes well. The wood is close-grained and smooth with a distinctive color that improves with age.

Be aware that cherry wood reacts to sunlight and can turn several shades darker after extended exposure. This change can be unpredictable, so if you go with cherry wood, you should try to pick a shade you will be happy with if it turns darker. Though relatively durable and long-lasting, cherry wood is not as tough as hardwoods like oak or hickory. Cherry wood is also one of the most expensive wood options for cabinets.

Maple Wood

Maple wood is a durable, finely-textured, and uniform wood. The species comes in many shades: honey, brown, ivory, gray, and red. It is a versatile species, being both sturdy and attractive, creating a sophisticated and inviting look. Maple wood is ever hardier than oak, resisting chips and dents, making it well-suited for daily use. Since several different species of maple trees grow in the United States, maple wood is easier to obtain than certain other species.

For all of its positive qualities, maple wood has a few downsides. If exposed to direct sunlight for years, maple wood can lose its luster. For this reason, you should not install maple wood cabinets near windows. Maple wood is also costlier than certain other wood species.

Oak Wood

A classic wood species, oak wood never truly goes out of style. It is sturdy and timeless without being overly expensive. Oak is usually a pale honey color but also comes in hues of white to red. Stains and shellacs can increase the color variety of the wood further. Oak wood is water-resistant, which makes it ideal for cabinets that are likely to be exposed to moisture.

However, the distinctive oak wood grain may still show through even with different finishes. This grain is difficult to alter, so you should be sure that you are happy with your oak wood’s grain since it may not be easy to change. If you are going for a more avant-garde kitchen, then oak wood will probably not match your vision. Finally, the affordability of oak wood means that the resale value of a kitchen with oak wood cabinets is unlikely to be high.

Bamboo Wood

Bamboo “wood” (it’s actually a species of grass) is not as popular in America as many other species, but many homeowners favor it in more modern kitchens. One of the biggest attractions of bamboo is it is eco-friendly since, like grass, it can be harvested and regrown repeatedly in a relatively short time. Bamboo has a unique linear grain, and while nominally softer than hardwood, it can be made as hard or even harder than species like oak and maple. The species takes dark stains and finishes nicely, and it is easy to clean with nothing more than a soft cloth, soap, and water.

Bamboo does have certain downsides, mostly related to its relatively low popularity. The small demand for bamboo means that your options for sizes and styles will probably be limited. Costs for transporting bamboo make it less affordable and eco-friendly than it otherwise would be. Finally, rough treatment will scratch bamboo surfaces, especially if it is of the softer variety.

Birch Wood

Birchwood is adaptable to many purposes and easily obtained since birch is plentiful throughout North America. This wood species is affordable and highly durable, making it suitable for daily use. Most birch trees have a distinctive thin whitebark, often seen peeling or rolling down their trunks. The coloration of the wood means that it readily accepts natural finishes and stains to imitate other woods like maple, walnut, or cherry. 

The positive qualities of birch wood also come with a few negatives. Birch is a porous wood, so darker stains can blotch and produce an irregular look. The texture of the wood is rough, so it is not suitable for those who want glossy cabinets.

Find Them At Installation Services of Brevard

You can find all these cabinet woods and more at Installation Services of Brevard. We bring our knowledge and expertise directly to our customers at a fair and reasonable cost. What sets us apart is our relationship with our customers -we want to keep your business for life, so you can rest assured that we will work until you are satisfied with the results we give you. So get the wood cabinets of your dreams. Call Installation Services of Brevard today!

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